Has been described as a Questionable Pele Tower, and also as a Questionable Bastle

There are no visible remains

Alternative Names
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed
CommunitySt Davids and the Cathedral Close

A scant Dyfed Archaeological Trust record of Medieval Tower House.

Site of Nunnery, with ruins which may have formed part of the building. The street in which these stand is known as Nun Street. (Laws and Owen 1908)

a house in St David's which has been demolished a few years ago, ... This building was of moderate dimensions, and consisted simply of a vaulted basement, with apartments above, and could never have been anything but a superior kind of house of the time. The street is, or was, called Nun Street after the mother of St David, and, being probably the oldest building in the street, thus obtained the name of Nunnery. (Barnwell 1868)

Vandalism at St. David’s.—Among the minor antiquities of this wonderful place, one of the most remarkable has disappeared within the last few months. In the street leading to Fishguard, and bearing the name of Nun Street, there stood an ancient house, commonly called the “ Nunnery,” but probably without any historical ground for the appellation. It consisted of two vaulted chambers on the ground floor, and two chambers above, without any internal communication between the stories, an external flight of steps. leading to the upper part of the house. The entrances were Dy doors with pointed arches, plain chamfered; the jambs were constructed, and the arches turned, with Caerfai sandstone. The vaulting was of the plain barrel form common in the district. The singularity of its construction, connected with the name of the street in wnich it stood, has caused the above mentioned use to be assigned it, but without reason, as the street clearly derives its name from St. Nun, the mother of St. David, and the arrangement marks its date rather than its design. It is certainly satisfactory to see improvements of any kind at St

David’s, and of late much improvement has taken place in what Browne Willis calls “ the mean houses of the citizens.” It is also true that the domicile in question must have been anything but a desirable winter residence, as the inhabitants of the lower “ flat” had not a chimney to bless themselves withal; and the visitor, whom a fatal curiosity had tempted into the interior, ran a chance of being stifled with culm-smoke. Still building-ground must be plentiful at St. David’s; and it is to be regretted that the necessary improvements could not be made without destroying one of the most curious specimens of its class in the kingdom. We give the “ destroyer” a “ minstrel’s malison,” in all its intensity. (Z 1851)

Gatehouse Comments

It would seem that the categorising of this as a 'tower house' is misleading, if anything it would seem more similar to a northern bastle although the ground level may have been for storage only and this may have been a warehouse like Quay Street, Haverfordwest.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSM753253
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  • Laws, E. and Owen, H., 1908, Archaeological Survey of Pembrokeshire 1896-1907 (Tenby)


  • Green, F 1919-20 , 'Street Names of St. Davids City' West Wales Historical Records Vol. 8
  • Barnwell, E.L., 1868, 'Domestic Architecture of South Pembrokeshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 23 p. 78-9 online copy
  • Z, 1851, 'Vandalism at St. David's' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 6 p. 169 online copy