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Cardigan

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Wales  /  Ceredigion  /  Cardigan
(4.5/5 based on 2,200+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, wildlife areas, historic sites
Cardigan is a town in the county of Ceredigion in Mid Wales. It lies on a tidal reach of the River Teifi at the point where Ceredigion meets Pembrokeshire. It was the county town of the historic county of Cardiganshire and is the second largest town in present-day Ceredigion.The settlement at Cardigan was developed around the Norman castle built in the late 11th or early 12th century. The castle was the location of the first National Eisteddfod in 1176 and in 2014 was undergoing restoration. In the 18th century the town became an important port which had declined by the early 20th century.The population in 2001 was 4,203, reducing slightly to 4,184 at the 2011 Census. Modern Cardigan is a compact and busy town with most facilities for retail, education, health, worship and sport.Origin of the nameCardigan is an anglicisation of the Welsh Ceredigion meaning "Ceredig's land." The town's Welsh name Aberteifi means "mouth of the Teifi."For the Welsh "Ceredigion" refers only to the name of the county, whereas in the past "Cardigan", for the English, referred to both town and county. Distinction was later made by the county being referred to as Cardiganshire.HistoryThe town is strategically placed on the banks of the River Teifi. A castle was built by Robert Montgomery in 1093 after the Norman army conquered Ceredigion, but the area was regained by the Welsh in 1136 after a victory against the Normans at Crug Mawr, with the town holding out until 1164. Under Welsh rule a castle was built in stone with a walled settlement around it and in 1176 Lord Rhys instituted the first eisteddfod. Contestants came from all over Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland to compete for chairs in music and poetry. In 1199 the town received its first charter and became an important trade centre. In 1227 a weekly market was established which continues to this day.
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