Parts of Caerphilly Castle previously closed to visitors have been opened up for all to explore.
The Inner East Gatehouse has never been seen before but has now been opened up thanks to recent restoration work.
The gatehouse was blown up and partly demolished during the Civil War 350 years ago and a partial reconstruction was carried out by the Marquess of Bute.
Cadw, the body charged with looking after Wales’s historic buildings, has completed conservation work and Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones was given a preview.
He said: “The size and scope of Caerphilly’s Castle is a testament to the difficulties its builders had in subduing the surrounding area and is a tremendous feat of medieval military architecture.
“The Inner East Gatehouse was blown up and partly demolished in the Civil War 350 years ago.
“It was partly reconstructed under the orders of Lord Bute, but World War II brought that project to an end.
“The first-class work that has been carried out here by Cadw’s skilled staff means that visitors will be able to explore a space that few have seen before and adds a substantial extra dimension to a visit to this monumental fortress.”
Conservation and restorative included work to re-open the gatehouse included stonework, laying new wooden floors, making the staircases safe, adding new gutters to stop the rain pouring back into the building and fitting new doors and windows.
Now, visitors can walk along the curtain wall behind the “leaning tower”, along the de Braose gallery and into the South-west Tower – parts of the castle closed for 50 years – and experience the magnificent rooms and views from the rooftop.
Chris Fleet, Cadwraeth Cymru’s Caerphilly team leader, has spent the majority of this 30-year career with Cadw carrying out conservation work at Caerphilly Castle.
He said: “When you have spent as much time as Caerphilly Castle as I have, you gain a real appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship of the original medieval builders and we’ve tried to reach the same high standards of work in all the conservation work we’ve carried out there.
“To open a completely new part of the castle to the public, as we have with the Inner East Gatehouse, is a great thing to have been involved with and I’m really proud to have finished my career by working on such a large project.”