Cardiganshire, Wales Public Record Office
Old Town Hall, Queens Square, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
The Cardiganshire, Wales Public Record Office (known as the Ceredigion Archives) is located at Old Town Hall, Queens Square, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. The county formerly known as Cardiganshire is now known as Ceredigion.
The Ceredigion Archives collects and maintains documents related to the history of the county and allows these documents to be used for research purposes. These documents include hospital, census and shipping records, as well as records pertaining to marriages, deaths and burials. The Archives also offers a “research service” for fifteen pounds sterling, per hour.
Cardiganshire was a Welsh kingdom, founded in the year 1282. In 1996, it was reconstituted as a county and, one year later, it was renamed “Ceredigion,” which was actually the original name, as “Cardiganshire” was an Anglicisation.
Ceredigion is a coastal county, bordered by Cardigan Bay, Gwynedd to the north, Powys to the east, and Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire to the south and south-west, respectively. The county has approximately fifty miles of beaches on its coast on Cardigan Bay. The Ceredigion Coast Path offers a scenic walk along the Bay, on which hikers can observe the area’s dune system, cliffs and caves. The Cambrian Mountains cover much of the eastern part of the county. These mountains, running north to south, are sometimes called the “backbone of Wales.”
The most significant industries in Ceredigion are tourism and agriculture. A largely rural county, Ceredigion has no major commercial centers. However, it does have two universities; Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales, Lampeter campus. Aberystwyth also features the National Library of Wales and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which presents a programme of music, dance, drama and visual arts.
According to a 2001 census, approximately 61% of Ceredigion residents speak Welsh. Only Gwynedd, Carmarthenshire and Anglesey ranked higher in this poll.
The most famous former resident of Ceredigion was the poet, Dylan Thomas, who lived in New Quay and Talsarn. Perhaps best known for his play “Under Milkwood,” Thomas had deep roots in this area of Wales, which helped inspire some of his most prolific writing periods. Today, the Dylan Thomas Trail links many of the sites associated with this writer.