The Animal Wall was designed by William Burges in 1866, but it was not built until 1890, after Burges's death in 1881. The work of the restoration of Cardiff Castle and the building of the Animal Wall for the Marquess of Bute, was continued by his former assistant William Frame. The original nine animal figures were sculptured by Thomas Nicholls, they were the hyena, wolf, apes, seal, bear, lioness, lynx, and 2 different lions. They were painted in naturalistic colours, although since then the paint work on the sculptures has been removed.
The wall was moved about 50 metres (160 ft) from outside Cardiff Castle to its present location outside Bute Park in 1922, due to road widening in front of the castle in Duke Street and Castle Street (now the A4161).
In the 1970s Council planners had wanted to demolish the Animal Wall to widen the Castle Street again, but this idea was later abandoned.
As part of a £5.6 million refurbishment of Bute Park, restoration of the animals began in July 2010. During the repair, the anteater's missing nose, which has been missing since the late 90s, was replaced as well as the missing glass eyes in the nine original animals. This work was completed in October 2010.
Images of the Animal Wall
Figures sculptured by Thomas Nicholls in 1890
Figures sculptured by Alexander Carrick in 1931
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Animal Wall.|
- Animal Wall-Grade I Listed
- Cardiff Castle timeline
- Cardiff Castle's animal wall under repair
- Do you nose how castle sculpture used to look?
- WalesOnline | Work starts on Bute Park 'Animal Wall'
- Cardiff Council | HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) Bute Park Restoration Project