Cardigan Guildhall and Market Hall have a fascinating history, both on the architectural and social history fronts. The buildings, commissioned in 1856, would have been regarded as very modern and quite daring at the time. They were the first civic buildings in Britain in the modern Gothic style advocated by John Ruskin in his book ‘The Stones of Venice’ (1851–1853). An Arabic influence is also clearly seen in the arch decoration in both buildings. The national interest in the design of the buildings was reflected at the time by the illustration in ‘The Building News’ of 1859. They are still noted as an exceptional rarity in the context of Gothic public buildings by experts in Victorian architecture.