Manorbier Castle

Manorbier, United Kingdom

Manorbier Castle  is a Norman castle founded in the late 11th century. The land was granted to Odo de Barri, a Norman knight. Initially, he constructed a motte-and-bailey castle on the site which had a wooden keep defended by a palisade and earthworks embankments. In the early part of the 12th century, William de Barri, Odo's son, used locally quarried Limestone to strengthen the fortification.

In the castle's history, it was only attacked twice; both were minor skirmishes. In 1327, Richard de Barri assaulted Manorbier in a dispute over family succession. Then 300 years later during the English Civil War, the castle was seized in 1645 by Parliamentarian forces. It was then slighted to prevent further military use by the Royalists.

Through the 17th and 18th centuries, Manorbier fell into decay. However, in 1880 the castle was partially restored by J.R.Cobb, a tenant who carried out repairs to the buildings and walls.

Manorbier is a rectangular enclosure castle that has curtain walls and round and square towers. It stands on a natural coastal promontory and has no external moat. The main entrance to the inner ward is a tower gateway that was defended by a portcullis, roof embrasures and a heavy iron/wood door. A postern gate provided access to the beach and the sea. The southeast tower is round; the northeast is angular. The castle's domestic ranges, which were completed in the 1140s, included kitchens, apartments and a Great hall. Windows replaced the arrowslits in the domestic range. A chapel with elaborate vaulting and plaster-work was built c. 1260. Some of the original medieval frescoes survive.

Earthworks completed an outer ward. There was no barbican. A bridge across a neck ditch linked the inner and outer wards.

The castle is privately owned and is open to the public together with the gardens, the dovecote and the mill. The castle is a wedding venue. A part has been converted into a holiday cottage.



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Manorbier, United Kingdom
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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sprawsie (3 months ago)
Amazing castle ❤️ Well worth visiting.
Nigel Shoemark (4 months ago)
What can I say....... brilliant in so many ways. This Castle is full of history and character, and a must see if travelling around the area.
Daniel Murphy (7 months ago)
Manorbier Castle: Where Dragons Napped and Stones Had Stories to Tell! Oh, Manorbier Castle, the jewel of Wales – a place where knights once roamed, dragons dozed, and the stones whispered tales older than my grandmother's favorite knitting patterns. Firstly, let's talk stonework – these stones are like the Gandalfs of masonry, standing tall and proud, as if they've seen more epic battles than a Welsh rugby field. The craftsmanship is so splendid; even the moss has taken up residence in style. Now, the grounds – a picturesque haven where you can almost hear the Welsh leprechauns telling jokes to the sheep. I strolled through the grassy plains, feeling like an extra in a medieval rom-com, minus the dragons – apparently, they were off on a tea break. As for the renovations, well, let's just say even King Arthur would say, "Alright, could use a lick of paint here and there." A few bits looked like they've weathered more storms than a conversation about the weather in a Welsh pub. I didn't venture inside the castle – not because I'm scared of ghosts (I am), but because the real action is outside. The courtyard, a stage for the world's grandest game of invisible medieval badminton, where the shuttlecock is a knight's lost helmet. In conclusion, Manorbier Castle is a 5-star spectacle, a place where the stones hold secrets tighter than a Welsh dragon guards its treasure. It's a delightful blend of history, with just enough renovation projects to keep the ghosts on their toes. If you're ready for a stroll through time and a chuckle with the castle stones, Manorbier is your knight in slightly tarnished armor – because, let's be honest, perfection is overrated! ???
Alexandra Rogers (9 months ago)
Beautiful castle right by the beach! Lovely views, lots of parking, easily accessible and not extremely overrun or busy Historical facts all around and a really great day out for kids
Lindsay Kitching (9 months ago)
What a wonderful castle to visit. Beautiful country roads on the drive to it (some narrow so be careful as they can be busy). A large carpark just below the castle is pay an display. There are toilets in the carpark aswell which was fab. A small walk up a light hill road leads you to a secret entrance to the castle (marked as such on the gate lol). A small uphill path leads you to a small moat and drawbridge type entrance to the castle. For a small fee from the coffee shop (we stopped for a lovely coffee and homemade cake which was lush) you gain entrance to the castle grounds and towers. Thought has clearly been put into the towers with notes and things to see and do in them. Rather lively than just plain walls and sights out of the tiny windows. After a lovely walk about the castle its a 5min walk if that to a really lovely beach. Total bonus. Totally forgot to get pictures of the beautiful beach (apologies) but it is very pretty and definitely worth a visit. We then went on to Tenby afterwards for food an another walk along Tenby beach with our 2yr old son. Fantastic day out.
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