Saturday, 15th December 2018
Bosherston - Eight Arch Bridge

Stackpole and Castlemartin Community Council

image of Stackpole and Castlemartin Community Council

Stackpole and Castlemartin Community Council

Stackpole Village

Stackpole is a village located 4.2 miles south of Pembroke in the community of Stackpole and Castlemartin and has a population of around 200. The school was constructed in the late nineteenth century.

Stackpole village was moved from its original medieval site in 1735 to accommodate the growing Stackpole Estate. Present day Stackpole is considerably larger than it was then. Stackpole has a public house, The Stackpole Inn, which occupies the former village Post Office, a building of sixteenth-century origin. The village is surrounded on all sides by woodland and arable farmland.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the village expanded with modern homes built at the edge of Deer Park and around the school.

Just outside the village there is the Stackpole Outdoor Learning Centre which is a multi-purpose venue run by the National Trust with a theatre, licensed bar and conference facilities. It is immediately adjacent to the Lily Ponds and the Eight Arch Bridge and occupies a remarkably tranquil part of the estate near Home Farm and less than a 1-mile walk from Broad Haven South beach.

The 100 acres of lakes, which are today known as the Lily Ponds, were created by the damming of the three narrow limestone valleys in 1780 and 1860 by the earls of Cawdor, then owners of the Stackpole estate. The estate once centred on an elegant baronial mansion, Stackpole Court, built just outside Stackpole. However, during the English Civil War, the Lort family, who owned the estate from 1611 to 1698, took the side of the King, and the house was besieged by Parliamentarians, to whom they eventually surrendered. When Sir Gilbert Lort died in 1698 the estate passed to his sister Elizabeth who had married Sir Alexander Campbell, Thane of Cawdor, in 1689. She outlived her husband, and on her death in 1714 the estate passed to her son John Campbell.

A new mansion constructed of limestone was built in later years with extensive gardens, greenhouses and fine collections of plants. Unfortunately much of the Stackpole Estate farmland was requisitioned at the start of World War II to create a training ground for British troops. Castlemartin range still occupies this land. This made the estate unviable and The Cawdors returned to their Scottish estate in Nairnshire in the early 1940s. Crippling taxes on the empty mansion meant it was demolished in 1963, leaving behind the estate's outbuildings, parkland and beaches which are looked after by the National Trust and enjoyed by the public today.

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