Dodgshon admirably described the hierarchy of the cantrefi or cantrefs (the four major divisions of the county), the cymydau or commotes (ten subdivisions of the cantrefi), the forty gwestfâu into which the commotes were divided, and the four or five rhandiroedd or sharelands of each gwestfa. This gives a total of 260 sharelands for Ceredigion, of which the names of only a sixth survive.
The gwestfâu were actual tax units appearing in Crown documents; some of their names incorporate elements still known in modern usage. Thus, the original names of Nanteos was Neuadd Llawdden (after the medieval patriarchal figure, Llawdden).
Cardiganshire was split into the three cantrefs of: