LORD Rhys has once again taken up residence at Cardigan Castle!

He is back in the form of a spectacular new sculpture, carved from the remaining tree stump of the castle’s recently-felled 220-year Turkey Oak which had reached the end of its natural life.

To mark the location of the iconic tree, it was agreed that a carving of the Lord Rhys would be most fitting, with his large imposing figure surveying the grounds of the first castle to be built by a Welshman from stone, which he started to construct in 1171.

The carving - designed and sculpted by Carmarthen-based artist Simon Hedger – depicts the Lord Rhys holding a sword and spear and looking out across to where it is believed his Great Hall would have once stood.

In 1176 the Great Hall played host to what is widely regarded as Wales’s first Eisteddfod.

Castle director Jonathan Thomas described the loss of the Turkey Oak as a ‘tremendous disappointment’.

“It was a unique tree that had survived so much of the castle’s history,” he said. “However, we are really pleased that we have been able to gain something from this loss.

“It feels right that this latest significant change to the landscape of the castle has been marked with an acknowledgment of where it all started in the first place.

"I’m looking forward to welcoming visitors, from near and far, back into the castle to enjoy this spectacular work of art.”