Welsh Towns - Series 1 - 2. Cardigan
Eddie Butler traces the history of important towns and cities in Wales. He explores the rich and turbulent 900-year history of the now quiet market town of Cardigan.
Eddie Butler explores the story of Cardigan. Today it's a quiet market town, but it has a rich and turbulent history dating back over 900 years. The town first made its mark in the 12th century when Rhys ap Gruffudd ousted the Norman invaders and built his own castle there. In celebration, he held a festival of music and poetry - the first ever Eisteddfod. In the early 19th century, Cardigan became Wales's busiest port and a centre for shipbuilding, employing a thousand men in its maritime industry. The railway ended Cardigan's heyday as a port, but the town continued to prosper with its stylish Guildhall and busy market. In the 21st century Cardigan has struggled like many small towns, but a 10 million-pound grant to restore its castle will hopefully give the town a new lease of life.