Mid Wales

Cardigan Castle reopens following £12m restoration project

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Media captionMatt Murray is shown around the castle by trustee and local historian Glen Johnson

Cardigan Castle will reopen to the local community on Tuesday following a four-year, £12m restoration.

For 15 years the Ceredigion community campaigned to save the site which has been restored into a heritage attraction and events venue, with holiday accommodation and a restaurant.

Restoration work included roof repairs, landscaping and reconstruction of the castle's walls.

The site will open to the general public on Wednesday.

The Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust, made up of 250 local people, secured investment for the restoration, including more than £6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £4.3m from the European Regional Development Fund.

Hundreds of local volunteers took part in fundraising, raising more than £200,000 to save the 900-year-old site.


Recent history

Image copyright Louise Noakes
Image caption The site has been restored into a heritage attraction, luxury accommodation and events venue
  • 1961 - Cardigan castle becomes a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Castle Green House a listed building
  • 1984 - Castle Green House declared unfit for human habitation
  • 2001 - Local paper, The Tivy-Side Advertiser, starts a "Save the Castle" campaign
  • 2003 - the castle is bought by Ceredigion council
  • 2011 - Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust receives much-needed grants from funders, including Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Welsh government, to restore the castle
  • 2015 - Castle re-opens

A remake of Wales' original Eisteddfod chair has been returned to the castle following the restoration as it believed to have been home to the first ever recorded Eisteddfod in 1176.

The site also has a dedicated Eisteddfod exhibition along with exhibitions telling the story of the castle and the people who lived there.

Cardigan Castle spokeswoman Sue Lewis said: "The castle's commercial streams are absolutely vital in generating income for the upkeep of the site.

"Our target is to attract more than 30,000 visitors to the castle in its first year of trading."

But a row has broken out over plans to invite an English folk group to headline the opening concert in July.

Image caption Local people were invited to the opening of the castle on Tuesday
Image copyright Owen Howells
Image caption The grounds of the castle have been landscaped
Image copyright Owen Howells
Image caption A remake of Wales' original Eisteddfod chair has been returned to the castle
Image copyright Owen Howells
Image caption Restoration work included roof repairs
Image copyright Owen howells
Image caption The castle now has luxury holiday accommodation
Image copyright Owen Howells
Image copyright Owen Howells
Image caption The new restaurant in the castle

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