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Haroldston House, Haverfordwest

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Map ReferenceSM91SE
Grid ReferenceSM9576514553
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
PeriodPost Medieval
Situated one mile south of the town centre of Haverfordwest, Haroldstone House was once one of the grandest houses in the county of Pembrokeshire.

The earliest part of the house is a first floor medieval hall with vaulted undercroft, c.15m by 7m, built by the Harold family of Haverfordwest around the late thirteenth century. Between the mid-fifteenth century until the later seventeenth century, Haroldston became the home of one of the most powerful and influential families in Pembrokeshire, the Perrots. During this period, the house was modernised and enlarged to the plan we see today. Two new halls were constructed to the west of the original hall and a service/kitchen range built to the north-east, together with a walled courtyard containing a well to the north. To the east of the original hall a second larger walled courtyard separated the main quarters from the original gatehouse situated adjacent to the south-east corner of the courtyard. This is the best preserved building on site and is a c 5m square three storey structure with a semi detached spiral staircase which also housed a garderobe. During the seventeenth century the ground floor entrance was filled in to form a vault and the function changed to that of a self contained tower house, later known as the Stewards Tower. Following this conversion a range of buildings were also added directly to the east, over the original gatehouse approach. A rectangular structure in the south east corner of the site, adjacent to Clay Lane, is likely to be the remains of the new gatehouse.

From the eighteenth century, under the ownership of the Pakington family, the house was leased out and fell into neglect; it was largely ruinous by the nineteenth century although the Stewards Tower continued to be occupied until the later part of that century.

Surrounding the house are the earthwork remains of the original formal gardens, some of the finest Tudor gardens remaining in Wales (NPRN 266283). A detailed survey of the house and garden has been carried out by the Royal Commission.

Louise Barker, RCAHMW, 3rd June 2008

Turvey R 2002 `A history and survey of Haroldston House and gardens, Pembrokeshire: an unexcavated manorial complex? Archaeologia Cambrensis vol 151 139-158