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Cilgerran Castle

Cilgerran stands perched on a rocky crag, overlooking a steep gorge at the tidal limit of the River Teifi. Naturally protected by steep drops on two sides, its position is an obvious site for a fortress in an area hotly disputed by Welsh Princes and Norman barons. In the century and a half following the first coming of the Norman invaders to the Teifi valley, Cilgerran was lost and re-won many times over. This castle is a lesser well known castle but well worth a visit to explore. It has a facinating history performing a key role as a frontier castle during turbulent times during the Welsh struggles against constant Normand and later English aggression.

History of Cilgerran Castle

1081 - William the Conqueror claims overlordship of Wales, including Cilgerran which lies within the kingship of Deheubarth. William makes a 'pilgrimage' to St Davids to offer prayers, but which in reality is a show of strength. The Welsh ruler of South-West Wales Rhys ap Tewdwr meets with William and they come to an amicable agreement whereby Rhys pays the king £40 a year as a fee for his continued rule of the area.

1087 - The good relationship lasts until King William's death, after which pressure begins to build up. Soon Rhys is attacked both by fellow Welsh princes and by Norman freebooters.

1091 - Rhys defeats his rival Welsh prince Gruffudd ap Maredudd in battle at Llandudoch (St Dogmaels). (more in the History section)


To get to the castle park in the village centre by the green with a short walk. The castle sits behind the row of cottages whichback onto its walls. A lovely castle in a lovely location.

Text by Fred Vincent