Castell Coch, on the ouskirts of Cardiff, is the ultimate fairytale castle. Its conical towers and needle-sharp turrets peek out from a wooded slope, presenting a vision more in tune with the Bavarian countryside.
It was conceived by architect William Burges for his patron, the marquis of Bute, as a companion piece to the marquis's main home at Cardiff Castle. Lord Bute, who owned Cardiff's booming docklands and was reputedly the wealthiest man in the world, gave William Burges free rein to create a Victorian dream of the Middle Ages.
Burges died suddenly in 1881 before his work was finished. Completed by colleagues, Castell Coch remains faithful to a unique vision which, although undeniably extravagant, was underpinned by a profound knowledge of medieval architecture.