Forgotten castle-cum-mansion that stays in the memory
It’s worth taking the short detour off the busy A40 as you drive through Pembrokeshire to visit this little-known castle. Occupying a commanding location amongst serene forest and rolling farmland, Llawhaden’s unconventional mix of military and decorative features reveal its main purpose in life: that of a fortified mansion more than out-and-out castle, designed as a residence for the wealthy bishops of St Davids who liked their home comforts.
The site had seen much active service before being reconstructed along its present lines in the 14th century by Bishop David Martin. There were private apartments, a courtyard, lodgings for guests and quarters for a permanent garrison. Most impressive of all is the front of the gatehouse, added in the later 14th century, still standing to its full height.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
Limited parking within 250 metres of the castle (5 spaces).
Access is via a tarmaced lane.
Dogs on leads welcome to access ground floor levels of the site.
Cadw do not allow drone flying from or over its guardianship sites, except by contractors commissioned for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.
Smoking is not permitted.