St Brides; The Abbey

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameSt Brides; The Abbey
Alternative NamesSt Bride's Castle
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunityMarlaes and St Brides

Ruined Tower House, may be post medieval, close to C19 house called St Bride's Castle. (Davis 2000)

An C18 ruined small rectangular building with every appearance of a tower house except for definite signs of age. The pebbledashed walls are of rubble masonry with false quoins and large window openings. The interior is plain with plastered walls and has small fireplaces. (Coflein)

Situated at St Brides Green, some 200m SW of St Brides Cross and some 200m SE of the coast at St Brides Haven.

Gateway and walled gardens of the largely demolished original gentry house at St Brides, erroneously called The Abbey. First recorded as `le Hill' in 1298 the house belonged to the de St Bride family, and then in the late C15 passed to the Laugharne family. John Laugharne died in 1715, his heiress marrying William Philipps of Sandyhaven who may have built the new house on the site of the present St Brides Castle in the 1730s. It was one of the larger houses of Pembrokeshire in the C17, having 11 hearths in 1670. Fenton in 1811 thought that the old house had been quadrangular, enclosed by a high battlemented wall with wall-walk and arched gateways to front and side. These gateways survive, of the house itself a ruined one-room section of some two and a half storeys remains without dateable features. The gateways may be C16 or early C17.

Extensive series of walls to N of site of St Brides mansion. Rubble stone walls surrounding a large rectangular walled garden running E-W with narrow forecourt of same depth at E end and further walled area of same depth to E, about one quarter the length, with the cottages of The Green (separately listed) built onto N side. A further wall extends diagonally ENE from the SE corner towards the lane at the E for some 100 metres

The forecourt has a fine N entrance gateway with cambered-arched entry set to left under heavily corbelled embattled parapet, the parapet of 5 large crenellations with loops in centre 3. Within the forecourt are embattled walls both sides and another cambered headed archway opens to W into the main walled garden to the W. The front to the garden also has a corbelled embattled parapet. At the W end of this walled garden is small doorway into the garden of the former vicarage, with stone voussoirs and scratched date 1757. On outside of the N wall, near to main gateway is a roofless lean-to structure said to have been a smithy, with window, door and window to front and curved hearth in left end wall.

A rare example of the forecourt walls and embattled gateways of a gentry house of the late medieval or early modern period. (Listed Building Report)

A now ruined post mediaeval manor house called The Abbey with an earlier Pembrokeshire Tower House at its core. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Clearly whatever is here has been much altered, although the pebbledash and plaster may be hiding the actual detail of the alteration. It is possible this was originally a small medieval tower house.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSM804107
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 124
  • Jones, F., 1996, Historic Houses of Pembrokeshire and Their Families (Brawdy Books) p. 190-1
  • Laws, E. and Owen, H., 1908, Archaeological Survey of Pembrokeshire 1896-1907 (Tenby)
  • Fenton, R., 1811, A historical tour through Pembrokeshire (Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & co.) p. 173- online copy