References to a castle established by Earl Roger de Montgomery at the Teifi estuary in 1093 may refer to this site, or to the earthworks at Old Castle, a mile downstream. Roger de Montgomery (a. k. a. “Roger the Great”) received Arundel in 1067 or 1068 and was the first Earl of Shrewsbury from 1074. He had been a chief counsellor of William “the Conqueror” in Normandy prior to the invasion. By the 1080′s he was one of the half dozen wealthiest and most powerful magnates in England. He rebelled against the new King, William II, in 1088, but was later persuaded to change allegiance back to the King before the revolt collapsed. In 1093, following the death of the Welsh leader Rhys ap Tewdwr, Earl Roger established Pembroke, building a number of castles along the way there from Shrewsbury, including Cardigan. He died in 1094 at Shrewsbury Abbey where he had lately become a monk. This first early earthwork and timber fortification at Cardigan was destroyed by the Welsh in 1094.
The present castle site was almost certainly that fortified by Gilbert fitz Richard de Clare in 1110. He reportedly built a castle:
“…near the estuary of the river called Teifi, in the place called Dingeraint where Earl Roger had before that built a castle…”
Gilbert inherited his father’s estates in 1091, becoming one of the wealthiest men in Britain. The Earl of Hertfordshire, Earl of Clare and Lord of Tonbridge in Kent, he was allegedly present at the death of King William II in the New Forest in 1100. He founded a Cluniac Priory at Stoke-by-Clare, Suffolk. The Norman invasion of Ceredigion in 1110 was partially in response to the abduction of Nest, wife of Gerald de Windsor of Pembroke from Cenarth Bychan (possibly Cilgerran) the previous year by Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn – the son of the Lord of Ceredigion. The Normans had already recently taken Cemais and Cilgerran in North Pembrokeshire, and Cardigan became the Welsh frontier within a few years, as the Welsh recaptured most of Ceredigion. Stephen de Mareis, the Castellan of Cardigan, married Nest (b. ca1085), daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, the widow of Gerald de Windsor, in 1116, thereby founding the Fitz Stephen family. (In 1103 Nest had given birth to an illegitimate son of Prince Henry – later to be King Henry I – namely Henry FitzHenry.) In 1117 “…Gilbert fitz Richard died of a long infirmity…” Cardigan passed to his eldest son, Richard fitz Gilbert (by his wife Adeliza), then aged 33. Robert fitz Stephen, son of Stephen and Nest, was born ca. 1120.
Richard fitz Gilbert was a strong ally of King Stephen in 1135-36. In 1136, soon after Richard fitz Gilbert had been assassinated by Morgan ab Owain and the Welsh of Abergavenny near Llanthony Priory on 15th April, Welsh forces under Owain and Cadwaladr, sons of Gruffydd ap Cynan, attacked the castle at Cardigan during the Battle of Crug Mawr on 10th October 1136.
“…Towards the close of that year they came…to Ceredigion, and along with them a numerous host, about six thousand footsoldiers and two thousand mailed horsemen ready for battle. And along with them, as support for them, there came Gruffydd ap Rhys and Hywel ap Maredudd from Brycheiniog and Madog ab Idnerth and the two sons of Hywel. All those directed their forces towards Cardigan. And against them came Stephen the constable and Robert fitz Martin and the sons of Gerald and William fitz Odo, and all the Flemings and all the knights from the estuary of the Neath to the estuary of the Dyfi. And after fierce fighting, then the Flemings and the Normans, according to their usual custom, took to flight as their place of refuge. And with some slain and others burnt, and others trampled under horses’ feet, and others carried off into captivity and others drowned in rivers like fools, and having lost of their own men about three thousand, they returned home weak and despondent. But Owain and Cadwaldr, having honourably won the victory, returned to their land and along with them a great abundance of captives and spoils and costly raiment and fair armour…”
They failed to capture Cardigan Castle – perhaps one of their leaders – Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr, didn’t want to attack the dwelling of his sister and brother-in-law! Nest is believed to have died at about this time. Later in the year, the widow of Richard fitz Gilbert, Adeliz de Mesolin, a sister of the Earl of Chester, was resident at Cardigan Castle with a small garrison. King Stephen sent Miles of Gloucester, Lord of Brecknock, to escort her in safety to England across hostile Welsh territory.
The castle passed into the possession of Richard fitz Gilbert’s eldest son, Gilbert fitz Richard (b. 1115). Already in possession of Tonbridge and Cardigan, he was created Earl of Hertford circa 1138, though Pembroke went to his uncle. He was a supporter of King Stephen like his father for a time, but appears to have switched allegiance to the Empress Matilda at some point. In 1138 Owain and Cadwaladr, aided by Anarawd and Cadell ap Gruffydd, launched an attack on the castle with the aid of fifteen ships manned by Danish mercenaries hired from Dublin. The attack failed. An attack by Hywel and Cynan failed to capture the castle in 1145:
“…And Hywel ab Owain and Cynan, his brother, ravaged Cardigan. And after a fierce battle had taken place there, they returned to their land with victory and having won great spoil…”
Robert fitz Stephen held the castle for the De Clares. In 1147 King Stephen seized Gilbert De Clare, Earl of Hertford, and held him prisoner until he agreed to surrender all his castles. After doing so the Earl was released, but then joined his uncle Ranulf’s rebellion against the King. Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke, who up to this time had remained loyal to Stephen, then demanded his nephew Gilbert’s castles, maintaining that they were his by hereditary right. When Stephen refused, Gilbert also joined Ranulph’s rebellion. Stephen then confiscated his castles as well. Not long after, however, the king reconciled with both Gilberts.
Gilbert fitz Richard de Clare died unmarried in 1152 without issue and the castle and town of Cardigan passed to his younger brother, Roger de Clare (1116-73), 2nd Earl of Hertford. In 1157 Robert fitz Stephen was seriously wounded fighting the Welsh for the King in Gwynedd. Stephen de Mareis died in 1162 and his son, Robert fitz Stephen was the Constable of Cardigan Castle. In early November 1165:
“…Rhys ap Gruffydd attacked the stronghold of Cardigan and the castle, and he destroyed and burned them; and he carried off vast spoil…”
‘Lord Rhys’, (ca1132-97) captured the castle “…through the guile of the cleric, Rhygyfarch…” and elsewhere in the Brut it states:
“… That castle and the castle of Cilgerran he had won a little before that, not through strength but by means of contrivances devised by the man and his own war-band, who was called Cedifor ap Dinawol, namely, hooked ladders which grasped the walls where they were placed. And to that man Rhys gave many gifts and freedom on his lands within his principality. And to that Cedifor he gave one of his daughters for wife…”
Rhys ap Gryffydd demolished the castle “…to the ground…” Robert fitz Stephen (d. ca 1182) was captured and the castle was entrusted, presumably following some form of re-fortification, to Hengyfraith, the Constable. Reference was made to the Chapel of St. Peter in the castle. Lord Rhys had ruled Deheubarth since 1155, but had only wrested back control of his lands fully in 1165, after several years of submission to the English King. He had married Gwenllian in 1155. In 1167 he joined Owain Gwynedd in an attack on Owain Cyfeilog of Powys, and assisted Owain in his siege against the Norman castle at Rhuddlan. In 1168 he attacked the Normans at Builth, destroying the castle there.
In 1168 Robert Fitz-Stephen was released by Rhys and led a force to Ireland for King Henry II in 1169. From 1170 Rhys ap Gruffydd was the dominant power in Wales. In 1171 Rhys ap Gruffydd moved his chief court to Cardigan and began to rebuild the castle in stone
for the first time. This was possibly the first stone castle ever built by a Welshman. Rhys ap Gruffydd became the Justiciar of South Wales the following year. When King Henry’s sons rebelled against him in 1173, Rhys sent his son Hywel Sais to Normandy to assist the king. In 1174 Lord Rhys himself led an army to Tutbury in Staffordshire where he helped to besiege the stronghold of the rebellious Earl William de Ferrers. Upon Rhys’ return to Wales following the fall of Tutbury, he left a thousand men with the king for service in Normandy. Henry I held a council at Gloucester in 1175 which was attended by a large gathering of Welsh princes, led by Rhys. It appears to have concluded with the swearing of a mutual assistance pact for the preservation of peace and order in Wales. At Christmas 1176, to celebrate completion of his new castle at Cardigan, Lord Rhys held what is now generally accepted as the first National Eisteddfod in the castle hall:
“…At Christmas in that year the Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd held court in splendour at Cardigan, in the castle. And he set two kinds of contest there: one between bards and poets, another between harpists and crowders and pipers and various classes of music-craft. And he had two chairs set for the victors. And he honoured those with ample gifts. And of the harpists, a young man from Rhys’s court won the victory. As between the bards, those of Gwynedd prevailed. Each of the suitors obtained from Rhys that which he sought, so that no-one was refused. And that feast, before it was held, was announced for a year through all Wales and England and Scotland and Ireland and the other islands…”
A harpist from Lord Rhys’ court was one of the victors – the son of Eilon the Crowder. In 1188 Lord Rhys entertained Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald de Barri (Geraldus Cambrensis) whilst they were recruiting for the Third Crusade. At Lord Rhys’ Court at that time, John Spang was said to be the Court Jester. In 1189, following the death of King Henry II, with whom Rhys had remained on friendly terms, Rhys revolted against Richard I. In 1194 Lord Rhys was briefly held prisoner at Nevern Castle by his own sons. William de Braose unsuccessfully attacked the castle in 1196. Lord Rhys, “…prince of Deheubarth and the unconquered head of all Wales…died on 28th April 1197 and Gruffydd ap Rhys received Cardigan. In 1198:
“…Maelgwn ap Rhys, after handing over Gruffydd, his brother, to the Saxons, took the castle of Cardigan...”
In July 1200:
“…Maelgwn ap Rhys, for fear and also in hatred of Gruffydd, his brother, sold to the Saxons the lock and stay of all Wales, the castle of Cardigan, for a small, worthless price…”
As a result of this sale of the castle to King John, Cardigan Castle was regarded as a Royal Castle from this time onwards. Maelgwn ap Rhys received 200 marks, Ceredigion and Emlyn along with “…the curses of all the clergy and lay-folk of Wales…”
In 1202 William Marshall (1147-1219), 1st Earl of Pembroke since 1199 by reason of his marriage to Isabella de Clare, was granted custody of Cardigan. Stephen Langton described him as “…the greatest knight that ever lived…” Marshall had a falling out with King John in 1204, and may have lost Cardigan soon afterwards. In 1205 King John paid the sum of twenty marks for repairs to the castle. In 1208 a further twenty marks was paid to the Prior of Cardigan and Henry, clerk to Robert fitz Richard of Haverford(west), for fortifying the castle. King John had granted the castle to Robert fitz Richard, one of the Tancred family, by that date. In 1210 King John dispossessed Robert fitz Richard of Haverfordwest and presumably of Cardigan as well. It may have passed to Falkes of Breaute’ at that time. In 1214 King John ordered Falkes of Breaute’ (d. 1226) (who had destroyed Strata Florida Abbey for failing to support King John in 1212) to hand the castle over to William Marshall, Lord Marshal of England. In 1215 Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1172-1240) alias “Llywelyn the Great” and his followers captured Cardigan Castle during a general uprising.
“…And when the garrison of Cardigan saw that they could not hold out in their castle, the surrendered the castle on the feast-day of Stephen the Martyr…”
“…To Rhys Ieuanc and Owain, his brother, came the castle of Cardigan and the castle of Nantyrarian and three cantrefs of Ceredigion…”
In 1218 Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth paid homage to King Henry III and kept his recent gains, but Cardigan was regarded as a Royal Castle and Llywelyn ap Iorwerth as the custodian, rather than owner. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth agreed to maintain the Castle at his own expense until King Henry III came of age. In 1221 King Henry III accepted the plea of Rhys Ieuanc that Llywelyn ap Iorwerth had not kept an agreement of 1216 to hand Cardigan Castle to Rhys, and the Castle was handed over. Rhys Ieuanc died in 1222, however, and Llywelyn ap Iorwerth then entrusted the castle to either Maelgwn or Owain ap Gwynedd.
In 1223, with the aid of an army, William Marshall jnr. (1190-1231), 2nd Earl of Pembroke and Lord Marshall of England, captured the Castle on Easter Monday, possibly without resistance:
“…And thereupon, on Easter Monday, he moved his mighty host to Cardigan; and forthwith the castle was surrendered to him…”
Henry de Audley (1173-1236) became the governor in 1225, but in August 1226 King Henry III dispossessed William Marshall and entrusted the castle to his own officers. John de Breos (1197-1232) replaced Henry de Audley, who received Salop and Stafford. Repairs were undertaken at Cardigan Castle at Royal expense in 1228, Walter de Clifford (1190-1263) having received custody that year. Richard Marshall (1191-1234) and William Marshall, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (1190-1231), were invested with the Lordship in 1229, when they received custody. On 2nd April 1230, six thousand cut stones were ordered from St. Briavel’s on the River Wye for the castles of Carmarthen and Cardigan. The quarry there produced plum-coloured limestone. In April 1231 Richard Marshall became the 3rd Earl of Pembroke upon the death of his brother, William Marshall. In 1231 Maelgwn ap Maelgwn ap Rhys attacked Cardigan.
“…In that year Maelgwn Ieuanc ap Maelgwn, son of the Lord Rhys, manfully made for the town of Cardigan, and he ravaged it all and burned it completely up to the castle gate; and he slew all the burgesses whom he found in it, and returned again in victory with vast spoil and booty. And forthwith after that he came back and broke the bridge over the Teifi, which was close by the town. The same Maelgwn and Owain ap Gruffydd and their men, and with them the Lord Llywelyn’s men, went a second time to the town of Cardigan; and they laid siege to the castle. And after a few days they breached it with catapults, till the garrison was forced to surrender the castle and to leave it…”
Before this attack, Hugh de Burgh (1160-1243), 1st Earl of Kent, briefly had custody. He had formerly been Regent to Henry III from 1219. In July 1234 Llywelyn made peace with King Henry III, and was allowed to keep the Castle, but in December 1234 King Henry III granted custody to the Marshall family, provided they could capture it. This they did after Llywelyn died in 1240, when Walter Marshall (1196-1245) of Pembroke, a brother of the Earl, captured it in May 1240 and re-fortified it:
“…And then the English remembered their old custom and sent Walter Marshal, and with him great might, to fortify the castle of Cardigan…”
In June 1241 Gilbert Marshall, 4th Earl of Pembroke, was killed in a tournament and King Henry III took direct control of Cardigan. On 1st July 1241 Hubert Huse temporarily received custody of Cardigan, Carmarthen and the Pembrokeshire castles. John of Monmouth (1182-1248) received custody on 30th October 1241. He was a royal favourite, with extensive estates in South Wales.
In 1244 Robert Waleran (d. 1273) arrived with a strong garrison and began to rebuild the Castle and redesign the town and its’ defences. He later became a royal adviser, a judge, and a major political figure. The men of Dafydd ap Llywelyn made a failed attempt to capture the Castle in 1245. Damages amounting to 300 marks claimed by the burgesses against the Welsh raiders were donated to the fortifications. In August 1245 Nicholas de Molis (b. 1195) had custody. The previous year he had won a major victory against the French at Navarre. In 1247 the Constable, Miles de Hope, was attacked and robbed whilst crossing Cardigan Bridge, by John the Welshman. Robert Waleran became the Constable on 20th August 1248. In 1250 Robert Waleran received £400 from King Henry III for work in progress on a new keep and for fortifying the town. A thousand soldiers passed through Cardigan from Ireland on their way to fight the Welsh rebels. From about 1251 the Common Seal of the Burgesses of Cardigan depicts the castle gate – a three storey, twin-towered structure with an arch resembling that of Strata Florida Abbey. The arch was presumably a remainder from Lord Rhys’ castle. Building work was probably still under way in 1252. In August 1253 Robert Waleran sailed with the King to France to serve in the Gascon campaign.
Prince Edward was given the Castle on 14th February 1254 and on 17th May 1254, 12,000 cut stones were ordered from St. Briaeval’s quarry for Cardigan and Carmarthen. In 1258 Nicholas fitz Martin received custody of Cardigan and Carmarthen. Gwilym ap Gwrwared became the Constable in 1260. In 1261 Robert Waleran received £284 for raising the keep a further stage some time earlier. Gwilym ap Gwrwared handed back the Castle in 1262. In 1264 Roger Mortimer of Coedmore, Llechryd, was the Constable – presumably employed by Lord Edward before the Battle of Lewes. The Lordship and Castle passed to Prince Edmund in 1265. In 1271 Nicholas fitz Martin again had custody of Carmarthen and Cardigan. In 1275 the Castle buildings included “…a good Great Tower…” and “…an adequate hall with a chamber…” Repairs required were estimated at £66.13s.4d. John de Beauchamp (1249-83) of Hatch, Somerset, became Constable of Cardigan and Carmarthen on 24th January 1277. Prince Llywelyn petitioned Edward I for the release of a prisoner from the Castle.
In 1279 Edward I exchanged lands with his brother, Prince Edmund, and recovered possession of Cardigan Castle, which he made the centre of administration for his new county of Cardiganshire. Patrick of Chaworth succeeded John de Beauchamp as custodian. On 5th January 1280 Bogo de Knovill (d. 1307) received custody as Justiciar of South Wales. Robert de Tibetot (1228-98) received custody on 8th June 1281, as Justiciar of South Wales. He had long been a loyal servant of the Crown and had been rewarded in property and status. Robert de Tibetot wrote to the Bishop of Bath & Wells in 1282 to inform him that the garrison of Cardigan had attacked the Welsh at Trefilan and taken much booty. Arraigned in Cardigan at this time were 600 foot soldiers. On 23rd November 1284 King Edward I was in residence at Cardigan Castle.
Queen Eleanor received the Castle on 10th June 1290, though the castle was still administered by her husband, who resumed direct control after her death. William de Camville was granted custody in October 1293. According to one source, Maelgwn and his army captured the Castle and slew the chief recruiting officer of the French War. The Castle was then blockaded in the absence of the Constable. From 1st to 3rd June 1295 King Edward I was resident with a massive military force. £10 was spent on 3rd June on bread alone – an indication of the size of the army here. After the force left, the castle would, from this date onwards, normally be occupied only by the Constable or his deputy, a watchman and a gaoler or doorkeeper. Robert Tibetot died on 29th May 1298, still in the position of Justiciar of South Wales and Constable of several castles, including Cardigan.
On 29th May 1298 Walter de Blakeney became Constable and remained so until 1301. He had been a burgess of Cardigan since at least 1268. The Minister’s Accounts for 1299 give details of a surprisingly well-provisioned larder and to repairs to the buildings at a cost of 104s. 7 ½ d. These included a new bridge and a new fireplace. In 1300, 64s.11 ½ d. was spent on maintenance. On 7th February 1301 Prince Edward received the castle. At Michaelmas 1301 Walter de Malley became the Constable. From 6th October 1303 Walter de Malley acted as Deputy Steward of Cardiganshire The same year, Walter de Malley was recorded as paying £10 per annum for his position as Constable. In 1303 Roger the crossbowman visited the castle to conduct repairs, as did William le Plummer. Works conducted to the castle amounted to 28s.8d in 1303 and a year later to a mere 11s. 9d. Robert Turberville became the Constable at Michaelmas 1307 and remained so until 1313. He was succeeded by Walter de Malley, who had already held the position, though his second tenure here was very brief. Geoffrey Clement became Constable on 10th November 1317, acting as Controller of Cardiganshire at the same time. He died on 6th January 1319. On 7th January 1319 Walter de Malley became the Constable for the third time. On 5th January 1320 Thomas de Chastiel became the Constable. King Edward II, in fear of a revolt by the barons, ordered the completion of:
“…a turret recently begun in the angle of the wall, and also a small wooden door in the same wall…”
On 10th March 1321 Thomas de Chastiel was ordered to go to the castle in person. He was also fined 40s. for allowing Ieuan Llygaid Baidd to escape from the castle prison. The castle was fully provisioned on 8th May 1321. On 9th October 1322, Thomas de Chastiel’s position as Constable of Cardigan Castle was confirmed. On 8th April 1325 Thomas Don, Chamberlain of South Wales, was ordered to seize a Norman ship and its’ cargo at Carmarthen and to send the good wine to the castles of Newcastle-Emlyn, Cardigan and Llanbadarn.
On 17th April 1326 Gwilym ab Einon received custody of the castle on the understanding that it was not to be given to anyone. On 22nd October 1327, after the death of Edward II, Gwilym ab Einon was ordered to hand over the castle to Geoffrey Beaufou, who received the demesnes the following January. Gwilym ab Einon petitioned King Edward III for his reinstatement, but without success. On 22nd October 1328 the position of Constable of Cardigan Castle was confirmed to Geoffrey Beaufou (or Bellafago) for life. On 18th December 1330, following the removal of Geoffrey Beaufou from office, Hugh de Frene was granted custody of Cardigan Castle. On 27th October 1332 Hugh de Frene was granted the position for life. In February 1336 Hugh de Frene abducted Alice de Lacy, the Dowager-Countess of Lincoln from the Royal castle of Bolingbroke and took her to Somerton Castle in Lincolnshire. His estates in 10 counties were seized for a month, but he retained the position of Constable at Cardigan Castle until his death the same December. In 1336 the Abbot of Strata Florida Abbey complained that the Constable of Cardigan Castle was demanding payments not due from him at the Court of Cardigan. From Michaelmas 1336 until 9th February 1337 John de Hampslope was the Deputy-Constable of Cardigan Castle and Deputy-Controller of Cardiganshire at the same time. On 28th January 1337 Gilbert Turberville (1302-47) became the Constable of Cardigan Castle and controller of Cardiganshire, the position granted to him for life on 9th February 1337. From Michaelmas 1338 William Deneys was the Deputy-Constable. On 17th October 1338 repairs were ordered. On 6th March 1339 William Deneys was Deputy-Constable of Cardigan Castle and Deputy-Controller of Cardiganshire. In 1341 a survey was made of the defects in the buildings. We are told that:
“…the bridge of Cardigan castle is a turning bridge with a great double gate and the half of a little tower…The tower which is for the prisons is completely collapsed…the roof of the tower which is covered in lead is fairly good…”
Periodic repair to the prison-tower was advised. It was deemed necessary to replace the doors of the prison and to re-roof the hall, replacing “…the fireplace of the chamber…” and covering the porter’s room with whitewash. In addition, the whitewashing of a privy at the extremity of the castle was advised, as was the repair of a covered walkway in the curtain wall.
A more extensive survey in August 1343 was conducted by William Deneys, Deputy-Constable. Defects were observed in a bakery; kitchen; larder; two rooms on either side of the Great Gate; A hall, room, garderobe, pantry, store for victuals – all under one roof; a room; stable; the garret of the Great Tower; a certain tower joined to the Great Tower called “…the Prisontower…”; the bridge of the Great Gate between the castle and town; a Chapel in the same castle; 22 darts lacking heads; 9 weak lances with heads, for mariners – value 20 d.; 1 halberd – value 6 d.; 1 leaden vessel containing 12 gallons – value 12 d.; 6 pairs of fetters; 2 pairs of manacles; 1 collarette and iron chain – total value 18 d. The survey concluded that Cardigan was the most dilapidated Royal castle in Wales – needing £814 worth of repairs. Also in August 1343, Thomas le Arblaster was one of the jurors who testified at the handing over of the castle to the officers of the Black Prince. In 1344 William Deneys was accused of extortion as Deputy-Steward of Cardiganshire. This may have resulted in his dismissal and he was dead by 1349.
For 1344-5 John de Turberville was the Deputy-Constable and presided over the Cardiganshire County Court. In September 1344 Trahaiarn ap Maredudd was imprisoned for having falsely imprisoned John ap Leisian in the castle. On 20th August 1347 Gilbert Turberville, the Constable, died – possibly at the siege of Calais. By 28th July 1347 John de Turberville had married Eleanor, widow of Adam Grymstede, and on that date he received custody of her son and estates in Wiltshire. On 1st September 1347 Roland Deneys became the Constable of Cardigan Castle and Steward of Cardiganshire, both positions extended for life on 21st September 1347 and confirmed on 30th January 1348 by Edward III. Despite having been imprisoned as a rebel in 1329 by the Sheriff of Nottingham, and having had his estates seized, Roland Deneys had been released from the Tower of London in 1332 and had served the King overseas, resulting in a Royal pardon in 1346. He was in the service of the Black Prince and one of his gaming companions. In September 1347 he was employed as an usher of the Prince’s chamber and by November 1348 had become its steward. Prior John of Cardigan supervised some repairs to Cardigan Castle in 1348. Before 30th January 1349 John of Castle Goodrich had been the Deputy-Constable. He died of the Black Death in March 1349. In 1353 Roland Deneys joined the Breton expedition and was captured and ransomed by Edward III for £100. In 1355-57 he was with the Black Prince in Gascony. By October 1356 Roland Deneys, Constable, had been knighted. On 26th November 1359 Sir Roland Deneys was ordered to see to the provisioning of Cardigan Castle whilst the prince was overseas. From March to August 1360 John Langley and William de Northam were keepers of stores at the castles of Carmarthen, Cardigan and Dryslwyn, and from April to August 1361 that duty was conducted by Philip Hogekyn and Philip ap Madoc. Roland Deneys, Constable, died in the autumn of 1361.
In 1376 Princess Joan (1328-85), widow of Prince Edward the “Black Prince” (1330-76), ran an administration from Cardigan Castle that was answerable to herself and not to the Crown. The Castle was granted its’ own exchequer at this time. She was known in her youth as “The Fair Maid of Kent”. Following the death of King Edward III on 21st June 1377, Joan became extremely powerful as the mother of King Richard II, then aged 10. On 13th March 1378 Sir Lewis Clifford was appointed Constable. Princess Joan died on 7th August 1385 and Carmarthen immediately attempted to have Cardigan’s privileges abolished. This led to petitions being sent to Richard II the following year, one of which stated that:
“…your castle of Cardigan, which has the Great new roof, is in such a condition that if it is not repaired in time, it will be a great loss to you and a disaster for your loyal people…”
In April 1387 Rhydderch ap Ieuan Llwyd held courts and sessions in Cardigan. In May 1387 Sir Lewis Clifford was confirmed Constable of Cardigan Castle for life. On 12th June 1387 at the Great Sessions, David Holbache acted as Royal Attorney as an apprentice-at-law. Reference was made on 8th August 1387 to Nicholas the janitor, who held the position until 10th August 1388. In May 1388 the Deputy-Justiciar of South Wales, John Clement, was accused of wrongly imprisoning men at the castle. William Dier Snr. and Philip ap Madoc were among these. On 10thAugust 1388 the aforementioned William Dier, son of Philip Dier of Cardigan, became the Janitor – a position he held until March 1400. On 22nd September 1388 it was confirmed by the Crown that the exchequer at the Castle, carrying its’ own seal, should continue. In 1389 King Richard II stopped payment of a salary to a justiciar who failed to preside over a court here. In 1394-5 John Banow sold rope to the Crown for the Castle well. A Royal letter of 22nd September 1395 conferred the right for the burgesses of the town to hold County Sessions and the Great and Petty Sessions in the hall. William Dier was granted the King’s Orchard property in Cardigan in 1397. In 1398-9 he was also the keeper of the gaol. In June 1399 William Dier was described as Deputy-Constable, although still the janitor.
Thomas de Percy (1368-1403) had custody in November 1401 and on 31st March 1402 and was licensed to buy military equipment to provision the castle against the Owain Glyndwr rebels. Despite his impressive early career, he switched sides in February 1403 and was executed as a traitor later that year. On 26th September 1402 Richard, 1st Lord Grey of Codnor (1371-1418), was appointed Royal Lieutenant in South Wales with custody of Brecon, Hay, Builth, Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Cardigan castles, with 120 men at arms and 600 archers. By 2nd December 1402 Sir Hugh Mortimer (d. 1416) was the Constable. He was the son of Sir Thomas Mortimer, Chamberlain of Prince Henry (V), and Sarah, his wife. Sir Hugh Mortimer was an Esquire of Henry IV and Queen Joan, but more especially of Prince Henry (V).
In September 1403 William Dier Snr. conveyed £20 from the treasurer of Prince Henry’s chamber to the new Deputy-Constable, Andrew Lynne. Andrew Lynne also delivered a barge built at Cardigan for Thomas Percy to Sir Thomas Erpingham. On 26th October 1403, Edward of Norwich (1373-1415), 2nd Duke of York, received custody of the Castle and others in South Wales as Royal Lieutenant. He later died at the Battle of Agincourt. Between March and November 1404 Thomas Burton was custodian. John Madoc and John Saer served as archers in his retinue. On 12th May 1404 Sir Rustin de Villeneuve took custody of Cardigan, Carmarthen and Newcastle-Emlyn, with a force of 350 men to garrison them. Andrew Lynne, Deputy-Constable, received protection for one year to attend to the castle’s safe keeping. On 3rd June 1404 he was retained as one of the men-at-arms in the retinue of Sir Rustin de Villeneuve at Cardigan. On 24th March 1405 Sir Thomas Beaufort (1377-1426), Constable, elected to stay at the Castle with sixty men-at-arms and three hundred archers for one year from 27th April 1405. Thomas was the Duke of Exeter and in 1410-12 was the Chancellor of England. On 20th June 1405 orders were given for the county commanders to relieve the heavily besieged garrison at Cardigan. Supporters of Owain Glyndwr probably attacked the Castle in 1405, but it is unlikely to have been taken.
Prince Henry had custody from 29th January 1406 as Lieutenant of Wales. On 20th June 1406 Andrew Lynne was Deputy-Constable with John Smyth, a Cardigan merchant, acting as his Deputy. Between Michaelmas 1408 and 1409, Sir Hugh Mortimer was the Constable once again. Between Michaelmas 1409 and mid-1413 Andrew Lynne was variously described as Constable, Deputy-Constable and porter of the Castle. By 4th September 1409 Richard Oldcastle was the Deputy Constable and remained so until at least 1413. On 19th July 1410 Andrew Lynne received a pardon for allowing a number of Welsh prisoners to escape from the Castle some time earlier. In 1413 Thomas White was described as being lately the janitor at Cardigan Castle. The acting Deputy-Constable and janitor for 1413-5 was Hugh Eyton. Thomas ap Rhydderch ap Thomas was imprisoned in the Castle late in 1413 for non-payment of issues of his manor of Cellan. Between 19th February and 1st May 1414 a garrison was maintained at the Castle:
“…lest John Oldcastle and other heretics, adherents, should take the castle by night after they had fled from England into Wales as the King is informed and rumour hath it…”
A Lollard leader, John Oldcastle was the son of former Deputy-Constable Richard Oldcastle, and was eventually burnt as a heretic. At Michaelmas 1414 Sir Hugh Mortimer was Constable again. He held the post until his death c.23rd May 1416. For 1414-5 Hugh Eyton was janitor, Deputy-Constable and clerk of works. On 14th August 1415 Deputy-Justiciar Thomas Walter presided over the courts. John Saer acted as attorney for John Clement and John Wareyn acted as attorney for Thomas ap Rhys ap Gruffydd. Roger Mortimer was a suitor. On 7th June 1416 John Burghope, a diplomat serving King Henry V in France, was appointed Constable of Cardigan Castle for life. In 1418 John Wodehouse held court with the justiciar. For 1418-9 Thomas Walter may have been the janitor again. In 1419 John Burghope, who had landed in Normandy with King Henry V in 1417, was commissioned to array the garrison at Longueville. From 1426-32 William Burghill acted as Deputy-Constable. Geoffrey Porter acted as janitor there from 1426-37. After returning from France in 1427 John Burghope concentrated his activities on Cardigan.
Extensive repairs and renovations began in 1428. Hugh Eyton was Deputy-Constable for 1428-9. Elements of the castle referred to during the work included:- The King’s Stable; the exchequer; the Exchequer Ward; the kitchen; The Ward of the Great Tower or Constable’s Yard; the Hall – reference made to a louver-board; Justiciar’s Hall (different to the previous hall?), presumably in the Exchequer Ward; the Stable; the larder; the yard – a thatcher was employed there; the Chamberlain’s Stable; Justiciar’s Room – the gable was rebuilt; Chamberlain’s apartment over the Great Gate; two rooms for the constable, possibly in the Great Tower. In October 1429 Walter Blakeney helped to transport thirty oaks from Cilgerran for use in repairs to the Castle. John Rous, Officer of the King’s Works, was paid to assemble the workmen there. Reference was made on 7th October 1429 to:
“…costs concerning the manufacture of a palisade at the gate of the castle of Cardigan for lack of a wall there…”
This reference suggests great dilapidation, “…the forester of Cilgerran was paid for 46 oaks for use of the said wall…” Accounts and references to the works conducted and persons involved, survive and are recorded. In 1430 Robert Delamer was employed there as a craftsman, John Underwood, Master Mason, was at work there and from 1430-2, Owain ab Einion was employed there as a stone cutter. Imprisoned at the castle in 1431 were Cardigan bailiffs – Rhys ap Dafydd ap Thomas, Philip ap Maredudd and Dafydd Fychan – all for unpaid arrears. In 1432 the same offence caused the imprisonment here of Dafydd ap Rhydderch ab Ieuan Llwyd and Llywelyn ab Owain ab Ieuan ap Rhys. Robin ap William Philip was another prisoner at the castle that year.
In 1433 two messengers were paid for delivering documents from the “treasury” or records office, situated in the chapel, to Carmarthen. At Michaelmas 1433 Hywel ap Llywelyn Du and Thomas ab Owain Sais were imprisoned at the Castle for unpaid and accumulated arrears. In 1434 a petition to King Henry VI from Griffith Goughe ap David ap Yeuan of Caerwedros resulted in an enquiry into the detention of an aged prisoner at the Castle. In 1435-6 William Burghill was acting as Deputy-Constable and Richard Hampton, master plumber, was working there. William Burghill was acting Deputy Constable again for 1438-40. On 21st February 1438 William Barbour was appointed janitor for life as a reward for good service. On 13th April 1438 John Burghope and Giles Thorndon were the joint Constables of Cardigan Castle. On 20th May 1438 Giles Thorndon was licensed to buy 60 quarters of wheat and 60 quarters of malt in Ireland and ship them to South Wales to victual the town and castle of Cardigan. In 1438 Philip ap Maredudd was a juror at an inquisition held here concerning Strata Florida. In March 1439 Giles Thorndon was also appointed Constable of Wicklow Castle in Ireland for life. In 1440 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, presided over the courts. For 1442-3 William Burghill and Owain Mortimer of Coedmore, Llechryd, acted as Deputy-Constables of the Castle. Owain Mortimer was a burgess of Cardigan and a son of Roger Mortimer of Coedmore. On 14th September 1442 Sir Walter Scull was appointed Constable for life. At Michaelmas 1442 Rhys ap Hywel ap Rhys was released in order to appear at the Cardiganshire Sessions, which he failed to do.
In 1442-3 James Ormond, Sheriff of Cardigan, Giles Thorndon, Constable of Cardigan Castle, and William Burghill, Deputy-Constable of Cardigan Castle, were fined for the escape of three prisoners from the castle, in separate incidents. The fine on each occasion was £5. On 26th September 1447 Richard Belth was appointed porter of the Castle for life and was still in office in 1457 – a Yeoman of the Crown, Groom of the Chamber and a Royal messenger. On 1st March 1449 Hugh Scull briefly shared with his father, Sir Walter Scull, the position of Constable, though he appears to have died shortly afterwards. In 1456-7 Sir Walter Scull and his former deputy, William Harry, were fined £5 for the escape of Rhys ap Gwilym ap Adda from the castle. On 2nd August 1461 William Herbert (1423-69), 1st Earl of Pembroke, became the Constable. Jurors at the Petty Sessions on 12th May 1468 included William Harry, Philip ap Maredudd and Jankyn Blakeney. William Herbert, Constable, was killed in battle in 1469 at Edgecote.
On 28th July 1469 Morgan and Henry ap Thomas ap Gruffydd ap Nicholas seized the castle. On 17th August 1469 Richard Neville (1428-71), 16th Earl of Warwick, was appointed Constable of Cardigan Castle for life as Justiciar of South Wales. He was known as “Warwick the King-maker” and was the wealthiest and most powerful peer of his age, as well as a principle protagonist in the Wars of the Roses. He was killed fleeing the field of battle in 1471. On 16th December 1469 Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was empowered to recover the castle. On 16th February 1470 Sir Roger Vaughan was appointed Constable of Cardigan Castle for life. He was the third son of Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine, Herefordshire, by his second wife, and a step-brother and close associate of William Herbert. He was a Yorkist and after the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross he was said to have led Owen Tudor to the block. King Edward IV had rewarded him with offices, land and a knighthood. After the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 Sir Roger Vaughan fell into the hands of Earl Jasper Tudor of Pembroke, who avenged his father’s death by having Sir Roger Vaughan executed at Chepstow.
On 27th June 1471 Robert Dwnn was appointed Constable of Cardigan Castle for life. Of Llandyfaelog, Carmarthenshire, he was the eldest son of Gruffydd ap Maredudd Dwnn of Kidwelly. At Michaelmas 1472 custody of the Castle until 1479 was granted to Dafydd ap Robin, by agreement of the Prince’s Council and in the absence of the Constable. In the summer of 1478 Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers – Protector and Ruler to Prince Edward, travelled to Cardigan at the head of a judicial commission from the Prince’s Council, with the specific intention of holding sessions. From 1479-80 Thomas Bole had custody and was paid 30s. On 16th May 1483 Henry Stafford (1455-83), Duke of Buckingham, became Justiciar of South Wales and Constable of Cardigan Castle. He rebelled in October 1483, sending for Henry Tudor, and was executed as a traitor in Salisbury on 2nd November 1483. On 15th November 1483 William Herbert II, Earl of Huntingdon, succeeded him as Constable. On 10th August 1485 Richard Griffith and John Savage met Henry Tudor here, all en route to Bosworth. Only a janitor occupied the castle.
On 23rd September 1485 Owain Lloyd became Constable. On 27th February 1486 Rhydderch ap Rhys ap Mauredudd ab Owain of Towyn, Ferwig, became Constable, paying his predecessor an annuity of £10 for the position. By 1487 the Sessions had been removed from the castle and were being held in the Shire Hall. On 1st February 1491 William Vaughan became the Constable. William Vaughan was the son of Gruffydd Vaughan and Maud Vaughan of Corsygedol, Merioneth, and had lived at Glandovan, Cilgerran since 1469. In 1500-1 Rhydderch ap Rhys ap Mauredudd ab Owain of Towyn, Ferwig, was William Vaughan’s deputy. He was fined £40 for the escape of a prisoner from the castle. In 1501 Rhydderch ap Rhys ap Mauredudd ab Owain was succeeded by Maurice Rede, yeoman. In November 1501 Katherine of Aragon received the castle, along with many other possessions, as part of her dowry upon marrying Prince Arthur.
In 1514 Sir William Tyler, who had fought alongside Henry Tudor at Bosworth, became the Constable until 1527. A servant of Henry VII and Henry VIII, he was a Groom of the Chamber and Collector of Tonnage and Poundage for the Port of London. Small-scale repairs were conducted in 1519-20 under the orders of Sir Rees ap Thomas, Chamberlain of South Wales. In 1520 Sir William Tyler, Constable of Cardigan Castle, was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Sir William Tyler was dead by 30th September 1527. On 30th September 1527 Morris Parry was the Constable, holding the office until he died in 1541. At the time of the Dissolution of St. Dogmaels Abbey in 1537, that Abbey still paid 10s. per annum to Cardigan Castle. On 5th January 1541 Henry VII granted by Letters Patent the Constableship of the Castle of Cardigan, to be occupied by himself or a deputy, together with the keepership of the forest of Radnor and £10 per annum to William Abbot to hold in the same manner as did Maurice ap Harye. On 29th March 1564 William Abbot, the Constable, sergeant of the Queen’s cellar, appointed John Tamworth as his Deputy, in return for payment of £20. William Abbot may have been the last Constable of Cardigan Castle. This may have been the location of the town gaol referred to in 1599.
In 1610 John Speed illustrated the castle ruins, showing square towers where round ones remain. The Great Tower appears to be free standing, and in a state of collapse. John Speed wrote:
“…The Castle is higher built upon a Rock, both spacious and fair, had not storms impaired her beauty, and time left her carkasse a very Anatomie…”
On 9th October 1633 Richard Steele of Newtown, Valentine Oldis of London and Thomas Herbert of Bridgewater, assigned the castle site, to Sir John Lewis of Abernantbychan and Coedmore, Llechryd, and it was included in a document of sale two days later. On 13th October 1641 “…the castle or manor house called Cardigan Castle…” formed part of a marriage settlement between Sir John Lewis and James Lewis on the first part and John Wogan the younger of Wiston and George Lewis of Cardigan on the other part. On 9th November 1641 Sir John Lewis leased the castle for 4 years to his son, James Lewis.
In June 1644 Col. John Gerrard took the castle for the Royalist cause as the Civil War raged closer to the area. In doing so he captured or killed 200 Parliamentarians. The ‘Mercurius Aulicus‘ of July 14th 1644 notes:
“…at Cardigan he killed and tooke Prisoners above two hundred Rebels, having beaten, cut off, and taken, all the Rebels got into that County: he strongly Garrison’d Cardigan Castle...”
The castle was fortified with ordnance from a wrecked frigate called “The Convent” and considerably strengthened by the construction of a “half-moon” earthwork in the castle yard, enabling their guns to fire over the walls. In December 1644 General Laugharne and his forces reached Cardigan. The town surrendered to Parliament and the castle was attacked:-
“…The town willingly surrendered and complyed, but the castle being a considerable place, ably manned, having the ordnance of the Convent frigate, there shipwrecked, most obstinately held out, until a semi-culverine [cannon] of brass belonging to the Leopard [ship], was mounted [at Pentood] and played three days upon them, forcing a breach which was gallantly entered and made good by our party, and the castle stormed, wherein were 100 commanders and soldier with their arms and good plunder, not forgetting the Convent’s ordnance, returned by Divine Providence, and works of mercy in a commander, adding honour to acts of chivalry – invited the General to give the Steward life, who contemned quarter. The town and castle reduced and the country in the major part as conceived well affected…”
“…The enemy within the castle yard cast up a half-moon some distance from the place on which the demy-culverin played, in which they placed their great guns laden with case shot, that in case a breach should be made those guns, might disanimate our men in entering or perform sudden execution upon them. Our men playing the demy-culverin forced a breach, and being full of resolution entered running into the mouth of their guns, recovering the half-moon…”
There had already been a fortnight-long siege before the cannon fire began. One of the prisoners held by the Puritans at Cardigan Castle after being captured when it was taken, was the distinguished divine and scholar, Dr. Jeremy Taylor (1613-67). Another prisoner here was Evan Gruffydd Evans of Penywenallt – “Captain Tory”, who had served in Charles I’s army. One of the soldiers besieging the castle was David Scourlogge, mercer, the Mayor of Cardigan. Rather than comply with the Royalist occupation of Cardigan, he left his estates to their mercy, and joined General Laugharne at his Pembrokeshire Quarters, where he took the National Covenant. A rather belated report in the ‘Mercurius Britanicus‘ of February 3rd 1645 states:
“…Out of Wales we hear of a designe of Col. Gerards against Cardigan Castle, which by the assistance of Langhorn out of Pembrokeshire, was happily releeved. The particulars run thus: Our forces sallied out of the Castle, while at the same time Col. Langhorne fell upon them in the reare, and carried it with such courage and discretion, that the insolent enemy were immediately routed, 200 of them slaine on the place, 4 brasse pieces of Ordnance, 600 Armes, and 150 prisoners taken; wherof one Major, two Captaines, two Lieutenants, one Ensign, and one Doctor, whom because I know very well, I cannot but name, Doctor Jeremie Taylor, a most spruce neat formalist, a very gingerbread Idoll, an Arminian in print…”
On 1st January 1645, following the capture, General Laugharne sent Col. Rice Powell to hold Cardigan. On 4th January 1645, just three days after the capture, Col. John Gerrard, released from North Wales by the release of Beeston Castle, appeared before Cardigan with 1200 horse and 1300 foot soldiers. He occupied the town without difficulty and seized the boats carrying provisions for the garrison, who were then called upon to surrender. Col. Rice Powell sent to General Laugharne and a defiant reply was received. Col. John Gerrard’s men then demolished the greater part of Cardigan Bridge, but lost 150 men besieging the castle without success. General Laugharne’s troops marched to the Pembrokeshire side of the river and 120 men crossed the river with supplies under heavy Royalist fire. The ‘Perfect Diurnall of Some Passages in Parliament‘ of February 3rd 1645 carries the following item:
“…We had it certified by letters this day, of the great successe of Major-gen, Langhorne against Col. Gerards forces neere Cardigan castle in Wales: That the said Gerrard having beseiged Cardigan castle, kept by Lieu.Col. Poole, and by stratagems got into the Towne, and cut downe the bridge to prevent any reliefe coming to them, the Castle at that time being in great want of provisions, the said Gerrard sent a summons to them, that if they did not surrender by such a time, they might expect no quarter; yet such was the gallant resolution of the Governour and Souldiers, they returned answer, that when they wanted necessary provisions (Gerrard having a little before Intercepted some boates of provisions going to them) they had in the castle divers raw beasts hiden, they would eate them, and when they were spent they would come out and fight for their lives, but would not deliver the castle. In the meane time the Governour sent to Major Langhorne then in Pembrookshire to come to his relief, which he promised and did; but when he came at the bridge he found it broken down, which was some impediment, yet he like a brave Souldier, making use of faggots and other pieces of wood, got over the River, and sent an Arrow into the Castle with a Letter to give them notice of his coming, and that they should sally out upon the enemy the same time that he fell on. All which was performed with such succusse, that the enemy was soone routed, 200 of them slaine on the place, four Brasse pieces of Ordnance, 600 Armes, and 250 prisoners taken, wherof in chief Major Slaughter, Captaine Butler, Capt. Richard Price, Dr. Taylor, Lieut. Barrow, Lieut. Matthews, Ensign Burrow, and divers others. By this defeat the enemies late boasting of the great powers raised by Gerrard to conquer Wales will no doubt be solemly quelled…”
On 22nd January 1645 the town was attacked, Cardigan Bridge crossed using faggots of wood, and the Royalists driven out again. In May 1645 after hearing of a Royalist victory in Newcastle Emlyn, the garrison at Cardigan “slighted” the castle, set fire to the buildings and left. After the war ended it seems that the castle was returned to the Lewis family of Coedmore, Llechryd.
On 9th May 1653 a Grand Inquest, sworn in at the Leet Court, was held here before a jury, presided over by the Mayor, David Morgan, to decide the future local government of Cardigan. The jury comprised of Abel Griffine; Hector Phillips (Tregibby); Hugh Bowen; Rees Gwyn; Richard Johnes; William Griffiths; John Dassy; Griffith Mathias; Abel David; Thomas Rees; Hector Gwyn; Owen Lloyd; Thomas Morgan; William Shealds and William Gambold. The result of this meeting was the resolution that:-
“…it is necessary that a Counsell of Twelve beings, Aldermen and such sufficient Burgesses within the Towne be added to the Maior for the tyme beinge and for the future to governe the towne and Corporation, and, therefore, we doe Nominate and present the persons followinge to be of the counsell viz.
David Morgan Esq., maior.
Abel Griffine, Alderman
Sir John Lewis
David Scorlocke, Alderman
James Lewis Esq.
John Lewis, Alderman
James Philipps, Esq.
Hugh Bowen, gent.
James Lewis Junior
Hector Phills, gent.
John Lewis and Hugh Bowen had their names deleted and were replaced by Robert Lloyd, Matthew Griffiths, John Morris and Thomas Lewis. It was enacted that the Council should meet with the Mayor at a convenient time and place “…to do good for the towne…” The castle gate appeared on the new town shield.
By 1666 houses had been built beyond the castle ditch along Bridge Street. According to one source, Abel Griffith was living here in 1673. In 1700 the Lewis family sold Coedmore, Llechryd and its estates, including the Castle, to Nathaniel Wade of Bristol. On 26th May 1712 Nathaniel Wade sold:
“…all that piece of ground in Cardigan aforesaid called by the name of the Castle green…”
It was sold together with other meadows and lands for £360 to Thomas Brock of Haverfordwest and others. In November 1713 the Cardigan Borough Council, with approval from the Mayor and Lord of the Manor of Cardigan, Lewis Pryse of Gogerddan and the Priory, devised and oversaw a massive landscaping project here, capping tons of earth and rubble from the demolition of mediaeval and later buildings here, with turf from the Cardigan Common to make a bowling green. From this date the site was generally known as “Castle Green”. The Borough Records for 18th November 1713 state:
“…Ordered than agreed that there shall be so much loads of Turf cut on ye Common, as shall be needful to make a Bowling Green at ye Castle Green of Cardigan, provided Lewis Pryse Esq., Lord of the Manor Consents thereto. Walter Lloyd – Dpty. Mayor; Hy En Davies; Edward Phillips…”
On 26th May 1725 Thomas Brock of Cardigan wrote his will. He referred to his sons Thomas, George and Edward Brock, his brother John Brock and widowed sister-in-law Mary; and to his wife, Joan Brock, and daughters Betty and Hannah. In 1741 the brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck produced an engraving of the ruins, which was later plagiarised by many other artists. It was, presumably, fairly accurate, and shows recognisable and lost features. On 1st April 1756 Mary Pryce, widow, appeared at the Assizes at the Shire Hall, where she was accused of causing a nuisance by unlawfully erecting a lime-kiln on a piece of ground called the Strand, where a fair was annually held on December 19th. John Morris prosecuted, but no charge was brought. Andrew Brice briefly mentioned the castle ruins in 1759. It has been suggested that some of the town’s courts, and the judge’s chambers remained at the site until 1760, but this seems unlikely to have been the case.
On 29th March 1761 John Bowen of Cardigan married Mary Pryce. On 17th June 1761 Hannah Mathias of Cardigan, widow, daughter of Thomas Brock, leased the close called Castle Green to Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd and John Morgan of Cardigan for a year. In May 1763 another Mary Pryse, widow, died, leaving her property to her sister, Jane Pryse. She had been granted the castle by the late Thomas Brock. She left the castle and other property to Jane & Phyllis Pryse. On 13th July 1776 Jabez Maud Fisher – an American visitor to the town – wrote the following:
The Castle Green was leased by Phyllis & Jane Pryse on 6th April 1784 to Thomas Colby of Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran. The lease included a property called ‘Tuy Brith’ on the High Street and the remains of the North Tower, by then converted and extended for use as a barn. Two towers and a wall appear on an illustration by J. Greig, based upon another by F. Grose, in 1786. In 1786 Phyllis Pryse, spinster, wrote her will, leaving her property to her sister, Jane Pryse. She also refers to her sister, Mary Bowen, the wife of surgeon John Bowen. On 22nd December 1788 advertised for sale was:
“…All the undivided moiety, or one half part, of all that very desirable Estate, well known by the general name of The Castle Green Estate. N.B. The last mentioned premises consists of the seite of the old castle, several messuages or dwelling houses and gardens, a barn, a malthouse and a certain piece of ground called the Castle Green, with a lime kiln contiguous thereto, all situate in the town of Cardigan…”
On 11th June 1793 Sir Richard Colt-Hoare visited the ruins and made a painting of them. He remarked:
“…The walls of this castle are washed by the tide. The ruins are trifling and do not form a picturesque object. There is a platform at top commanding a good view of the river...”
On 19th December 1794 Mary Bowen, wife of John Bowen, surgeon, wrote her will. She referred to:
“…the Castle Green Houses and all appurtenances thereunto belonging…as left me by the will of my late sister Jane Pryse…”
She referred to her husband and to her daughters – Martha Maria Bowen and Elizabeth Bowen. She died in 1795. leaving her property to her husband, Dr. John Bowen. In 1797 Wigstead stated that:
‘…the remains of the castle are covered with ivy, and may be passed unnoticed…’
By 1799 John Bowen was leasing ‘Castle House’ to Thomas Colby of Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran, implying that there was already a habitable dwelling on the site. The castle is just visible on an illustration of 1801. On 17th January 1801 the “…parcel of ground called Castle Green…” was surrendered by Thomas Colby of Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran, to its owner – John Bowen. The property was still associated with ‘Tuy Brith’ on High Street and included:
“…all that Vault or Cellar under a certain Building called the Barn situated betwixt the said Mansion House [i..e. Ty Brith] and the said Castle Green…”
G. Lipscomb described it in 1802:–
“…A few old walls and towers matted with ivy and built with the dingey, slatey stone of the country…mark the ancient site of the castle…”
The same year Cardigan castle was mentioned by Walter Davies:
“…Cardigan Castle. Remains of it near the bridge, built by Gryffydd ap Rhys ab Twdwr. I hope the poetry produced here in the great Eisteddfod was less rude than the masonry and general architecture of this castle, Rude it may be termed in a wonderful degree, built round a rocky knoll, the top of the knoll forming a green platform or lawn, as it were on the top of the castle whose rude towers, apartments etc. surround its sides, the lawn at the top affording room for a large garrison, or even army; it is however, a very curious kind of castle. Small, silly limekilns at Cardigan Town waste coal and limestone…”
Benjamin H. Malkin thought the ruins “…inconsiderable fragments…” in 1803. On 4th July 1804 John Bowen wrote his will in which he referred to his grandsons Erasmus and John Gower of Tenby, sons of Richard Gower. In September 1804 the only daughter of John Bowen, surgeon, married Henry Peach (d.1809), late of Bristol, at the parish church. John Bowen, surgeon and for many years Comptroller of the Port of Cardigan, died in April 1805, leaving his property to his daughter Elizabeth Bowen. This may have been at the castle and comprised:
“…all that House that I now live in with the Two Houses under the garden, outhouses, garden, stable, carthouse and the Quay with all the appurtenances therto belonging, during her life…”
She must quickly have passed it on to his namesake and possibly relative, John Bowen of the Priory. About that year Walter Davies described it again:
“…The architecture of Cardigan Castle the rudest that can well be conceived, and yet it is a curiosity. It is built round the sides of a knoll or rock on three sides [small sketch of a tower] The top of the knoll forms a spacious green, very level, surrounded by the turrets and battlements of the castle on three sides or rather on four out of five sides. One of the five is on a level with the upper part of the town, the green was entered from the upper apartments of the castle or its towers, a congress of Bards was held at this castle under the patronage of Prince Rhys ap Gruffudd in the year 1176…”
John Bowen, barrister, of the Priory, who previously owned Tyllwyd, Blaenporth, had begun landscaping of the site by this time. He was the second son of William Bowen of Troedyraur and the younger brother of Rev. Thomas Bowen of Troedyraur – a noted agriculturalist. His first wife, whom he married at Cardigan on 26th October 1781, was Mary Lloyd (Morgan?), youngest daughter of David Lloyd Morgan of Cardigan. In 1808 Samuel Rush Meyrick described:
“…The castle and the ground contained within its outer walls (called the Castle-green) now belong to John Bowen, Esq., who is erecting a house on the scite of the keep, the dungeons now serving as his cellars…”
Aside from this, “…All that now remains of it are two towers and a wall…” From stylistic similarities with Berry Hill, Nevern, it is possible that the architect was David Evans, who was possibly engaged by architect John Nash on the Priory in Cardigan. His son, Daniel Evans, was later employed to design an extension to Castle Green House. On 14th January 1809 John Bowen married his second wife – Elizabeth Hughes of Aberllolwyn, Llanfarian, near Aberystwyth. In May 1809 Mr. & Mrs. Griffith Jones spent some days at Castle Green with Mr. & Mrs. John Bowen. In 1811, during landscaping of the site by John Bowen, N. Carlisle described:
“…the wall between the two towers being lowered and the Green sloped down so as to form a hanging Garden…”
On 30th November 1811 the following appeared in the ‘Cambrian’:
“…CARDIGANSHIRE. TO BE SOLD BY PUBLIC AUCTION, At the Black-Lion-inn, in the town of Cardigan, on Wednesday the 18th day of December, 1811, if not disposed of in the mean time by private contract, of which timely notice will be given, THAT much-admired, modern-built DWELLING-HOUSE, called the CASTLE, situate on an eminence on the banks of the river Tivy, in the borough town of Cardigan, commanding most delightful picturesque views of that river, the bridge, and of the surrounding Country, with Coach-House, Stabling, Barn, Haggard, and replete in convenient and requisite Outhouses, all in perfect repair, being lately built, and fit for the immediate reception of a genteel family. The front of the premises (which is laid out with much taste in gravel walks, shrubs, and fruit trees) is bound by the towers and ruins of the ancient castle of Cardigan. A spacious Kitchen-Garden, surrounded by a Wall, in the highest order, abounding also with fruit-trees, and a complete, well stocked Green-house. Cardigan is about two miles from the sea, with good roads, and the salubrity of the air well. ascertained; a market well supplied (particularly famed for salmon at a moderate rate) and a genteel neighbourhood. Also, about Forty Acres, with FOUR COTTAGES, of rich MEADOW LAND, contiguous to the town, well sheltered and watered, with a turnpike-road. And also, a modern built DWELLING-HOUSE, adjoining the premises, part of which is now occupied by Government as a Custom-house under a lease. N. B. The premises are now occupied by the proprietor. For further particulars apply (by letter post paid) to John Bowen. Esq. Aberl1o11wyn, near Aberystwyth, or to Mr. Evan Davies, of Cardigan, Solicitor…”
The property was quickly sold by private contract before the auction date. The following notice appeared in the ‘Cambrian‘ on 7th December 1811:
“…CARDIGANSHIRE. NOTICE is hereby given, that the CASTLE [and other Premises, advertised for Sale by Auction, at the Black-Lion-inn, in the town of Cardigan, on the 18th day of December inst. have been disposed of by Private Contract. Cardigan, Dec. 2, 1811…”
In 1812 Richard Fenton wrote of the castle that:
‘…but from the trifling ruins that now appear of a few truncated bastions surmounted and disfigured by a modern house, you can hardly form an idea of the capaciousness of its ancient outline…’
‘The Cambrian Traveller’s Guide‘ of 1813 says of Cardigan:
“…The ruins of its’ Castle, appearing on a low cliff at the foot of the bridge, are very inconsiderable; little more than the fragments of 2 circular bastions, overgrown with ivy; yet it was once a large and important fortress…
In 1815 Thomas Rees noted:
“…Cardigan Castle occupied a commanding, though not a very elevated, situation close to the river, above the present bridge. The existing remains are not considerable, consisting chiefly of the wall on the river side, and a portion of two towers by which this part was protected. Its original extent may be traced without much difficulty. It does not appear to have covered at any time a very large space of ground, but was evidently a place of great strength…’
‘…The ground is now the property of John Bowen Esq. who has erected an elegant mansion on the site of the keep, the dungeons of which he has converted into cellars…”
John Bowen sold the Priory to Richard Hart Davies about the year 1815. On 4th February 1815 John Bowen died aged 61, and was buried at Llanychaearn Church, having lived his last few years at Aberllolwyn. In November 1815 his brother Rev. Thomas Bowen appointed Evan Davies of Cardigan, solicitor, William Mitchell of Cardigan, shopkeeper, and Thomas Jones, solicitor, Carmarthen, to act as proctors in the matter of John Bowen’s will. In November 1818 Peter Taylor Walker was curiously referred to in the ‘Times’ as ‘…constable of Cardigan Castle…’
By May 1827 the property had been sold to Arthur Jones, Sheriff of Cardiganshire, who was then erecting a new portion of Castle Green House. According to Rev. John Herring of Bethania Baptist Chapel, Pendre, Cardigan, writing in August 1827:
“…There is a magnificent building being erected in the town of Cardigan at Castle Green at the expense of Arthur Jones, Esq., Sheriff of Cardiganshire. The architect and master builder is Mr. Daniel Evans of Eglwyswrw and his son, John Evans. On the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the mansion on May 31 of that year, a banquet was given by the High Sheriff in the Angel Hotel to 42 men, who were engaged on the building. The guests were lavishly entertained by the mine host Mr. Davies at the Angel. The cloth having been removed, the best beer was brought forward.. The health of the generous gentleman and his family was drank “three times three”. A speech was delivered by Mr. David Evans, the contractor. At present the erection is proceeding in a very satisfactory manner, and with the greatest speed. The work of the masons is a revelation to the neighbourhood. It is not inferior to the wonderful work executed here 700 years ago, the foundations of which will remain a part of the new building. Immense stones have been brought here such as have not been seen within living memory. The foundation stone has a niche carved out of it, into which Arthur Jones Esq. deposited gold and silver pieces as a memorial for some future generations. A flagstone measuring 78 square feet, has been laid at the entrance, under the verandah. In a like manner, the work of the carpenters is excellent. There are 43 men regularly employed in the construction, not counting smiths etc., etc. The wishes of the inhabitants are that many other generous gentlemen will follow in the footsteps of this benefactor of the town…”
Arthur Jones lived here with his wife Mary Anne Jones (perhaps a second wife as he married Anna Jane Howell on 23rd March 1820 at Cardigan), and their daughter Anna Jane Jones (born on 6th December 1825 and christened in St. Mary’s Church on 9th January 1826). On 14th September 1827 Arthur Jones donated a new organ to St. Mary’s Church. Later that month he leased “The Three Cranes”, High Street, and let it to William Williams, druggist, a month later. On 16th July a daughter was born here to Mary Anne and Arthur Jones. Arthur Jones was described as a banker. On 3rd September 1829 Harriet Catherine Jones (b. 16/07/1829), daughter of Arthur & Mary Anne Jones, was christened at St. Mary’s Church. In 1830 the Wern Newydd estate, then the property of Edward Pryse Lloyd, rebuilt a boundary wall between Castle Green and a neighbouring High Street property, perhaps on the site of the mediaeval curtain wall. Arthur Jones required the rebuilding of the said boundary as a ‘hot wall’ for his new conservatory. It was said that a solitary tower was all that remained of the fortress at that time (!). The castle appeared in a number of illustrations of varying accuracy at that time. On 25th August 1830 David Lewis, coachman of Castle Green, and Ann Lewis, his wife, had their son, Thomas Lewis, baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan. They may have been living at the Groom’s Cottage in the stable yard at that time. On 13th July 1832 an auction advertisement appeared in the ‘Carmarthen Journal’:-
“…Capital modern mansion. Drawing room and dining room each 27’ by 18’ by 11’ high with mahogany doors, breakfast room, study, kitchen, bathroom and dressing room, six bedrooms and arched cellar being part of old castle. Hot house and pinery 87’ long recently erected at great expense. Four stall stable and coach house…”
Another advertisement from the same newspaper offers for sale:
“…All that Capital Mansion House, called the Castle Green, Now in the occupation of Arthur Jones, Esquire, beautifully situated on an eminence, commanding a fine view of the river Tivy, and of the adjacent county, standing on an acre and a half of ground, tastefully laid out as a pleasure ground; and Gardens, with a newly built Hothouse, 67 feet long, and a Pinery about 20 feet long, both glazed and heated in the most approved manner, and well filled with fruit. Together with a Four-Stall Stable, Saddle-Room, Coach-house, but quite hid from observation from any part of the grounds. – The Dwelling-house consists of a drawing and dining rooms about 27 feet long by 16 feet each, broad, and 11 feet high, with mahogany doors, a breakfast room, study, a capital Kitchen, Out-Offices, and a Bath, 6 bedrooms, besides servants’ sleeping-rooms, an excellent arched cellar, and every convenience attached to an elegant and comfortable residence…”
The purchase included the house of Dr. Thomas Noott, Strand; the Custom House, St. Mary Street; another dwelling house with a billiard room; a stable, cottage and smith’s forge; and Penlan, Moylgrove. David Davies of Carnarchenwen near Fishguard, formerly of Aberystwyth, Sheriff of Cardiganshire that year, purchased it. He moved here with his wife, Mary Davies nee’ Evans, daughter of Arthur Evans, gent. In Samuel Lewis’ ‘Topographical Dictionary of Wales’ published in 1833, but written slightly earlier, the castle is described:
“…The castle was, from its situation, well calculated for defence, and admirably adapted to command the entrance into the western part of the principality, of which it was considered the key: it occupied the summit of an eminence rising to a considerable elevation above the river, and overlooking the town and a large tract of the open country. The remains at present consist only of two bastions and a portion of the curtain wall; the site of the keep is at present occupied by a handsome modern villa, the cellars of which are formed out of the dungeons of that ancient tower, of which the walls in some parts are from nine to ten feet thick; and the outer ward has been converted into a verdant lawn, tastefully disposed in parterres, the whole effected by John Bowen, Esq. but the property now belongs to Arthur Jones, Esq., by purchase in 1827…”
The property is shown on John Wood’s 1834 map of Cardigan. On 25th September 1834 Frances Jones of the Stable Yard was buried at St. Mary’s Church, having died aged 60. On Christmas Day 1834 a daughter was born to Mary, the wife of David Davies, at Castle Green. On 28th December 1834 Mary Anne Davies, daughter of David & Mary Davies, was christened at St. Mary’s Church. On 31st January 1835 David Davies wrote his Will, leaving his estates to his wife, Mary Davies. He referred to their daughter, Mary Ann Davies. On 2nd February 1836 Miss Mary Ann Davies, having died aged 13 months, was buried at St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan. David Davies died on 1st May 1836 aged just 31 and was buried at St. Mary’s Church in the town on 11th May 1836. The ‘Cambrian’ of 14th May 1836 reported the following:
“…On the 1st inst., at Worcester, aged 33, David Davies, Esq. of Castle Green, Cardigan, a gentlemen whose piety and benevolence shone conspicuously in all the acts of his life…”
On 4th June 1838 Henry Yerworth Thomas of Castle Green, having died aged just 16 months old, was buried at St. Mary’s Church. On 17th September 1839 Mary Davies, widow, of Castle Green, married John Parry, Glanpaith, near Aberystwyth, solicitor. On 9th January 1840 a sales advertisement was written, which appeared the following day in the ‘Carmarthen Journal’:
“…COUNTY TOWN OF CARDIGAN. Sale of elegant MANSION HOUSE called the CASTLE GREEN. Mr Geo. Goode Respectfully begs to announce that he has been favoured with instructions to submit for PUBLIC COMPETITION and will On SATURDAY the 8th day of FEBRUARY, 1840, between the hours of 4 and 6 in the afternoon, at the BLACK LION, in the Town of Cardigan, sell by Auction, All that capital Mansion House, Premises and Four Cottages, called the CASTLE GREEN. The House was erected by the late Arthur Jones Esq., who to secure every possible convenience and comfort, spared no expense, is pleasingly situated on an eminence in the centre of the Town of Cardigan, occupies an acre of Land, which is tastefully laid out as a pleasure Ground, and commands many pleasing and delightful views of the adjacent country, the ruin Cilgerran Castle, and the river Tivy. The Gardens are tastefully laid out with Hot House, 67 feet long, and Pinery 20 feet long, glazed and heated in the most approved manner, and well stocked with Fruit. The Mansion contains in its basement Wine and Beer Cellars, of excellent temperature; on the first floor, a Drawing and Dining Room, each 27 feet long, by 16 feet wide, with a proportionate height; a Breakfast Room, study, and a capital Kitchen, Scullery, &c, &c, a large and convenient Bath Room. The sleeping apartments are exceedingly well arranged, and embrace every requisite for comfort and convenience that can be required for an elegant residence. There is detached a four stall’d Stable, Saddle Room, Coach House, and other out Buildings, convenient to the Dwelling-House, but quite concealed from observation from any part of the Grounds. There are four Cottages and Premises, respectably Tenanted, which will be sold with the Mansion. N. B. The above splendid Mansion is situate within the walls of the old and ancient castle of Cardigan, only accessible at one place, and although placed in the centre of the town, it possesses all the advantage of scenery and privacy, as much if situated in a fine picturesque country, the Premises are all in excellent repair. The Mansion House has lately been painted, papered and otherwise ornamented throughout. Immediate possession of the whole (excepting the cottages which are let from year to year) may be had…”
On 28th January 1840 the funeral was held at St. Mary’s Church of the late Mary Richards, 87, of the Stable Yard. David Davies’ widow, Mary Parry, and her husband, John Thomas Herbert Parry of Glanpaith, put Castle Green up for auction at the “Black Lion Hotel”, High Street, Cardigan, on 8th February 1840. It was purchased by David Davies of Bridge House & Bank House, Cardigan, comprising:
“…the mansion house, garden, pleasure ground, stable, saddle room, coach house and other outbuildings known as Castle Green…”
David Davies was a merchant and ship owner, Lloyd’s agent for the port of Cardigan, and owned sail-lofts and other businesses, as well as an extensive estate. That year he owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Hope’, 97 tons; ‘Anne’, 23 tons; ‘Sincerity’, 59 tons; ‘Triton’, 260 tons (sole owner); ‘Susan’, 151 tons; ‘Valiant’, 117 tons; ‘Aeron’, 49 tons (sole owner); and ‘Susannah’, 120 tons. His wife, Anna Letitia Davies, was the daughter of Rev. D. Griffith, Vicar of Nevern. A rather fanciful representation of the ruins appeared in an illustration of 1840. On 30th May 1840 the funeral was held of Edward Thomas, 15 months old, of the Castle Green Stable Yard.
In 1841, according to the Census returns, Castle Green was occupied by:- David Davies, 45, Head of the household, merchant; Anna Letitia Davies, 45, his wife; David Griffith Davies, 5, their son; Thomas Davies, 3, son; Servants – David Evans, 35; Mary Pugh, 20; Elizabeth Harris, 34; Jane Davies, 35; Martha Rees, 20; Elizabeth Williams, 15; David Laise, 14; Edward Mathias, 14. David Griffith Davies had been born on 27th June 1835. The Groom’s Cottage at the stable yard was occupied by the following persons: David Thomas, 30, manservant; Hannah Thomas, 35, his wife; Sarah Thomas, 9, their daughter; Thomas Thomas, 7, son; and Lewis Thomas, 3, son. In 1841 David Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Mary’, 88 tons, and ‘Mentor’, 33 tons. On 14th May 1841 the ‘Welshman‘ reported the procession of the ‘True Order of Ivorites’ at Cardigan:
“…After reaching Bethsaida chapel, it wheeled round, and returned the same way, turning on the right from Cardigan bridge under the walls of the Old Castle, and after passing the Post-office it turned again on the left, and entered the beautiful walks of the Castle Green, the splendid mansion of David Davies, Esq., the High Sheriff for the county. whose kindness in allowing the Lodge, named after Ceredigion’s ancient Prince, to perambulate the plains where once he led his armies to fight and conquer, will never be forgotten. We are informed, that the procession from the veranda of the Castle had a truly magnificent appearance, and though the sound of martial music struck upon the ear, and the full image of Caractacus himself appeared on the banner preceding the procession, yet it was no longer to fight the battles of his country against foreign invaders – he led not now his subjects and fellow-countrymen to deeds of valour and of victory; but, with his bow unstrung, he appeared to direct and excite them to deeds of charity -to acts of benevolence-to assist each other in trouble and adversity, and thus to preserve the independence of each other (the grand characteristic of man) without subjecting themselves to the degradation of pauperism, and its half-starved concomitants. The procession then gained Bridge-street, through the principal entrance to the Castle….”
In 1842 David Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Sarah’, 77 tons; ‘Unity’, 20 tons (sole owner); and ‘Angelina’, 96 tons. By 4th October 1843 Evan Elias of Green Street was the gardener here. On 16th November 1843 servant Mary Ann Pugh of Castle Green, daughter of plasterer James Pugh, married Thomas Williams, Excise Officer of Bridge End, Cardigan (St. Dogmaels). In 1843 David Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Arethusa’, 120 tons, and ‘Sarah Ann’, 114 tons.
In 1844 David Davies was a sail-maker, rope-maker and founder. In 1844 Castle Green was called one of “…the principal seats of attraction in the town…” In 1845 David Davies supported Thomas Davies of Nantygof, Llangoedmor, in his application to become the Assize Trumpeter of Cardigan. In 1845 David Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ship ‘Ellen’, 91 tons. On 21st November 1845 the following appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:
“…CARDIGAN.-The election for Mayor, agreeable to the municipal act, took place, when David Davies, Esq., of Castle Green, was proposed by Aldermen Nugent, and seconded by Alderman David Jenkins. and unanimously elected to fulfil the office for the year ensuing…”
On 30th January 1846 the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald’ noted the following:
“….The remains of the late Dr. David Rowlands, M.D., were forwarded from London, under the direction of Mr. Parkinson, the undertaker, to be deposited agreeable to the desire and direction of the deceased, in the tomb of his parents. On Thursday the 22nd inst the body was met by several of his relations and friends, and escorted to this town to the residence of David Davies, Castle Green, where it remained for the night; and on 12 o’clock, the funeral procession formed, and proceeded to St. Mary’s church, where the burial service was read in a most impressive manner by the respected vicar…”
In 1847 David Davies owned shares in the 123 ton Cardigan ship ‘Sarah Anne’. On 6th February 1848 Edward Gwynn Mathias of Castle Green, accountant, married Elizabeth Lewis of Cwmdegwel, St. Dogmaels. On 9th March 1848 Elizabeth Williams, servant at Castle Green, married John Davies, mariner, of St. Dogmaels. On 21st March 1848 John Propert wrote the following, regarding the medical care of Thomas Davies, son of David Davies, Castle Green:
“…Instructions respecting Master Davies: The present Medicine to be continued for another month, then left off for about ten days & again assum’d for another month then left off for as last time. Should the journey or any other circumstances bring a return of severe pains, a small blister is to be applied to the groin as before, and indeed this may occasionally be had recourse to, provided the pain is not very trying. The bowels are to be kept gently open, should they not act of themselves some very mild medicines is to be had recourse to, such as Manna, Limitive Electuary; Castor Oil or Magnesia., but nothing of a strong or drastic nature is to be taken that the strength may not be impaired – Food of the most light and nourishing kind is to be taken, but great care to be taken not to overload the stomach; no salt provision of any kind, and no undress’d vegetables, a fair quantity of home brew’d beer to be taken daily, or a glass of sherry or Port in water, but not beer & wine on the same day; Great care to be taken to keep the hip joint in perfect quietude, the recumbent position to be strictly adher’d to except when meals are taken; when the weather will admit of it the air on the Bed to be enjoy’d daily, the invalid Bed is not be left upon any account night or day. Much tea that slops of any kind is to be avoided…Care to be taken not to excite Master Davies, and learning is not to be too much profe’d, so as to tire the brain, which cannot fail of impairing the general health. John Propert. 21 March 1848…”
In 1848 David Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Peggy’, 19 tons (sole owner); ‘Frances’, 47 tons; ‘William’, 97 tons; ‘Éclair’, 139 tons (sole owner); and ‘Fame’, 77 tons. In 1849 David Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Peggy’, 26 tons; ‘Leech’, 26 tons (sole owner); ‘Éclair’, 139 tons (sole owner); and ‘Victoria’, 62 tons. In August 1849 Rev. D. O. James, former tutor to David Griffith Davies, became the Master of the Cardigan Free Grammar School. In 1850, one of David Davies’ ships, the 49-ton sloop “Acorn”, was lost.
The Census returns for 1851 list the occupants as:- Anna Letitia Davies, 54 (b. Nevern); Servants – Sarah Jones, 30 (b. Llantood); Mary Williams, 22 (b. St. Dogmaels); and Elizabeth Phillips, 18 (b. Monington). The following persons were probably living at the Groom’s Cottage in the Stable Yard: Mary Owens, 50, groom’s wife (b. Nevern); Owen Owens, 17, her son; Margaret Owens, 15, daughter (b. Cardigan); and Elizabeth Owens, 13, daughter (b. Cardigan). On 5th November 1851 Anna Letitia Davies was buried at St. Mary’s Church having died aged 55. In 1851 David Davies owned shares in the 221 ton Cardigan ship ‘Heatherbell’. On 7th November 1851 the following appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:
“…The funeral of the late Mrs. Davies wife of David Davis. Esq., of the Castle Green, Cardigan, which took place on Wednesday last, nearly every tradesman in the Town closed his shop and discontinued business, as a tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased lady and a vast con- course of the inhabitants attended her remains to the Saint Mary’s Churchyard, where the body was interred…”
On 4th December 1851 a full inventory was made of Castle Green House, perhaps as the family was to be absent for a time.
“…Inventory of Castle Green House, Cardigan Castle, 4th December 1851.
Book-case; sofa; easy chair; six mahogany chairs; mahogany table; mahogany card table; mahogany small round table; music stool; pier glass; tea caddy; mahogany celeret; carpet, drugget and two slips of oil cloth; fender, fire irons and guard; hearth rug; map of England and Wales – framed; map of North Wales; map of South Wales (worked); Map (County of Pembroke); Chart of the World; 8 pictures – framed and glazed; 1 oil painting; window curtains and blinds; chimney ornaments and 3 on book case.
Dining Parlour a.k.a. Dining Room.
Six family likenesses – framed and glazed; seventeen pictures in frames and glass; Large chimney-glass; time piece; one vase; two glass candlesticks; two glass candlesticks; two hand-screens; glass scent-bottle; one mirror; side board; Dining Table – in four pieces – when put together; small round table; easy chair; twelve chairs; mahogany portable desk; mahogany knife case containing – 2 carvers and forks (common case); 12 knives and 12 forks plus 12 small knives and 12 small forks, all with ivory handles; knife case covered with leather containing 12 knives and 12 forks – silver with ivory handles; another mahogany case containing 3 carving knives and forks, 18 knives, 18 forks, 18 small knives, 1 cheese scoop, 1 steel sharpener – all with ivory handles; table lamp; fender and fire irons; window curtains and blinds; pair bell pulls; Turkey carpet – hearth rug, drugget; large screen covered with green baize; two foot stools; one hassock; Japan bottle stand and holder; two slips oil cloth.
Sofa; smaller sofa with cover; easy chair; two 3-corner chairs with covers; sixteen chairs and covers; rosewood Lao table; two rosewood card tables with oil covers; rosewood chiffonier; rosewood work table; one small mahogany round table; two fire screens; one other screen; inlaid square work table; inlaid square work box; large chimney glass.
Chimney Ornaments: 3 vases; 2 card racks on holders; 2 candelabras; 2 small china ornaments; 1 shell; 1 clock-face tall ornament.
With the Chiffonier: 37 sundry size shells; 27 sundry shells in a basket; china bowl; china dish; china tea pot stand and 18 other pieces –cups etc.; 15 sundry smaller pieces; china ink stand; round glass china ink stand; two china cups and saucers of different descriptions; large size glass scent bottle; two glass flower stands; two ivory paper knives; Tortoise shell card case; glass shade; tall glass scent bottle with bronze stand; ornament – bee-hive bronze scales; leather portfolio; ostrich egg shell; large chimney glass.
On Work Table: 2 glass ink stands; work-box; ;leather portfolio with lock; musical box; another music box; church missionary box; Backgammon board; two accordions.
On Another Table: Rosewood tea caddy with glass sugar basin and two glass deposits for tea; a cardboard box; small French fancy box; another French fancy box; silver ink stand.
Pictures: Two, Chinese, not framed; one family likeness; five study pictures, framed and glazed.
Carpet and Brown Holland cover; Hearth rug; two small fancy bellows; door stopper – piece of matting.
Best Passage a.k.a. Front Hall.
Large Oil painting; side board; portable desk; work box; table – being a fifth piece of Dining Table; pair of glass flower vases; pair of smaller glass flower vases; three smaller glass flower vases; 5 shells; stove; two door stoppers; seat; two weather glasses; bracket clock; lamp; floor drugget – 3 mats; umbrella stand.
Lower Parlour a.k.a. Breakfast Room.
Two mahogany dining tables; one round table; one desk table; one small desk; one book stand; one Welsh straw easy-chair; 8 chairs; pier glass; chimney glass; mahogany book case; two pictures framed and glazed; two maps; fender and fire irons.
Seven tin covers; old sofa; one bench; 5 chairs; deal table; sundry strips of oil cloth; cupboard.
Clock and case; settle; square deal table; round deal table; 6 chairs; shelf and dresser.
In Dresser Drawer: 2 large carvers and forks, buck handles; 1 carving knife and fork; 19 large knives, ivory hafts; 6 large forks, ivory hafts; 12 small knives, ivory hafts; 8 small forks, ivory hafts.
Pin screen; fender, tongs, poker; iron fountain; two tea kettles; warming pan; two brass ladles; tin candle box; four toasting forks; 12 iron skewers and six double skewers; 7 iron smaller skewers; 9 pewter dishes; two tall brass candlesticks; three smaller brass candlesticks; Japan box and padlock; two tin coffee pots; one tin flower box and pepper box; one pewter tankard; one tin cup and one tin strainer; one tin plate cover; 8 chocolate tin boxes; 1 oyster knife; 1 iron digester; 3 baking tins for bread; 1 block tin steamer; 1 tin fish kettle; 3 iron boilers; 1 iron pot; 2 frying pans; 1 cheese toaster; 4 tin saucepans; 1 tin boiler; meat saw and a cleaver; parrot cage.
On the Dresser: 19 blue dishes – sundry sizes; 35 blue plates; 5 blue vegetable dishes (two only whole) and 2 extra covers; 35 jugs.
1 suet chopper; 1 small hand lantern.
1 sugar nippers; 7 earthen jars; 1 hair sieve; 1 salt box; 1 marble pestle and mortar; 2 chopping boards; 1 wooden bowl; 1 peach jar; 2 tin jugs; 1 tin strainer; 1 tin grater; 1 tureen without cover; 6 white plates; 2 blue dishes; sauce tureen; sugar basin; fish strainer; paste-board; jelly stand; two rolling pins; scales and weights – three of 2 lbs, one each ½ lb; one ¼ lb and an Oz; 1 jar for warm water; 3 blue tart dishes; 1 pudding strainer basin; an earthen ware water plate.
1 small oval tub; 2 earthen ware jugs; 2 wooden bowls – 5 wooden spoons and stand; 1 small brass pan.
Table cloth press; plate basket; plate warmer; Japan’d sugar box; copper tea kettle and stand; 2 Britannia kettle tea pots; 2 Britannia coffee pots; 1 double lamp stand; 3 lanterns; knife box lined with tin; 3 Japan’d knife trays; 2 Japan’d bread trays; tin candle-box; 2 plated candlesticks; 2 smaller candlesticks; 1 brass chamber candlestick; 2 Japan’d candlesticks; 2 tin candlesticks; 3 Japan’d round waiters; 4 square larger waiters; 3 Japan’d trays; Salts – pepper – mustard.
Metal: plated cruet stand – complete; plated toast rack; 2 round tin covers; Lamp for Back Passage on largest shelf; 14 blue basins; 2 soup basins, covers and stands; 3 earthenware jugs.
Dessert Service: Wedgwood ware: 8 dishes; 12 plates; sugar basin – ladle – cover of stand; 5 china tea cups and 11 saucers; 6 tea plates; 1 basin; 2 toast plates; 1 china muffin plate; 4 china plates.
Imperfect Breakfast set: 4 cups and saucers – 3 without handles; 2 toast plates; 6 plates; 1 slop basin; 1 china honey basin, cover and stand; 6 large and 6 small spirit bottles; glass salts; 4 pickle bottles; 14 ale glasses, various patterns; 2 small tumblers, gilt; 4 salts, various; 2 tumblers, cracked; 6 glass egg cups; 2 glass sugar basins; celery glass; 3 tumblers; 6 wine glasses; wine strainer; 18 blue soup plates; 15 blue plates; 7 blue small plates; a portable tray stand; plated snuffers and tray; coal scuttle and scoop shovel; copper coal scuttle.
Double barrel gun and case; 2 large baskets; 4 covered small baskets; 2 benches; 2 pillows; 2 travelling rugs.
Back Kitchen a.k.a. wash-room.
Three brass pans; two tubs; one kive (?); tin dish and mesh sieve; wooden bowl, plate rack.
Three large and one small tubs (washing); culm box; black butter pot; earthenware pan; three beer casks; an oval tub; two pails.
Laundry a.ka. Servants’ Kitchen.
Mangle; square table; two clothes-horses – box, heaters, 5 flat irons; fender, poker.
Larder a.k.a. Linen Room.
Nine large pans; three black pots; two large meat tubs; seven bottles (catsup); three bottles (gooseberries); two bottles (bog-berries); six pewter dishes and four plates.
Malt Room a.k.a. Fruit Cellar.
Slipper bath; post bed-stead; three small casks; a night chair.
Meal Room a.k.a. Coal Cellar.
Three flour casks; meat chest; kive (?).
Five flour casks; bread-pan; tin tea canister; black butter-pot; black jug; meat screen; fire board; marble slabs (wash stand incomplete).
Best Bedroom No. 1 (Mrs Davies) a.k.a. Master Bedroom.
Feather bed (numbered 6) weight 121 lbs; bolster weight 10 ½ lbs; pillow 7 ½ lbs; pillow 6 ¾ lbs; feather bed (belongs to servants’ room) No. 7, weight 54 lbs; bolster 7lbs; 2 English blankets; 1 Welsh blankets; 1 Marseilles quilt; 1 silk quilt; Servant’s bed – 3 blankets, 1 counter pane.
Bedroom No. 2 (Mr Davies) a.k.a. SE Bedroom.
Feather bed (numbered 1) weight 132 lbs; bolster 14lbs; pillow 8 ¾ lbs; pillow 9 ¼ lbs; hair mattress; feather bed (no. 2) 92 lbs; bolster 15lbs; pillow 2 ¼ lbs; pillow 3lbs; a hair mattress; feather bed (no. 3) 36lbs; bolster 5 ¼ lbs; mahogany 4-poster bedstead; chintz curtains; window curtains and blind; 1 pair English blankets; 1 pair Welsh blankets and lone Welsh blankets; Marseilles quilt; 1 teak bedstead; 2 English blankets; 1 Welsh blanket; 1 counterpane; oak wardrobe; oak bureau; dressing table; large swing glass; washing stand – ware complete; bidet; three rush-seat chairs; two cane-seat chairs; carpet and hearth rug; piece of carpet; fender and fire-irons; mahogany towel-stand; three china candlesticks.
Dressing table; swing-glass; two chests of drawers; wash stand and ware; three chairs; chimney glass; towel-horse; wire fender; carpet and piece of drugget; three pictures – framed and glass.
Middle Dressing Room a.k.a. Linen Room.
Two tables; two chairs; deal box; swing glass; carpet.
Best Landing a.k.a. Main Landing.
Drugget, stair-carpet and covering; mahogany card table; window blind; two ornament figures on window sill.
Bedroom – Lower Room a.k.a. room at E end of E Wing?
Mahogany 4-post bed-stead; 2 Welsh blankets; 1 English blanket; Marseilles quilt; chintz hangings; feather bed (no. 5) 116 lbs; bolster 14 ½ lbs; pillow (large size) 7 ¾ lbs; pillow 4 ½ lbs; hair mattress; patchwork bed-covering; swing-glass; mahogany wardrobe; 3 mahogany chairs; 1 armchair; 1 towel-horse (mahogany); painted wash-stand with matching ware; two pairs of window curtains; two blinds; carpet; 2 fire boards; piece of carpet; earthen-ware chamber candlestick; three rods for holding foot valance.
Master Tom’s Room (Thomas Davies) a.k.a. small guest room?
Couch; swing looking-glass; long dressing table (painted), boot-holder; small mahogany washing-stand; blue basin and ewer – soap and brush stand; two clothes flaskets; 4 pieces of carpets; two rush-seat chairs; one other chair; painted towel-horse.
Master Davies’ Room (DG Davies) a.k.a. guest room?
Three pieces of carpet; towel horse; chest of drawers; dressing table; swing looking-glass; a chair; three fire-boards.
Nursery a.k.a. Servant’s Room – W Tower room ?
A four-post bed-stead and curtains; feather bed (no. 4) weight 102 lbs; bolster 10lbs; pillow 4 lbs; pillow 7 ¼ lbs; bed covering; 2 pairs Welsh blankets; 1 counterpane; chest of drawers; painted washing stand; jug and ware; dressing table and swing-glass; three chairs; three pieces of carpet; small looking-glass; 4 pictures; window curtain and blind.
Back Room a.k.a. Rainbow room?
Large cupboard; small cupboard; mahogany desk and drawers; deal box; cupboard bedstead; washing stand and ware; night chair; oak carriage box.
Servants’ Room a.k.a E Tower room?
Four-post bedstead and curtains; feather bed (no 8) weight 80 lbs; bolster 8 ¾ lbs; 3 Welsh blankets; 1 cloth quilt; 1 cotton quilt; teak bedstead; feather bed (no.9) 66 lbs; bolster 10lbs; Straw Paillasse; three Welsh blankets; 1 cotton quilt; three chests of drawers; table; looking-glass; wash stand and ware; five chairs; towel-horse; four pieces of carpet.
Lumber Room a.k.a. small store-room.
Six mahogany chairs; a broken chair – cane seat; mahogany dining table (five leaves); crib; bed-stead; 13 carpet brushes; map of London; 2 sofa pillows – which belong to sofa in Servant’s Hall; 3 flower stands (green); large fire guard fender; old chest; swing glass; chimney glass and glass frame; an old American clock; small table; wash stand; five small baskets; piece of old carpet; sweeping brush, carpet brush and mop; an earthen-ware bed-pan; slop-pail; two earthenware foot-baths.
Pair of glass wine decanters (Quarts) best; glass claret jug to match; three glass wine, quarts, best; four glass wine pints (best); four glass spirit decanters and plated stand; large glass jug; two smaller jugs; pair glass wine decanters and an odd one; pair smaller decanters; three dozen plus ten wine glasses; two dozen wine glasses; twenty ale glasses; twenty-two claret glasses; one dozen claret glasses (green); 16 large tumblers; two dozen finger glasses; fourteen water bottles (dinner); twenty-two jelly glasses; 18 custard glasses; 19 other custard glasses (old) Bridge House; five glasses (preserves); 8 glasses, smaller; three large dessert plates; two smaller plates; eighteen small plates; one small plate (partly cracked); three glass plates – saucer pattern; 1 glass trifle dish and stand; two other trifle dishes; one other trifle dish – old pattern; one old large glass plate; one glass cream jug; two glass butter tubs; two glass smaller butter tubs (silver tops and stands); two glass sugar basins with covers; one glass sugar basin without cover; six glass salt cellars; one mustard glass; three small tumblers; one plated cruet stand (7 cruets); one plated cruet stand; 197 large tumblers.
Set – dinner service, stone china, burnished gold, consisting of: two large dishes, two smaller dishes, two smaller dishes, four smaller dishes, four smaller dishes, four smaller dishes, two soup tureens, covers and stands, one salad bowl, four cover dishes and covers, four sauce tureens, covers, ladles and stands, one cheese stand, four dozen and 11 plates, two dozen soup plates, and two dozen small plates.
Dessert service – One centre piece; four round dishes; four square dishes; four oval dishes; two cream bowls and one cover.
Breakfast and tea service – Teapot; sugar basin and cover, basin; cream jug; two toast plates and covers – one without top; two dishes; two small dishes; two bread and butter plates; 12 small plates; six egg-cups; 12 large cups and saucers (2 cups without handles); 11 coffee cups (1 without handle); 12 saucers and tea cups – two without handle.
Breakfast and Tea Service – stone china – teapot; cream jug; sugar basin and cover; basin; two toast plates; 12 other plates; six egg-cups and one stand; 12 large cups and saucers; 12 coffee cups; 12 tea cups and 11 saucers; two dishes (not matches to the set); two smaller dishes.
Set of blue stone jugs – 3; four cream colour, gilt-edge; one water jug and cover; three large stone jugs; three smaller stone jugs; four china jugs with gilt edge; one large water-jug and cover.
Set of three trays – papier mache; set of two trays – papier mache; two square trays, large, papier mache.
On the shelves – blue ware – eight large cups and four saucers; five basins; three soup plates; one small dish; teapot; another teapot; two dozen plus two large saucers; five small saucers; seven large cups; eight smaller cups; two smaller cups; three basins; one smaller basin; 14 small plates; 3 cups and saucers; four cups, six saucers (odd); one cream jug; two odd saucers; one jug.
8 dozen plus 11 dinner napkins; 2 dozen doyleys; 1 dozen breakfast napkins; 21 breakfast napkins; 22 towels marked 24; 24 towels, not marked; 4 sideboard cloths; 5 table cloths (large); 5 table-cloths, next size; 4 table cloths, next size; 13 table cloths, common; 8 pairs of sheets, fine; 4 pairs of sheets, fine; 16 pairs of sheets, common; one pair of small sheets (crib); 18 pillow-cases; six small pillow-cases; four servants’ bolster cases; 8 table covers; 5 spare Marseilles quilts; 2 spare counterpanes.
2 dozen large forks; 2 dozen small forks; 2 dozen table spoons; 2 dozen dessert spoons; 2 gravy spoons; 1 soup ladle; 2 dozen tea spoons; ½ dozen egg spoons; 4 sauce ladles; fish slice; 6 salt spoons; 1 sugar tongs; 1 marrow spoon; 2 skewers; 6 pickle forks; 1 butter knife; 3 pairs other sugar tongs; 6 table spoons; 4 table spoons –marked; 13 tea spoons – odd patterns; 12 tea spoons; 2 gravy spoons; 6 dessert spoons; 4 salt spoons; 4 salt spoons; 1 mustard spoon; 6 tea spoons (marked); 6 bottle labels – ‘port’, ‘sherry’, ‘madeira’ – 2 each; wine strainer; 2 nut crackers; 2 salvers; 3 butter covers and plate; tea pot; coffee pot; sugar basin; cream jug to match; 3 other cream jugs to match; 4 wine coasters (stands); 1 silver mustard pot.
3 pairs bedroom candlesticks; 1 pair candlesticks branches; 4 smaller candlesticks; snuffers and tray.
‘Saturday Magazine’, 7 volumes; Bell’s ‘Geography’, 6 volumes; ‘France’ by Lady Morgan, 2 volumes; ‘Analysis Voyage China’ – H Wise; Ozenam’s ‘Mathematical’ in French; Rich’s ‘Residence in Koordistan and Nuieben’ – 2 Volumes; Howell’s ‘History of the Bible’ by Burden, only 1 volume; ‘Duchess of Berri in Lavender’ by General Decuconcourt; ‘Figures of the Earth’ by Abbe Outhier and McCelsius; ‘Waterlands and Sermons’; Cennick’s ‘Village Discourses’ 2 Volumes; Moorson’s ‘Letters from Nova Scotia’; Alp Usher’s ‘Answer to a Jesuit’s Challenge’; Brooke’s ‘Gazetteer’; Goodwin’s Exposition: ‘Roman History and Antiquities’; Evans’ ‘Gwenillau y Bardd’ (Welsh); Welsh Bible; ‘Abbess’ – 3 volumes; ‘Women as They Are’ – 3 volumes; ‘Country Houses’, 3 volumes; ‘Diary of a Nun’, 2 volumes; ‘Highland Smugglers’ – 3 volumes; ‘Curate of Stenholt’ 2 volumes; the ‘Headsman’ – 3 volumes; ‘Maid of La Vendee’ – 3 volumes; ‘A Whim and its Consequence’ – 3 volumes; the ‘Manoeuvring Mother’ – 3 volumes; the ‘Contrast’ – 3 volumes; Roberts’ ‘Scenes and Characteristics of Hindustan’ – 3 volumes; ‘Trevelyan’ – 3 volumes; ‘Modern Flirtation’ – 3 volumes; Barrow’s ‘Bible in Spain’ – 3 volumes; the ‘Invasion’ by Author of Collegian – 4 volumes.
Thomson’s ‘Seasons’; ‘Theological Library’ by Webb Le Bas – 4 volumes; Galf’s ‘Life of Lord Byron’; ‘Light and Darkness’ by a Village Rector; Dr Owen on ‘Indwelling Sin’; ‘Remains’ of Henry Kirke White; Col. Holcombe’s Memoir ‘the Change’; Whitehead’s ‘Key to the Common Prayer’; ‘Journey of Life’ by Miss Sinclair – 3 volumes; ‘Tremaine’ – 3 volumes; ‘Memoirs’ of John Elias; Wilberforce’s ‘Practical View’; Wilkinson’s’Reverend Watts’ Sermons Selected from Penny Pulpit’; Fleming on ‘The Papacy’; ‘The Priestess’; ‘Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope’ 3 volumes; Peranzabuloe’s ‘Lost Church Found’, Hill’s (Rev. Rowland) ‘Village Dialogues’ – 3 volumes; James ‘On Christian Watchfulness’; James ‘Comments on the Collects’; Eden’s ‘Churchman Theological Discourses’; Mudge’s ’30 Sermons’; ‘Lady Greenly’s Sermons’ 2 volumes; Slade ‘On the Psalms’; Nicholls’ ‘Help to Reading the Bible’; Scott’s ‘Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress’; ‘Christian Family Library’ 2 volumes; ‘Newton’s Life Observed’ by Bickersteth; Grimshaw’s ‘Life of Rev. L Richmond’; ‘Conversations at Cambridge’; Harvey’s ‘Theron and Aspasio’ volumes 2 and 3 only; Tomkin’s Poems; ‘Madam’s 12 Months in the West Indies’; Freeman and John’s ‘Persecution in Madagascar’; ‘Sir Robert Peel and his Era’; ‘Memoirs of Reverend Basil Wood’; Timpson’s ‘Memoir Mrs Fry’; Shakespeare’s ‘Dramatic Works’; ‘Record of Providence’; ‘Treatise on Punctuation’; ‘New Aid of Memory’; ‘Churchman’s Penny Magazine’ 4 volumes; ‘Christian Retirement’; ‘Memoir of Rev. Henry Martyn’; Bridge ‘On 119th Psalm’; Coles on ‘God’s Sovereignty’; Watkins ‘Scripture Biography’; ‘Doddridge’s Sermons’ 4 volumes; ‘Klopstock’s Messiah by Raffles’ 3 volumes; Hareway on ‘The Sacrament’; ‘History of the Church Previous to Ye Reforms’ 3 volumes; ‘The Modern Pythagoran’ 2 volumes; SW Wilkes ‘Memoir of Lord Teignmouth’; Taylor’s ‘Memoir of Cowper’; Warton’s ‘Death Bed Scenes’ 1 volume only; ‘Dwight’s Theology’ 6 volumes.
The Four Gospels Combined; ‘Autumn Near the Rhine’; Robinson’s ‘Scriptures Characters’; Serle’s ‘Horae Solitarie’ 2 volumes; Masheric’s ‘Ecclesiastical History’ 6 volumes; Pearson’s ‘Memoirs of Swartz’ 2 volumes; Blair’s ‘Sermons’ 5 volumes; Tivener’s ‘Sacred History of the World’ 3 volumes; Humes’ ‘England’ 3 volumes; ‘Rev. Henry Martyn’s Journal’; ‘Bunyan’s Choice Works’; Sargant’s ‘Life of Thomason’; Hayley’s ‘Life of Cowper’ 4 volumes; Booth’s ‘Memoirs of Princess Charlotte’; ‘Ebenezer Erskine’s Works’ 3 volumes; ‘History of Curricular Confession’ 2 volumes; ‘Demolition of Port Royal Deschamps’; William Bridge ‘7 Sermons on Faith’; Scott’s ‘Lady of the Lake’; Roberts’ ‘Oriental Illustration of the Scriptures’; Sidney’s ‘Life of Walker’; ‘Berridge’s Works’; ‘Life of Wilkinson’; ‘Simeon’s Memoir’ by Carces; ‘Memoir of Sophia Dorothea, Consort of George I’; Lain’s ‘Tour in Sweden’; Guthrie’s ‘Geographical Grammar’; Lucca’s ‘Enquiry After Happiness’; ‘Don Juan’ by Lord Byron; Miss Bierney’s ‘Evelina’; ‘Spectator’ 8 volumes; ‘Five Years in the East’ 2 volumes; Gurnal’s ‘Christian Couple A???? 4 volumes; ‘Conybear’s Sermons’ 2 volumes; ‘Wilcox’s Sermons’ 3 volumes; ‘Hughes’ Sermons’ the 2nd volume; ‘Peninsular Scenes and Sketches’; ‘Ebenezer Erskine’s Sermons’ 2 volumes.
‘Church of England Magazine’ Volumes 1839-1850; ‘Scott’s Bible’ 6 volumes; ‘Imperial Dictionary’ 2 volumes; Camden’s ‘Concordance’; ‘Byron’s Works’; ‘Wright’s Gazetteer’ 4 volumes plus supplement; Bartlett’s ‘Walks About Jerusalem’; Cunningham’s ‘Lives of Eminent Englishmen’ 8 volumes; ‘Memoirs of Dr Morrison’ 2 volumes; Wright’s ‘Life and Campaigns of the Duke of Wellington’ 10 volumes; Jay’s ‘ Morning Exercises’ 2 volumes (2 copies of each); Jay’s ‘Evening Exercises’ 2 volumes; ‘Milner’s History of the Churches of Asia’; Gutzlaff’s ‘History of China’; Dale’s ‘Sermons’ 2 volumes; Wright’s ‘Life and Reign of William IV’; Doddridge’s ‘Devotional Letters’.
‘Henry’s Commentary’ 6 volumes folio and New Testament volumes 2nd copy; Ainsworth’s ‘Annotations on Genesis’ folio; Andrews’ ‘Sermons’ folio; ‘Lives of the Martyrs’ folio; Watson’s ‘Body of Divinity’ folio; Jewel’s ‘Apology’; ‘Bishop Hopkins’ Works’ folio; ‘Pearson (Bishop of Chester) on the Creed’ folio; ‘Burnett on 39 Articles’ folio; Hieron’s ‘Sermons’ folio; Walter’s ‘English-Welsh Dictionary’; Pinkerton’s ‘Geography’ 2 volumes; Jacob’s ‘Law Dictionary’ folio; ‘Duoglott Bible’ 2 volumes; Clarke’s ‘Geographical Dictionary’ 4 volumes; Clarke’s ‘History of the War’ 3 volumes; Whiston’s ‘Josephine’ small folio; Morrison’s ‘Family Prayers’; Gay’s ‘Fables’ 4 volumes; Burnett on ‘Errors of Romanism’; ‘Holy Bible’ Old Edition 1615; ‘Theological Dictionary’; Walker’s ‘English Dictionary’; Brown’s ‘Dictionary of the Bible’; ‘Brook’s Gazetteer’; Edmund Calarey on ‘Inspiration of Scripture’.
On 13th February 1852 the following appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:
“…On Thursday, the 5th instant, at the Castle Green, Cardigan, deeply deplored by a large circle of friends Miss Elizabeth Davies, daughter of the late John Davies Esq., aged 20. The deceased lady had been for several months a great sufferer from the illness of which she died…”
In 1852 the 112-ton brig “Ellen” was converted into a brigantine for David Davies. In 1852 he owned the Cardigan ships ‘Union’, 22 tons, and ‘Ellen’, 95 tons. In 1853 David Davies owned shares in the 166 ton Cardigan ship ‘Levern’. In 1854 he purchased the 114-ton brig “Arethusa”, built in Cardigan in 1842, from George Lloyd of St. Dogmaels, but she was lost in July 1856. In 1854 David Davies owned shares in the 55 ton Cardigan ship ‘Wellington’. The same year, David Davies sold his “Chain & Anchor Works & Foundry” at Bridge End, Cardigan. On 22nd June 1856 Joshua Bateman, the coachman at Castle Green, married Mary Davies of the ‘Jolly Sailor’ inn on Short Row. On 18th January 1856 the following appeared in the ‘Welshman‘:
“...MARRIAGES. On the 17th inst, at St. Michael’s church, Pembroke, by the Rev. William Morgan Davies Berrington, rector of Nolton, David Davies, Esquire, of Castle Green, Cardigan, to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Rev. John Holcombe, of Cocheston, in the county of Pembroke…”
David Davies married his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. John Holcombe, Rector of Cosheston and Rhoscrowther, Pembrokeshire. The 33-ton sloop “Mentor”, built in 1805 at Cardigan, property of David Davies, was wrecked that year. On 7th August 1859 James & Martha James of the Stable Yard had their son, James James, christened at St. Mary’s Church. In 1859 David Davies was still a rope and sail maker, and owned “The Castle Inn” and much of Castle Street, Bridge End, Cardigan. He gave 10s. towards the meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in Cardigan in August 1859. On August 16th 1859 they visited and described the castle ruins:
“…the castle, which is so surrounded by buildings, and has suffered such dilapidations, that, without more careful examination, it was not easy to ascertain all its original details. It appears, however, to have been of a triangular form. Of the external works, two bastions and a connecting curtain are the principal remains, the latter later than the former, as appears from its junction with the towers. In the most northern of the bastions are two passages descending towards the river, one of which is said to have communicated with it by a sally-port, the other to lead to a chamber where a well supplied the inmates of the castle. In addition to these remains is what is called the keep, now converted into the mansion of the present owner, – a circular tower of massive and strong masonry, still retaining its underground apartments and passages, now used as cellars, and presenting some peculiarities of vaulting. Whether this tower was connected with the outer defences of the castle, or occupied a more central position, was not stated, that portion of the castle not being easily made out. The masonry is decidedly superior, and older than that of the bastions, which exhibit none of the work usually found in Norman castles. Gilbert Marshall is said to have rebuilt this stronghold in the middle of the thirteenth century, or rather to have increased and strengthened the works; for it is doubtful whether any part of the original structure still remains, unless the keep be a portion. Few castles appear to have undergone more assaults…’
In 1860 David Griffith Davies joined the newly-created Cardigan Company of Rifle Volunteers, as did one of the servants at Castle Green, Thomas Davies. That year, David Davies had his property at Gellifor, Nevern, rebuilt. The occupiers in 1861 were:- David Davies, 66, merchant and ship-owner (b. Cardigan); Elizabeth Davies, 53, wife (b. Cosheston); David Griffith Davies, 25, son, lime and slate merchant (b. Cardigan); Thomas Davies, 23, son (b. Cardigan); Servants – Mary Millar, 53, cook (b. St. Dogmaels); Anne Mathias, 24, Ladies Maid (b. Cilgerran), Mary Williams, 28, house maid (b. Eglwyswrw); and Sarah Evans, 18, kitchen maid (b. Cilgerran). The following persons lived at the Groom’s Cottage in the Stable Yard: James James, 39, coachman and groom (b. Llantood); Martha James, 38, his wife (b. Meline); David James, 16, their son (b. Meline); Mary James, 12, daughter (b. St. Dogmaels) and Lewis James, 1, son (b. Cardigan). On 15th December 1861 James James, groom, and his wife Martha James had their daughter, Martha James, christened at St. Mary’s Church. They were living at the Groom’s Cottage at the Stables at that time. In 1861 David Davies owned shares in the 251 ton Cardigan ship ‘Mary Ann Newell’. In 1862 D. K. W. Webley-Parry, sold to David Davies the foreshore rights to the south bank of the Teifi estuary, and the marsh and farms of Pentood, St. Dogmaels. In 1863 David Davies acquired shares in the 919 ton Cardigan ship ‘Goliah’. The vessel was lost at St. Lawrence River before the end of the year. On 21st February 1864 the 109-ton Cardigan brig, “Nancy”, which belonged to David Davies, foundered en route from Huelva to Liverpool. On 6th August 1864 Thomas Davies, younger son of David Davies, Castle Green, was buried at St. Mary’s Church having died aged 27 on 1st August.
In 1865 David Davies passed his business on to his son, David Griffith Davies, and Launcelot Lowther. The same year he had he vessel “Unity” broken up. In 1866 John Rowland Phillips wrote that:
“…it is quite clear that a …underground communication with the river exists at Cardigan castle…”
In 1866 the 29 ton Cardigan ship ‘Mary Ellen’, was transferred to David Griffith Davies & Launcelot Lowther. On 24th August 1866 David Griffith Davies won an honorary prize with a filly at Cardigan Agricultural Show. In 1868 David Griffith Davies owned shares in the 29 ton Cardigan ship ‘Mary Jane’. On 18th December 1868 a David Davies owned ship, “Sarah Anne”, a 133 ton Cardigan brig, was lost at sea. On 18th June 1869 the Davies-Lowther partnership ended and David Griffith Davies continued with the business alone.
The 1871 Census shows the occupiers as David Davies, 74, Head of the household, Deputy-Lieutenant, magistrate and Alderman, landowner (b. Cardigan); Elizabeth Davies, 62, wife (b. Cosheston); Mary Millar, 63, servant (b. Cenarth), cook; Anne Griffith, 32, servant, house maid; Mary Davies?, 22, servant, kitchen maid; Margaret Jenkins, 21, servant, chamber maid; and Anne Lloyd, 18, servant, scullery maid. David Owens, 71, widower, groom, lived at the Groom’s Cottage in the stable yard at that time. David Griffith Davies married Arabella Ann Berrington, daughter of the Rev. W. M. Davies, Vicar of Nolton, on 30th June 1871 at Nolton Church. According to the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘:
“…The entrance gate to the Castle Green was transformed into a splendid floral arch, whilst the trees on the grounds were hung with festoons of evergreens, interspersed with flags…At 6 o’clock, 24 workmen and part servants of the estate sat down to a bounteous spread at Castle Green, provided by Mrs. Millar, the house-keeper, in first rate style, consisting of roast beef and mutton, plum puddings &c., with a good supply of cwrw da and punch.
The grand “sit down” of the day, however, was at the Stores in the yard, which had been turned into a capital supper room, hung with evergreens, flags of various kinds…Upwards of 80 besides the band sat down…Castle Green grounds were hung with festoons of coloured Chinese lamps, which had a most charming appearance…”
The town was festooned with flags. Mr & Mrs D. G. Davies moved to Castle Green from Pantygrwndy, Llantood, on 7th July 1871. A son and heir, David Berrington Griffith Davies, was born to Mr & Mrs David Griffith Davies on 28th June 1872. On November 10th 1872 servant Margaret Jenkins of Castle Green married Thomas Mathias, merchant’s clerk, of St. Dogmaels. On 8th February 1873 David Davies, J. P., Deputy-Lieutenant, died aged 77. The ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser’ of 14th February 1873 stated:
“…Death of David Davies, Esq., CASTLE GREEN.
It is with the deepest regret, which we are sure will be shared in by the inhabitants of the town and district generally, that we are this week called upon to record the death of the above estimable gentleman, which sad event took place at his residence, Castle Green, in this Town, on Saturday evening last, in his 77th year. Mr Davies was for many years Alderman of the borough, a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Cardigan, Magistrate of the Counties of Pembroke and Cardigan, and in the year 1841 filled the important office of High Sheriff for this County; he was for the greater part of his long and useful life most intimately connected with the shipping interest, trade, and prosperity of the town, being himself a large shipowner and general merchant, and was always ready at any time to do all in his power, both personally and pecuniarily, for its benefit. To his numerous tenants, employees, and dependants he was kind and considerate; and to the poor truly a friend in need, and he will long be missed by many of the recipients of his bounty. The deceased gentleman’s remains will be interred tomorrow (Saturday) morning, in the family vault in St. Mary’s Churchyard…”
A private service was conducted at Castle Green House on 15th February, before the coffin was borne through the town to St. Mary’s Church for the public funeral. The ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘ of 21st February commented:
“…The funeral cortege was announced to start at 11 o’clock, but for sometime previous to that hour, Castle Green, the residence of the deceased gentleman, showed unmistakeable signs of the mournful event about to take place, a large number of persons – tenants, ministers of all denominations, the gentry, and tradesmen and others of the town and neighbourhood, uniting to pay the last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased. At the request of D. G. Davies, Esq., the only surviving son of the deceased, the service in the house was conducted in Welsh by the Rev. Griffith Thomas, the venerable and much-respected vicar of the parish. The remains, enclosed in three coffins, the outer one of polished Welsh oak, and covered with a rich black velvet pall trimmed with white silk, was borne on a bier on the shoulders of the employees, some of whom also acted as pall-bearers. The shops on the route to the church were closed, and the blinds of the private houses drawn down. In St. Mary’s Church the communion table, the pulpit, reading desk, and stools were heavily draped in black cloth, and the gasoliers hung with crepe; the bells tolled mournfully throughout the day, immediately after the service a muffled peal being rung; & the flags on the shipping in the river were hoisted half-mast high. The beautiful burial service of the Church of England both in the church (which was crowded) and at the grave, was most impressively read in Welsh by the Rev. T Jones, curate, some of the older tenants, and others claiming the lamented gentleman as their friend, being visibly affected. We should not forget to add that the funeral arrangements were entrusted to, and ably carried out by Mr. John James, Manchester house, in this town…”
On 17th February 1873 David Griffith Davies stood for his father’s seat on Cardigan Borough Council. In a report on the sanitary state of the town in 1873 it was noted that liquid manure ran freely from the Castle Green stables, though this was not perceived as a problem. On 1st April 1873 the cook, Mary Millar, died aged c.65. Elizabeth Anna Davies was born to David Griffith Davies and Arabella Anne Davies on September 15th 1873. On 19th December 1873 David Griffith Davies opened the Bridge Steam Sawmills, Bridge End, St. Dogmaels. On 29th March 1874 Anna Elizabeth Davies, infant daughter of Mr & Mrs David Griffith Davies, died aged six months. On 16th January 1875 another son was born to Mr & Mrs David Griffith Davies. Called William Bowen Davies, he was christened on 20th January 1875 at St. Mary’s Church, but died on 18th March 1875. At about this time it is alleged that David Griffith Davies allowed a party of visitors to descend the “Secret Passage” at Castle Green. Written many years later, Owen Williams’ ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘ account states:
“…Several have asked me to write my recollection of Castle Green of the 70′s and if it is true, that one could walk a mile or so through a secret underground tunnel that connected up with some historical place, etc., etc., at that time…asfar as I was concerned, matters came to a head one Sunday afternoon…I was talking it over with my uncle, the late Mr. James Evans, and he too was as enthusiastic about it as myself and just as keen about the idea of seeing for ourselves what there really was to be seen at Castle Green. So we decided to explore. We were very kindly received by the gentleman in residence at the time…but he was very reluctant to allow us to go down into the passages because of the danger of loose stones and earth-works being disturbed and blocking our return passage. Anyway, we at last persuaded him, that although very eager, we would proceed with the utmost caution, and so we lit a small piece of candle which we had brought with us for the occasion, and slowly down we went, step by step, until there were no more steps – we had reached bottom. I can still remember that the subterranean road that led on from there was well-made, and in good order. Excitement by now was running very high for us, and, with our ‘hearts in our mouth’, on and on we slowly went. Of course we had to proceed very slowly because of the dim and ghostly light the candle shed which only permitted us to see but a few yards ahead of us. Couple this with our strange and unfamiliar environment, and you will understand our feelings at the time. But alas, after going along for quite some time, we were suddenly halted, for right in our path was a big fall of roof, making it impossible for us to go further. This disappointed us rather badly, there was nothing for it but to retrace our steps.
Before I finish with this subject I may say that we both went down again some time later, but of course with the same result…As near as I can make it, the year of this adventure would be somewhere between 1874 and 1877…In passing may I venture to say that, judging by the skill and workmanship in the construction of the Castle Green tunnel, it was a very important factor in the military strategy of that ancient Castle. That’s all I know of that traditional and mysterious passage and if asked in what direction it led to, I’m afraid I could not answer with any degree of certainty; but this I can say, I do not recall any turning while down there, and as a guess, I would say that our farthest point reached – where fallen roof blocked our way – would be underneath the middle of the river Tivy. The fact that we faced in that direction when going down, and there being no turning that would confuse our bearing after reaching bottom, plus the distance travelled straight on, makes my guess a very feasible one…”
On 1st January 1876 David Griffith Davies announced via letter that his business interests would be transferred to a new company called “The Cardigan Mercantile Company”. On 27th January 1876 another son was born to Mr. & Mrs. David Griffith Davies. On 7th February 1876 the child was christened Thomas Bowen Davies at St. Mary’s Church. On 18th April 1876 Thomas Wilson, the gardener, married Mrs. Sarah Mathias of Quay Street. On 27th October 1876 David Griffith Davies took £1000 in shares in the new Whitland-Cardigan Railway. In 1876 he had the 92-ton Cardigan brig, “Acorn”, converted into a schooner.
On 26th October 1877 there was a sale of cattle and livestock from the stables. On 11th April 1878 a daughter, Arabella Elizabeth Anna Davies, was born to Mr. & Mrs. David Griffith Davies and was christened at St. Mary’s Church on 18th April 1878. On 12th June 1878 the “South Wales Eisteddfod” was held in the town and David Griffith Davies was the President. On 26th April 1879 Arabella Elizabeth Anna Davies, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. David Griffith Davies, died aged 1 year. On 26th October 1879 a son, George Aubrey Davies, was born to the same couple. In 1880 Archibald Arroll was the gardener. On 15th October 1880 David Griffith Davies was about to step down from Cardigan Borough Council.
In 1881 Archibald Arroll, 32, gardener; his wife, Janet Arroll, 34; and infant son, Robert Arroll, 3, occupied the property. The Davies’ were probably at their Clifton house at this time. On 29th September 1882 until at least February 1884 Mr. & Mrs. H. C. Cobb were resident. They were probably tenants. In 1883 Mr. & Mrs. David Griffith Davies were living at No. 24 Upper Belglade Road, Clifton, Bristol. At about that time William Phillips was first employed as the gardener – and remained here until the family sold the property in 1923. On 20th February 1884 Mrs. David Griffith Davies gave birth to a stillborn baby girl at No. 24 Upper Belglade Road, Clifton, Bristol. On 7th August 1885 Thomas Thomas of the Mwldan, fell 22ft whilst working on some repairs here. In November 1886 Mrs. Elizabeth Davies, formerly of Castle Green, died aged 78. She had long been an invalid and had lived in Tenby. On 22nd November 1886 the following item appeared in the ‘Weekly Mail‘:
“…THE LATE Mrs. Davies, OF CASTLE GREEN.
The funeral of the late Mrs. Davies, relict of the late Mr. David Davies, J.P.. D.L., of Castle Green, Cardigan, and Pentood, Pembrokeshire, took place on Tuesday at the Parish Churchyard of St. Mary, Cardigan, the officiating clergymen being the Revs. J. Cynog Davies, B.D., vicar, and T. M. Williams, B.A., curate. There was a large concourse of gentry and general public present, all anxious to testify their sense of respect and esteem to the memory of one who was much liked. Mrs. Davies had suffered severely in the last two years from an attack of paralysis, during which time she resided at Tenby, and from whence her body was conveyed by train to Cardigan on Monday afternoon. Several choice wreaths were placed on the coffin by members of the deceased’s family. Mrs. Davies was 78 years of age, and her death took place on the 17th inst…”
The castle is shown on the 1887 O. S. map. In November 1888 David Griffith Davies stood in the Cardigan Borough Council election, but failed to win a seat. In 1889 David Griffith Davies sold Gellifor near Nevern, and Bank House on Cardigan High Street. On 5th September 1890 the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘ carried the following story:
“…SAD GUN ACCIDENT AT CARDIGAN.
On Monday last, a sad accident occurred to Mr. Berrington Davies, eldest son of Mr. D G Davies, Castle Green, in this town, which has drawn forth an universal feeling of sympathy throughout the town and neighbourhood. Very little is known of the sad affair, except that Mr. Davies went up the river in his canoe, taking his gun with him, and when near the Forest quarries, having evidently lifted the former out of the water, the gun exploded, shattering the right arm between the wrist and the elbow, in a very shocking manner. The gun was found lying in the canoe, in the place he usually carried it. The unfortunate young gentleman, with much presence of mind, made at once for Carnarvon cottage, where he fainted. Medical aid was at once sent for, and Dr. Phillips was speedily in attendance, and in the afternoon Mr. Davies was conveyed by water to Castle Green, where his injuries were more carefully seen to, with the sorrowful result that his arm had to be amputated a little above the elbow. Mr. Davies was well known and respected in and about Cardigan, and the utmost sympathy is consequently felt for him and for his parents, throughout the country…”
On 19th September 1890 the following article appeared in the ‘Cambrian News’:
“…CARDIGAN. NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING.
On Friday evening last, just above Cardigan Bridge, the sons of Mr David Griffith Davies, of the Castle, and Dr J. M Phillips narrowly escaped drowning. They had been out in the canoe on the river during the afternoon. About 5 p.m. the canoe was seen to overturn and both were precipitated into the river. Young Phillips immediately made for the shore, but Davies, who is not a swimmer, clung to the boat until rescued. The report of the accident created sympathy with the Castle family, as during the past fortnight their eldest son received a severe accident from his gm when taking it out from his canoe which necessitated the amputation of his right arm…”
In 1891 Castle Green was occupied by David Griffith Davies, head, 55, living on his own income (b. Cardigan); Arabella Anne Davies, 45, his wife (b. Nolton); David Berrington Griffith Davies, 18, their son (b. Cardigan); George Aubrey Davies, 11, son (b. Cardigan); Mary Evans, servant, 37, cook and domestic servant (b. Cardigan); Sarah Davies, 29, housemaid (b. Cilgerran); Sarah Harris, teacher, 21, teacher ‘Nursery’ ?? (b. Clifton, Bristol). On 27th May 1892 it was noted that Mrs. David Griffith Davies was supplying old newspapers to the Cardigan Union Workhouse, St. Dogmaels. On 19th August 1892 Mrs. Arabella Anne Davies advertised for a new house-parlour maid. On 17th February 1893 Mary Phillips, wife of William Phillips, gardener here, died aged 31. On 24th April 1895 David Griffith Davies became a warden of St. Mary’s Church.
On 18th December 1897 George Aubrey Davies, 18, son of David Griffith Davies, was killed in a shooting accident. He had been shot through the right eye at close range with a revolver. The verdict of accidental death was given. Ellen Owen was the house and parlour maid, Rachel Davies was the cook and James Barber was the coachman. The funeral was held on 24th December 1897. The ‘Cardigan Observer‘ carried the following report of the tragedy:
“…TERRIBLE SHOOTING ACCIDENT AT CASTLE GREEN, CARDIGAN.
SAD END OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN.
A great sensation was caused at Cardigan on Saturday evening last by the news that Mr George Aubrey Davies, youngest son of Mr D. G. Davies, J.P., The Castle, had been found dead in his bedroom, with a bullet wound in the head. It appears that the deceased had only returned home from College on Thursday for his holidays. On Saturday at two o’clock he had partaken of lunch with the family and Mrs Saunders-Davies (Pentre) and the Rev. Rhys J. Lloyd (Troedyraur), after which he went to the stables for his gun, but finding that he was short of tobacco went to town to buy some, as he intended going out to shoot over his father’s farm at Pentood-isaf, where, it was assumed, he had gone, as he was not seen afterwards, and Jas. Barber was despatched after him with his overcoat, &c. About half-past five o’clock, the kitchen maid had occasion to go into the bedroom, when she observed the deceased lying on the floor of the room. Concluding that something was wrong she summoned the gardener, who, on entering the room, found his young master lying dead on the floor. There was a bullet wound in the head. On the floor close by he found a six-chambered revolver, five chambers of which were empty, and one contained an exploded cartridge. On the bed were found five cartridges, and the bedroom window was partly open. It is surmised that the deceased had gone to his bedroom to seek for cartridges for his rook-rifle, as he was short and found some in his brother’s bedroom, together with the six-chambered revolver, and that he was either in the act of extracting the cartridges or examining the barrel, when the charge exploded, and the bullet penetrated his eye when open, as there is no mark on the lids, coming out at the crown of the head, and lodging in the ceiling of the room, where it was found and subsequently extracted. Dr. Phillips and Dr. Jones were soon in attendance, but found that life had been extinct for some time.
From what can be ascertained it appears that some of the servants heard the sound of firearms about half-past three o’clock, but as that was not unusual, birds being shot in the garden and grounds, they took no notice of the occurrence. It further transpires that the revolver did not belong to the deceased, but to his brother, who is from home, and that deceased must have taken it and the bag which contained the cartridges from his brother’s room. Great sympathy is felt with the family in their great and sudden bereavement. Some seven years ago the eldest son lost an arm through the explosion of a gun whilst shooting wild ducks in a boat on the river.
THE INQUEST AT CASTLE GREEN.
At noon on Monday last, an inquest was held in the dining-room at Castle Green, the residence of deceased’s father, touching the death of Master George Aubrey Davies, who was found dead in his room on Saturday evening, before Mr J. H. Evans, district coroner, and a jury, of which Mr Levi James, J.P., Caemorgan, was foreman, which lasted for four hours. The jurymen were Messrs. D. O. Jones, E. Ceredig Evans, J. C. Roberts, Owen Evans, H. Morgan, John Daniel, A. Clougher. Wm. Rees, George Thomas, Lewis Evans, W. R. Thomas, and H. L. L. Williams. Mr Henry R. Daniel was present on behalf of the family. The coroner, in his opening remarks, said he had attended that day at some inconvenience so as to comply with the wish of his old friend Mr D. G. Davies, with whom he deeply sympathised in his sudden and sad bereavement, as the incident was a very melancholy one-a young and promising life being cut short with such a sad ending. Indiscriminate use of fire arms seemed to be made by the sons about the house, which, to him, did not seem judicious especially after the sad accident which befell the eldest son some years ago, which necessitated amputation of an arm. After an allusion to the circumstances of the case, the coroner and the jury went to view the body, which was laid out in the room where the sad event took place. Mr Henry R. Daniel having called the attention of the coroner to the report which had appeared in the Western Mail that morning, and which, he thought, reflected on the family, expressed a hope that the jury would not take cognisance of, the coroner replied that he thought they would not; and besides there was nothing objectionable in the report to which attention had been called.
The following evidence was taken on oath:— Mrs Saunders-Davies, Pentre, stated that she was a guest at luncheon at the Castle Green on Saturday. She saw deceased, who seemed perfectly cheerful, and asked him to come and stay at Pentre with her. He accepted the invitation cheerfully, remarking that he would be very pleased to come. She meant the invitation for a period after Christmas, when it would be convenient for his mother to part with him. Deceased had spent much time with her. Mr Daniel Deceased was bright and cheerful-more so than usual, and assisted at the table during lunch.
Ellen Owen stated that she was a house and parlour maid at Castle Green. Deceased came home from college on Thursday evening last, and was the youngest son of Mr & Mrs Davies. He was fond of sporting, as also were his brothers, who were from home. When home they used frequently to go out shooting together. On Saturday morning last the residents of the Castle Green were Mr & Mrs Davies, deceased, Wm Hartnett (valet), Maggie Evans- (kitchen maid), Rachel Evans (cook), James Barber (stable boy), and herself. Deceased was out shooting in the morning. She saw him at 9 a.m. at breakfast; at 11 a.m., when she gave him a glass of milk; and at about 1.30 p.m., when he came to lunch with his father and mother and the Rev. R. J. Lloyd (Troedyraur), and Mrs Saunders Davies (Pentre). Then he seemed quite cheerful as usual. The last time she saw him alive was between 2.30 and 3 p.m., when he left the lunch- room.
It was her duty to look after deceased’s bedroom. About 4 p.m., when Mr & Mrs Davies and herself were in the dining-room they heard a shot, and the impression she received was that it was fired in the house, and that some- one was shooting through the window, as the sons were accustomed to do sometimes; but Mrs Davies was startled and asked where was Master George (meaning deceased). Turning to Mr Davies she enquired Where is Georgie? Has he got his gun again?” At this time Mrs Saunders-Davies and the Rev. R. J. Lloyd were in the drawing-room. She thought her mistress was a little startled at the sound they had heard, but Mr Davies passed it off as a joke. He said nothing, and only laughed in a jocular manner. Mrs Saunders-Davies and the Rev. R. J. Lloyd left afterwards. About.4 p.m. the cook and her-self went upstairs, the former to make her master’s bed, and she to close the windows. On entering deceased’s bedroom she saw a revolver on the floor, it being between her and deceased’s body entering the room through the door she went. She did not know what it was, and looked at it. She afterwards saw deceased’s left foot on the dressing-table, with the body lying partly on the right side. She looked at deceased’s face, and observing that there was blood on it ran for the cook, who was in her master’s bedroom. She came back with her, and after seeing what had taken place went downstairs and told the kitchen maid to go to fetch Wm. Phillips, the gardener. Neither of the servants touched the condition of things in the room, and she went to call Dr. Jones, the family doctor, but he was not at home consequently she called Dr. Phillips, who came without delay.
Outside Dr. Phillips’ door the gardener brought a word that deceased was dead, and they proceeded to the house together. Their master and mistress were much attached to the deceased. She had been in service at Castle Green for two years before her present engagement, but had never noticed any fire arms in the bedrooms. Sometimes the sons would shoot from the bedroom windows at birds, etc., in the gardens. Some seven years ago deceased’s brother’s arm had to be amputated owing to a gun shot wound received. There was no sort of unpleasantness in the family. Mr Daniel did not think the sound of a gun unusual, as the sons used to shoot a good deal about the grounds. Deceased used firearms. he had been shooting in the front in the morning, and had brought into the house a pigeon. It was the duty of the cook to make her master’s bed, and she to close the windows. Mrs Davies was always a bit anxious and fidgety about the children, He seemed very merry with the guests at luncheon. By the Coroner She thought the revolver belonged to Master Bowen (deceased’s brother). Deceased used to sleep by himself, and the revolver was in his brother’s bedroom. She never knew of any other revolver being in the house, and never saw deceased firing one. She found deceased lying opposite the window which opened into the gardener’s garden. She could not tell where the gardener was at the time. Deceased used to shoot with a gun. She had never seen the revolver produced before last Saturday evening on the floor of the bedroom. She had never heard that deceased was in difficulties or trouble of any kind which might lead to a rash act.
By Mr Daniel: When shooting through the window she could not tell whether the boys used a revolver or a gun. By the Coroner Had not observed any cartridges about the bedrooms, but had seen a revolver in Master Bowen’s possession. By Jurymen: She had seen deceased shoot with an air-gun once. The bedroom window was partly open when she entered the room, and it was dark, necessitating a candle. The revolver was on the left side of the body. She heard no groans or any signs of life when she entered the room. Deceased’s father was not in the house, but at Pentood, when the accident was discovered, but his mother was in the drawing-room with Mrs Pritchard, The Priory. When Mrs Davies went upstairs to dress for the purpose of going out with Mrs Pritchard, she told the latter what she had discovered, Mrs Pritchard breaking the sad news to Mrs Davies, who became very wild and rushed upstairs in spite of the endeavours made to keep her back. Mr Davies had gone to Pentood soon after the sound of a shot was heard.
Rachel Davies stated that she was a cook at Castle Green, and remembered being called by Ellen Owen last Saturday to deceased’s bedroom. When she entered the room she saw deceased on the floor with his head partly under the bed, and the point of his left foot on the dressing table, the revolver on the floor beside him and close to his right foot. There was a pool of blood on the floor near his face. Nothing was touched until the gardener came, who removed a little of the head out and the foot from the dressing-table, inspecting the hands to see whether life was extinct. She had always noticed that the deceased was of a cheerful disposition and very happy. Did not see him using a revolver, but witnessed him taking down a rifle from its place in the kitchen on Friday together with some cartridges. She had never seen the revolver before. She had been there six months.
By Mr Daniel She had heard a shot and a bump about 3.30 p.m. or 4 p.m. upstairs. Deceased had been shooting in the morning, as he had brought in a wood-pigeon to her before lunch time. She believed Wm. Phillips, the gardener, was at Pentood at 4 p.m. James Barber, the stable boy, she believed, saw deceased about 3 p.m. in the saddle room. The kitchen was just under deceased’s bedroom.
James Barber said he was coachman at Castle Green. He had last seen deceased alive about 2.30 p.m. on Saturday last, when he came from the house to the stable with him. Taking out his pouch, deceased found he had no tobacco, and left saying he was going to Mr Jones, chemist, for some, at the same time requesting him to leave the rifle where it was, as he was going to shoot at Pentood that afternoon. He did not see deceased afterwards till it was about 6 p.m., when he was called up to the bedroom by one of the maids, and found he was dead on the floor, with a wound apparently in the eye, and blood on the floor. Dr. Phillips arrived soon after him. He was not aware of any vexation or trouble which might have affected deceased. Deceased was in the best of spirits when he left the stables.
By Mr Daniel: Master George had been out for a ride that morning, had put the horse in the stable, and taken off the bridle in his absence. It was after witness had had his dinner that deceased accompanied him to the stables, and he found he was without tobacco. By a juror: Did not hear a shot, neither did he see deceased using a revolver. By Mr Daniel: He had been sent to Pentood with deceased’s overcoat, for fear he would take cold, as his mother was under the impression that deceased had gone there to shoot. When he had failed to see deceased, and returned to the house, the first news he had was that deceased had been found dead in his bedroom. It was Ellen Owen, by request of Mrs Davies, had sent him to Pentood with the overcoat. Deceased did not tell witness that he was short of cartridges for the rifle.
Mr T. M. Daniel, ironmonger, stated that he had had a conversation with deceased between half-past one and two o’clock on Saturday respecting the state of his bicycle. As he was very busy that day, it being market day, he said that he would bring it to him on Monday for inspection. The rifle produced was a rook-rifle. The revolver cartridges would not fit the rifle, as they were too large, and the rifle cartridges were much too small for the revolver. Sometime ago he had supplied a box of 50 cartridges for the rifle, but none for the revolver.
Dr. Phillips stated that he was a registered medical practitioner at Cardigan. He was summoned to Castle Green about 6.10 p.m. or 6.15 p.m. on Saturday last. When he went to the bedroom he saw deceased lying on his right side between the bed, the dressing table and the wall, his head being a little under the bed, and his legs slightly bent. The gardener had informed him that he had removed deceased’s foot, which was resting on the dressing table, on to the floor. He knew the body to be that of Master George Aubrey Davies. He noticed that there was a good deal of blood coming from the right eye and over the right cheek. There was also a quantity of blood on the floor under and behind the head. He was dead when he saw him. From his examination of the body he was satisfied that the bullet entered the right eye and came out through the top part of the skull (near the crown). The ball had gone through the brain, as there were found small portions of it mixed up with the blood. There were instances on record of life not becoming extinct for days after the brain had been penetrated, and he treated a case of a boy who bad fractured his skull, and the brain protruding, but he recovered, and was still alive, feeling alright. An injury to the brain might, or might not, cause paralysis. Assuming that deceased was standing up by the table and in front of the window, and falling simultaneously with the explosion, he might have been sufficiently conscious to rest his foot on the dressing table, and quoted instances of persons living for days after injuring the brain. The shot had been discharged very close to the face, as the skin, nose, and lip were scorched, and powder grains found in the skin. In his opinion it was impossible for the shot to have been fired outside the room, taking all the circumstances into consideration, as well as the angle of the shot. He had seen the bullet mark in the ceiling of the room almost directly above where the body was found. The bullet produced was found embedded in the ceiling, and extracted by Wm. Phillips, the gardener. The cap produced, which was worn by deceased, has a bullet mark behind, corresponding with the hole in the scalp, which was big enough for him to put his finger in. He had no hesitation ia saying that death was caused by a gun-shot wound through the brain, and believed it was self-inflicted. He had heard the evidence of the previous witnesses, which had assisted him to arrive at his conclusions.
By Mr Daniel: The wound was caused when deceased was standing, the direction of the bullet indicating that such was the case. There were no indications of a struggle having taken placebo. the room. All the circumstances pointed to the fact that the injuries were self-inflicted. He had never before noticed a small spring trigger behind the main one in a revolver, which let off the shot at half-cock. He had examined the revolver, which was found at the foot of the bed, and the dressing-table which was in front of the window and filled the recess, and concluded that deceased must have been close to the dressing-table when the shot went off. There was blood on the table, but it was brought there when they were examining a particle of brain. The revolver which had six chambers was examined by him, five of which he had found empty, and one containing an exploded cartridge case. The red bag produced was found unbuttoned and on the bed near the foot. It contained five cartridges—three fitting the revolver and two the rifle. Deceased had been dead an hour or an hour and a half before he saw him.
Dr. Jones said he arrived at Castle Green about 6.30 p.m., and had examined the body con-jointly with the last witness, and confirmed the opinions expressed by him that death was self-inflicted and accidental. On examining deceased’s pockets he had found in the left pocket of the trousers two rifle cartridges in the left pocket of the coat a box of matches, and in the other a packet of tobacco unopened. William Phillips, gardener, stated that he had been in service with Mr Davies for the last 12 years. He last saw deceased alive between 10 and 11 o’clock on Saturday morning, he having passed him on horse-back going for a ride, whilst he was on the road going to Pentood to plant trees. Deceased returned soon. He had never seen deceased using a revolver, but saw Master Bowen, who had gone to Africa, using one many times. The boys were in the habit of shooting from the windows at birds, &c. He did not think deceased knew anything about a revolver. Deceased was in the best of spirits. The Coroner having summed up, the jury brought in a verdict without retiring of Accidental death,” and expressed profound sympathy (as also did the Coroner) with Mr Davies and the family in their sad bereavement…”
The funeral of George Aubrey Davies took place on 24th December 1897. On 14th April 1898 David Griffith Berrington Davies married Miss Mary Charlotte Stewart Banfield in St. Erth’s Church, Penzance. She was the daughter of the late Edward Banfield of Buenos Ayres, and Mrs. Banfield of Tolroy, Hayle, Cornwall. According to the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘:
“…During the day the employees, &c., on the estate were entertained to dinner at the Castle…At the entrance to The Castle grounds from Green Street was a pretty arch, composed of choice flowering plants, evergreens, art muslin, and flags, the centre being an orange tree in full bloom, erected by Mr William Phillips, the gardener. In the grounds were also several flags placed among the foliage…”
On 5th November 1898 Martha Maitland, 32, of Castle Green, presumably a member of staff, married Thomas Evans, 36, a sailor from Parkllyn, Aberporth. On 31st January 1899 a son was born to the wife of David Berrington Griffith Davies of Pencraig, Boncath. In September 1899 David Griffith Davies advertised for a new gardener/groom and cook. In September 1899 David Griffith Davies complained about the water supply to the castle. The castle was, naturally, referred to in the 1899 ‘Cardigan Guide’. On 28th October 1901 John Rowlands, valet to David Griffith Davies, was the subject of an inquest. Ellen Owen, house and parlour maid, found his body on the steps leading to the coal-cellar, his head against the door frame. Deceased was about 65 years of age. Miss Ellen Davies was a servant here that year. The ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘ of 1st November 1901 carried the following report:
“…On Monday evening last, an inquest was held at The Castle, on the body of John Rowlands, a valet in the employ of Mr D. G. Davies. Dr. Powell of Newcastle-Emlyn, was the deputy coroner, and Mr. Henry F. Davies foreman of the jury, which was composed of the principal tradesmen of the town. – Dr. Powell said he thought the case was a very simple one, and one of those sudden deaths, over which no one had any control, and one which really they could scarcely deal with. –The body having been viewed, the pith of the evidence was as follows:-
Ellen Owen said she was a servant at Castle Green, and knew the deceased as her fellow servant for the last three months. She last saw him alive about half-past five o’clock on Saturday evening. She passed him on the stairs, and he was passing from the drawing room at the time. She did not speak to him; he appeared to be all right; and in his usual health. She did not see him alive after that. He was going from the drawing-room to the dining-room; but she did not see him turn into the dining-room. At about a quarter past 7 she had occasion to go to the coal cellar, and then she saw the deceased with his head against the door post leading to the coal cellar, with his body on the steps. She looked at his face, and found he was quite dead; but he did not touch him, and called the gardener. At tea-time she thought the deceased was somewhat merry, which was rather unusual with him. She thought he had had a drop of drink, but he was far from being drunk, and was only merry. She had seen him merry before, but he was always steady. The lavatory was in the direction of the cellar, the deceased seemed to be going to. Deceased was decidedly not in drink, only merry.
David John Thomas said he was a plumber, living at the Drawbridge, in this town. On the evening in question he was standing outside New Manchester House, about quarter-past seven, when Mr. John James Jones called to him to come down to Castle Green. He at once ran down, and found several persons in the side hall, waiting with candles, and they found the deceased lying on the stairs of the cellar, with his head at the bottom of the stairs, against the door post, and his left arm under him. The top of his head was touching the frame of the door. He took hold of the body, and examined it. He was bleeding from the left ear and left nostril, but he thought the blood from the ear was not so much as fro the nostril. There was blood also on the floor. There was a small wound on the left side of the head, which was bleeding. The deceased had some bread in his mouth, and there was some on the stairs. There were no marks on the stairs as if of slipping, and taking the level of the steps, he thought the deceased could have only fallen about four or five feet. Dr. Stephens arrived in about five minutes, and examined the body, which was then quite cold; and afterwards Inspector Williams arrived.
Inspector Denis Williams said he was called to the Castle about 7.35, and he saw the body as described by the last witness. There was a considerable quantity of blood by the door post, against which the deceased’s head had struck. There was bleeding fro the left ear; a wound on the right side of the head, with a deep indent on the top of the head. The wound on the right side of the skull was down to the bone, and he could feel the bone. There was some bread in the mouth of the deceased, and some toasted bread on the ground where the body was found. The body was quite cold. He (the witness) was a certificated Ambulance man, and he thought death was due to the fracture of the base of the skull.
The jury then examined the stairs, over which the deceased must have fallen. – A juryman suggested one of the doctors called in should have given evidence, but the foreman of the jury thought with the evidence of Inspector Williams as a certificated Ambulance man, and the fact that Dr. Powell, the deputy coroner, was quite capable of stating the cause of death, nothing more was needed, and that a verdict of death by misadventure by falling over the stairs should be returned. – This was at once agreed to, and the enquiry terminated. – The deceased was a native of Brynmawr, Monmouthshire, and was about 65 years of age…”
The Census Returns for 1901 list the inhabitants of Castle Green that year as: David Griffith Davies, 65, living on own means (b. Cardigan, bilingual); Arabella Ann Davies, 57, his wife (b. Nolton, English-speaking); Sarah James, 38, cook and domestic servant (b. Llangoedmor, bilingual); Ellen Davies, 36, housemaid (b. Llechryd, bilingual); Ellen Owen, 20, kitchen maid (b. Cilgerran, bilingual); and William Hartnett, 53, valet (b. Limerick, English-speaking). On 23rd June 1902 Thomas Bowen Davies of Castle Green, younger brother of David Berrington Griffith Davies, married Katherine Mary Anne Taylor of Natal, South Africa. On 28th August 1902 the following item appeared in the ‘Aberystwyth Observer‘:
“…CARDIGAN. Cardigan was again beautifully decorated on Saturday evening in honour of the return home from South Africa of Mr T. Bowen Davies, of the Natal Mounted Police, and second son of Mr D. G. Davies, the Castle, from his long services in South Africa prior to and during the recent war. Mr Davies was one of the heroes of Ladysmith during its defence by General White. He has borne the brunt of many a hard fight, and as a change was laid up for two months with enteric fever. His reception on Saturday night was a popular one, and all the more to be valued because of its spontaneous character. The Volunteers turned out almost en masse with their band and met Mr Davies at the station, the streets being lined by hundreds of people, who cheered him to the echo. Entering an open carriage, Mr Davies was drawn by the Volunteers to Guild-hall-square, where he and his father returned thanks. Torches were lit, and the procession wended its way to the Castle, the entrance and grounds of which were beautifully illuminated, as were also Bridge End and some other parts of the town…”
Reference was made on 29th August 1902 to Tudor Bowen Davies, second son of David Griffith Davies. David Griffith Davies had the 510-ton steamer “Castle Green” built that year. On 28th November 1903 a son was born to Thomas Bowen Davies of Castle Green in Natal, South Africa. Reference to John Vaughan of Castle Green in 1904 must have been to a resident servant. On 4th January 1906 David Griffith Davies died aged 70 after a long illness. The ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘ the following day reported the following:
“…After a period of intense suffering lasting over many years, Cardigan is again bereft of a member of an old resident family, who in his earlier years was an active public personage, and one of Cardigan’s magnates. We allude to the death of Mr. David Griffith Davies, J. P., of The Castle. Very few indeed of the present generation remember him owing to his latent afflictions, but those who had the privilege of doing so in the time gone by, will long regard him as an ardent supporter of every good cause in the town, and as an owner of property always a considerate landlord. Blunt in exterior and speech, he wore a warm heart underneath, and probably none but those who knew him intimately knew what he felt under a somewhat severe countenance. After all there was a sunny smile which greeted his acquaintances as long as affliction allowed him to be about and those who remember him at all will cherish his memory as a kindly friend, a good neighbour, and as one innocent at heart who would wrong no man, and the old family vault in St. Mary’s churchyard will receive no member of the family more respected. As an agriculturalist the deceased was always to the fore, and the many improvements introduced by him will be of lasting importance…”
On 10th January 1906 he was buried at the family plot in St. Mary’s cemetery. On 12th January 1906 the following appeared in the ‘Cambrian News‘:
“…Death of Mr D. G. Davies, The Castle, Cardigan.—After some eight years of suffering, the death of Mr David Griffith Davies, J.P., The Castle Cardigan, took place at six o’clock on Thursday morning, January 4th. For some months, deceased had been confined to his chamber and had suffered intensely. His age was seventy years. Deceased was connected with several of the oldest families in the district. In 1826, deceased’s grandfather (Mr Thos. Davies) filled the office of high sheriff of Cardiganshire, as also did his father in 1841 Deceased leaves a wife and two sons to mourn their loss—the eldest, Mr. Berrington Davies, will succeed the deceased to the estate and the youngest son is in South Africa. The interment took place in the family’ vault at St Mary’s Church, Cardigan, on Wednesday last…”
David Griffith Davies’ widow Arabella Ann Davies remained resident until 1923. On 21st February 1907 Mrs. Arabella Ann Davies entertained 80 children who were members of a penny savings scheme to tea at the castle. In 1907 Anne Jones was a servant. On 21st July 1908 a number of the children of Thomas Bowen Davies & Katherine Mary Ann Davies of South Africa, grandchildren of Arabella Ann Davies of Castle Green, were christened at St. Mary’s Church during a stay here. They were Tudor Griffith Bowen Davies (b. 24/11/1903), Joyce Rose Davies (b 03/11/1904), Arabella Katherine Davies (b. 13/07/1906) and Gwenllian Mary Muriel Davies (b. 11/11/1907). In a newspaper article dated 19/02/1909, reference was made to a whalebone arch in the grounds, donated years earlier by Captain James Ellis to David Griffith Davies. They originally stood at the Ropewalk, Bridge End, St. Dogmaels, where youngsters covered them in graffiti, but were removed here by David Griffith Davies. A Memorial Window to David Griffith Davies was installed at St. Mary’s Church in 1910.
On 17th October 1912 Miss F. A. Gwynne, for many years the parlour-maid at Castle Green, married William Evans of High Street, Cilgerran. In 1912 Mrs. Arabella Ann Davies was the Vice-Chairman of the Teifi Lawn Tennis Club and in 1913-14 she was Chairperson of the local Red Cross branch. In March 1913 she advertised for a house parlour maid and then a chauffeur, the latter had to be a teetotaller. Arthur Lewis Davies became her chauffeur until about 1920, and lived at No. 2 Green Street. On 22nd August 1913 she treated her staff to an outing to Aberporth. In 1914 Tewdwr Griffith Bowen Davies came to live here with his grandmother – Mrs. Arabella Ann Davies. On 3rd December 1914 sixteen Belgian refugees were entertained here during their stay in Cardigan. Mrs. Arabella Ann Davies had a car by that date. David Berrington Griffith Davies was still living here in 1914-16. On 2nd October 1917 George Stewart Berrington Davies and Joyce Prioleau – only daughter of Captain St. William Louis St. John Prioleau of Penylan, Llandygwydd – were married. George Stewart Berrington Davies was the son of David Berrington Griffith Davies of Parcygors, Llangoedmor and Castle Green. On 17th October 1917 all of the Castle Green tenants were splendidly entertained here. On 19th October 1917 the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘ reported the following:
“…The tenants of the Castle Green Estate were entertained to dinner at Castle Green on Wednesday afternoon, at the invitation of Mr & Mrs D Berrington G Davies, Parcygors, and Mrs. Davies, Castle Green, to celebrate the wedding of Sec.-Lieutenant George Stuart Berrington Davies, the young heir to the estate, to Miss Joyce Prioleau, the daughter of Major W L Prioleau of Penylan. About 75 of the invited guests attended, others being unable to be present owing to various causes, and the function proved a most pleasant one for all concerned.
A spacious marquee had been erected in the grounds, and flags of all descriptions lent a note of colour to the scene. A dinner of excellent quality had been prepared by Mr. W L Miles, Victoria Restaurant, and his staff, and all were satisfied with the good fare provided…”
On 15th January 1919 Mrs. Arabella Ann Davies paid for a dinner for former Prisoners of War at the Victoria Coffee Tavern, Priory Street. On 26th October 1919 George Stuart Berrington Davies, 2nd Lieutenant, 5th Battalion Rifle Brigade, died aged 20 from an illness contracted in North Russia, whilst on active service. On 14th May 1920 several parts of the estate at Bridge-End and St. Dogmaels were sold off. These were: Nos. 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 22 and 24 Castle Street; The Coach-Building premises of Mr. George (No. 20 Castle Street); the Sculptor’s Yard of Mr. Jenkins (No. 11 Castle Street); the shop of Mr. J. E. Jones (No. 26 Castle Street); 3 houses in St. Dogmells Road; 3 houses at the lime-kilns, Cardigan; Bridge End Steam Laundry with adjoining house and yard; 3 houses in Davies Street, St. Dogmells; and four fields at Bridge-End, Cardigan. In 1920 Miss Sarah Smith became a servant at Castle Green. On 7th December 1922 Henry Starkey, 22, a member of the Welsh Regiment, married servant Sarah Smith, 24, of Castle Green. On 8th December 1923 the following appeared in the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser‘:
“…A ROMANCE. SOLDIER COMES TO CARDIGAN FOR HIS BRIDE.
A pretty romance is revealed by a wedding which took place at St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan on Thursday morning. Years ago a boy and girl made acquaintance with each other in a London home. The lad was in course of time sent to work on a farm in the Cardigan district, and eventually the girl also was sent into service in this district. They renewed their acquaintance just over seven years ago, only to be again separated, the young man joining the Army. About two years ago the young woman entered the service of Mrs. Davies, Castle Green, and remained there until this week, when the soldier returned seeking his sweetheart. A happy meeting was the result and on Thursday morning the “wedding bells” rang out and the couple were made man and wife at the parish church.
When our representative visited Castle Green on Thursday morning he was just in time to join the happy wedding group which was being photographed by Mr. Squibbs in front of the house. Mrs. Davies, Castle Green took the greatest interest in the bride and accompanied her to church, where she gave her away. The popular Curate of Cardigan, the Rev. Evan G. Jones, acted as the bridgegroom’s “best man”, and the nuptial knot was tied by the Vicar, the Rev. D. M. Jones. After the ceremony, the party drove back to Castle Green, where Mrs. Davies had generously prepared a sumptuous wedding breakfast, after which the happy couple went for a motor trip to Newcastle-Emlyn in a car also provided by Mrs. Davies. The bride’s name was Miss Sarah Smith, and the bridegroom Private Henry Starkey, of the 2nd Welch Regiment, stationed at Cardiff.
They were the recipients of numerous presents and the blushing bride wished our representative to put the report in our paper as nicely as possible to show how kindly the people of Cardigan had treated two strangers in our midst. Thus is added one more romance to the annals of the history of the castle…”
Tudor Griffith Bowen Davies lived here in 1923. In 1923 Miss Annie Watkins was a servant here. On 5th June 1923 Mrs. Joyce Berrington Davies, widow of George Stuary Berrington Davies, married Owen Saunders Davies of Pentre. On 25th June 1923 Arabella Ann Davies, widow of David Griffith Davies, died here aged 80 “…after a painful illness borne with Christian fortitude…” She was buried at the Davies family vault at St. Mary’s Church.
By 13th July 1923 David Berrington Griffith Davies had purchased Plas Llangoedmor and was intending to sell or rent out Castle Green. He took with him gardener William Phillips who had tended the gardens here since 1883. On 8th February 1924 Castle Green was advertised for sale or let. On 2nd July 1924 a fête was held here for Mr. & Mrs. David Berrington Griffith Davies in aid of the Cardigan Nursing Association. It was opened by Lady Webley-Parry-Pryse. On 21st-22nd August 1924 a furniture sale was held at Castle Green. The following items were listed for sale:
“…GROUND FLOORS:- Walnut Pedestal Writing Desk, Carved Writing Table, 2 PIANOS by Broadway and Chappell, Augelus PIANOLA, Mahogany Music and China Cabinet, Mahogany Revolving Book Rack, Inlaid Mahogany do. do. do., Mahogany, Walnut and Oak Overmantels, 2 sets Mahogany Dining Room Chairs, Butler’s Tray and Stand, Brass Dinner Gong, Oak Hall Stand with Curtains, Walnut Hall Chairs, Carved Hall Chair, Carved Oak Hall Settle, Mahogany Occasional Chair, Rosewood Lamp Stand, Oak Book Shelves, Pedestal Writing Desk, Oak Table with Marble Top, 2 Winged Tables, Mahogany Cheffoniere, 2 Sevres Vases, Copper Kettle on Stand, Combined Silver Lamp and Rose Bowl on Plinth, large Silver Plated Kettle with Spirit Lamp to match, Silver Plated Coffee Pot, Copper Coffee Pot, 3 Arm Chairs, Easy Chairs, large Self-propelling Invalid’s Chair, Ladies Leather Travelling Bag with solid Silver and Ivory fittings, Fitted Luncheon Motoring Basket, Fitted Tea Basket, Whatnot, Inlaid Whatnot, Eastern Koran Stand, Hall Stand, Draught Screens, Sofa, Child’s Chair, Brass Fern Stand, Antique Mahogany Fountain, Sea Gulls in Case, Fox and Crow in Case, Grouse in Case, Valuable Oil Paintings, Old Prints, Pictures, Brussels Drawing Room Carpet, Velvet Pile Stair Carpet, Brussels Carpet, Hearth Rugs, Plush and other Curtains, quantities of China and Glass, Fire Scren, Fire Guards, Fenders, several sets of Fire Irons, Coal Scuttle, Hanging and other Lamps, Window Poles and Rings, several sets of modern Golf Clubs, Bankers’ Scale and Weights, Letter Press, 3 Settles, Iron Fern Stand, Wall Brackets, Treadle Fretsaw Machine, Linoleum, Oil Stove, Silver Plated and other Meat Covers, Kitchen Utensils, etc., large quantity of books.
“BEDROOMS – Mahogany Half Tester Bedstead (small). Mahogany do. do. do., 3 Brass and Iron bedsteads, 2 Single Bedsteads, 2 Wooden Bedsteads, Spring and Hair Mattresses, Mahogany Marble Top and other Washstands, Dressing Tables, several Toilet Mirrors in Mahogany Frames, Odd Toilet Ware, 3 Mahogany Step Commodes, 2 Mahogany Chests of Drawers, 2 other Chests of Drawers, large Birch Wardrobe, Painted Wardrobe, Ash Occasional Table, several Bedroom Chairs, Invalid’s Chair, 2 small tables, large Deal Cupboard, Linen Cupboard, 2 other Cupboards, Hip Baths, Foot Baths, Bedroom Pictures, quantity of Blankets, Quilts, Counterpanes and Bed Covers, Old Damask and other Curtains, Travelling Trunks and Bags, etc., etc…”
“…OUTDOOR EFFECTS – Green’s Lawn Mower, Garden Roller, 14 inch Lawn Mower, Croquet Set, Corn Bins, Wire Rope, Firewood, etc., etc…”
Soon afterwards, it was leased and later sold to John Evans, local auctioneer. John Evans was the son of Cardigan tailor Owen Evans, and had been raised at Castle Street, Bridge End, Cardigan – his father a tenant of the Castle Green estate. On 3rd April 1925 there was discussion regarding filling up “…holes in the wall…” of Castle Green, following the demolition of cottages at Carrier’s Lane. In 1925 the servants here included “Rosie”, “Nanna” and Beryl Edwards. On 20th November 1925 the new owner, Cllr. John Evans, presided over a meeting to establish a sports field in Cardigan. In December 1926 it was proposed to demolish two more cottages in Carrier’s Lane, in order to provide stone for the new retaining wall here. On 1st July 1927 Miss Mary Elizabeth Morfydd Evans, 23, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Evans, married Dr. John Stuart Spickett, 30, of Suffolk. The wedding party allegedly included the singer Madame Pattie. The staff at that time included Victor Reed, Mrs. Mary Dunning, Miss Gladys Wadley and Miss Beryl Edwards. On 16th November 1927 gardener Victor Henry Reed, married Gladys Winifred Wadley of Glenroy, Bridge Street. The couple had their Wedding Breakfast at Castle Green. Also in 1927, J. G. Evans and Mr. Esau redecorated the Breakfast Room at Castle Green House.
On 6th July 1928 a son was born to Dr. & Mrs. John Stuart Spickett. In 1928 John Evans of Castle Green was the President of Cardigan Agricultural Show. On 28th February 1930 the writer “Kuklos” of “The Daily News” wrote:
“…Cardigan…has a ruined castle, of course, but doesn’t think much of it, and had camouflaged and concealed it…”
On 5th July 1930 there was a sale at the stable yard. In 1930-33 Miss Lizzie James lived here – presumably a member of staff. On 9th November 1931 John Evans became the Mayor of Cardigan again. On 6th February 1932 a son was born here to Dr. & Mrs. John Stuart Spickett. On 26th February 1932 Mrs. Elizabeth Evans advertised for a new cook. On 27th July 1932 a garden fête was held here, opened by Lady Webley-Parry-Pryse. It was noted that for some years, the Mayoress had allowed the playing of tennis here for a small charge. During 1932 ‘E. G.’ conducted some alterations or repairs to the north range of the stables. Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Morfydd Spickett died on 24th March 1933, aged 29. In May 1933 Mrs. Elizabeth Evans advertised for the services of a cook general who was also willing to do laundry. In March 1934 John Evans was re-elected Chairman of the Cardigan Gas & Coke Consumers Company. On 23rd March 1934 John Evans became the Sheriff of Cardiganshire. In May 1934 he was elected Chairman of the Cardigan County Secondary School Board of Governors. In June 1934 Mrs. Elizabeth Evans was seeking to employ a nurse/housemaid. On 24th October 1934 John Evans opened the new playing field at Cardigan County Secondary School. On 16th November 1934 reference was made to the new garden below the castle wall on Bridge Street – part of the wall there having been rebuilt. In 1935 John Evans was President of Cardigan Agricultural Show again and Mrs. Elizabeth Evans was President of the Cardigan Tennis Club. On 8th April 1936 John Evans opened new extensions at the Cardigan County Secondary School. In January 1937 Mrs. Elizabeth Evans was looking for a new cook and house-parlour maid. On 8th February 1937 Cllr. John Evans presented a new mayoral chain to Cardigan Borough Council. In March 1937 John Evans became the Chairman of Cardiganshire County Council. In May 1937 Mrs. Elizabeth Evans advertised for a cook general. In February 1938 there was a presentation to Cllr. John Evans in recognition of his services towards Cardigan & District Memorial Hospital. In June 1938 Mrs. Elizabeth Evans advertised for a new house parlour maid – either experienced or willing to learn. On 9th February 1939 John Evans died aged 73. His private funeral service was held at Castle Green, followed by a public service at St. Mary’s Church on 14th February 1939.
On 12th May 1939 Castle Green was advertised for sale. An article appeared in the “Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser” that week calling for the buildings to be used as an extension of the National Museum. By 27th October 1939 Mrs. Gladys Mary Wood, wife of Francis Arthur Wood of Bronwen, Newlands Avenue, Radlett, Hertfordshire, had made an offer on the property. The stables were then being rented out. In early November 1939 some evacuees that had been housed at Castle Green, left. In January 1940, following the departure of Victor & Gladys Reed, the gardener and housekeeper, from Ty’r Ardd, Mr. & Mrs. Sharpe took up residence there. In February 1940 G. J. and B. A. Sharpe, both of Ty’r Ardd, were serving in the forces. On 17th May 1940 the castle and Castle Green House were sold to Miss Barbara Olwen Wood of Bronwen, Newlands Avenue, Radlett, Hertfordshire. On 17th and 19th July 1940 the following items were sold at the castle grounds:
“…MODERN AND ANTIQUE FURNITURE, Drawing Room, Dining Room and Bedroom SUITES in Mahogany, Oak and Walnut, OIL PAINTINGS by Farqharson, Bundy, Kinsley, White, Caffieri, and Reginald Jones, ANTIQUE CHINA comprising of Chamberlain, Worcester, Dresden, Crown Derby, Chelsea, Worcester, Swansea, Spode and Lowestoft; Persian, Turkish, Wilton and Super Axminster CARPETS AND RUGS; Old Mason DINNER SET, TEA SERVICE, and various China; Brass, Copper Urns, Kettles, Candlesticks…”
Miss Barbara Wood and her mother, Gladys Mary Wood, moved to Castle Green on July 25th 1940. They advertised the East Wing to let as accommodation or offices and expected to install a bathroom in due course. A greenhouse was blown down during a gale in mid-September. Miss Barbara Wood altered the room usage as follows – Drawing Room became the Music Room, Dining Room became the Lounge and Morning Room became the Dining Room. The garden immediately began to decline. In October 1940 a contingent of forty South Wales Borderers were billeted here, having requisitioned the East Wing of Castle Green House and part of the grounds. A ‘pill-box’ gun emplacement was built on top of the curtain wall at about that time by the Home Guard. That December, the basement was requisitioned separately.
In January 1942 Mr. & Mrs. Sharpe moved out of Ty’r Ardd. The troops were removed on 20th February 1942. In March 1942 the East Wing of Castle Green House was again requisitioned and occupied by the Deputy Commander, Royal Engineers. Also requisitioned were a drive, two entrances and Ty’r Ardd – the Gardener’s Cottage. In May 1942 the troops were digging up the driveways to install new drains. In September 1943 John Evans of Bryntivy, builder and tenant of the stables, died.
In April 1944 Francis (“Frank”) Arthur Wood, father of the owner, died. Following the end of the war, the wing was released from requisitioning circa 16th November 1945. In March 1946 the Housing Committee of Cardigan Borough Council was attempting to requisition the East Wing of Castle Green House for use as flats. On May 20th 1946, following much discussion, they requisitioned “Ty’r Ardd”. By 2nd August 1946 the proposal was meeting some opposition – particularly from Barbara Wood herself. Other residents of the town suggested that Castle Green would be better used as a nursing home. The Kirkpatrick family moved to Ty’r Ardd. In 1946 the roof and floors of the Coach House collapsed, flattening the Morris 8 and Armstrong-Siddeley cars inside. On 16th August 1946 Henry D. James wrote to the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser’ to suggest that the National Trust should acquire the castle and demolish Castle Green.
Barbara Wood alleged that the demolition of Manchester House, High Street, in 1947 caused damage to her boundary. In September 1947 the tenancy of the stables was terminated by Barbara Wood. It was noted that October that vegetation from the castle was overhanging the Strand and needed removing. There were still pear trees in that region at that date. Requisitioning of the east wing for use as flats was debated again on 18th June 1948. In 1949 the Kirkpatrick family moved out of Ty’r Ardd and then the Davies family moved there.
By 1950 the stables were becoming vandalised and boards and fittings were being stolen. On 6th July 1951 Castle Green House was considered for use as an Old Folks’ Home. On 28th September 1952 the south-west corner of the castle was said to be in a very poor state of repair. In 1953 Mrs. & Miss Davies were still living in Ty’r Ardd. On 15th January 1954 it was announced that the medieval remains of the castle were to become a Scheduled Ancient Monument. On 15th March 1954 the Davies family moved out of Ty’r Ardd and the building was left empty.
On 16th June 1961 Cardigan Castle became a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Castle Green House became a listed building. On 22nd March 1968 Cllr. Dr. Gwyn Jones of Tymawr, High Street, proposed the use of Castle Green as a car park. On 25th July 1969 a “…large gap…” was observed in one of the buttresses on the castle wall. On 14th May 1971 Cardigan Borough Council announced their intention to buy the property. On 28th May 1971 came the response – “…Tell them to go and fry themselves…” On 18th March 1973 Mrs. Gladys Mary Wood died. The funeral was held on 22nd March 1973.
On 8th August 1975 a special stamp was issued commemorating the 800th anniversary of the first Eisteddfod. That September, the south wall was reinforced by three unsightly metal buttresses. A precautionary measure against vibrations caused by pile-driving for the nearby footbridge, they remained in situ until 2013. In 1976 Barbara Wood began the occasional practice of admitting visitors at 50p a head. On 7th June 1977 a Mediaeval Pageant was held in the grounds to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. On 15th July 1977 a plaque commemorating the castle as the birthplace of the National Eisteddfod was to be fixed to the wall. This never happened due to structural concerns. On 7th April 1978 it was deemed too large, heavy and conspicuous for the castle wall. Barbara Wood, however, continued to support the scheme.
On 4th October 1981 D. J. Cathcart-King examined the remains. The grounds were utterly overgrown and the house deteriorating due to vegetation, vandalism and the elements. He seemed particularly impressed with the passages at the East Tower and with the North Tower at the rear of Castle Green House. The latter was noted to have possibly the earliest angle-spur buttresses in the country. In December 1981 a number of dead and diseased elms were felled in the castle grounds by Dyfed County Council.
The year 1983 was the Welsh “Year of the Castles”. Cardigan Town Council organised an exhibition on the history of the site, held that August, and set up a special committee to look at the restoration of the site. Cllr. H. Gwynfi Jenkins was the chairman. Kevin Moses, a pupil at Cardigan County Secondary School, assisted Barbara Wood in opening to the public on selected days during the summer. Canon Seamus Cunnane wrote two papers – “Two Castles in Cardigan” and “Elements towards a pictorial reconstruction of Cardigan Castle”. Left out of the national celebrations, Barbara Wood appeared in ‘The Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser’ in an article entitled “Year of the Castles? You Could Have Fooled Me” and a television documentary for “Wales This Week” on H. T. V.. Both highlighted Barbara Wood’s personality and the declining condition of the castle ruins and Castle Green House and outbuildings.
In January 1984 Barbara Wood was hit by a car and after a prolonged stay in hospital, she returned to a caravan parked at the door of the mansion – which had been declared “unfit for human habitation” that year. Trial excavations by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, under Ken Murphy, proved disappointing. Part of the west wall was the subject of a ‘Dangerous Structures Notice’ that year. A 30 feet long stretch of the wall collapsed in December 1984. In April 1985 a group of teenagers formed themselves into ‘The Cardigan Castle Volunteers’, led by Glen Kelsall Johnson of St. Dogmaels, 14. During the Spring of 1985 a grass bank was created on the site of the collapsed section of the west wall. In August 1985 the Henry Tudor March visited the castle – commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth. Clearance of some of the dense vegetation by the ‘Cardigan Castle Volunteers’ began. In April 1987 “The Forgotten Castle of Cardigan” guide book went on sale. A section of wall by the Strand was declared unsafe, and had to be dismantled and rebuilt in the summer of 1987. In 1988 the reported theft of a valuable painting made the newspapers. The Cardigan Castle Volunteers ceased work in September 1988. Part of the Northeast Bastion collapsed later that month.
In 1989 Ove Arup & Partners conducted a structural survey of the castle. Portions of the ancient fabric were discovered during the digging of test pits. In 1993 Hanes Aberteifi erected a plaque commemorating Cardigan Castle as the birthplace of the National Eisteddfod (9th October), and staged an exhibition on the 900 years of the castle’s history. The plaque was unveiled on 9th October 1993 by Rev. John Gwilym Jones, the Arch-Druid of Wales. In April 1997 Glen K Johnson released his new book, entitled ‘The History of Cardigan Castle’. In 1999 Barbara Wood left the property for the last time, entering a nursing home soon afterwards.
In October 2001 the local ‘Tivy-Side Advertiser’ newspaper began a ‘Save the Castle’ campaign and launched a petition calling for Ceredigion County Council to acquire the site. In January 2002 Cardigan Castle was advertised for sale. On 5th August 2002 the ‘Tivy-Side Advertiser’ launched their booklet ‘Castle in Crisis’ at the National Eisteddfod of Wales at St. David’s. On October 12th 2002 a number of items from Castle Green House were sold at auction. These included a half-relief ship’s hull from the Dining Room. In January 2003 the roof of the stables finally collapsed. Money granted towards the regeneration of Cardigan by the National Assembly for Wales included a sum towards the purchase of the castle.
On April 14th 2003 Cardigan Castle was sold by Barbara Olwen Wood to Ceredigion County Council. The town reacted with great gladness to the news and there were few dissidents. In early July 2003, work began on clearing some of the vegetation in the grounds and the caravans and storage containers were removed from the site. The vegetation was removed from the façade of the house. The same month, a pair of cottages at Nos. 1 & 2 Green Street, near the entrance, were acquired as part of the estate. An archaeological dig at the Green Street cottages in September 2003 revealed part of the medieval structure – perhaps a wall tower or part of the gatehouse.
On 17th October 2003 an exhibition of the castle was opened at the Upper Market, Cardigan, by Councillor Dai Lloyd Evans. The castle was opened to the public on November 12th 2003 for four days. Visitor numbers were as follows: 12th – 360; 13th – 369; 14th – 105; 15th – 1017. A further opening on 22nd November 2003 brought 460 visitors in just two hours. The open days were a great success. On 18th December 2003 No. 43 St. Mary Street was acquired by Ceredigion County Council as part of the Cardigan Castle complex.
On 30th April 2004 it was announced that the castle would feature in the BBC television programme ‘Restoration’. Griff Rhys Jones, host of ‘Restoration’ had visited the site two days earlier. In May 2004, singer Aled Jones and M. E. P. Eluned Morgan visited the site. The castle opened to the public again from 29th – 31st May 2004, attracting 2000 visitors over the three days. Cardigan’s annual Gwyl Fawr Eisteddfod was launched from the castle on 30th June 2004. The castle gates were opened to the public at weekends through July. The castle was open to the public daily from mid-July until early September. In February 2005 work began on constructing a protective cocoon around Castle Green House. On 3rd July 2006 H R H Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited the castle and met with members of the Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust. Work on a feasibility study was undertaken in October 2006-February 2007. In July 2007 a slate plaque was discovered in the grounds, inscribed “THIS PINE END WALL WAS BUILT ON THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE JONATHAN GRIFFITHS DECEASED IN 1839‘. The first Medieval Day at the castle was held that month.
In September 2007 Cadwgan B. P. T. revealed their plans to covert the front range of Castle Green House into a Welsh Language Learning Centre and the remainder of the building and all of the outbuildings into holiday accommodation. They also proposed creating an historic garden in the grounds and building a restaurant on the site of the hot house. In December 2007 Ceredigion County Council agreed to lease the property to the Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust. Former castle owner Barbara Olwen Wood, died on 9th February 2009 at the age of 91. In 2009 Cadwgan B. P. T. signed a lease of the site from Ceredigion County Council.
In September 2010 test pits were dug on the site of the Fern House and to the south of Ty Castell. In October 2010, CADW began repairs to the Northeast Bastion, East Tower and curtain wall between, including some archaeological work. In December 2010 Planning Permission was given for the Cadwgan B. P. T. proposals. In March 2011 it was announced that Cardigan Castle had secured £ 4.7 million of funding towards restoration. In October 2011 the rest of the grant funding for the castle project was secured. In February 2012 a number of trees were felled. In March and April 2012 a number of new officers were employed by the Trust to oversee the restoration, including Project Officer Steffan Crosby; gardener Kevin O’Donnell; and Education Officer Rhian Medi Jones. In July 2012 an archaeological dig began here. In August 2012 work began on the outer walls by contractors Andrew Scott. By September a portion of a 12th Century square structure had been found in the former Croquet Lawn and immediately N of Ty’r Ardd was a surface of similar date. Behind No. 43 St, Mary Street, three Mesolithic flints were found. In September the outer walls were scaffolded and under repair and the driveway to the E of Castle Green House was removed for the building of new revetments, revealing 18th Century retaining walls and a small structure near the well.
In January 2013 most of the sycamore trees on the site were felled. In February 2013 the contract for the castle interior and buildings went to Andrew Scott. In March the first of the steel raking shores, that on the SE wall, was removed. The stables were gutted and scaffolded during March. Also in March 2013 the ceilings of Castle Green House were dropped, the basement partitions were removed and many of the doors and windows were removed. By April the roof was under repair, about 65% of the original roof structure was retained. On 15th April 2013 the remaining two raking shores on the south-west corner were removed. In May 2013 work began on a new roof at the stables. At the end of May 2013 the northern section of the west wall immediately north of the collapsed section was demolished. In June 2013 repairs were undertaken to the stable yard wall, the former hot wall and the retaining wall east of Castle Green House. A subterranean heating chamber was discovered beneath the site of the small pinery south of the entrance. This was removed for the construction of the restaurant. In July and August work progressed on Castle Green House and some of the garden walls. In September the stores and Ty’r Ardd were re-roofed and work began on the new restaurant, for which the remains of the west wall were removed and a new wall constructed of concrete. A refurbishment of the cottages at No. 1 and 2 Green Street was also undertaken. In September more remains of the medieval castle were found -possibly a Civil War lime-kiln. Medieval deposits were observed in the same area during construction of a soak-away.
During October 2013 work progressed at pace on the new restaurant and the installation of a new lift shaft at Castle Green House. A probable pre-1827 garden-feature was located beneath the Dining Room. Medieval remains associated with the North Tower were located beneath the Breakfast Room and Pantry in November and December 2013. In December it was announced that the official opening of the site was to be delayed until 2015 and that the wallpaper for the master bedroom of Castle Green House was being re-created. At the end of February 2014 a medieval archway and wall were discovered beneath the hallway of Castle Green House. In March 2014 Leekes of Llantrisant won the contract for furnishing the restaurant and accommodation. At that time work was progressing rapidly on the new restaurant. In April 2013 the scaffolding was removed from over the roof of Castle Green House.
In 1992 the listed elements of the castle complex were described by CADW:
“…CARDIGAN CASTLE – C13 remains, probably mostly dating from a rebuilding of c1244-54 under Robert Waleran, though the castle was in existence in 1136, was rebuilt in stone under the Lord Rhys in 1171 and repaired c1204 and in 1220s. Waleran became constable in 1248 and a new keep and town walls were built. In 1261, further sums were given to Waleran to complete the keep, but repairs were still needed in 1275, in 1321 a tower was hurriedly completed but by 1343 the curtain walls were partly in ruins. After the Glyndwr revolt a new hall and tower were built. The castle was slighted during the Civil War, and Castle Green House was built within 1827 incorporating the largest tower.
The principal remnants are the curved SE and E towers and NE bastion with portions of the curtain wall surviving between and to W of SE tower, in the tall embankment overlooking the bridge, surmounted by a c1940 pill-box. The Great Tower is listed as part of Castle Green House. Grade I for its origins as a medieval castle and for its importance to Cardigan.
CASTLE GREEN HOUSE – 1827 house by David Evans for Arthur Jones, High Sheriff, possibly including parts of a house said to have been under construction for J Bowen c1808-10 (Meyrick) and incorporating to rear a round C13 tower of Cardigan Castle. Stucco fronted villa with hipped deep eaved slate roof and stone rear stacks, the rest of rubble stone, banded in blue lias slate on prominent east elevations, hipped slate roofs and stone stacks.
Front Range is 2-storey, 3-window villa with channelled ground floor, arched ground floor windows and broad centre door, raised plinth, band and first floor sill-course under 12-pane sashes. Bracketed eaves. Double 6-panel doors and wrought iron traceried fanlight. Large timber trellis porch with wrought iron rails above. Arched ground floor window to E end wall.
Rear Range is long, extending far beyond main house on east side to terminate in prominent 3-storey banded stone east-end with hipped roof. Sash windows with cut stone voussoirs and cambered heads, 6-pane to upper floor, 12-pane to main floor and ground floor half-size semi-basement windows. One-window range to east end, south front has 2-window range, widely spaced, door to left, then in return to north east angle of main house, a pointed stair-light with intersecting glazing bars. Rear of rear range has from east, service court with high walls linking to 2-storey hipped-roofed cottage in matching style, then 3-window range, 3-storey, then one slightly recessed bay, projecting round tower and 2 further bays, all 2-storey, to same ridge height. Round tower appears to be medieval masonry to first floor mid window level with big angle spur buttresses. Door to basement, big first floor 12-pane sash and rounded slate roof. Two smaller windows on west side and one on east. West end wall of range projects beyond front range with one large window below and 6-pane window above. Rear cottage has centre ridge stack and 2-window north front, 6-pane above, 12-pane below, similar 1-window east end matching taller end of service range adjoining.
Interior wholly derelict (1991). Hall has plaster cross vault and cornices, plaster cornices to south east and south west main rooms and marble fireplaces. Apse ended stairs with stick balusters. There is said to be a vaulted ceiling to tower basement.
Castle Green House is shown to its present plan form on 1834 map of Cardigan, when it was owned by David Davies, merchant. Small scale excavation has not established whether the detached keep shown in Speed’s 1610 map existed or whether the tower incorporated in the house was the keep, on the north curtain wall, built c1246-52 under Robert Waleran and completed with second floor c1261.
GATEPIERS AND GATES – Circa 1828 formal entrance gates, of 4 big panelled blue lias piers, corniced, with stepped caps and cast-iron urns, the piers set at corner of square and linked each side by semi-circular dwarf wall with spearhead railings. Outer gatepiers have paired wrought iron paired gates, possibly moved, as they are hung on added stuccoed inner piers. Inner gatepiers have posts only of wrought iron gates.
OUTBUILDINGS AT CASTLE GREEN STABLE YARD – Circa 1828 range of outbuildings in rubble stone with slate roofs. L-plan, 2-storey with cut blue lias stone voussoirs to openings. West range is gable ended to street with 3-window range, first floor window, window and loading door; ground floor door, window and door. Derelict interior with collar truss roof. Slightly recessed bay to right with superimposed cambered-head openings, linked to north range, also 3-window, but roof is lean-to against cliff face behind. Smaller windows above with slate sills, centre window part blocked, ground floor 3 doors, left door part blocked, and small square window to right.
Stable yard enclosed on north east and east sides by rubble wall with 2 ashlar gate piers.
Main range has south end wall in banded stone with one window each floor.
RETAINING WALL IN GROUNDS EAST OF HOUSE – C19 retaining wall with raking castellations along east side of steep rear access drive. Rubble stone, some 50m in length. Castellations match those on Carrier’s Lane boundary wall which was built c1906-7 but line of this wall is marked on 1834 map of Cardigan.
BOUNDARY WALL AT CARRIER’S LANE – Early C20 boundary wall in rubble stone with back-sloping crenellation, some 3m to 4m high, running from rear of No 42 Saint Mary Street along Carrier’s Lane and curving round into The Strand to terminate at service drive entry. Short section behind No 42 is restored or rebuilt, with door to rear yard, further on is panelled door giving access to garden of No 43. Some 70m length to service drive. There is evidence of the wall being heightened and the crenellations added.
PEDESTRIAN GATE BETWEEN NO 43 SAINT MARY STREET AND THE OLD STABLES – Early C19 wrought iron pedestrian gate to Castle Green House with pointed overthrow. The overthrow has wrought iron scrolls and urn finial. The gate has close set dog-bars, band of circles to mid-rail and spear finials above ramped top rails meeting at centre wrought iron scrolled finial. Wrought iron scroll decoration to centre bar. Slate step…”
ADDITIONAL (2001) – Prior to collapse, the COACH HOUSE here was a two storey 2-window building with hipped slate roof in squared rubble banded in blue lias. Front wall had pair of first floor 6-pane sashes with slate sills and timber lintels. Ground floor had small pedestrian door with timber lintel to left and large single cart entry beneath timber lintel centre and right. Interior completely collapsed. Formerly had exposed timber beams and boards to coach-house and boarded floor over. Staircase to west side in timber.
TY’R ARDD is two storey small rectangular cottage in rubble stone with hipped slate roof and centre stone stack. South side to courtyard is featureless save for ground floor doorway, set to left, formerly with panelled timber door. Stone voussoirs. This side formerly lime-washed to ground floor. W side has, to right, 12-pane timber sash with stone sill and cambered head with stone voussoirs. N side is two window range with 12-pane ground floor sashes with stone sills and corresponding 6-pane sashes over, similar sills. Hornless sashes with plain reveals and stone voussoirs to cambered heads throughout. E wall is one-window with 12-pane hornless timber sash to ground floor, stone voussoirs and stone sill. Similar 6-pane corresponding sash over. Timber eaves board and cast iron rainwater goods. INTERIOR: Small entrance lobby with flagged floor, staircase to left in timber with stick balusters and ramped handrail, plain treads, and small cupboard beneath. Sitting room had fitted range, formerly with slate mantle – since removed. Salting Room had meathooks to ceiling, timber shelves and massive Cilgerran slate salting slabs. Upper floor had two bedrooms with 6-panelled timber doors, timber fireplaces with paired brackets supporting mantle shelves. Recessed stucco ceilings. The whole interior now largely collapsed.
Attached COURTYARD flagged in slate with colourwashed walls and lean-to structures to west having slate roofs and cast iron rainwater goods. Small privy to NE angle in rubble stone with panelled door, colourwashed walls and rendered slate roof. Arch to east has flanking pilasters continuing above coped parapet to corresponding capped piers, all in blue lias. Arch has cambered head with stone voussoirs.
Itinerarium Cambriae, Geraldus Cambrensis 1188-9
C145/33/31: 3 Ed I
Common Seal of the Burgesses of Cardigan c1251
E 101/13/32 m.1 : 14 Edw II
E101/487/18 : m2 : HVI 8&9
Minister’s Account 1223/8 m9
NLW Cornwall MS 3
Cardigan Shire map, John Speed, 1610
NLW Cwrt Mawr MS 1644; MS 207
NLW Bronwydd MS 2898; MS 2912
NLW Noyadd Trefawr MS 423
Letter From Captain Richard Swanley to the Earl of Warwick, 1645
Seal of the Corporation of Cardigan c1653
Cardigan Corporation Minute Books 1653-
NLW Bronwydd MSs
Pembrokeshire Record Office – Abstracts of Wills 1725
The South View of Cardigan Castle & Priory (illus.), Samuel & Nathaniel Buck 1741
Cardigan Castle in Cardiganshire (illus.), Eastgate
Cardigan Castle in Wales (illus.), Metcalf
Cardigan Castle (illus.), J Ryland
NLW Spence-Colby MS 402
Cardigan Castle (illus.), J Greig 1786
Cardigan Castle (illus.), J Newton, Aug 1786
NLW Llwyngwair MS 17157
Gloucester Journal 22/12/1788
Journey Into South Wales, G Lipscomb 1802
Walter Davies, NLW MS 1760A, Notebook 3, pp. 24-31 (1802)
Scenery, Antiquities & Biography of South Wales, B H Malkin 1804
Cardigan Castle (illus.), Petit 1804
Walter Davies, NLW 1760 Notebook 16, pp. 13-15 (1802 -1805)
The History & Antiquities of the County of Cardiganshire, Samuel Rush Meyrick 1808
A Topographical Dictionary of the Domain of Wales, N Carlisle 1811
Cambrian Journal 30/11/1811
The Beauties of England & Wales, Thomas Rees 1815
St. Mary’s Parish Register, Cardigan
Pembrokeshire Record Office: Port of Cardigan Shipping Registers
Pigot’s Directory 1830; 1844
Engraving – Cardigan (illus.), W Radclyffe c1830
Carmarthen Journal 1832; 1840; 2002-03
A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, Samuel Lewis 1833
Map of Cardigan, John Wood 1834
NLW Glan Paith MS 273
Cardigan Bridge (illus.), Cox 1840
Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1844; 1895; 1914; 1926
Pembrokeshire Herald 1846
Archaeologia Cambrensis 1847; 1860
The Welshman 1856
Annales Cambriae, J Williams ab Ithel 1860
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1866; 1868-69; 1871-80; 1882-86; 1888; 1890; 1892-93; 1895-99
1901-03; 1905-06; 1909; 1912-14; 1916-17; 1919-43; 1946-49; 1951-55; 1957-58; 1960; 1968-71
1973; 1975; 1977-78; 1982-94
Slater’s Directory 1868
Post Office Directory 1871
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Marriages 1837-1970
Castle Green, Cardigan (illus.), Thomas Nicholas, NLW 1875
Letter – D G Davies 01/01/1876
Advert – Sale of Livestock, Castle Green Stables 26/10/1877
O. S. Map 1887 etc.
A Guide to Cardigan & District, William Edward Yerward James 1899
The Welsh Wars of Edward I, John E Morris 1901
Cardigan Priory in the Olden Days, Emily M Pritchard 1904
List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910
A History of Wales, J E Lloyd 1911-1912
Star Chamber Proceedings Concerning Wales
Annual Reports – Capel Mair 1930-33
Ministers Accounts For West Wales 1277-1306, Myfanwy Rhys 1936
The Story of Ceredigion (400-1277), J E Lloyd 1937
Episcopal Acts Relating To Welsh Diocese 1066-1272 Vol. I, ed. J Conway-Davies 1946
NLW Journal Vol. VI No. 2, Winter 1949
Postcard – Cardigan Castle, Plastichrome c1950
Brut y Tywysogion: Peniarth MS 20 Version, T Jones 1952
Council House Application List 1953
Western Mail 14/01/1955; 1985-88; 2001-04
Castles of Cardiganshire, D J Cathcart-King, Ceredigion 1956
Trade & Industry in Some Cardiganshire Towns in the Middle Ages, I J Sanders, Ceredigion 1959
The Welsh Church From Conquest to Reformation, Glanmor Williams 1962
History of the King’s Works Vol. II, H M Colvin 1963
Postcard – Cardigan From The Air, Colourmaster c1968
Brenhinedd y Saesson, T Jones 1971
The Principality of Wales in the Later Middle Ages, R A Griffiths 1972
Cardigan Castle, Douglas B Hague, R. C. A. H. M. Wales 08/01/1975
Calendar of Ancient Correspondence Concerning Wales, J G Edwards 1975
Calendar of Ancient Petitions Relating to Wales, William Rees 1975
A Temporary Solution to a Monumental Problem, Stan Herbert 03/11/1975
Cardigan Castle, D J Cathcart King, R. C. A. H. M. Wales 04/10/1981
Maritime Heritage, J Geraint Jenkins 1982
Two Castles In Cardigan, Canon Seamus Cunnane 1983
Elements Towards a Pictorial Reconstruction – Cardigan Castle, Canon S Cunnane 1983
The Journeys of Sir Richard Colt Hoare Through Wales & England 1793-1810, MW Thompson 1983
Monitor Magazine, Oct 1983
Provisioning of the Castle, Canon Cunnane 1984
Repairs Made in Cardigan Castle 1429-30, Canon J Cunnane 1984
Cardigan Castle – A Feasibility Study, David Austin & Terence James 1984
Minutes – Cardigan Town Council – Castle Subcommittee 07/11/1984
Excavation & Survey at Cardigan Castle, Ken Murphy, Ceredigion 1985
Petition – Cardigan Castle 1985
Cambrian News 1985-87; 2001-03
Christmas Cards – Barbara Wood, Cardigan Castle, Dec. 1985; Dec. 1986
Letter – Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Ken Murphy 24/02/1986
Cardigan Castle Information Sheet, Glen K Johnson, March 1986
Cardigan Castle 1741 (illus.), Simon A Osborne, April 1986
Cardigan Castle 1786 (illus.), Nick L Wallace, April 1986
Letters – Barbara Wood 07/05/1986; 13/05/1986; 23/10/1986; 17/01/1987; 02/02/1987
Strangers From a Secret Land, Peter Thomas 1986
Castle Green (illus.), Simon A Osborne, July 1986
Records – Cardigan Castle Volunteers, Glen K Johnson, 28/03/1986-09/08/1986
A Souvenir From Cardigan Castle, Glen K Johnson & Simon A Osborne, Aug 1986
Letter – Su & Mike Duchesne 12/08/1986
Draft Booklet Idea – Sue & Mike Duchesne & J Cunnane, Aug 1986
First Draft – The Forgotten Castle of Cardigan, Glen K Johnson & Adam W J Greenland 1986
Ghosts of Cardigan Castle, Glen K Johnson, Aug 1986
Letter – English Heritage, John Fidler, 27/08/1986
Letter – Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Ken Murphy, 03/09/1986
Letters – CADW, Dr Sian E Rees, 6th & 8th Sept 1986
The Forgotten Castle of Cardigan 2nd Draft, Glen K Johnson & Adam W J Greenland, Oct 1986
Letter – Prince of Wales Community Venture, George E F Thurstan 24/11/1986
Pembrokeshire County History Vol. III, ed. Brian Howells 1987
Survey – Cardigan Castle & Castle Green House, Adam W J Greenland & Glen K Johnson, Jan 1987
Letter – Prince of Wales Community Venture 09/02/1987
Letters – Thomas Lloyd 29/03/1987; 22/04/1987; 05/07/1987
Letter – Susan Evans, National Monuments Record, R. C. A. H. M. Wales 02/04/1987
The Forgotten Castle of Cardigan, Glen K Johnson & Adam W J Greenland, April 1987
A Souvenir From Cardigan Castle, Glen K Johnson & Simon A Osborne, April 1987
Western Telegraph 1987
Letter – Dai Davies 30/04/1987
Letter – Conservation Volunteers 08/06/1987
The Boroughs of Medieval Wales, ed. Ralph A Griffiths
The Forgotten Castle of Cardigan, 2nd ed., Glen K Johnson & Adam W J Greenland, Aug 1987
The Key of Wales, Glen K Johnson, August 1987
Letters – S. P. A. B., Philip Venning 17/08/1987; 27/09/1987
Record Book – Cardigan Castle Volunteers, Glen K Johnson 09/08/1986 – 20/08/1987
Letter – Community Network, D R Williams 26/08/1987
Letter-Head & Envelopes – Cardigan Castle Volunteers 1987
Letter – Roland Williams-Ellis 04//09/1987
Letters – Barbara Wood 06/09/1987; 27/09/1987; 11/11/1987; 09/03/1988; 30/03/1988
Letter – Ceredigion District Council, J Bowen, 23/09/1987
Y Bont, Oct 1987
Letter – Dai Davies 14/12/1987
Christmas Card – Barbara Wood, Dec. 1987
Letter – Dudley J Moore, Treforgan Farm 09/03/1988
CADW Report – Cardigan Castle 11/03/1988
Letter – David B Davies 16/03/1988
Castell Aberteifi yn y Gorffennol a Heddiw, Glen K Johnson, April 1988
Birthday Card – Barbara Wood, Aug 1988
Posters – Cardigan Castle Volunteers, Sept 1988
Castle Green House (illus.), Mike Western, Sept 1988
Record Book – Cardigan Castle Volunteers, Sept 1988
Letter – Enid & Mike Western 10/10/1988
The Guardian 1988
A Guide to Cardigan 1989
The Gateway to Wales, W J Lewis 1990
Cardigan Castle Structural Survey, Ove Arup 1990
Plans – Cardigan Castle, Glen K Johnson 1990
The 1992 Cardigan Guide
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, Julian Orbach, CADW 1992
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Nevern, Julian Orbach, CADW
A History of Wales, John Davies 1993
The 1993 Guide to Cardigan
Planning Decision – Eisteddfod Stone 02/08/1993
Tivy-Side Advertiser 1993-94; 1996-97; 2001-14
Programme – Eisteddfod Plaque Unveiling, Hanes Aberteifi 09/10/1993
Cardigan Castle 1093-1993, Hanes Aberteifi 1993
The Cardigan Guide 1994
Conquerors & Conquered in Medieval Wales, Ralph A Griffiths 1994
Cardigan ’95, 1995
Historic Houses of Pembrokeshire & Their Families, Francis Jones 1996
Cardigan Guide 1996; 1997; 2000; 2001
Letter – Julian Beynon-Lewis 01/10/1996
Cardigan Castle – A Complex Monument, Glen K Johnson 1996
History of Cardigan Castle, 1st Draft, Glen K Johnson, Jan 1997
The Lords of Cemais, Dilwyn Miles 1997
Cardigan Castle, Lise Hull 1997
The History of Cardigan Castle, Glen K Johnson, April 1997
Golwg, July 1997
The Official Cardigan Guide 1998; 1999
Cardigan Town Trail, incl. Cardigan Castle by Geoff Scott 1998
Caring For Cardigan 1998
Letter – Glen K Johnson, Sept. 1998
Cardigan Castle, Glen K Johnson, Nov. 1998
Castle Meeting Documentation, Dec. 1998
Sunday Telegraph 2001
Cardigan – The Official Guide, Western Mail 2001; 2002
Save The Castle Petition, Nov. 2001
Cardigan Castle – The Way Forward, Glen K Johnson 2001
Statement to the National Assembly, T T Griffiths, J Cunnane, Glen K Johnson, Nov. 2001
Castle Green House – Floor Plans, Oliver Forsyth 2001
Clebran, Jan. 2002
Sale Particulars – Cardigan Castle/Castle Green, Fred Rees & Son 2002
Daily Telegraph 09/03/2002
Pembrokeshire County History Vol. II, ed. Brian Howells 2002
Castle Green House Floor Plans – Oliver Forsyth, Glen K Johnson 2002
Report to Ceredigion County Council on Cardigan Castle, 31/07/2002
Sale Catalogue – Henllan Auction Rooms, Stephen Jones 26/10/2002
New York Times 2003
Letter/Survey of Gardens at Cardigan Castle, Elisabeth Whittle 15/05/2003
Cardigan Castle Report – A O Chater, Botanical Society of the British Isles 15/05/2003
Cardigan Castle Excavation, Cambria Archaeology, Sept. 2003
Cardigan Castle – Discussion Document, Glen K Johnson 2003
Castle Survey Results, Oct. 2003
Davies Family, Sherry Husselbury 2003
Cardigan Castle – Open Days, R Davies & Glen K Johnson 2003
Cardigan County Agricultural Show, Islwyn & Betty Griffiths 2004.
Cardigan Uncovered – Part 1, Glen K Johnson 2008
© Glen K Johnson 14/04/2014