Manorbier Castle, Wales is one of the few Norman castles containing comfortable, spacious living quarters.
|Manorbier Castle from the south|
The fortress was begun in the 12th century on a promontory by the coast. Little now remains of the outer ward, but the inner court remains intact.
The vast gate-house, hall and chapel form the nucleus of the castle and with the domestic buildings have windows looking on to the inner court.
The castle was never attacked; but because of this seclusion has often been used by smugglers in the past.
The Parliamentarians in the English Civil War (1642 – 1651) slighted it to prevent further use by the Royalists.
The castle is privately own by Lady Dunsany but is open to the public together with gardens, dovecote and mill.
The drive to the village and Castle will take you through some of the most scenic parts of Pembrokeshire, winding dramatically along leafy hedged lanes towards the coast.
The Castle-Wales site has the most comprehensive descriptions and wonderful pictures. Here they describe Manorbier as unique, giving an all-encompassing impression of feudal life during the Middle Ages ...
|Inner Ward of the Castle|
... with the castle as the hub of activity, the church on the opposite hillside, and the extensive agricultural lands merging with the sea and its riches below.
The lands comprised orchards, food crops, a mill, a fine fish-pond, a vineyard and a hazel tree woodland... while along the coast there was a
‘most excellent harbour for shipping ... This country is well supplied with corn, sea-fish, and imported wines ...’
as described by Gerald of Wales – the great twelfth century scholar, known as Geraldus Cambrensis, who was born in the Castle.
|The Pembrokeshire coastline|
A Castle well worth venturing deep into south-west Wales to visit, and then to perhaps camp, or bed and breakfast, while taking in the sites at Manorbier, before picnicking on the fairly deserted beach below.
That is M for Manorbier Castle – a feudal castle, relatively intact, reflecting land and sea defence, but at the same time realising the wealth of local produce for its inhabitants .... part of the ABC series of Aspects of British Castles
Bob Scotney featured Lindisfarne Castle, yesterday
ExperiencePembrokeshire – has a comprehensive article on the heritage ... pre-history to early 20th century ... of Manorbier and its surrounds: it makes an interesting read.
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