The modern county of Ceredigion is bounded to the west by Cardigan Bay, north by Merionethshire (now part of Gwynedd), east by Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Brecknockshire (that is the modern county of Powys), and to the south by Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
The east of Ceredigion is dominated by the Cambrian Mountains whose main peaks are Plynlimmon at 2,486 feet and Tregaron Mountain at 1778 ft. Plynlimmon is famous for being the source for five rivers; the Severn, the Wye, the Dulas, the Llyfnant and the Rheidol. The south and west remain hilly but comparatively less so than the east although there are two famous bogland areas at Cors Coch Fochno and Cors Caron.
The principal rivers, which all generally flow from east to west, are the Teifi which largely defines the southern border with Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire; the Dyfi which serves a similar function in the north seperates from Merionethshire to the north, the Aeron which has its source in Llyn Eiddwen, in Mynydd Bach and reaches the coast at Aberaeron, and the Rheidol and the Ystwyth which both reach the sea at Aberystwyth.
The modern county of Ceredigion is one of the fastest growing counties in Wales, its population having grown 19.5% from 63,094 in 1991 to 75,400 in 2001, largely due to inward migration particularly in the south of the county. As a result only 64% of the population were actually born in Wales, the lowest percentage for any county in Wales.
Around 28% of the county's resident population live in the three main towns of Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Lampeter. Other towns include Aberaeron, Llandysul, New Quay, Tregaron, Aberporth and Borth. The qualification of 'resident population' is necessary as the county experiences a regular influx of students attending the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and the University of Wales, Lampeter which add around 7,000 and 1,000 to the population of the respective towns.
Ceredigion is regarded as one of the heartlands of the Welsh language. 59% of the county speak Welsh and Welsh speakers are in the majority in 47 out of the 51 local community and town council areas. This position is however threatened by the influx of non-Welsh immigrants as noted above which is changing the character of the area.
Ceredigion has remained largely unaffected by industrialisation although there have been some scattered mining operations. Lead mining was carried out in the north of the county at Lisburne, Goginan and Cwm Ystwyth where silver was also present in sufficient quantities to make it worthwhile establishing a mint at Aberystwyth in the 17th century. Copper and zinc was also mined in the county and there were slate workings near Devil's Bridge and at Corris, Strata Florida and Goginan. All of these mining operations have long since closed and tourism and agriculture are now the most important industries; although the presence of two university colleges and the National Library at Aberystwyth also provide employment.
Places of interest
In Aberystwyth you will find the Ceredigion Museum, the Aberystwyth ELectric Cliff Railway, the remains of Aberystwyth Castle as well as the Vale of Rheidol Railway whose line leads to the scenic charms of Devil's Bridge. Nearby there is the Hafod Estate with its 18th century 'picturesque landscape' and the Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine museum at Ponterwyd. Near Aberaeron there is Llanerchaeron a small Welsh gentry estate built by John Nash and the Derwen International Cob Centre. I the south Cardigan has its own castle and the Teifi valley is noted for Cenarth falls and the Teifi Valley Railway.
Table of References
- encyclopedia.jrank.org/CAR_CAU/ CARDIGANSHIRE_Ceredigion_Sir_A.html