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

Christopher Mann (10 months ago)
Awesome place for day out
Ruby Sanderson (2 years ago)
Excellent castle, have visited before but enjoyed it once again. Good Covid measures in place and it wasn't busy when we went. No need to book and admission was simple and quick (in the cafe) The cafe itself does drinks and lovely cakes. However, despite their website stating they do sandwiches, they don't. We did plan to have lunch there, but instead we walked to the end of the castle drive and got some baguettes from the Beach Break Tearooms there, which we took back and ate in the grounds once we'd paid admission. So not a problem. It's a great castle and we enjoyed our visit. Overlooks Manorbier beach which we'd been on in the morning. Would recommed a visit to both, lovely.
Delyth Thomas (2 years ago)
Brian Waters (2 years ago)
Well preserved castle of Norman origins just a stone's throw from Manorbier beach. Nice coffee shop too. Fab
Jayne Edwards (2 years ago)
Fabulous castle, in a stunning setting, overlooking Manorbier beach. Really enjoyed our coffee and cake too. It should be more widely recognised, in our opinion. Wonderful!!
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