Cardiff Castle was a Welsh castle that was over 2,000 years old. It was originally built as a fort for the Romans before being turned into a motte-and-bailey castle by William the Conqueror’s Normans. William the Conqueror’s firstborn son, Robert, was imprisoned in Cardiff by his kid brother Henry I until the day he died. During the reign of Edward II, Cardiff was the seat of power for Hugh Despenser the Younger and he used it to not only execute Welsh rebels, but also snatch land from Welsh lords such as Roger Mortimer. These actions ultimately led to Edward II losing his throne and Hugh being hanged, drawn, and quartered. During the Welsh Revolt in the 1400s, the castle fell into Welsh hands, but after the rebellion was quelled, the Welsh rebels lost control of the castle. Strategically, whoever held Cardiff Castle controlled southern Wales, which became apparent during the English Civil War where Parliament briefly overthrew the monarchy. During the Industrial Revolution, the town surrounding Cardiff Castle became a rich coal mine and the noble house holding the castle became obscenely rich. With this new wealth, the town grew a port for trade and the castle and the separate mansion were given lavishly luxurious Victorian architecture. Coal made Cardiff rich and trade made it even richer. Overall, I would very much like to visit this castle and draw inspiration from it for some of the castles in my fantasy series. I already have castles that draw their wealth from gold and crops, but I think it would be interesting to depict one where its wealth comes from coal.

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