Restoration work has started inside the walls of Cardigan Castle firing the starting gun on a 14 month project to restore the site.
Workmen moved in this week to restore the Regency house, outbuildings and gardens within the 12th century walls.
The castle is due to open to the public in April next year.
Ceredigion County Council chairman and Cadwgan trustee Cllr Mark Cole plus Cadw director Marilyn Lewis carried out the turf cutting ceremony today.
“This is a very important day,” said Cllr Cole.
“The past ten years fighting to restore the castle have been the most important in all its history. The castle has always been the untapped jewel in Cardigan’s crown.”
Cadw director Marilyn Lewis said it was wonderful to see restoration work get underway.
“Unearthing all the layers shows what a strong castle it is. It’s been here since the the 12th century and stands here still.”
And Dr Madeleine Harvard from the HLF, who along with WEFO are the two main funders of the castle project, said: “I’m really thrilled that the funding was made available. This castle is of importance to people in Cardigan and Wales and even across the world. It’s such an importance site and it is so exciting to uncover our heritage.”
Town mayor Cllr Catrin Miles paid tribute to all the hard work that had gone into achieving the £11m funding.
“What I welcome is that the focus of the town will return to the castle and the river,” she said.
The next red letter day for the castle will be next month when the steel stanchions will be removed from the walls.