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

Neil Stewart (2 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.
Ros Williams (8 months ago)
Fabulous venue, first class rooms & food made this a perfect wedding weekend for family & friends. The staff were lovely and friendly, couldn't fault them. A really enjoyable stay in Cardigan Castle.
Adrian Green (9 months ago)
A splendid day out for the family. Great bit of history and they cater very well for children, having plastic swords and costumes to keep them entertained. Staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful and the many exhibits provided an interesting insight into the local Welsh history. 5/5 Would highly recommend ?
Mike Yarworth (12 months ago)
Interesting venue with plenty of history and recently set up document archive that's not yet digitised. Very well kept grounds and plenty of information in the house itself (dogs not allowed inside) even a play ground for smaller children. Not quite enough for more than a half day but with a ticket giving you a full years access is worth keeping the receipt for a return visit.
Hayley Thomas (12 months ago)
Absolutely beautiful place, not the biggest castle but very pretty, well renovated and lots of info spots. The on site restaurant I cannot hype enough. Catered for my nut allergy without any issues/fuss. I had the steak and cheese baguette and it was incredible. The on site shop was decently priced I thought. The icing on top is that for every ticket you get free entry for an entire year so you could visit as much as you liked for that. £7 entry for adults.
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