ONLY a week after it was opened to the public, Cardigan Castle temporarily closed its gates to the public.
Despite receiving £12m in grants, the Castle’s tarmacking works were not completed when local media and worthies were invited to attend last week’s opening event.
Sue Lewis, Cardigan Castle spokesperson, said: “The castle opened to the public last week following an extensive £12m restoration project. During the soft-launch period, we’ll be putting final touches in place in time for the busy tourist season ahead, which includes the final surfacing of the garden paths. The site was closed to visitors for two days, from Monday April 20 to Tuesday April 21, while work is being carried out. We recorded more than 500 visitors on the first day of opening so are delighted with the response and looking forward to a great summer at the castle.”
Speaking after the original opening, Ms Lewis said: “The whole community is of course ecstatic to see Cardigan Castle returned to its former glory. The site has witnessed many key moments in Welsh history over its 900 years including bloody battles.”
It seems, however, as though some battles remain to be fought.
Response to the castle’s opening has not been unmixed. In a faux pas that is sure to anger The Friends of Rhys ap Gruffudd, who have condemned the castle’s failure to book Welsh music acts for a festival in July, menus for the castle’s restaurant during the opening week were printed only in English.
The Herald understands, however, that following complaints bilingual menus are now available while catering arrangements at the castle, which were described as ‘chaotic’, have also been changed.
Claims made by local historian Father Cunnane at the opening ceremony about the cost of bringing the Gorsedd of Bards and transporting the Gorsedd stones down from Brondesbury Park (near Tesco’s) to the Castle have been disputed.
Fr. Cunnane’s further comments regarding Dic yr Hendre, the late Eisteddfod Chair whose family have withdrawn an offer to place his Archdruid’s regalia on display at the Castle, have also been met with considerable resentment.