- Cardigan, Ceredigion
infobox UK place
country = Wales
static_image_caption = Cardigan High Street
postcode_district = SA43
population= 4,203 [Community, 2001 census]
Cardigan ( _cy. Aberteifi) is a
townin the countyof Ceredigionin West Wales. It lies on the estuaryof the River Teifiat the point where Ceredigion meets Pembrokeshire. It was the county townof the pre-1974 county of Cardiganshire. The town's populationwas estimated at 4,000 inhabitants in 2007, though it is a significant regional administrative centre for West Wales, harbouring a hospital, college, a modern arts centre (with two-screen cinema) and a currently under-used nineteenth century guildhalltogether with a theatreand good shopping facilities. Cardigan is twinned with Brioude, France.
The town has recently (2006/2007) undergone a renaissance with a co-ordinated programme of building works restoring many of the facades of the town centre shops in a sympathetic style. The quayside has been rebuilt with a new civic area and landing stage.
The town was founded in 1093 by the Norman
Roger de Montgomery. In the following century Rhys ap Gruffydd, the ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth, made a number of attempts to wrest the town from the Normans, finally succeeding in 1165. The castle was rebuilt in stone by Rhys ap Gruffydd 1171. In 1176 first National Eisteddfodof Wales was held in the town. By the mid 13th centurythe town was in the hands of the Normans once again who enhanced the town defences by building a stone town wall. During the English Civil War, Cardigan Castlewas attacked by the parliamentary forces.
Early Middle AgesCardigan has been a port. Throughout the Middle Agesit grew in importance until by Elizabethan timesit was, after Milford Haven, the most important port in Wales. A small shipbuilding industry and allied trades like rope and sail making were established in the port in the 17th century. [The Seaport of Cardigan: Cardigan Chamber of Commerce] By the early 19th century over 300 sailing vessels giving employment to more than 1,000 men were registered at the port and more than 200 ships were built in the five shipyards. Cilgerran slatewas exported from the port. The river silted up and the port died by the early part of the twentieth century. Plans to dredgeit have come to nothing over the years.
Cardigan Castlebecame the site of the first competitive Eisteddfod. Cardigan also hosted the National Eisteddfod of Walesin 1942 and 1976. The castlewas for many years in private hands and as a result became run down and derelict. The town council itself showed little interest in saving it. However a group of volunteers, and the local Catholic Priest, working separately did raise its profile. Ceredigion County Councilfinally bought it in 2003.
Cardigan is predominantly a
Welsh languagespeaking community. At the last censusmore than 70% of the residents were recorded as being able to speak or understand spoken Welsh with 48% able to speak, read and write in the language. [2001 Census. Neighbourhood Statistics: Cardigan] In 1176 and again 800 years later the National Eisteddfod was held in the town. In 2003 the community together with the Welsh Language Boardset up a language action plan designed to provide opportunities for people of all ages to get together to speak Welsh. The county council, Twf, Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, the Urdd, Cardigan town council, the local Young Farmers, Menter Aberteifi and the Board are working together in pursuit of its objectives.
Shrine to Our Lady of Cardigan
Cardigan is also the site of Wales' premier
Roman Catholic Shrinein Wales. In pre English Reformationtimes it was known for a statue of the Virgin Mary, who held a candle whose flame never extinguished. It is known as the shrine to Our Lady of the Taper.
Cardigan Islandlies just 200 metres offshore near the town at Gwbert.
railway stationwas closed under the Beeching Axein 1963. [ List of closed railway stations in Britain]
The village of
Our Lady of Cardigan
* [http://www.cardiganguide.com/gallery/c1.html Photographs of Cardigan]
* [http://tourism.ceredigion.gov.uk/saesneg/cardigan.htm Cardigan's Official site]
* [http://www.cardigantaper.org/ Our Lady of Cardigan, National Shrine of Wales website]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/search/simpleSearch.php?srch=aberteifi&lang=en Old photographs of Cardigan port]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/11355 Aerial photograph of Cardigan]
* [http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadDatasetList.do?a=3&b=546813&c=cardigan&d=14&g=415704&i=1001x1003&m=0&r=1&s=1206603299823&enc=1&domainId=16 2001 Census. Neighbourhood Statistics: Cardigan]
* [http://www.mwldan.co.uk/ Theatr Mwldan Cardigan]
* [http://www.visitcardigan.com/landscape-of-cardigan.htm The Cardigan Geological Landscape]
* [http://www.cardigan-chamber.co.uk/history.htm Cardigan History: Cardigan Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/mid/sites/cardigan/ BBC Cardigan - Aberteifi]
* [http://www.twfcymru.com/en-gb/home/Pages/default2.aspx Twf]
* [http://www.mym.co.uk/index.cfm?UUID=DE0484E7-70C8-4A56-A23367B950C328B3&language=en Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3089878 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Cardigan and surrounding area]
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