Building on the site of Cardiff Castle began almost 2,000 years ago and culminated in the nineteenth century with the fantastical High Gothic structure that we see today. The present Cardiff Castle evolved from a house owned by the 3rd Marquis of Bute who enlisted the extraordinary skills of the architect William Burges (1827–81) to redesign the structure and its interiors. Burges unveiled designs for the tower exterior and its interiors at the Royal Academy in 1870.
The theme of the Clock Tower is time. Set to either side of the large, cast iron clocks on each face of the tower are seven over life-sized figures representing the planets as Roman gods. The figures stand on pedestals and hold attributes relating to their sign of the Zodiac. Portrayed in medieval costume, the gods are Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, and Luna.