Caerphilly Castle conforms to everyone's idea of what a castle should be: a large grey battlemented building with lots of towers, surrounded by a moat crossed by a drawbridge.
It is the second largest castle in Britain, second only to Windsor, and was the first to use the concentric 'walls within walls' system of defence.
For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see Cadw's official site.
It was built by the Norman Gilbert de Clare in 1268-71 during the height of his battles against the Welsh prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.
It fell into decline in the late 15th century. The lakes drained away and the walls were robbed of stone, until in 1776 the site was acquired by the first Marquess of Bute who took steps to protect it.
His grandson, the third marquess, re-roofed the Great Hall in the 1870s. But it was the forth marquess who, between 1928 and 1939, enthusiastically (some might say over enthusiastically) restored and rebuilt the Inner East Gatehouse and some of the other towers.
The castle was given to the nation in 1950, and the water defences were re-flooded.
The Tommy Cooper Statue
In the main town car park overlooking the castle is a, slightly scary, statue of the late, great Tommy Cooper. The prop comedian and magician was born in Caerphilly in 1921. As is well known, he almost literally died on stage in 1984, having suffered a massive heart attack live on national television.
It has to be said that his links to the town are tenuous to say the least. Although his father was Welsh, his mother was from Crediton in Devon and, to escape from the heavily polluted air of Caerphilly, his family moved to Exeter when he was three.
His accent was, of course, distinctly West Country, and his links to Caerphilly come as a surprise to many visitors, myself included.