Cardiff Castle

J Randall roofing contractors ltd are please to be renewing the roof on the visitors centre at Cardiff castle. We are not only working in the centre of the city but at the very prestigious building of Cardiff castle. Over the last 2000 years there has been a castle in the centre of the city and we are proud to be associated with craftsman and builders who have created this magnificent castle

Roofing companies and roofers have been renovating constructing and refurbishing the castle through the ages. The castle was originally commissioned by William the Conqueror who had invaded England in 1066.He continued his domination of the British Isles by crossing the river Severn and establishing a castle at Cardiff .However previous to the invasion the Romans arrived in the reign of emperor Nero AD54-68.They defeated the local tribes and exiled the Welsh leader Caratacus to Rome. By AD70 the Romans controlled all of Wales and built a fortification at Cardiff. The Romans left in the fifth century and little is known about the castle until the arrival of the Normans in 1066.

Which can be seen in the grounds today was built and the stone keep was built by the Earl of Gloucester son of Henry 1 of England.

By 1217 the Lordship of the castle had passed to Gilbert de Clare, a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. The De clares ruled Glamorgan using the castle as headquarters. He constructed barracks and defences. I wonder what type of roofs kept the soldiers dry. There is evidence that wattle and daub might have been used which had been used centuries before. Castle roofs were timber framed and covered with various materials depending on resources an example would be thatch, oak shingles slates, flagstones and clay tiles.

By 1295 the castle was under the control of Gilbert who fell at the famous battle of Bannockburn against the Scots led by Robert the Bruce. The Scots won and the army of Edward 11 was defeated. This battle is referred to in the famous Scottish song Flower of Scotland which is sung at sporting events as a national anthem.

On his death the castle passed to his sister Eleanor who married Hugh Despenser . The dispenser family retained ownership for over 100 years. Hugh Despenser became embroiled in the battle between Edward 11 and his estranged French wife Isabella . He was captured and hanged in Hereford for the murder of the Welshman Llewelyn Bren.

By 1349 Hugh’s great nephew Edward came into possession of the castle ,he was a distinguished soldier, on his death his son Thomas became the landlord of the castle. However, he was involved in a treasonous plot against the king and was executed in Bristol.

It was at this time that the Welsh rose up in rebellion led by Owian Glyndwr ,Owain was aware of the depensersand that they  had been involved in the murder of Llewellyn Bren ,a Welsh leader and the attack on Cardiff castle in 1404 was brutal as they felt it was revenge for the murder of Bren. Buildings were burnt and people not spared.

However, the rebellion was not successful and the castle reverted to Isabel Dispenser who married Richard Beauchamp earl of Worcester and a new chapter in the life of the castle begins.

Worcester died and his widow married the Earl of Warwick ,a good friend of Henry Warwick was appointed governor of Henry’s son the future Henry V1 after the death of Henry V.The Welsh rebellion defeated, meant that Warwick could start a new construction  programme at the castle.

Warwick’s inheritance passed to his sister Anne who married Richard Neville who after Warwick’s death was created the new Earl of Warwick. He was known as the king maker and a supporter of the Yorkist cause. He was killed in battle during the war of the roses in 1471.

Anne his younger daughter succeeded to the ownership of the castle and married the Duke of Gloucester who later became Richard 111.On his succession to the throne his agent Sir James Tyrell became the constable of Cardiff castle.

By 1485 Henry Tudor had landed in West Wales and had marched to Bosworth where he defeated Richard 111 in battle. The Neville family lost the castle and it was given to Jasper Tudor, a cousin of the new king. On Jasper’s death it reverted to the crown and Edward V1 granted possession to William Herbert, who was a close ally of the king. He was made Earl of Pembroke and granted Cardiff, Caephilly, Coch castles and extensive lands. He modernised the castle during the 1580’s.

Civil war broke out in 1642 and the castle was damaged and it changed hands on numerous occasions After the war the estate came into the hands of Viscount Windsor who married Charlotte Herbert heiress to the 7thearl.  After Windsor’s death Charlotte in 1776 married Lord Mount Stuart who later became the Marquess of Bute.

The Bute family, up until the castle was given to the city of Cardiff in 1947, restored and extensively rebuilt the castle to the wonderful building it is today

The Randall family are proud that they are playing a part in refurbishing the visitors centre where the castle enthusiasts begin and end their journies around the castle and its grounds.