Manorbier Castle, Dyfed
Manorbier, 5 miles Southwest of Tenby
This captivating castle, overlooking the beach a peaceful Manorbier, is famous for its links with Giraldus Cambrensis, Garald of Wales, who was born here in about 1146. Gerald, a prolific writer, called Manorbier 'the most delightful part of Pembroch...the pleasantest spot in Wales'. No doubt the castle is a good deal more pleasant now than it was then, when it was a symbol of Norman conquest in south-west Wales.
The strong limestone walls have weathered the centuries well and still stand largely intact after 800 years.
Although a minor castle, Manobier's defences were considerable including the sturdy walls, battlements, portcullises and ditches. However, these were never put to the test by a serious siege, and so the Norman de Barri family lived their lives happily unassailed by attacks from the local Welsh people.
~ History ~
1146 - Gerald of Wales is born in the castle built by his grandfather, a knight to the Earl of Pembroke.
1200's - The earthwork and wooden fortifications of Manorbier are rebuilt in stone by the powerful de Barri family.
1359 - The castle passes to the Earls of Huntington after the last de Barri dies without an heir.
Later still the castle passes to the Crown.
1400's - Manorbier is fortified against the Welsh uprising of Owain Glyndwr.
1500's - Queen Elizabeth sells Manorbier castle to the Bowens of Trefloyne. Later it passes through marriage to the current owners, the Philipps of Picton.
1640's - The castle's defences are partially dismantled by Parliamentarian forces following the surrender of its Royalist garrison.