Sisters House

Has been described as a Questionable Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameSisters House
Alternative NamesSysterne House
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

Popularly supposed to have been a hospice for female pilgrims, or even a nunnery, in the middle ages due mainly to proximity to the Commandery at Slebech and the important medieval ferry and also to a corruption of the place-name from 'Systerne' House (1546). Nothing in this large complex of ruined buildings is of certain medieval date and it is likely to have been built as a 16th century gentry house by Roger Barlow on land acquired from the Crown after the Dissolution. The Barlows ceased to use Minwear (Sisters') House after 1700 and it was leased as a farm thereafter and subject to increasing dilapidation being ruinous by the early 19th century. Now very ruinous and in woodland but 13 buildings have been identified within enclosures including the former mansion, a large barn and also a walled garden and water features in a recent survey by DAT. HJ after Ludlow, N April 2000 (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument consists of the remains of several buildings of unknown character and date, including a barn, 100ft x 25ft, with opposing entrances in the long sides. Along the eastern side are two small buildings opening onto the passage and there is also a building with a barrel vault substantially intact. The southern part of the area is surrounded by a boundary wall standing up to 12ft. Elsewhere walls stand to 20ft and more. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Two houses of a very similar design to northern bastles beside a ruined hall, may have been freestanding or part of a larger complex. This is a site vulnerable to pirates but the resemblance to bastles is misleading.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSN032135
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 122
  • Smith, P., 1988, Houses of the Welsh Countryside


  • Nicholson, Helen, 2002 (pub. 2005), 'The Sisters’ House at Minwear, Pembrokeshire: analysis of the documentary and archaeological evidence' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 151 p. 109-38

Guide Books

  • The Martletwy and Landshipping Local History Group, 2001, Martletwy (SPARC) online copy


  • Ludlow, Neil, 1997, The Sisters’ House, Minwear, Pembrokeshire: a historical summary and structural description (Dyfed Archaeological Trust Report)