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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Favourite buildings in Wales
Castell Coch

Which of Wales' castles make you sit up and stare? Do you think the new Wales Millennium Centre is a jaw-dropping masterpiece, or a ghastly eyesore?

Everyone has got an opinion about the buildings which surround us and, to mark National Architecture Week across the UK, the BBC News website is asking you to nominate your favourites in Wales, and your pet hates.

To start the ball rolling, we asked Richard Weston, professor of architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, for his top five buildings.

"If I had to name the single best building in Wales, I would say Castell Coch," he said.

"It is a minor masterpiece, with stunning geometry."

This Have Your Say is now closed. Below is a cross-section of your views:


My bid is for the Picton Castle at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. This old place has been meticulously maintained and is stil in the hands of my ancestral family the Phillipps clan. It is of my roots in Wales.
James Barbee, Glendale, Arizona, USA

Definitly not a building but the severn Bridge, after 12 hours of flying and two hours of driving you know your finally home when you cross the bridge into Wales. No2 has to be Castell Coch because then you know without a doubt you are back where you belong even if it's only for a few weeks.
DW, Omaha Nebraska

Llansteffan Castle, Stunning views of the surrounding area,a real sense of history there, beautiful surroundings and a calming peaceful place to unwind
Jackie Rzepala, Llansteffan west Wales

1)Plas yn Rhiw, Pwllheli, which is a quaint, homely 17th century house which has a beautiful ornamental gardens with spectacular views. It's a place where you can literatly get away from it all; it's quite tricky to find, but that adds to it's charm (it's 16 minuites signposted to Aberdaron from Pwllheli). Go and see it for yourselves.
Heledd Jones, Llanrwst

Coming to Wales for the first time I was awestruck by the Severn crossing which is an engineering masterpiece, only to be confronted by the Stalinist eyesore of the Celtic Manor menacingly looming over all who enter!
Anthony Hearn, Cardiff
I grew up in Penarth and still love to go look at St Augustines church when I am home visiting my family. It is also a lovely sight to see from Cardiff docks!
Ann-marie Chalmers, Vienna, Austria (previously Cardiff)

I think St Giles is one of the best buildings in Wales. it is a stunning piece of tudor architecture that truly dominates Wrexham. It's long, dark tower with craggy pinnacles seems to grow out of the hillside a real treasure.
Sean, Wrexham

Dolwyddelan Castle because its a proper Welsh castle and it's beautiful, and I have to disagree with the person who said that Llandudno Junction station is the worst, why its the centre of the Universe!!! A lovely place to arrive at when you've been away from Wales for too long.
George, Lloeger

Coming to Wales for the first time I was awestruck by the Severn crossing which is an engineering masterpiece, only to be confronted by the Stalinist eyesore of the Celtic Manor menacingly looming over all who enter!
Anthony Hearn , Cardiff

The Clock tower in Machynlleth. And the Aberystwyth station building.
Charles, mid Wales

I think that the Wales Millennium Centre looks like a hideous, glorified garden shed - totally out of place where it is being built. I must agree with previous contributors that Castell Coch is a superb piece of architecture, but my favourite buildings in Wales are the arcades in Cardiff which are at the heart of the city centre and add , enormously, to the character of the city.
Gary J Campsie, Cardiff

St Goven's Chapel in Pembrokeshire has always been a favourite along with St David's Cathedral. The Millennium Centre:- words cannot describe how appalling this structure is. All I ask is, what on earth were the 'designers' thinking?
Ed Thomas, Cardiff, Wales

Paxton's Tower in Carmarthenshire. You can see the whole of the Tywi Valley from there including Dinefwr and Dryslwyn Castle
Owain, Cardiff

The Ship & Pilot public house in Cardiff Docks - a true gem.
Sullers, Cardiff

The main building of Cardiff University is an unsung masterpiece of neo-classical style that combines perfectly betwen grace and function. Elsewhere, Welsh chapel architecture is full of original regional vernacular. Our housing is largely dull, however: derivative, backward looking, dowdy. This is a wider British problem and reveals a dull and conservative element in our nature.
Steve O, Cardiff

I would suggest St David's Cathedral. When I first saw it, the sun was setting behind it, a very impressive and inspiring sight.
Justine, Cardiff

I think that the David Morgan building in The Hayes, Cardiff is an absolute masterpiece; both beautiful and functional.
Bernie Matthews, Blackwood
I'd say collectively the civic buildings in Cathays Park in Cardiff are truly spectacular. Reminds us of a time when people appreciated the ability of great architecture to inspire and lift the soul, and when things weren't done on the cheap.
Matt, Cardiff

I have to agree with Rhydian from Chepstow, The Plough and Harrow in Marcross is definitely my favourite building in Wales as it holds a license to serve alcohol. Oh, OK it's a pub, but it's still a great archetectural delight.
Julian, Bristol (not too far from Wales), England.

Most of these comments are written by South Walians who have no idea that all the best buildings in Wales are in the north.
Karl Roberts, Llangollen

Castell Coch in Tongwynlais, Cardiff University main building, Cardiff Civic Hall Cathays Park, Caerphilly Castle, Millennium Stadium
J Lewis-Jones, Cambridge, UK. (formally of Cardiff)

Two buildings have particular resonance foe me and they come from opposite extremes of the historical spectrum. 1. Port Talbot steelworks - a huge looming slab of industrial poetry. Belching flame, glittering lightscapes, twisted pipework and the inspiration behind the imagery in 'Blade Runner'. 2. Carreg Cennen castle - a jutting, knuckled ruin upon a gruff clifftop. Isolation, dereliction and memory, the essence of romanticism.
Wyn, London (previously Glynneath)

7 School Street, Deri. It is the house my Grandmother was born in and where my mother had most of her happiest childhood memories. After that it has to be St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. It is so very tranquil.
Yvette, Orlando, Fl

I think that the David Morgan building in The Hayes, Cardiff is an absolute masterpiece; both beautiful and functional.
Bernie Matthews, Blackwood, Wales

It has to be Caerphilly Castle, from my bredroom window I can see one of the towers. It looks glorious in the evening when the sun is setting, the scene is so romantic
Zoe, Caerphilly

My favourite building in Wales is not a castle at all, it's the enormous greenhouse/conservatory at the Welsh National Botanic Garden at Middleton Hall in Carmarthenshire
Kate Corwyn,

My favourite building is Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire, I used it for a backdrop for my wedding photos and it has many different shapes. The ugliest has to be Heath Hospital (University Hospital of Wales).
Derek Norman, Cardiff

The best building in Wales, is the one without Walls, and is based on the structure of our communities. You and the land are one.
Iestyn Allcard, London
I lived in London for about 15 years (back in Cardiff now). The view I loved whilst driving home on the M4 was the site of Llandaff Cathedral through the trees on Eastern Avenue. I always knew I was almost at my presents and wasn't home sick anymore. It is still be favourite view and still brings a smile to my face.
Kelly Petersen, Cardiff

As an ex-Aber Uni student, I have to say that my favourite building in Wales is the Old University building on the seafront in Abersystwyth. It rivals any of the elaborate buildings in Oxford, and has the benefit of being by the sea!
Paul, Bristol

No one my in laws house in old St Mellons because I am so happy to be home to visit them, and no 2 Castell Coch, it is so beautiful and visiting brings back happy memories
Ally Speirs, Virginia Beach VA USA

The best building in Wales, is the one without Walls, and is based on the structure of our communities. You and the land are one.
Iestyn Allcard, London, UK

Castell Coch - I could see it from my bedroom window, and always used to love driving back from my grandparents on the A470, seeing it lit up at night.
Chris, London (previously Cardiff), UK

Its either Chepstow castle with its precarious setting on the cliffs if the river Severn; or Carreg Cennen perched up high in the black mountain. As for the ugliest, Heath hospital in Cardiff has to be a contender!
Marion, Cardiff

From a modern perspective the Millennium Stadium is stunning and a flagship structure for Wales, on the downside is the over-priced and self-indulgent eyesore that is the Millennium Centre. Somebody has decided that this monstrosity was worthy of planning permission and ridiculous sums of money - a remarkable lack of judgement.
Trudy, Bridgend

Castell Coch, it's enchanting. Definitely my favourite castle. I also think the original Cardiff Arms Park should be mentioned, for its imposing feeling for the visiting teams.
Lewis, Bucks
Living just around the corner from the new Millennium Centre I have watched raise from the ground. Now that it is almost completed, I find myself asking the question, 'How many architects designed the thing?' The side of the building with facing the oval basin looks magnificent. it dominates the bay area, and is a view that all people of Cardiff should be proud. As for the side facing the assembly building, i imagine that the person responsible must have been suffering from 'Architects Block' it looks awful, really uninspiring. Such a shame!
J Jones, Cardiff, Wales.

The Millennium Centre has earned the colloquial name "The Cockroach". It is a shame the original winning design wasn't erected
Sieffre Lewis, LLantrisant Wales

The new Welsh Assembly building. As a building it will look superb and unlike the castles of Wales (constructed to subjugate the Welsh people), as a symbol of democracy, it will be a building all the people of Wales can be proud of.
Matt, Bridgend

I would say Caerphilly Castle. Its an imposing structure today, but imagine what it would have been like when it was the only thing you could see apart from a few huts around its perimeter walls.
Andrew, Penpedairheol, Wales

Castell Coch, it's enchanting. Definitely my favourite castle. I also think the original Cardiff Arms Park should be mentioned, for its imposing feeling for the visiting teams.
Lewis, Bucks

Originally from the Black Country I have lived in Wales now for nearly 20 years. During this time I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and I think my new house is the best building in Wales because as everyone knows ' An Englishman's Home is his Castle!'
Ade Morris, Cardiff, Wales

Conwy Castle without a doubt - especially at night when lit. Arriving at Llandudno Junction station (a candidate for the worst building?) at 10.30pm on a Friday night from London, and driving across the Conwy estuary with the castle in all it's glory - it's when I really know I'm home.
Vicky, London, UK (formally Conwy!)

Personally, I love Caldicot Castle - but the main reason for that is that I got married there, in the Great Hall, last October. Great memories, and absolutely stunning surroundings.
Steve Drury, Newport, Wales

My favourite buildings in Wales are - 1. my parents' home in West Wales which has one of the most expansive, beautiful views I have seen 2. Caernarfon Castle for its majesty and superb location on the Menai Straits 3. Millennium Stadium for the true Welsh experience at Six Nations 4. Conway Castle - another poignant masterpiece and reminder of the Welsh people's long history of being invaded and oppressed 5. The Severn Bridge - not strictly speaking a building but a construction which is able to arouse a real contradictory mix of feelings while crossing over it to or from Wales
Peredur Evans, Tokyo, Japan

The Plough and Harrow in Marcross (Near Llantwit Major), not only does the building have the character (13th Century?) but also the open fire and hospitality.
Rhyd, Chepstow
I think it's more than just the building; the setting makes a huge difference too. I have a number of favourites: Capel Rhosydd & Plas Cwmorthin near Blaenau Ffestiniog. They are a pair of ruined buildings in a spectacular setting.

The other one is Dolwyddelan Castle. I know it was mucked about with in the 1800s by the Wynns of Gwydyr, but it is still a spectacular sight with the backdrop of mountains.
Chris Cowdery, Huntingdon, UK

As a visitor to Wales at the end of last year, I would say it's a close call between the old and beautiful Castle Coch (fairy tale place) and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Ginge, Chichester, West Sussex

The best building in Wales was never built: Zaha Hadid's Opera House.
Stephen Griffiths, Pen y Bont, Cymru

I am currently exiled in England but travel home to Wales monthly, passing Raglan Castle always gives me a thrill, I like to squint at it and imagine knights coming across the drawbridge. I always great it when I arrive and say goodbye as I'm leaving
Heather Nicholas, Suffolk

For me it has to be Gwrych Castle. Built in the early 19th century purely as a stately home (ie, not a defence) it shows what I think is the finest example of Gothic Revival architecture in the country, with a wonderful mismatch of turrets and entrances scattered across a wooded hillside... However, no matter how much I love the building in its current condition it needs restoration. It may be a gorgeous folly on the hillside at the moment but it could so easily be a fully functioning hotel resort complex or business centre. a true landmark for the north Wales coastline once again!
Jamie Ayres, Pentre-Cwrt, Llandysul, Wales

Caerphilly Castle is magnificent, its size, location and history make it a likely contender for Wales' finest castle
Bob Jones, Sully

I consider City Hall and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff to be my favourite buildings in Wales. They both are visually stunning, and have a regal and powerful nature to them. Its a shame that the Welsh Assembly wasn't put in City Hall.
Tim Lewis, Maesycwmmer. Caerphilly

I know it's a bit of a cliché, but the Millennium Stadium is a magnificent feat of architecture and build. For it to attain and add the magnificent glory of what was the Old Arms Park is one hell of a cultural feat as it means to much to a nation as well as being a huge design victory.
Nick Clement, London

Castell Coch, it has magnificent decoration and architecture, stunning views and looks like it belongs as part of the hillside.
Owen Payne, Caerphilly

Here are my favourites. Truly outstanding Architecture: *Students Union Building, Bangor *Old Drive through Burger Bar at Dickies Yard, Bangor *Wellfield Shopping Centre Elevation from the Well Street End, Bangor *Kwik Save Building, Bottom of High Street, Bangor *Llain Deiniol Flats, Bangor. *Tan Y Bryn Flats, Maesgeirchen, Bangor
Reuben Leach, Wellingborough UK

The Plough and Harrow in Marcross (Near Llantwit Major), not only does the building have the character (13th Century?) but also the open fire and hospitality.
Rhyd, Chepstow, Wales

Pembroke Castle, a fine building that dominates Pembroke and where Henry VII, a welsh man was born and went on to take the English throne
Richard Davies, Reading UK

Being from Caerphilly i would of course have to say Caerphilly Castle. For the following reasons: 1) A tower that leans more than the tower of Pisa 2) It's the oldest in the region, belonging to Prince Llewellyn 3) The second biggest concentric castle in the UK (second to Windsor) 4) One of very few that still has a working moat 5) Virtually unchanged so still feels like it was when it was being used hundreds of years ago
Stephen, Caerphilly

I think I have to agree with Castell Coch by Tongwynlais. There's just something magical about it that almost takes your mind to another time and place - The way it juts out of the tree line on the side of the valley always lets me know I'm nearly home.
Vince, Creigiau (exiled in London)




SEE ALSO:
Restoration cash fight resumes
30 Apr 04  |  Wales
Flats are ugliest in south Wales
24 Mar 04  |  South West Wales
Fury over Dunlop factory site
19 Sep 03  |  Wales


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