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

Phil Lewis (2 years ago)
A nice place to visit. But at £5.50 per adult a little bit pricey as I managed to view it in 40 minutes.
Alan Alexander (2 years ago)
One of my favourite castles to visit. We come here every time we holiday in Wales. Not only a castle to explore but a beautiful beach and rock pooling with the grandchildren.
Pete Armstrong (2 years ago)
Interesting visit at a reasonable price. Dog friendly too. Easily spend an hour or or more wandering around here. Be aware the steps to the top of the towers are very steep if you are a bit unsure on your feet but the views are worth it.
Nick Wood (2 years ago)
Castle is very evocative and there are many nooks and crannies to explore. Looks like a great venue for a wedding. Only disappointment was service at the coffee shop which was slow and rather grumpy ...
Kate Wright (2 years ago)
A lovely experience. Surroundings were amazing and great refreshments from the cafe. Will definitely be back
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