Cardigan Castle

Cardigan, United Kingdom

Cardigan Castle overlooks the River Teifi in Cardigan, Wales. The first motte-and-bailey castle (ca. 1093) was built a mile away from the present site, probably about the time of the founding of the town by Roger de Montgomery, a Norman baron.

The castle was later recaptured by the Normans, and was held for Earl Roger of Hertford. In 1166 it was captured by Rhys ap Gruffydd, who rebuilt it in stone in 1171. In 1176 the first recorded eisteddfod was held at the castle.

Llywelyn the Great captured it in 1215 and at the parliament held at Aberdyfi in 1216 made it over to the sons of Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, but in 1223 William Marshall the Younger recaptured it. In 1231 the castle was again captured for Llywelyn by Rhys Gryg and his allies. Llywelyn held it until his death in 1240. On Llywelyn's death it fell back into Norman hands, and in 1244 Earl Gilbert of Pembroke rebuilt it with town walls for added protection. It is the remains of this building that still stands overlooking the river.

Cardigan Castle was badly damaged during the English Civil War in Wales and until the 18th century it was only used as a prison. Sometime between 1805 and 1808 the castle owner, John Bowen, arranged the construction of Castle Green House within the castle walls. The front range was added in 1827.

Renovation work continued for some years after its purchase by the Council, and the castle was opened to the public in 2015. The new facilities include bed-and-breakfast and self-catering accommodation, a heritage centre with education facilities, a restaurant, an events and open-air concert area, and rooms for hire for classes.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anthony Bourner (9 months ago)
Pleasant castle run as an independent historic monument. The guide doing the tours was excellent, he did not rush round or overload people with non relevant facts which made it very enjoyable. There are toilets, restaurant and gift shop on site. You will have to use one of the nearby car parks for access
Thom James (9 months ago)
Commanding setting overlooking the river and a focal point of the town of Cardigan. They do great events here, but if you are just going on a regular day, the entrance fee gives you 12 months access. Good cafe here too.
Martin Benton (9 months ago)
£7.00 each to see not a lot, a few parts of the walls, nice green lawn, lovely kitchen garden, lots of toilets due to music festival about to take place. You are better off keeping your £7.00 and taking photos of the outside of the castle walls.
Dawn Orbell (10 months ago)
This was the most modern castle I have visited, not really a castle more like a house with castle walls around the grounds. I must admit that I did not think it was worth the £7 entrance fee. Some of the rooms were empty. The most interesting part of the house was the ghost stories from the staff members.
Neil Stewart (12 months ago)
Absolutely lovely place to stay. The staff are super friendly, the food is gorgeous and on the whole the room was good. We had Y Copa, top floor B&B (twin). The room is clean and very well appointed with a lovely bathroom. However, there is a but. The room has one small window at shin height onto the street and one small window in the bathroom. And a skylight. There is absolutely no view from the room, of anywhere, unless you sit in the bathroom. In addition, the room is super dark even on the brightest of days. I know it's difficult as the building is probably listed, but if a view and good light is what you want, pick a different room. We would definitely stay again, but in a different room. As I said, absolutely faultless otherwise.
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