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Cilgerran Castle

Visited May 2015

Location Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire 
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No 
Parking Roadside
Facilities Gift shop, Toilets
Map

 

Cilgerran Castle, perched on the cliff, is a popular castle these days. Parking can be difficult, the villlage of Cilgerran is small with narrow roads not built for tourism. Despite this the castle was very busy the day we visited in May.

 


 

 


Review

 

The castle has had its share of intrigues over the years. Its first owner was known as Stephen, he was the constable of nearby Cardigan Castle, and lover of the welsh princess Nest. His son Robert fitz Stephen was in possession of the castle in 1165 when its was besieged by Rhys  ap Gruffud, capturing Robert in the process. The castle remained with Rhys until his death  in 1197. After that it changed hands many times, not only between the Welsh and English but even between Rhys' warring sons. It was mainly active until the Glyndwr rebellions in 1405, after which it fell into dereliction. 

 

Over the years the cliff top position meant that parts of the castle gradually slipped away into the gorge, the north tower disappeared in this way. Part of the curtain wall on the eastern side of the castle has also disappeared, this was not due to gradual decline but the result of quarrying underneath the castle. It collapsed with a 'tremendous crash' in 1863. Even then Cilgerran was known as a tourist hot spot, with visitors sailing up the river to reach the castle.

 


 

 


 

The castle is not huge, but there is a fair amount to see here. The two large towers remain, the east tower has a wall walk which we found was utterly terrifying but others may describe as thrilling, depending on your view point. The walls to either side are not very high, and on a windy day in May it did feel like the least little gust could sweep you over the edge. 

 


 

 


 

A willow statue of a knight stands in the inner courtyard, offering a perfect selfie opportunity 'me & my knight in shining armour' type thing! There are also some pillories, which admittedly make selfies difficult if you have your hands constrained!

 

During school holidays the castle often hosts events, there was a teddy bear's picnic trail the day we went, you had to find the teddies and collect the clues for the trail. There is a gift shop and toilets on site, but no cafe. There is possibly something in the village of Cilgerran but we have no recommendations as we did not eat there. Cardigan Castle with its newly refurbished cafe is a few miles away, the two castles can be easily combined in a day trip.

 


 

More info:  CADW Cilgerran Castle

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