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Amroth Castle: Historic Building of Pembrokeshire, Wales

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Amroth Castle:

Historic Building of Pembrokeshire, Wales

Image Geograph © Copyright Stuart Logan and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.'

The building in the picture is mostly an 18th C 'residence grande' but it occupies the site of a Norman Castle.


// // Work in Progress//


  • Type of Building: House (Domestic)
  • Condition:
  • Ruins of 12th C Castle and
  • 18th C castle is castellated, cement rendered with battlements, bow windows and bays. Built to an L shaped plan, the main west front is of three storeys with a full-height porch projecting in the centre with a crenellated parapet and Tudor arch. The two upper storeys of the porch are probably C19. A chapel is attached to the north side above service quarters. Nothing remains of its interior, except a damaged stained glass lancet east window. Interior features include a Gothic fireplace in the reception room to the left of the entrance, and a Trafalgar commemorative plaque in the dining room ceiling.
  • Location: Amroth, Pembrokeshire
  • When Built: - rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries on a 12th century site
  • Architect:
  • Built for/by:
  • Owned by:
  • Webpage:
  • a.k.a. Eareweare


Nothing remains of Amroth Castle other than a restored gateway, parts of which may date from the 14th century. The castle was a small stone built construction that is believed to have replaced a castle mound to the north-west. There was a feudal residence on the location from the early Middle Ages, mentioned by Fenton. In 1670 John Elliott esq. of Eareweare paid tax on five hearths.

The present building is a 19th-century country house built in the style of a mock castle which possibly replaced a small stone castle dating from the 12th century. The ruined remains of the house are a grade I listed building.

18th Century

Major James Ackland purchased Amroth Castle from a female heir to the estate in 1754. The wife of James Ackland was Frances Hancorne, and, as the Plaque in St Mary’s Church, Tenby attests, Frances Ackland was the daughter of Thomas Hancorne of Penrice Castle.

Colonel Ackland acquired Amroth in 1790. Mrs T Allen (nee Ackland) - Investigating this link CJB) - told Charles Egerton Allen that Amroth was purchased by Maj. Ackland with the money that his wife had inherited from Francis Philipps of Waungron. She died in 1825 (In 1808 the Castle was occupied by Captain John Ackland) leaving the estate to her nephew, a Colonel Lewis Augustus Northey who sold it to the Rev Thomas Shrapnel Biddulph. Biddulph was a descendant of the Elliots. (connection not yet found - CJB) He was a prebendary of Brecon and a magistrate for Pembroke and Carmarthen. The second son of the Reverend became General Sir Michael Anthony Shrapnel Biddulph GCB who held various royal appointments. [Rev. Thomas] apparently entertained Lord Nelson at Amroth while he was on his way to Carew Castle where Sir William and Lady Hamilton were living. There is said to be a large plaque in his (Nelson’s) honour in the ceiling of a room in Amroth Castle.

19th Century

After passing through several hands the castle was used as a lunatic asylum in the 1850s. Converted back to a private house in 1886 when it was sold to the Rev. Thomas Richardson Fussell (Walfords County Families 1886 according to CEA) a retired minister. Owners in the C19 included the families of Biddulph and Bevan.

After passing through several hands the castle was used as a lunatic asylum in the 1850s. Converted back to a private house in 1886 when it was sold to the Rev. [John] Thomas Richardson Fussell (Walfords County Families 1886 according to CEA) a retired minister.

Rev John Thomas Richardson Fussell, left 1834; Trinity Coll,. Camb., B.A., 1848; of Amroth Castle, co Pembroke. - Full text of "Shrewsbury School register, 1734-1908"

1881 Census

  • Elizabeth Fussell Head mar 49 Clergyman's Wife born London, Middlesex
  • Henry Davies Fussell son un-m 24 Farmer of 247 acres emp. 4 labourers Born London, Middlesex
  • Dorothy E C Fussell daur 2 born London, Middlesex
  • Lucy Pierce - servant un-m Nurse, Domestic servant Born Canterbury, Kent
  • Deborah Shamp - servant un-m 22 Cook, Domestic servant Born King Co. Ireland
  • Robert Davies - servant un-m 17 Stable boy Born Amroth, Pembrokeshire, Wales

It was later owned and occupied by Owen Cosby Philipps, 1st Baron Kylsant, the shipping magnate who bought the White Star Line and was created Baron Kylsant of Carmarthen and Amroth in 1923 . It passed to his daughter Nesta, who had married George Coventry, grandson of the 9th Earl of Coventry. They moved out in 1930 when George inherited the Coventry title and estates.

The building has been owned and run by the same family since 1969 who developed a Holiday Park located within the grounds.

People Associated with Amroth Castle

in chronological order

Further References

  • Mjr James Ackland purchased Amroth Castle from the female heir to the estate in 1754. Alex Elliot who was High Sheriff in that year was married to Elizabeth, daughter of John Barlow of Lawrenny and widow of Joseph Walter of Rosemarket. Mjr Ackland was brother to Col (or mjr) Dudley Ackland who bought Boulston in 1797. He died and was buried at Tenby in 1820.
  • In 1886 the castle was sold to the Rev. Thomas Richardson Fussell (Walfords County Families 1886 according to CEA) a retired minister.
  • Kelly’s directory of 1905 has the following entry:

Owen Cosby Philipps, third son of the Rev. Sir James Erasmus Philipps, Bart., b 1863, m 1902 Mai Alice Magdalen Morris d of the late Thomas Morris DL JP of Coomb. High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire 1904. JP Pembrokeshire and Glasgow. As a young man he was apprenticed at Newcastle on Tyne. He founded the King Line on the Clyde and later became director and then chairman of Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. He purchased Pacific Steam Navigation for £1.5m and interests in other shipping companies. He acquired Union Castle Mail Steamship Company in 1912. In 1927 he purchased Oceanic Steam Navigation Co (White Star Line) for £7m and invited public subscription/preference shares. In 1924 he had assumed control of Harland and Wolf. The depression started. In July 1931 he was tried for issuing false accounts – not guilty and for a false prospectus for which he was sentenced to 12 months in the second division. He earned much sympathy by his attitude in Court where he accepted full liability. On his return to Amroth his car was pulled by 40 men under the special arch of welcome. He retired to Coombe where he died.
He was MP for Pembroke Borough and Haverfordwest 1906-1910 and City of Chester 1916-1922. Created baron Kylsant 1923. Lord Lieutenant of Haverfordwest 1923-1931. 1920 purchase of Plas Llanstephan. After the First World War the grounds were opened to the public for a big peace celebration with tea, bonfire and fireworks. In the 1920’s whist drives were held for various causes in the large laundry room.

  • 1919 (Gardeners Chronicle: Horticultural Directory and Yearbook) Gardener F.A. Smith.
  • 1923 Daughter, the Hon. Mrs Coventry, having married the grandson and heir of the Earl of Coventry, lived in the castle with her husband. When they inherited the title they moved away to Worcester.

Daily Telegraph 14 th July 1997 Wills etc:

  • The Hon Mrs Fisher-Hoch, widow of the 10 th Earl of Coventry and of Major Terrance Fisher- Hoch of Carmarthen, Dyfed, who died last April, left estate valued at £1,282,461 net. She left her Nissan Prairie LX Estate Car specially adapted to carry a wheelchair along with her cherished registration number FH4 to Coomb Cheshire Home, Carmarthen.

Of the features listed in the RCAMW database, the carriage drive and parkland are only vestigeal; there is no greenhouse or conservatory; the walls are mostly in place. A semi-ruinous gazebo remains and a range of nine bee-skep alcoves.

Gazetteer Holiday apartments. Caravans etc in ex-woodland garden and in walled garden and orchard. Stone wall of varying height and much altered over the years along beach side road and small distance up side road; arched entrance on corner. Gazebo. Bee boles in wall. Trees: 5*


See Table of Welsh Place names (Table listing where places are in Current [Post 1974/1996] Welsh Counties/Historic Counties

// this project is in History Link