Newcastle Emlyn (Castellnewydd Emlyn) Castle is tucked away at the bottom of Castle Terrace and easily overlooked.
It was built in 1240 by Maredudd ap Rhys Gryg as a timber, earth and ditch construction. It was converted to stone shortly thereafter, and claims to be the first stone castle to be built by a Welshman.
It saw action in 1287 during an unsuccessful rebellion against Edward I by Rhys ap Maredudd when it twice changed hands, and again 1403 when Owain Glyndwr captured the castle; it was swiftly retaken by Sir Thomas Carew.
In the English Civil War the castle was taken three times. and was one of the last castles to hold out for Charles I. After holding parliamentary forces at bay for a fortnight it was blown up with gunpowder in 1648 by Cromwell’s men. Much of the stone work was used by townsfolk to build their houses.
What remains today mostly dates from 1485 when Sir Rhys ap Thomas repaired and reconstructed the castle as a place of residence. Entry to the castle is free and unrestricted.