Flimston Farmhouse

Has been described as a Questionable Bastle

There are major building remains

NameFlimston Farmhouse
Alternative Names
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

History: Flimston consists of a small mediaeval first-floor hall-house radically extended c.1600 into a three-unit farmhouse, and further altered C18/C19. The house has been disused at least since the establishment of the Army Range in 1938. It is now a roofless ruin.

Description: The house as it survives is substantially as altered c.1600. It faces E, and consists of a room to the S which may have been a service room, followed by a through-passage, the site of a kitchen or hall and a parlour cross-wing. The cross-wing projects to the rear and the stairs are positioned in the corner between the main range and the wing. To the S a half-octagon extension. Masonry of the earlier parts is in local limestone rubble. The front later rendered. The roof pitch nearly 45o. Traces of earlier construction indicate that the house was originally a hall-house, with a solar in the N cross wing. Also there is a solar hearth and circular chimney at the N side of the cross-wing, supported on corbels internally and externally, the hearth being at a low level implying a previously lower solar floor unrelated to the chamber floor level of the centre of the house. Its bressummer is chamfered and carried on quarter-round corbels. In the gable wall of the S room is the arch of a large hearth, now blocked, with a large oven at one side and a small oven on the other, and a large square chimney. The house has been altered by the addition of a large service room at the S end, in a masonry consisting of a mixture of random rubble and a proportion of old bricks. The gable chimney of the previous S room was re-used by blocking its arch and forming an opening into the new room. Later small rooms and a porch are at the rear of the house, mostly in brickwork. The room N of the through-passage and the lower storey of the cross-wing have been converted into a single room. This has a front-wall fireplace the flue of which sets across diagonally to the apex of the cross-wing front gable

The walls internally are battened out and lathed for plastering. A vaulted cellar with its floor about 0.5 m below the general ground floor level was perhaps inserted in the rear of the old parlour at the NW corner of the house as part of these alterations, and entered from beneath the staircase. There is a large external water cistern adjacent to it at the N of the building. Listed Grade 2star in spite of its ruinous condition as an important specimen of early domestic architecture, both in its mediaeval and its post-mediaeval form. (Listed Building Report)

The monument consists of the remains of a farmhouse originating in the late medieval period; the site of Flimston (or originally Flemissheton) first appearing in the rentals of the Earl of Pembroke in 1246. It represented half of a knight’s fee which in 1324 was worth 100s per annum and at this time was held by William de Castro along with other properties in the area. The semi-ruinous building incorporates a complex series of development with the early core represented by a late medieval two storey gabled block at its north end. The north side of this has evidence for two late medieval windows and has a corbelled flue carrying a tall circular chimney. There is a rectangular light to the undercroft of the main facade. The interior of this block contains a small vaulted undercroft that appears to be a later insertion as it rises above the floor level on which the corbelled and hooded fireplace stands. At this lower level are the remains of a blocked doorway in the south wall. The house was extended in the early post medieval period at right angles to this block by a hall with rooms at ground floor, served by a cross-passage. This phase has segmental stone walls, one of which leads into the undercroft and a large gable fireplace at the S end, which was subsequently modified to include ovens. A semi-hexagonal tower was also added later. In the 18th and 19th century modernization occurred with new windows, internal brickwork partitions and the extension of the building to the south and east. By this time it formed part of The Stackpole Estate and as a farmhouse was occupied until The Second World War. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Davis records this a defensible. Presumably he considered it to be similar to northern bastles but the listed buildings description does not suggest a fortified house of any sort here.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceSR924956
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Copyright Gareth James and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image
Copyright Gareth James and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image
Copyright Gareth James and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

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  • Davis, Paul, R., 2011, The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Almeley: Logaston Press) p. 62
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 118
  • Smith, P. 1988 (2edn), The Houses of the Welsh Countryside (RCAHMW)