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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Wales - Cardigan Castle

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Bridgend, Cardiganshire, Wales

Cardigan Castle is located in Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales. Cardigan has been an important port since the early Middle Ages, and Cardigan Castle was of military importance, changing hands frequently during Norman times. The castle that now stands was reconstructed in the 1240s after the final Norman conquest. Two towers, a new keep and the town wall were all built to create the stronghold. The ruins of these are visible today. At the beginning of the 19th century a residence, Castle Green House, was built inside the walls incorporating the North Tower. This fell into disrepair in the 1940's. It was purchased by Ceredigion Council in April 2003. The site is a scheduled ancient monument, containing a 13th Century medieval tower, 14th century towers, 14th century curtain wall, stable yard and stables, and Italianate garden.

The first motte-and-bailey castle was built a mile away from the present site, in the 11th century in the time of the Normans. A second castle was built in 1110, by Gilbert de Clare. During the following 100 years, the castle changed hands frequently between the Welsh and the Normans. The castle was rebuilt in stone in 1171 by Rhys ap Gruffydd. Early in the 13th century, the castle was sold to King John, following an inheritance dispute after the death of Gruffydd. A variety of Norman owners called Cardigan Castle home until Llywellyn the Great attacked and destroyed the castle. Cardigan was badly damaged during the Civil War when it was stormed by Oliver Cromwell. Until the 18th century it was only used as a prison.

Other Castles in the Area
  Cilgerran Castle, Pembrokeshire
  Newcastle Emlyn Castle, Carmarthenshire

Newcastle Emlyn Castle
Cardigan Castle. During WW2 the castle's defensive position was employed as a site for a pillbox which can be seen here. Privately owned,the site was neglected, the house fell into disrepair and the walls have needed shoring up for many years but in 2003 Ceredigion CC finally managed to purchase the castle with the help of a vigorous local campaign and extensive fundraising iniatives. A major restoration programme is now under way.

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