Stackpole and the Cawdors

Stackpole Court in 1859

Stackpole Court in 1859

How did a family with its roots in the Scottish Highlands come to create a magical landscape in furthest Pembrokeshire? Discover what's left of the Cawdor family's dream today, and what we're doing to rediscover it.

5,000 years of Stackpole

Man has been leaving his mark on Stackpole for the last 5,000 years. There's so much to discover in this ancient landscape. 

Did you know...?

Stackpole Court in 1758, before there was a lake

Stackpole Court in 1758, before there was a lake

  • Stackpole Court was besieged during the English Civil War
  • Sir John Campbell set out from here to defeat the last French invasion in 1797
  • Admiral Nelson stayed here with Emma Hamilton in 1803
  • King Edward VII stayed here in 1902
  • Stackpole Court was demolished in 1963

War and decline

Castlemartin Range was once part of the Cawdor estate, but was requisitioned by the MoD in 1939 to form Castlemartin Range. This was the start of the economic decline of the estate, which ended with its sale in 1976.

The early Georgian mansion and parkland

Stackpole Court around 1800 © none

Stackpole Court around 1800

Stackpole Court was built in the 1730s, on the site of an earlier house. This shows the neat Palladian mansion from the front. You can see Sir John Campbell out riding to the left of the picture, on the approach to Stackpole Court from the One-Arch Bridge.

Stackpole Court's Edwardian heyday

Stackpole Court around 1900 © none

Stackpole Court around 1900

The neat Georgian mansion was rebuilt in the 1840s, becoming a sprawling Victorian house in the process. This photograph, around 1900,shows the front of the Court in its Edwardian heyday. The front of the house boasted a handsome portico, with cannons dating from the Napoleonic Wars. King Edward Vll stayed here in 1902.

Decline and fall of a great house

Demolition in 1963 © none

Demolition in 1963

Two world wars brought a century of decline. Half the estate was taken by the Ministry of Defence to form Castlemartin Range in 1939. Soldiers billeted in Stackpole Court during the war caused huge damage by stripping lead from the roof, causing dry and wet rot. Stackpole Court was demolished in 1963.

The designed landscape today

The part of the Cawdor's vision that survives today is the designed landscape - the lakes, the bridges and the views across the Deer Park. It became overgrown in the last century, but we're working hard to restore it.

The grave of Little Bogie

Clearing laurel in Lodge Park, we found a small gravestone inscribed 'To the memory of Little Bogie, December 8 1879'. This is a memorial to a family dog, who died late in the same year as the death of Ronald Campbell.

The Zulu War: death of Captain Ronald Campbell

The death of Captain Ronald Campbell in the Zulu War

The death of Captain Ronald Campbell in the Zulu War

Look in Stackpole Cheriton Church for the memorial to Captain the Honourable Ronald Campbell of the Coldstream Guards, who died in the Zulu War in March 1879. Captain Campbell was the second son of the second Earl of Cawdor, and ADC to Sir Evelyn Wood, VC. He died heroically charging a cave defended by Zulus on the side of Hlobane Mountain during a desperate assault in the third month of the war. The battle of Hlobane took place two months after the famous battle of Rorke's Drift, which featured in the film Zulu.