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Cilgerran Castle lies beyond some village cottages on a rocky promontory, overlooking the Teifi Gorge. It is a strategic position, thought to be first fortified by the Norman, Gerald of Windsor, in 1108. It was captured by the Welsh in 1164, retaken by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, in 1204, recaptured by the Welsh during Llywelyn the Great's campaigns in 1215, but was back in English hands in 1223 when William Marshal’s son, also William, built a stone castle on the site. It is reckoned to have been in a largely ruinous state by 1405.
It has been suggested that Cilgerran Castle is the site of Cenarth Bychan castle, from which Gerald of Windsor’s beautiful wife, Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, was abducted by her admirer, Owain ap Cadwgan, while Gerald escaped via the privy.
Today, the main ruins are of the inner ward, which includes two massive 13th century towers connected by a curtain wall. The outline of other buildings remains, though the outer defences are now under gardens and houses. One of many interesting features is a sally port in the side of the curtain wall, between the towers.
Cilgerran Castle is owned by the National Trust and looked after by Cadw.
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