Ceredigion Museum is located at the Coliseum, Terrace Road, Aberystwyth. It is housed in a beuatifully restored Edwardian Theatre which is a fascinating backdrop to the displays. Built as a theatre in 1904-5 by David Phillips, it was the venue for at least 5,000 events including Eisteddfodau and political meetings. It became a cinema in the early 1930s and was run by Harry Gale and his wife Olive. He choose the motto 'Amusement without vulgarity' for the cinema which ran until 1977. The museum was established in 1972 by the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society who gave it to the newly formed Ceredigion District Council in 1974. In 1996, it was transferred to Ceredigion County Council. The museum aims to reflect the rich history and archaeology of the county. There are notable collections of Welsh furniture, costume and many objects associated with the county's farming and agricultural heritage. There is a fine collection of taxidermy by the Hutchings family (1870s–1942) and many paintings by Alfred Worthington (1835–1925). The Museum organises temporary exhibitions on local history and art, and has displays at Lampter Library, the Kite Centre in Tregaron and the Harbourmaster's office in New Quay. It also owns a cottage at Llanon which is open during most August afternoons.
Cardiganshire has been inhabited since prehistoric times; 170 hill forts and enclosures have been identified across the county and there are many standing stones dating back to the Bronze Age. In pre-Roman, and possibly Roman times, a part of southern Cardiganshire was in the territory of the Demetae and possibly part of that of the Ordovices. According to Nennius, a 10th-century Welsh chronicler, Ceredig, son of the Welsh invader Cunedda, settled in the area in the 5th century. It remained a kingdom ruled by his descendants until it expanded and changed its name, first to Seisyllwg in the late 7th century and, after the union of Seisyllwg with the Kingdom of Dyfed, it was incorporated into Deheubarth in the mid 10th century. Many pilgrims passed through Cardiganshire on their way to St Davids. Some came by sea and made use of the churches at Mwnt and Penbryn, while others came by land seeking hospitality at such places as Strata Florida Abbey. Both the abbey and Llanbadarn Fawr were important monastic sites of scholarship and education. Place names including ysbyty denote their association with pilgrims. In 1282, Edward I of England conquered the principality of Wales and divided the area into counties. The name Cardiganshire was an Anglicisation of the name for the historic kingdom of Ceredigion. One of thirteen traditional counties in Wales, Cardiganshire was also a vice-county. Cardiganshire was split into the five hundreds (administrative area) of Genau'r-Glyn, Ilar, Moyddyn, Penarth and Troedyraur
In the 18th century there was an evangelical revival of Christianity, and non-conformism became established in the county as charismatic preachers like Daniel Rowland of Llangeitho attracted large congregations. Every community built its own chapel or meeting house, and Cardiganshire became one of the centres of Methodism in Wales with the Aeron Valley being at the centre of the revival. At this time Cardiganshire was largely cut off from the rest of Wales by poor communications, and the Industrial Revolution largely passed it by. In the uplands, wheeled vehicles were rare in the 18th century, and horses and sleds were still being used for transport. On the coast, trade in herrings and corn took place across the Irish Sea. In the 19th century, many of the rural poor emigrated to the New World from Cardigan, between five and six thousand leaving the town between 1790 and 1860. Aberystwyth became the main centre for the export of lead and Aberaeron and Newquay did brisk coastal trade. The building of the railway from Shrewsbury in the 1860s encouraged visitors and hotels sprang up in the town to accommodate them. This area of the county of Dyfed became a district of Wales under the name Ceredigion in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972.
The museum is fully wheelchair accessible. A lift is available to all floors. It can be used to enter and leave the building via the Tourist Information Centre. Toilets are on the main floor. There is a toilet for people with special needs on the top floor (follow the signs from the lift). Baby changing facilities are in the special need's toilet on the top floor to which there is lift access. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Location : Coliseum, Terrace Road, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 2AQ
Transport : Wrexham (National Rail) then bus (Arriva 2/2A). Bus Routes : Arriva 2 and 2A stops at Felin Puleston then 1 mile through Erddig Park.
Opening Times : Tuesday to Saturday 10:30 to 16:00; Sunday 12:00 to 16:00
Tickets : Free
Tel. : 01970 633088