Ceredigion Sir Ceredigion
Wales Ceredigion locator map.svg
- Total
- % Water
Ranked 4th
1,795 km2
? %
Admin HQ Aberaeron / Aberystwyth
ISO 3166-2 GB-CGN
ONS code 00NQ
- (2006 est.)
- Density
Ranked 19th
Ranked 21st
43 / km2
Ethnicity 99.5% White
Welsh language
- Any skills
Ranked 4th
Arms of Ceredigion County Council
Ceredigion County Council
Motto Golud Gwlad Rhyddid (Wealth, Land, Freedom)
Control Independent / Liberal Democrat / Labour
  • Mark Williams
  • Elin Jones
  • Mid and West Wales
MEPs Wales

Ceredigion (Welsh pronunciation: [kɛrɛˈdɪɡjɔn]) is a county and former kingdom in mid-west Wales. In extent it is more or less identical to the historic county of Cardiganshire (Welsh: Sir Aberteifi), created in 1282, and was reconstituted as a county under that name in 1996, reverting to Ceredigion a day later.


Ceredigion is a coastal county, bordered by Cardigan Bay to the west, Gwynedd to the north, Powys to the east, Carmarthenshire to the south, and Pembrokeshire to the south-west. Its area is 440,630 acres (1783 km2). The population of the county at the 2001 census was 74,941.

The main settlements are Aberaeron, Aberarth, Aberporth, Aberystwyth, Borth, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanddewi Brefi, Llandysul, Llanilar, Llanrhystud, New Quay, Penparcau and Tregaron.

The Cambrian Mountains cover much of the east of the county; this large area forms part of the desert of Wales. In the south and west the surface is less elevated. The highest point is Plynlimon at 2,467 feet (752 m), where five rivers have their source: the Severn, the Wye, the Dulas, the Llyfnant and the River Rheidol, the last of which meets the Afon Mynach in a 300 feet (91 m) plunge at the Devil's Bridge chasm. The 50 miles (80 km) of coastline has many sandy beaches. The largest river is the River Teifi which forms the border with Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire for part of its length. Other significant rivers include the River Aeron which has its estuary at Aberaeron, the River Ystwyth and the River Rheidol both of which reach the sea in Aberystwyth harbour.

Along with Pembrokeshire and Cornwall, Ceredigion's 50 miles (80 km) of coastline boasts some of the whitest sand beaches and cleanest, clearest, turquoise seas in the United Kingdom, particularly the coast from New Quay to Aberporth, mainly due to the fact that the Cardigan Bay coast has virtually no industrial discharge. As a result, Ceredigion has the only permanent summer residence of bottle-nosed dolphins in the United Kingdom.

Despite its small population, Ceredigion experienced the largest population growth of any county in Wales, with the a 19.5% increase from 1991 to 2003.[1]. Tourism and agriculture, chiefly hill farming, are the most important industries. In addition, two universities are within the county boundaries: Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales, Lampeter. The National Library of Wales, which was founded in 1907, is located in Aberystwyth.

The county lacks any large commercial areas. The nearest substantial settlements are located at least 1 hour 45 minutes drive away. From the largest town, Aberystwyth: Swansea, to the south, is 70 miles (110 km) away; Shrewsbury, in the English county of Shropshire, is 75 miles (121 km) to the east; and Wrexham, to the north, is approximately 80 miles (130 km) away. The capital, Cardiff, is over 100 miles (160 km) from most parts of the county.

Although Ceredigion and Gwynedd share a boundary, it is not possible to travel directly between the two as all road and rail traffic avoids the Dyfi estuary and passes through Machynlleth in Powys.

In recent years, the county has gained more recognition of its connection with Dylan Thomas, because of the time he lived in New Quay and Talsarn, and frequented Aberaeron and Lampeter. The Dylan Thomas Trail runs through part of the county, linking the places associated with the poet.[2]


Ceredigion, shown on a map with traditional boundaries.

The name Ceredigion means Land of Ceredig, who was a son of Cunedda, a chieftain who re-conquered much of Wales from the Irish around the 5th century. It remained a kingdom ruled by his descendants until it expanded and changed its name, first to Seisyllwg in the late 7th century, and after the union of Seisyllwg with Dyfed it was incorporated into Deheubarth in the mid 10th century.

In 1282 Edward I of England conquered the principality of Wales and divided the area into counties. The name Cardigan was an Anglicisation of the name for the historic kingdom of Ceredigion. The area of the county became a district under the name Ceredigion in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and since 1996 has formed the county of Ceredigion.


  • Kingdom of Ceredigion: 5th c. - 7th c. Incorporated into Seisyllwg, then in 10th c. into Deheubarth.
  • 1282 County of Cardiganshire (Welsh: Sir Aberteifi)
  • 1974 Ceredigion, a district within Dyfed
  • 1996-present Ceredigion, a county in Wales

Local government[]

Between 1888 and 1974, the county was governed by Cardiganshire County Council, which took over the functions of county administration from the Quarter Sessions court in 1889. The county was abolished in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 — and it was succeeded by the district of Ceredigion in the new county of Dyfed. This district became a unitary authority on 1 April 1996 under the name of Cardiganshire, only to change its name back to Ceredigion the following day. It has, apart from minor realignments, identical borders to the former county.

A referendum was held on May 20, 2004 on whether to have a directly-elected mayor for the county; this was rejected by a large majority.


Ceredigion has the third highest proportion of Welsh speakers in the population (52% at the 2001 census); only Gwynedd and the Isle of Anglesey have a higher proportion. The number of Welsh speakers declined in Ceredigion from 59.1% in 1991 to 51.8% in 2003.[1]

Non-Welsh speakers tend to be more concentrated in and around the two university towns and along the coast, e.g. in Borth only 40% of the population was born in Wales and 36% of residents are Welsh-speaking.

Places of interest[]

  • Aberystwyth Castle
  • Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway,
  • Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth
  • Cwmystwyth Mines
  • Devil's Bridge
  • Elvis Rock
  • Hafod Estate
  • Llanerchaeron
  • Nanteos Mansion
  • Strata Florida Abbey
  • Trawsgoed
  • Vale of Rheidol Railway
  • Welsh Gold Centre, Tregaron

See also[]

  • Centre points of the United Kingdom
  • Menter Iaith


  1. ^ a b Census shows Welsh language rise Friday, 14 February, 2003 extracted 12-04-07
  2. ^ The Dylan Thomas Trail by D. N. Thomas, Y. Lolfa 2002

External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Ceredigion. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.