75 years since Cardiff Castle was officially gifted to the people of Cardiff

75 years ago, on September 10th1947, Cardiff Castle was officially gifted to the people of Cardiff by the 5thMarquess of Bute.

The keys to the castle were handed over to Lord Mayor, Alderman George Ferguson in a formal ceremony outside the castle gates as the Bute family standard flew over the Norman Keep for the final time.

One of Wales' leading heritage attractions, the castle's 2,000 years of history entered a new phase recently, with Cardiff Council committing to keeping the grounds open as a public square.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke-Davies, said: "It's impossible to imagine Cardiff without the castle at its heart and seventy-five years on, the impact of the Marquess' gift is still being felt by the thousands of people who visit every year to explore its history, marvel at its lavish rooms, or simply to relax in what is now one of Cardiff's most picturesque public green spaces."

A Roman fort, established around 55AD, initially stood on the castle site, and the remains of the final stone-built fort can still be seen today. Following the construction of the Norman Keep, the castle passed through the hands of a number of noble families, saw the imprisonment of Welsh hero Llywelyn Bren in its Black Tower, and was set on fire during the Welsh rebellion of Owain Glyndwr. Eventually, in 1766 the castle passed by marriage to the Bute family.

The 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the world's greatest coal exporting port. After his death, the castle, and the fortune he had made passed to his son John, the 3rdMarquess of Bute, who by the 1860s was reputed to be the richest man in the world.

In 1868 the 3rdMarquess began a collaboration with architect William Burges that transformed the castle, creating the opulent themed interiors, rich with murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings, that it has become famous for.

After being called into service as an air raid shelter during World War 2, the death of the 4thMarquess of Bute in 1947 signalled the start of the next phase of the Castle's history.

For more information about Cardiff Castle,