Manorbier History

Manorbier CastleManorbier Castle

Odo De Barri was granted the lands of Manorbier as a reward for his help in conquering Pembrokeshire at the end of the 11th century.

Originally the castle had a wooden keep surrounded by a palisade and earthwork embankment. In the 12th century William, the son of Odo De Barri built stone walls in order to fortify the castle.

Gerald of Wales, also know as Geraldus Cambrensis in keeping with the Latin tongue, was born at the castle and went on to be a great Welsh scholar saying of his birthplace:

"In all the broad lands of Wales, Manorbier is the most pleasant place by far."

The castle has only ever been attacked twice. Once as a result of a De Barri family feud and again in 1645 when parliamentarian forces seized the castle during the English Civil War and slighted it in order to prevent its use by royalist forces. The castle was left to fall into decay for the next 200 years until 1880 when the castle was partially restored.

Manorbier ChurchManorbier Church

Standing on the other side of the valley from the castle is the beautiful Church of St. James.The church is a Grade 1 listed, 12th Century Norman Church dedicated to St. James the Greater.

It is believed that the church is built on part of a 6th century site that was once a larger Celtic monastery settlement founded by St. Pyr whose name is believed to be the origin of Manorbier, meaning "belonging to Pyr".

As from the castle, the views from the church grounds across the sea are stunning and should not be missed when visiting the area!

The Kings QuoiteThe Kings Quoit

Manorbier also has links to the neolithic period via The Kings Quoit, an ancient burial mound situated on the cliff path to the East overlooking the bay. There is also evidence that the area was settled during the Bronze and Iron ages.