Field Investigations

  • Caerphilly Castle

    Caerphilly, Wales

    Caerphilly Castle is Wales' largest and Britain's second largest castle behind Windsor. This medieval fortress was built mainly between 1268 and 1271 by Gilbert de Clare. Known as Gilbert 'The Red' because of his red hair, denoting his Norman heritage, he built the castle to take control of Glamorgan and to prevent the Welsh Prince Llewellyn ap Gruffudd from achieving his southward ambitions. The design of the castle is based on a concentric ring of walls and has an extensive ring of water defences and huge gatehouses.

    This mammoth stronghold remains a striking testament to the Anglo-Norman domination of the area. Though the focus of many Welsh attacks, Caerphilly Castle has remained a formidable fortress and perhaps one of the greatest strongholds of all-time. Even the efforts of Oliver Cromwell's roundheads failed to break the Castle's boundaries, though they did leave a rather remarkable scar, the famous leaning tower which has leaned 3m out of the perpendicular since 1648.

    It was not possible to record in all areas of the castle as a small amount of visitors were on site. Rachel and Tracey waited until chosen areas were free of guests before recording. We are confident in designating the clips below as EVP because they do not resemble the profile of our speech in amplitude or pitch.

    EVP 1: Rachel was voicing her concerns that bringing a group of visitors to the site for an investigation might not be possible. Note the reply is in English not with a local Welsh accent.

    EVP 1: Where are you?

    EVP 2: Rachel and Tracey had said how comfortable one of the first floor rooms was. All they needed to finish it off and to make it really cosy was some bearskin rugs.

    EVP 2: Do they now

    EVP 3: This was recorded in a small room with only Rachel present. Neither of the two voices resemble hers and both have very different characteristics. Is the speaker wishing to contact the writer Richard Jones, who has written of the castle ghost? We are unable to determin the first part of the second message.

    EVP 3: Please listen Richard - ...Tudor

    EVP 4: Again we have a modern English voice in a Welsh castle belonging to a young child, who most definitely was not present at the time of recording. As with other children's voices, this too is spoken at speed and with clear annunciation. The phrase would be very odd for a child to say spontaneously.

    EVP 4: Is this just you, are you two going to change this?

    EVP 5: We are certain that we heard no whistling whilst at the castle but it does sound very jolly and tuneful. You can hear a pigeon at one point but the whistle does not resemble birdsong.

    EVP 5: Whistling