HOW refreshing to read rational and constructive criticism on Cardigan Castle from Mrs JD Bainbridge of St Ives. She deserves an answer.

She is right: we have no plan of the castle on show. But the trustees are not to blame. They set up a committee to prepare the displays we need. I was a member until a quadruple bypass made me an invalid. Its chairman could not continue because of poor health. We planned to have many display boards, to interpret the Castle and Eisteddfod and the town and port. As the Castle did not have enough room to put them all on show at the same time, we planned to rotate them to let visitors see varying displays throughout the year. Meanwhile, Rowan O’Neill has overseen the production of the displays we now see within Castle Green House. I congratulate her.

I put Mrs Bainbridge’s comments to an archaeologist. He told me the way forward is not a 3D model. The Castle is too complex, so we must go for a computer model like the displays we see on TV that show how a building develops. There are firms who specialise in such work.

It would be ideal for Cardigan as the castle has changed much over the centuries. The shape of the original wooden structure would have been altered by Rhys ap Gruffudd, and his stone castle would in turn have been altered by Robert Waleran after 1244.

The recent dig found an example of this by the gardener’s cottage, and I believe another one lies below present ground level behind the wall opposite the bridge. There may be more.

A new tower was built later, and in 1321 the garderobe turret was altered. There was a great hall in the grounds, most probably lying between the two turrets facing the Teifi. That hall, or its predecessor if it was rebuilt, may be the very site of the 1176 Eisteddfod (it was held on December 26, so must have been indoors).

I am told no trace of it remains, but how wonderful if we found even a few stones that related to 1176! And then we need to show how Oliver Cromwell’s army destroyed the Castle. I could go on, but that suffices to show why a 3D model will not be adequate, and that digitisation is the solution.

I hope that such a display, alongside the history panels, may be made ready before long. But precise information is needed, not merely general ideas. Few people possess it, so I offer my help, as I have a complete record of every reference to the Castle that can supplement the archaeological findings.

I have examined all the mediaeval Latin documents in the Public Record Office relating to the Castle, and from them have made a list of the inner divisions of the Castle and of the buildings within its perimeter.

I also believe that, however fascinating the character of Miss Wood, the room where she is commemorated should have its bicycles removed. The space should instead be dedicated to Rhys ap Gruffudd, along with facilities for research.

May Mrs Bainbridge’s next visit to the Castle be happier; if I can help by guiding her around, I shall gladly do so.