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Cardiganshire is a maritime county on the west coast of southwest Wales, bounded on the north by Merionethshire, on the NE by Montgomeryshire, on the east by Radnorshire and Breconshire, on the south by Carmarthenshire, on the southwest by Pembrokeshire and on the west by Cardigan Bay and St. George's Channel. It has an area of 692 square miles.

The surface is mountainous in the north, undulating in the south. The Cambrian Range, of which Plynlimon is the highest peak at 2469 feet, runs north through the shire. The main rivers are the Rheidol and its tributaries, the Teifi (which forms part of the southern boundary with Pembroke) and the ^stwith. There are a few small picturesque lakes in the north. In the lower valleys and along the coast, the soil is fertile.

The shire is rich in antiquities, including stone circles, cromlechs, inscribed stones, remains of medieval castles, and monastic buildings. THe most important towns are Cardigan, the county seat, Aberystwyth, Lampeter, and Aberayron.