Ynglŷn â Manorbier Castle
The castle’s basic plan is almost rectangular, and consists of a sturdy battlemented curtain wall with niches and powerful corner towers, impressive gatehouse, a complex hall-range, and a huge barn.
- The Norman knight Odo de Barri was granted the lands of Manorbier, Penally and Begelly in gratitude for his military help in conquering Pembrokeshire after 1003.
- He built an earth and timber fortification, which was gradually replaced with a stone structure.
- His fourth son was Gerald de Barri. Known commonly as Gerald of Wales (the great twelfth century scholar, known as Giraldus Cambrensis) who was born at the castle. Renowned today for his chronicles and descriptions of life in his time.
- The de Barris owned the castle until 1359, after which time ownership changed hands on several occasions, becoming property of the monarchy in the late 15th century.
- By 1630 Queen Elizabeth sold the castle (then considered “ruynous … quite decayed) to the Bowen family of Trefloyne.
- The Philippses of Picton Castle bought the castle in 1670 who leased it to J.R. Cobb in the late 19th century.
- It was Cobb who undertook much of the restoration work.
- The castle only suffered two minor assaults: the first, in 1327, when Richard de Barri stormed Manorbier to claim what was rightfully his, and, then, in 1645 during the English Civil War, when the castle was seized and slighted by Cromwell’s Roundheads.
- Stunning location perched above the beach.
- Well preserved masonry, chapel, round tower and gatehouse.
- Numerous stairs, towers, rooms and battlements to explore.
- Inner ward laid out to gardens.
- Interesting spur tower with good views over the beach.
- Historical displays & life sized figures.
Gift shop & toilets. Self catering cottage inside the castle. Dogs admitted only on a lead. Picnics welcomed. Parking is limited. Park next to the beach and walk back up the hill.
Open: Daily from end March – end September 10.00am to 6.00pm
Also weekends in October and October half term.
£4.00 adults, £1.50 children, £3.00 senior citizens
Open from December to December.