Newcastle Emlyn Castle was built in the mid 13th Century by one of the Welsh Princes, Maredudd ap Rhys. It is likely that the castle was originally a wooden structure but was then rebuilt in Welsh stone.
The castle occupies a strategic position overlooking the River Teifi. What remains of the castle are parts of the curtain wall and the gatehouse. These date from around the early 14th Century when the castle was improved.
The castle at Newcastle Emlyn was attacked and changed hands during a revolt (1287-1289) against the English crown, lead by Maredudd’s son, Rhys ap Maredudd. Upon the revolt being put down and Rhy’s death, the castle passed to the crown.
In 1400 a new rebellion broke out in Wales lead by Owain Glyndwr, who had been proclaimed Prince of Wales. He successfully took the castle at Newcastle Emlyn in 1403. It was quickly retaken by the English and Glyndwr’s revolt was ultimately unsuccessful.
By 1428 the castle is reported to have been in ruins. It wasn’t until the early 16th Century and Sir Rhys ap Thomas acquiring the castle that it was rebuilt and many of these newer alterations are reflected in what remains of the castle today. During the English Civil War the castle changed hands several times. With the defeat of Royalist forces, the castle was slighted with gunpowder so that it couldn’t be used in any possible future conflict.
Following this slighting, the castle was the victim of being used as a source of building materials, as was the case with many other castles.
Admission to the castle is free.