A visit to Cardigan Castle isn’t your typical fortress experience – we’ve got eras for all ages. Enjoy the splendour of our Georgian mansion, where you can unlock the story of the Castle, the people who lived here and find out how it became the birthplace of Wales’ biggest cultural festival, the Eisteddfod.
Explore the medieval walls and Castle remains. You can even spend a night in our first class, luxury accommodation. Marvel at our glorious Regency grounds and admire river views from the terrace of our restaurant, 1176.
As a result of the sale of Cardigan Castle to King John in 1200, Cardigan Castle was regarded as a Royal Castle from that time onwards. In 1202 William Marshal was granted custody of Cardigan. Marshal had a falling out with King John in 1204 so he came to west Wales to strengthen his hold in Pembrokeshire. He may have lost Cardigan soon afterwards as in 1205 King John paid the sum of twenty marks for repairs to the castle. By 1208 King John had granted the castle to Robert Fitz Richard, one of the Tancred family. In 1214 King John ordered Falkes of Breaute to hand Cardigan Castle over once more to William Marshal. In 1215 Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1172-1240), alias ‘Llywelyn the Great’, and his followers captured Cardigan Castle, along with others in the area, during a general uprising.
In 1223, with the aid of an army, William Marshal’s son, William the Younger captured the Castle on Easter Monday, possibly without resistance and held it until August 1226. In April 1231 Richard Marshal became Earl of Pembroke upon the death of his brother and, once again took control of Cardigan. In 1231 Maelgwn ap Maelgwn ap Rhys attacked and captured Cardigan. In December 1234 King Henry III granted custody of Cardigan to the Marshal family, provided they could capture it. This they did after Llywelyn died in 1240, when Walter Marshal, a younger brother of the Earl, captured it in May 1240 and re-fortified it. In June 1241 Gilbert Marshal, the successor to Walter as Earl of Pembroke, was killed in a tournament and King Henry III took direct control of Cardigan.
Cardigan Castle is owned by Ceredigion County Council and managed and maintained through trustees www.cardigancastle.com.