Welsh Icons - Towns & Villages






Photograph © Stuart Palmer

Stackpole is a community and estate in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

It includes Stackpole Estate, a National Trust property, Stackpole Quay, Stackpole Head and a nature reserve. Stackpole has a spectacular maritime landscape with towering limestone cliffs providing nesting sites for many species of sea-birds.

Between Stackpole Quay and Stackpole Head is the sandy beach of Barafundle Bay voted by many publications including The Times and Country Life, as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.

The Stackpole estate, once owned by the Earls Cawdor (the same Thanes of Cawdor mentioned in Shakespeare's Macbeth), consists of parkland centred on three beautiful lakes that lead down to the sea at Broad Haven South. The estate is a haven for rare species, including otters and rare butterflies.

810 hectares of outstanding countryside and coastal landscape set in the Pembrokeshire National Park. National Nature Reserve including the famous Bosherston Lily Ponds and the historic site of Stackpole Court, the home of the Cawdor family, Bronze and Iron age settlements and Stackpole Quay.

In 1883 the second earl had been one of 28 noblemen who owned more than 100,000 acres of land in the United Kingdom, 17,735 acres of which were in Pembrokeshire, and Stackpole Court was one of the greatest country houses in the kingdom. In February 1902 the third Earl entertained Edward VII there in circumstances of great splendour. The house was superbly sited and appointed, its grounds and gardens were renowned, and an army servants, domestic and outdoor, catered for the whims of the owner's family and guests. However, the tide of fortune was about to turn. Increasingly subject to penal taxation, the Cawdors, like many of the other great land-owning families of Britain, found it necessary to adapt to changing circumstances and to adopt economic strategies which involved radical and often unpalatable changes in land management. These affected Stackpole profoundly, and resulted in the demolition of Stackpole Court itself in 1963 and the subsequent alienation of most of the Campbell lands in the district.

The village of Stackpole is also served by a good pub (serving food) that is located in the village, and the National Trust tea room at Stackpole Quay.

The Welsh indie band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci are from Stackpole, and named their major label debut Barafundle after the bay.

 Pubs/Bars in Stackpole:
 Armstrong Arms
       Jasons Corner
       SA71 5DF

 The Stackpole Inn
       Jasons Corner
       SA71 5DF
 01646 672324

 B&B's/Guesthouses in Stackpole:
 The Stackpole Inn B&B
       Jasons Corner
       SA71 5DF 
 01646 672324 
 [email protected]

 Cafes in Stackpole:
 The Boathouse
       SA71 5DE
 01646 672058

 Schools/Colleges in Stackpole:
 Stackpole V.C.P. School (Primary)
       SA71 5DB
 01646 672234

Stackpool-Elidur - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
STACKPOOL-ELIDUR, a parish, in the hundred of Castlemartin, union and county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3½ miles (S.) from Pembroke; containing 294 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from the Stack rock at the mouth of the Broad Haven (at the head of which it is situated) in the Bristol Channel; and its adjunct from St. Elidur, to whom the original foundation of its church is attributed. The parish comprises an extensive tract of good arable and pasture land, in a high state of cultivation; and the scenery, enriched with the beautiful grounds and plantations surrounding the mansion of Stackpool Court, is finely diversified and strikingly picturesque. Stackpool Court, the property and one of the seats of Earl Cawdor (of which the park is in this parish, and the house and grounds in that of St. Petrox), is romantically situated in a deep and well-wooded valley, ornamented with an artificial lake, over which is an elegant stone bridge of eight arches. A noble mansion, which overlooked the lake, was erected by the great grandfather of Earl Cawdor, and son of Sir Alexander Campbell, who was the first of the family that settled in Wales, and who, by marriage with Miss Lort, the heiress, became possessed of the estate. This edifice, however, has been almost entirely rebuilt by his lordship, from a plan designed by the late Sir Jeffrey Wyatville; and Stackpool Court has been rendered one of the most superb residences in the principality. It is built of hewn limestone, and presents an imposing grandeur of appearance, having two spacious and magnificent fronts: along the whole of that facing the lake, a wide terrace has been formed, from which is a delightful prospect; and from the other front, containing the entrance, is a view of the pleasure-grounds. The interior comprises a splendid suite of apartments, and a library consisting of a large collection of valuable works in every department of literature. The gardens are laid out with taste, and the greenhouses and hothouses are stored with rare exotics; the park, which is well stocked with deer, is very extensive, and in the grounds is a large conservatory: the approach to the house has been much increased in beauty by the erection of a new bridge of one arch. The whole of this fine property has been greatly improved by the present proprietor; and the estate, which includes not less than fifteen thousand acres of rich land, in the highest state of cultivation, with its luxuriant woods and plantations, forms a distinguished ornament to this part of the county.

The living is a rectory, with that of St. Petrox, rated in the king's books, and endowed with £600 royal bounty; income, £447. The church, dedicated to St. Elidur, or, according to some authorities, to St. James, is an ancient structure, containing several monuments to different members of the family of Stackpool Court, among which is one, under a rich sculptured canopy of stone, bearing the effigy of a crusader, said to represent Sir Elidur de Stackpool, the earliest known proprietor of that estate, and the reputed founder of the church. The interior was richly embellished by an ancestor of Earl Cawdor, in 1766. In the park is a day school, under the patronage of the Earl and Countess Cawdor; and a Sunday School is held in the church. On a tongue of land commanding a branch of the Stackpool estuary is a strong encampment, near which have been found human bones in several places, a brazen spear-head, and an old sword; probably memorials of some of those conflicts that frequently took place along this coast, between the natives and the invaders of their country.


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