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It is famous for having introduced concentric castle defences to Britain and for its large gatehouses.
Caerphilly Castle was built in the second half of the 13th century, as part of the Anglo-Norman expansion into South Wales.
The Normans began to make incursions into Wales from the late 1060s onwards, pushing westwards from their bases in recently occupied England.
The project was opposed by Gilbert's Welsh rival Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, leading to the site being burnt in 1270 and taken over by royal officials in 1271.
Despite these interruptions, Gilbert successfully completed the castle and took control of the region.
In 1950 the castle and grounds were given to the state and the water defences were re-flooded.
In the 21st century, the Welsh heritage agency Cadw manages the site as a tourist attraction.
The castle was constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan, and saw extensive fighting between Gilbert, his descendants, and the native Welsh rulers.
Surrounded by extensive artificial lakes – considered by historian Allen Brown to be "the most elaborate water defences in all Britain" – it occupies around 30 acres (12 ha) and is the second largest castle in Britain.
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