11:04am Thursday 23rd November 2006 in Town guides
The market town of Newcastle Emlyn is set on a small plateau bridging the picturesque Teifi Valley.
In around 1240 the 'New Castle in Emlyn' was built on the rocky promontory to the north and east of the plateau, taking advantage of the natural moat formed by the river, which surrounds the town and castle on three sides. Cromwell had the castle blown up in 1648.
It was the only stone castle in the old county of Dyfed to have been built by the Welsh. The ruins are still in evidence today and the grounds are open to visitors.
The town claims another first too, for it was the site where Isaac Carter built the first printing press in Wales. Newcastle Emlyn was also the home of two well-known writers - Allen Raine, born here in 1836 and Theophilus Evans.
Regarded as the hub of the Teifi Valley Newcastle Emlyn is today a bustling little town which caters for the tourist and farming community. It is a friendly place where Welsh and English are spoken freely.
For its size the town has a remarkable range of shops, cafes, pubs, antique and craft shops, most of which are in the main street. In the market building below the clock tower is a small grocery and general market, a library and the Tourist Information Centre.
Upstairs is the theatre of the town's Attic Players. There is a livestock market each Friday.
Nearby attractions include the village of Cenarth, three miles towards Cardigan, site of the National Coracle Museum and spectacular waterfalls, once painted by Turner.
Five miles south of Newcastle Emlyn is Drefach Velindre, one time capital of the Welsh woollen industry, and site of a busy museum, part of the National Museum of Wales.