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Cilgerran Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Emlyn; Cenarth Bychan; Cenarth Fechan; Kilgarren; Cilgarron; Kilgeran

In the community of Cilgerran.
In the historic county of Pembrokeshire.
Modern authority of Pembrokeshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN19494313
Latitude 52.05710° Longitude -4.63417°

Cilgerran Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Cilgerran is a twelfth century castle, the present remains of which date from the thirteenth century onwards. The ruins, which mostly surround the inner ward, include two circular towers on the south side joined by a curtain wall. There is also an early thirteenth century gatehouse to the west which may have housed the chapel on the first floor. The western curtain wall also survives as well as the partial remains of the fourteenth century north-west tower. The castle was mostly ruinous by 1325 although repairs were carried out in 1388-90. In 1109, during an attack on Cilgerran, Nest, the wife of the Norman Lord, was abducted by Owain, son of the prince of Powys. (Coflein)

Situated on a bluff where the Afon Plysgog joins the River Teifi. C13 Castle rebuilt after 1223 by William Marshal II, Earl of Pembroke, probably replacing an early C12 castle built by Gerald of Windsor; but the identification of Cilgerran with Gerald's castle of Cenarth Bychan is unproven. The castle named as Cilgerran is first mentioned when it was taken by Lord Rhys in 1164-5. It was retaken by William Marshal I, Earl of Pembroke in 1204, recovered by Llewellyn the Great in 1213, and retaken by William Marshal II in 1223. Cilgerran remained an independent Marcher lordship under the Marshals to 1245, the de Cantelupes of Abergavenny to 1273 and by descent to the Hastings family (Earls of Pembroke from 1339) to 1389, when it passed to the crown in default of heirs. It was possibly briefly captured by Owen Glyndwr in 1405. The castle was already stripped of furnishings in 1275, and said to be ruinous in 1325, though some repairs were carried out for the Crown in 1388-90; it was said to have been laid waste in 1405. The ruins chiefly surround the inner ward, with two massive early C13 circular towers on the S side joined by curtain wall. To the W was the early C13 gatehouse of which the outer part has gone. The chapel may have been on the first floor. The W curtain wall over the steep drop to the Afon Plysgog is said to date to the later C13, and the partial remains of a NW tower possibly to the later C14. Insubstantial remains close the N side, above the Teifi. (Listed Building Report)

Possible the same as Cenarth Bychan (Cenarth Fechan) mentioned as built in 1108.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 03/07/2016 20:26:43