Cilgerran Castle stands on a precipitous, craggy promontory overlooking the river Teifi where it merges with the Plysgog stream. The Teifi here is just at its tidal limit, so the castle was able to control both a natural crossing point and the passage of seagoing ships. We cannot be sure when this strong site was first fortified. First mentioned by name in 1108, a year later it was the suggested site for the abduction of Princess Nest, the spirited and beautiful wife of the Norman lord, Gerald of Windsor. Cilgerran was captured by the Lord Rhys in 1164 but was retaken by William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, in 1204, only to be taken again by the Welsh during Llywelyn the Great's campaigns in 1215. However, eight years later, William's son, another William, regained control, and it was probably he who built the imposing masonry castle we see today.
The site changed hands many times after the Marshal family died out. It was ordered to be refortified in 1377 as a defence against the Welsh rebels who finally took of the site in 1405.
Much of the northern side of the castle was thought to have been destroyed during the Civil War when local parliamentarians attacked the royalists garrisoned inside.
After this, the castle became one of the first tourist attractions, with visitors sailing up the River Teifi to view the 'romantic ruins'. Amongst those 18th century visitors was none other than JMW Turner who sketched and then later painted several views of the castle.
The castle is now in the ownership of the National Trust and in the guardianship of Cadw.
Adults (16-59) £3.50
Children (5-15) £2.65
Family (up to 2 adults plus children over 5) £10.50
Senior (60+) £2.65
Student (with ID) £2.65
Visitors with valid membership cards for Cadw, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Manx Heritage and National Trust will be admitted either reduced or free-of-charge.
Site is level hard standing path and grass with good wheelchair access.
No dedicated parking available for the castle. Visitors are asked to park in the village and follow the pedestrian signs on foot.