Ceredigion

Area 1,795 km2
Administrative HQ Aberaeron
ISO 3166-2 GB-CGN
ONS Code 00NQ
Population (Est. 2004) 78,100
Website www.ceredigion.gov.uk

Ceredigion is a principal area in mid Wales. It 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.

The name Ceredigion means ‘Land of Ceredig’, who was a son of Cunedda, a chieftain who reconquered much of Wales from the Irish around the fifth century AD.

Its area is 440,630 acres (1783 km²). The population of the county is 64,000.

For a county of such a small population, it may be considered unusual that two universities are within the county boundaries: the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and the University of Wales, Lampeter. The National Library of Wales, which was founded in 1907, is also located in the county.

The main towns are Aberaeron, Aberarth, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanddewi Brefi, Llandysul, Llanilar, Llanrhystud, New Quay, Newcastle Emlyn (partly in Carmarthenshire) 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 2,486 feet (758 m), where five rivers have their source: the Severn, the Wye, the Dulas, the Llyfnant and River Rheidol, the last of which meets the Afon Mynach in a 300 foot (100 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 much 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.

Places of special interest: Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth; Devil’s Bridge; Strata Florida Abbey; Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway, Vale of Rheidol Railway. Aberystwyth Castle, Nanteos Mansion, Welsh Gold Centre Tregaron, Llywernog Silver Lead Mine

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.