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

David Charles Gough (21 months ago)
Cardigan castle in green St. at the top of grosvenor hill really interesting place information not only about the castle but information on the ship building that when on in the river tefi Valley also the slate quarrying in cilgerran and how the slate was transported from the quarry to the quay in cardigan, well worth a visit,
Vampyre Drake (2 years ago)
not what id of expected.... more of a sit down restaurant and museum than a real sense of a castle.... prices very expensive need a mortgage just for burger n chips £15 per meal per person. not good for kids
Tony A (2 years ago)
Extremely interesting, especially the good photos and audio visual of recent transformation from overgrown ruin, thanks to many volunteers. Very welcoming and good Covid precautions Inc one way system around extensive grounds.
Dan Sanzeri (2 years ago)
**This is a review of the RESTAURANT 1176 at the castle, not the castle itself** Firstly, the positives, food was good enough and the place is well located. In terms of negatives, the venue was not child friendly in the slightest and the front desk was borderline rude. Seemed disappointed we couldn't stay statically seated throughout our stay. Totally appreciate the Covid-19 situation but it was completely over the top. It's very hard to keep a small child still if they are in one of those moods. We weren't made to feel welcome in the slightest and would strongly recommend that others with a small child/children AVOID.
Chris Willis (2 years ago)
Definitely worth a visit. Lovely views over the river from the walls. Very interesting history. The restaurant, 1176, is great & clearly popular with locals as well as tourists. Lots of space - beautiful terrace, & tables under gazebos across the lawn. Food is excellent - in the modern idiom, creative & delicious.
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