Ghosts of Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle has been around since the time of the Norman’s, when a wooden motte and baily style castle was erected by Robert Fitzhamon, Norman Lord of Gloucester, in the 11th century. The keep was eventually rebuilt in stone and still stands guard at the center of Cardiff Castle.

Besides the Norman keep and some of the rampart walls, the present day Cardiff Castle dates back to the Victorian era when it was rebuilt in a gothic style.

Cardiff Castle


The 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the world’s greatest coal exporting port. Cardiff Castle and the family fortune passed on to his son John, 3rd Marquess of Bute, who by the 1860s was reputed to be the richest man in the world. It was John and the architect William Burges that transformed Cardiff Castle into the opulent and lavish castle that exists today, with some unfinished projects being completed by the 4th Marquess years later.

Legends suggest that one of the Marquess of Bute still calls the castle home.

Occasionally, the 2nd Marquess of Bute appears at the fireplace of the library (in his time, a doorway) and then passes through a 6ft thick stone wall to a corridor, then through another wall into the chapel. And perhaps to commemorate the time of his passing, at 3:45am, the doors of the main dining room open and shut by themselves and the lights in the room turn on and off.

The 2nd Marquess appeared most notably in 1976 when a young couple told the castle custodian that “A tall man in a cloak pushed past them in a great hurry”. The woman, who had been standing at the top of a stairway and turned to her right, witnessed a tall figure in a red cloak. The man seemed to be scowling at her and then vanished. The figure matched the painting of the 2nd Marquess hanging on a nearby wall.

In addition to His Lordship, in a stockroom near the chapel, which is often found with his contents disorganized without explanation, a faceless figure in a grey and white skirt is sometimes seen.

Strange happenings also occurred during the time of the 3rd Marquess of Bute. In November of 1868, Mr. John Boyle, a trustee of Lord Bute’s father was seated in the library and distinctly heard a carriage roll through the courtyard and stop at the door of the castle. After a while, thinking the doorbell must have been broken, he left the library and entered the hall, where the butler informed him that no carriage had come. He heard sometime later, that the arrival of a spectral carriage was said to be the forewarning of the death of some member of the Hastings Family, friends and relatives of the Crichton-Stuarts, the ancestral family of the Marquess of Bute. At the same time, Lady Margaret MacRae, the 3rd Marquess’s only daughter, declared that on the eve of her father’s passing at Dumfries House in Scotland, she heard exactly the same ghostly carriage.

In 1975, Derek Edward’s also experienced his first ghostly encounter at Cardiff Castle, after working there for about a year. After a luncheon in the dining room, Mr. Edwards was cleaning up when he noticed a man standing at the other end of the hall. Mr. Edward’s walked toward the man and asked “Can I help you sir?” and the man turned to face him, then vanished.