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Caldicot Castle

Visited February 2010

Location Caldicot, Monmouthshire
Entrance Fee Yes 
Railway Station         Caldicot - approx 1 mile
Parking Yes - beware mud in the overflow carpark !
Facilities Toilets, Shop, Cafe, Play park






Caldicot Castle is about 5 miles from Chepstow, in Monmouthshire. We visited during an open day to celebrate St David’s Day. It was quite drizzly that day, but was busy despite the weather. There were some historical displays laid on- archery, cooking, people dressed in period costumes explaining about life in bygone days, and some circus skill displays. It was very interesting , especially for the children but we wanted to concentrate more on the castle itself. We started off in the Great Hall, situated in the gatehouse, which was added to the castle in the late 1300’s. The stairs to the Great Hall are steep, so hold little hands tightly, but once upstairs you are rewarded with the sight of a banqueting hall complete with tables and benches, which is still used to host medieval banquets to this day.





Our next stop was the keep, the oldest part of the castle, dating back to 1221. The original motte is still to be seen underneath, still covered in grass. Once you have entered the keep steps lead down to the bottom of the tower, there is a small exhibition, showing how the keep was occupied as a home until the 1950’s. There was a photo showing a mother and baby outside the entrance , presumably the last residents. It is only when you go up the steep winding stairs to the first floor room which contains a four poster bed and a tiny cradle that you appreciate the practicalities of actual day to day living in a castle- as a parent I would have been terrified of carrying my baby up and down those stairs each day in case I slipped. But the little baby in the photo obviously survived as there is  a picture of him taken as an adult, back in front of the keep, now towering over his mum! A fascinating way of showing that the castle was not just a fortification but also once a home. It must have been a great place for a small boy to grow up! More steps then lead up to the top of the tower, worth the climb for the stunning view.





The staff at the castle were extremely friendly and happy to answer any questions. There are usually children’s activities of some sort during normal opening times. The surrounding country park is good for walks, and there is a small play area next to the car park. A word about the car park. If like us, you find yourself having to use the ‘overflow’ car park (ie a field) on a rainy day, then watch out for the mud. Our car got well and truly stuck. A helpful tractor driver pulled us out but the car was in a right state afterwards! Such is castle exploring!!





More info: Caldicot Castle

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