< Places of interest in Cardigan
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. It may be the same time as a Norman castle called 'Cenarth Bychan' from which we know, Nest, the spirited and beautiful wife of the Norman lord, Gerald of Windsor, ran off with Owain, son of the prince of Powys during a Welsh attack in 1109. Cilgerran is first mentioned by name in 1164, when the Lord Rhys captured the castle here. It 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.