Bishops Palace Lamphey

Lamphey Castle

Introduction

Here are the ruins of a stronghold of the bishops of St David’s. Anyone visiting neighbouring Pembroke or Manorbier would find Lamphey an extensive and picturesque area well worth a visit. The bishops were great landholders owning not just land but manors. This palace was capable of a certain amount of defence though not as much as Llawhaden, another of the fortified palaces.

Here are the ruins of a stronghold of the bishops of St David’s. Anyone visiting neighbouring Pembroke or Manorbier would find Lamphey an extensive and picturesque area well worth a visit. The bishops were great landholders owning not just land but manors. This palace was capable of a certain amount of defence though not as much as Llawhaden, another of the fortified palaces.

Lamphey was a two-warded castle with an outer bailey protected on two sides by a stream – possibly dammed for added protection. There is little left of the outer wall but some inner buildings still show shape. The entrance had a crenellated gatehouse; on one side of the court was a large hall with a battlemented parapet walk along it and a barrel-vaulted cellar below. Below the battlements of a tower, are large openings to the outside, whose object is not quite clear.

There are ruins of an early Tudor chapel with a beautiful Perpendicular west window which has retained its tracery almost intact, although great sections of the chapel wall have fallen down. This in itself makes a visit well worthwhile. The main building appears to be 14th C though the chapel window is later. Possibly Bishop Gower (1328-47) a builder of St. Davis’s itself was responsible for the greater part of Lamphey while another, Bishop Barlow (1536-48) was possibly responsible for its demise. In response to Henry V111th’s filching of his See-lands, he sat about debasing as much of the bishopric as he could control. Not only did he strip and sell the lead from his own palace at St. David’s but dealt in the same way with other Episcopal residences.

In the mid 16th C, Lamphey was sold in a somewhat dismantled condition to Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers, grandfather of Elizabeth 1st favourite, the Earl of Essex. He was said to have been brought up and educated there.

When the new Lamphey Court was built nearby and became the residence, the latter, by the 18th C, had fallen into the decay we see today.


Click here for the Bishops Palace Lamphey website

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015


An elegant Georgian farmhouse in ten acres of private grounds located just outside Lamphey village. The owners invite guests to share the peace and tranquillity of their home, by providing comfortable and well furnished accommodation with stunning views towards the South Pembrokeshire coast. They only provide three guest bedrooms which means that they can offer guests a personal service of the highest standard. Their aim is to welcome you as guests but to ensure that you leave as friends.