Angle Rectory

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House, and also as a Certain Pele Tower

There are major building remains

NameAngle Rectory
Alternative NamesNangle; The Tower; Castle Inn
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

This pele tower is traditionally known as the Old Rectory. Together with Castle Farm and the Dovecote, it stands on the Rectorial Glebe land of the Parish of Angle. It is a type of building which is very rare in Wales and the Marches. It has, however, many parallels in Ireland, where a Statute of 1429 encouraged the construction of tower houses within the Pale. It has been suggested (Fenton) that it was the residence of the Sherbornes, who were Lords of Angle since the mid C14, but this appears conjectural. It stands at the N edge of a tidal creek connected to Angle Bay. The site was defended by this creek on the S, and moated on its other three sides. Until c.1930 there were remains of a second building with a vaulted undercroft of similar dimensions where the N arm of the moat used to be, and where the kitchen of Castle Farm now stands.

Small square windows, flat-headed, on the S-facing wall overlooking the creek. All other openings are defensive loopholes with interior splays. The fireplaces of the 1st and 2nd storeys are against the N wall and have a shared flue in the wall thickness. The flue terminates in a tapered circular chimney, which is almost complete. The fireplace for the 3rd storey is against the E wall. All have plain heavy stone bressummers. Garderobe in E wall of 1st storey. At top there are boldly projecting two-course corbels on all faces except those of the stairs turret, suggesting a parapet walk with machicolations.

The plan of the house is single-cell, about 3.6 m square, with a vaulted ground storey and a spiral staircase at one corner. The vault is slightly pointed, with a rise slightly less than half the span. The upper floors and roof are missing, but the masonry of the tower is almost complete. The walls are of local rubble sandstone masonry with the ground storey slightly battered

On the N side the masonry is random rubble but on the other three sides it is regularly built in about 20 cm courses with some small stones to make up course heights. The stair turret projects about 0.4 m on the N and E sides. The doorway is at first-floor level on the E side. Above the doorway in the second storey are two slits evidently for the draw-chains of a bridge and there are corbels evidently for the support of a hood above these. The doorway is only 1.2 m high and has a segmental arch of late mediaeval appearance. The outside arris of this opening carries a simple large three-quarter round moulding. The backing arch is of two-centred form. (Listed Building Report)

A substantially complete three storey tower, 15' square and 30' high, remains of a medieval moated mansion, traditionally identified as a 'fortified rectory'. The tower retains the corbels that supported wall-top machiculations, has a rounded stair turret at one angle and a first floor entrance. The tower stood at the SW corner of the moated enclosure and remains of a second, similar tower were noted at the NE angle. The moat can no longer be traced.

A possible inhabitant is Edward de Shirburn 'of Nangle', who dedicated the mortuary chapel of St Anthony at Angle. In 1175-76, Giraldus Cambrensis was Rector of Angle. (Coflein)

Gatehouse Comments

Very small, tall machiolated C14 tower house. Pettifer writes since similer tower once occupied opposite corner of enclosure Angle is better regarded as a small quadrangular castle. This building, marked as 'tower' on the OS map and called 'Castle' in the Inventory (but in the Homestead Moats sub-division) and on the site of Castle Farm and, at one time, Castle Inn but usual described as a "Fortified Rectory" is often confused with Angle Castle. All texts need to be read with great care, particularly with regard to histories which may relate to either building, and with the understanding that authors may well have confabulated the two buildings. Although the larger of the two medieval fortified buildings in Angle, certainly in height and original form, this was not the manorial centre and, therefore, was not the local castle.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceSM866029
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  • Hull, Lise, 2005, Castles and Bishops Palaces of Pembrokeshire (Logaston Press) p. 43-45
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses Vol. 2 (Cambridge) p. 654
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 153-4
  • Davis, Paul, 2000, A Company of Forts. A Guide to the Medieval Castles of West Wales (Gomer Press) p. 114-5 (Reconstruction)
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 28 (Calls this Angle Castle)
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 48 (History confused with Angle Castle and Angle Hall)
  • Smith, P. 1988, The Houses of the Welsh Countryside (HMSO) p. 23
  • 1987, Pembrokeshire County History Vol. 3 (Pembrokeshire County History Trust) p. 81
  • Davis, P.R., 1987, Castles of Dyfed (Llandysul: Gomer Press) p. 63
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 391
  • Smith, P., 1975, Houses of the Welsh Countryside (HMSO) p. 32 (plans and elevations)
  • Stickings, T.G., 1973, Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire (Tenby) p. 85-7
  • RCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 9-10 no. 21 online copy
  • Edwards, Emily Hewlett, 1909, Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire (Tenby) p. 39-40 online copy


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • King, D.J.C., 1962, 'The Castles of Pembrokeshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 119 p. 313-6 online copy
  • 1885, Journal of British Archaeology Association Vol. 41 p. 80-1
  • Barnwell, E.L., 1868, 'Domestic Architecture of South Pembrokeshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 23 p. 73-6 online copy