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Cardigan, Ceredigion. Aberteifi (Mouth of the Teifi) is the proper name for this place, which carries in English the name of that Ceredig who held the district of Ceredigion by the sea as one of the “sons” of the 5th century. Cunedda, honoured as the founder of what is called Wales today. It is the county town, and yet is too small to bear the burdens of office. The Assizes are at Lampeter, and the Council enjoys its prominence at Aberystwvth.

Cardigan is a bright and pleasing town. somewhat withdrawn from the world: and even in 1811 Daniel Paterson's Direct and Principal Cross Roads could not find a separate position for it, but entered it under “Cross Road Centres”. The bridge over the Teifi is its most remarkable architectural feature, its life is vigorous, but belongs to its own immediate district of rich farms and forests; the river that once made it an important seaport has withdrawn and left Cardigan to nurse proud memories. The valiant stand against the Danes, and the common cause that Ceredigion made with Wessex against them in the days of Rhodri the Great and after him, were renewed when in 1136 the drive of Norman power into Wales was met by the two Gruffydds, the son of Cynan and the son of Rhys, and defeated outside the town. its castle had been built by Roger of Montgomery, who held it as a fief for William the Red, Norman King of England; but shortly afterwards it became the home of Cadwgan son of Bleddyn, a Welsh prince of Powys who did more than any other in repulsing the Norman attempt to overrun Wales. Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, and most of Brycheiniog were recovered by him, and he successfully carried the war into the lost lands of eastern Powys - Cheshire, Shropshire, and Herefordshire. But for the damaging charms of Nest - bride of Gerald of Windsor, Constable of Pembroke - that led Cadwgans son Owain to abduct her and so plunged all Wales into bloody feud, he might well have given Wales real strength and unity. Perhaps it was at the Cenarth, some little way up the river from Cardigan, that Nest had her house, though more probably it was the Cenarth in Pembrokeshire. But it was at Llechryd that Cadwgan found his fatal check, when he engaged the forces of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of the South, and his Irish soldiers in a battle that choked the river with blood.

Until the days of Edward I, Cardigan successfully maintained its Welshness. Gerald de Barn, himself a grandson of Nest, in about 1188 wrote of the Teifi of the salmon, whose name he learnedly derived from the Latin salire, to leap; the beavers, which were then numerous in the river; and Cilgerran Castle, set upon a rock with a great cataract up which the salmon leapt and near which the beavers formed their dams. The Castle was Welsh, apparently built by the Lord Rhys whom Gerald knew; little of it is left but two drum-towers by the bridge. No medieval war destroyed it, but Parliament in 1645 “slighted” it for supporting Charles I. The remains of walls stand by the seven-arched bridge, where tall warehouses speak of Cardigan's former importance as a shipping centre. But the Teili, one of the loveliest rivers in Wales has like the fatal Nest betrayed the town. The silting of the river mouth has left Gwhert-on-Sea, by the entry, as not very much more than a pleasant bathing-place with beautiful beaches. Like Aberporth, its not too distant neighbour, Cardigan has lost the outgoing importance of the days when it commanded the trade of the Irish Sea; but it remains a solid centre for the life of Wales at its most natively Welsh. Llangrannog, with its wooded and hidden hills, and Llanarth, with its ancient church and recollections of the march of Henry VII to victory, are readily reached from it.

Nearby towns: Fishguard, Narberth, Newcastle Emlyn, Newport, New Quay

Nearby villages: Aberporth, Blaenporth, Boncath, Bridell, Brynberian, Capel Iwan, Cenarth, Cilgerran, Cilgwm, Cilrhedyn, Cwm-Cou, Cwmorgan, Eglwyswrw, Felindre Farchog, Gwbert, Llandygwydd, Llangoedmor, Llantood, Llechryd, Monington, Moylgrove, Nevern, Newchapel, Penbryn, Penrherber, Ponthirwaun, Rhoshill, St Dogmaels, Tremain, West Cilrhedyn, Y Ferwig

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