Friday, 16 September 2011

Cardiff Castle Animal Wall

On one of the days whilst staying with my parents in South Wales, we took the train into the city of Cardiff.

Cardiff has changed a lot in the last 15 years.  For a start there was no Millennium Centre and Tiger Bay now known as Cardiff Bay has been transformed into a Europe's largest waterfront development. Its a completely different city to what I remember it.
It was D's first time in Cardiff though.  There is plenty to see and do in Cardiff, but our first wander together with tourist eyes was Cardiff Castle.  Cardiff Castle is located in the heart of the city.  I've been inside once in my late teens, but not today - we were both happy to walk on the outside and around the Castles Animal Wall.  Its quite unique, I don;' know of anything else like it in Britain.
I have to admit, this is something I had not done before, always walking past the castle walls towards the busy city centre.  So it was really fascinating for me to discover the sculptures of the animals peering over the wall as if they are ready to pounce; and not pounce with menace, but with affection.  If you look closer too, you will not that the animals facial expressions are so full of character and life.   The animals were carved by Thomas Nicholls and were originally painted, with time of course the colouring has faded to a muted murky green-grey.  Apparently there a 15 animals all together, we managed to capture 8 of them on the day.
The animal wall was designed in the 1866 by architect William Burgess for the third Marquess of Bute who was the owner of Cardiff Castle.
 This dopey bear looks anything but frightening
 Some of the animals still have their glass eyes missing too.
I learned that the anteaters nose was missing and had only been replaced last year.
If you do find yourself in Cardiff, don't just go inside the castle which costs a few good pounds, take a stroll around the walls on the outside too - its free to enjoy!   I promise you won't regret it.  I personally have always preferred looking at castles and historic building on the outside.
 After waking around the walls of the castle, we took a leisurely stroll in Bute Park. 
The stroll was cut short as it began to rain heavy, so we headed to the train station to get the train back to my parents home.


  1. Very cool castle and animals!

  2. I've been to Cardiff and can't belive I missed the animal wall...I shall have to pay better attention next time!

  3. Thanks Lela.

    Its easy to miss it! I've done so, every time I've visited Cardiff and that has been more than a dozen times.

  4. Oooh looks like such fun! I hope I get to visit Cardiff some day.

  5. I saw that last year and I loved it! Great photos.

  6. We lived in Cardiff for 15 years and I never went in to the castle. I always loved the animal wall - especially the dopey bear - but I hadn't seen them restored. Have you been to Castle Coch just outside Cardiff?

  7. Hi Shaheen, finally got round to popping over to yours and very glad i did! lovely blogx I am reading about a restored castle in Wales at the moment so loved the post and love those statues.Cardiff is a bit far for me but we go to North Wales a lot, Justine.

  8. Thank you Jee.
    So interesting to learn that you lived in Cardiff. You must go back, it has changed so much and the wall has been restored, well most of it. NO, I don't recall ever being to Castle Coch. If and when we do move down, I'll mark it as a place to visit.

    Thank you so, so much Justine aka Florawood.
    For your lovel comment and choosing to become a follower, Thank you.

  9. Yeah!!!!!! I went there! It is fabulous and so strange inside! I loved everything!

  10. It so good to read you've been there spécialiste de l'éphémère.


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