The first castle in Ćmielów already existed in the second half of the 14th century. It was mentioned for the first time in 1388, when the subcamerarius Nicholas and his brother Martin sold the stronghold for 6,000 fines to the subcamerarius Gniewosz from Dalewice. The next owner of the castle was Dersław de Sczmelow in 1415, and in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, the building was in the hands of the Szydłowiecki family. One of the successive owners of Ćmielów from this family, Krzysztof Szydłowiecki of the Odrowąż coat of arms, the castellan of Sandomierz, Kraków and the Crown chancellor, in 1515-1531 erected a new, renaissance castle on the site of the old stronghold. Later, the castle was owned by successors: Tarnowski, Ostrogski, Wiśniowiecki, Sanguszkowie and Małachowski families. Janusz Ostrogski, who treated the castle as its main seat, strengthened its defenses by building four earth bastions in the corners. In 1657, it was besieged by the Swedes, and in 1702 destroyed and partially demolished.
The castle at the beginning of the sixteenth century consisted of a house located on the island and a open bailey from the south. The main complex was two rectangular buildings parallel to each other, with a courtyard in the middle. Both wings were connected from the north by a castle’s chapel, consisting of a nave and a chancel. The palace was surrounded by an irrigated 16m wide moat and a earth rampart. On the outer bailey was an elongated building with a three-storey gatehouse in the eastern part. A short wing was adjacent to the west at right angles. The gatehouse was erected on a rectangular plan and was extended slightly in front of the wall line. In the ground floor there was a gate passage with pointed entries in the stone frames, and on both sides of the gate there were key arrowslits.
Currently, small fragments of the walls from the palatial complex on the island, mainly the castle’s chapel, have been preserved, and of the outer bailey, the gatehouse connected with the farm building survived. Since 2010, archaeological works have been carried out at the castle for the planned restaurant, but unfortunately the private investor withdrew and the monument is now abandoned.
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.