Adam fitz Godebert de la Roche

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Adam fitz Godebert de la Roche

Also Known As: "Adam de la Rupe"
Birthplace: Wales, United Kingdom
Death: Castle Roche, Pembrokeshire, , Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Rodbert fitz Godebert
Husband of Blandiane
Father of David fitz Adam de La Roche
Brother of David fitz Godebert and Henry fitz Godebert

Managed by: Martin Severin Eriksen
Last Updated:

About Adam fitz Godebert de la Roche

Adam de la Rupe (Roche) Adam was the first to hold Roch(e) Castle, Pembrokeshire. He was married to Blandina and founded Pill Priory.

Little is now known of the origins or chronology of the Roche family although it is thought that they were Flemish and that the dynasty was established by Godebert, who is recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1130, and may have been Adam's grandfather. The barony of Roche was acquired and created by the family c. 1100x1130, and had at its core the manors of Pill and Roche.

Sites associated with this person

Roch(e) Castle was first built circa 1200 by a Norman Knight Adam de la Roche, founder of Pill Priory, Milford. The barony has been know as the Barony of La Roche and the Barony of Roche, The castle is know as Roch castle.

The present Castle has been dated by G.T. Clark to circa 1270. Though built for defence, it appears to have been adapted to habitation with freestone windows and fireplaces. The castle has a prominent 'D' shaped Tower plan and it is a tall single structure with projecting chambers and stands on an isolated rocky outcrop surrounded by a moted enclosure. The tower is unmistakable for miles around, and traces of the old earthwork bailey can be seen at the foot of the outcrop. ...

His sons Richard (a knight) and Robert fitz Godebert, or more correctly, Robert's sons, seem to have taken the name de Roch (de Rupe -- Latin; de Roiste or Roistigh -- Irish) in Ireland after the Cambro-Norman Invasion

The Castle was founded in the 2nd half of the 13th century, although the Lordship de Rupe (rock) can be traced back to about 1200 AD. An earlier fortress may have existed here, probably an earlier wooden structure.

The family had played an important role in the English settlement of Pembrokeshire and owned considerable territory in the northern areas. Roch Castle was doubtless built as one of the outer defences of "Little England" or "Landsker" for it is near the unmarked border for which centuries has separated the English and Welsh areas of Pembrokeshire.

A legend told of the castle's founder, Adam de Rupe, whose fear of a prophecy that he would be killed by a viper's bite led him to choose this isolated site. Apparently he was unable to avoid his fate, for a viper, concealed in a bundle of firewood, found its way into the castle and fulfilled the prophecy.

The de Rupe, or Roche, family came to an end in 1420 and the de la Roche estates were broken up in the fifteenth century and the castle was then ruinous.

Bibliographical sources

  • Hunter, J., 'Copies of the original charters of the family of de la Roche' Archaeologia Cambrensis 18 (1852) pp.267-268
  • Ludlow, N. D., Ramsey, R. S. F. and Schlee, D. E., 'Pill Priory 1996-1999: recent work at a Tironian House in Pembrokeshire' Medieval Archaeology (2002) p. 45
  • Pritchard, Emily M., 'The History of St Dogmaels Abbey together with her cells, Pill, Caldey and Glascareg and the mother abbey of Tiron' (London 1907) p. 123

Possible, though proof is wanting, that this Adam is identical with the Adam de la ROCHE, who, with consent of his wife Blandiane, founded the priory of Pill near Milford Haven.

He, along with his brothers, David and Henry, gave the island of Begerin, in Wexford, North Bay, with the church built upon it, to St. Nicholas, Exeter, for the soul of their father, Robert fitz Godebert. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Roche surname is French (Norman) in origin and means “rock”. It is both a geographical and habitation surname; it could be acquired by a family who lived near a rocky outcrop or crag, or by living close to a town with this name. Many towns in France, Ireland and the UK are based on the name.

The Roche surname in Ireland and the UK originated in Wales in approximately 1100 AD. The district of Rhos in south west Wales was heavily influenced by the Normans at this time and also became a major Flemish settlement. The parish of Roch was established in Rhos near a rocky outcrop. . Rhos later became known as Pembrokeshire.

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Adam fitz Godebert de la Roche's Timeline

Wales, United Kingdom
Age 30
Pembrokeshire, Wales
Castle Roche, Pembrokeshire, , Wales