The History of Cardigan Castle

Cardigan Castle is an incredible castle with a rich history, full of battles to defend the castle. We think everyone that stays in Croft Farm needs to visit the castle when they stay with us. Come and learn more about the history of Cardigan Castle. 

Cardigan Castle is unlike many other castles as it has been occupied for the last 900 years. The first thing we know about the history of Cardigan Castle is that on the 10th of October 1136 Welsh forces attacked the castle but were unable to capture it. Then in 1165 Lord Rhys captured the castle and demolished it. In 1171 he started to rebuild the castle out of stone, this is believed to be the first stone castle to be built by a Welshman. Then to celebrate the completion of his new castle, Lord Rhys hosted the first Eisteddfod in 1176.

In 1244 Robert Waleran began to rebuild Cardigan Castle and the town walls. Shortly after this, King Edward made Cardigan the County Town of Cardiganshire in 1279. Edward moved into Cardigan Castle on 23 November 1284 before passing Cardigan and the Castle to Prince Edward in 1301. Then the history of Cardigan Castle shows that the turret was completed in 1321 under the watch of Prince Edward. 

The history of Cardigan Castle shows that the Black Death reached Cardigan in 1349 and the town was left with only seven occupied homes. Following the death of Edward, the Black Prince, his widow, Princess Joan, runs an administration at Cardigan that is independent of the Crown. Princess Joan later died on 7 August 1385. 

The history of Cardigan Castle shows that major renovations to Cardigan Castle took place between 1428-29. The Castle Green House was built in 1808 and extended in 1827. The Castle Pillbox was built in 1940. Cardigan hosted the National Eisteddfod in Cardigan Castle in 1942. Then in 1961, Cardigan Castle became a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Castle Green House a listed building.

In 1976 Cardigan hosted the National Eisteddfod and Barbara Wood, who lived in Cardigan Castle at the time, began the occasional practice of admitting visitors at 50p a head, until 1990. The Castle Green House was declared unfit for human habitation in 1984. This led to Miss Wood moving into a caravan on the grounds. In 1999 Miss Barbara Wood had to leave the Castle to move into a local nursing home in 1999. 

In 2001 a local paper ‘The Tivy-side Advertiser’ started a ‘Save the Castle’ campaign which led to Cardigan Castle being bought by Ceredigion County Council in 2003. In 2011, Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust received many incredible grants from companies including Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund to be able to restore Cardigan Castle. In 2015, Cardigan Castle was reopened as an amazing attraction, restaurant, accommodation and events venue, after a restoration project in 2015 that cost over £12m. It even won Channel 4’s Great British Buildings Restoration of the year in 2017. You can now learn more about the history of Cardigan Castle by visiting and going on a tour with a tour guide.

To this day Cardigan Castle is a wonderful place to visit on a day out at Croft Farm. After spending a day learning the history of Cardigan Castle you can head to the restaurant, Cegin 1176, in the castle for a delicious meal. The castle is less than a ten-minute drive away from Croft Farm. We think you will love the experience as there is so much to learn about the history of Cardigan Castle and so much to see, and explore. 

For more incredible ideas of what to do when you stay at Croft Farm follow our Facebook page and take a look at our blog page.

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