Timeline of Stackpole's past
From Bronze Age standing stones to Iron Age field patterns and coastal promontory forts, Stackpole’s landscape is scarred by human activity, giving us a fascinating insight into the past.
Bronze Age: 3,000 BC
This is the first time there are signs of human activity at Stackpole. We have a standing stone and a burial chamber dating back to the Bronze Age. Can you find the Devil's Quoit on Stackpole Warren? Whereas once it was considered a burial site, it's now thought to have been a ceremonial gathering place.
Iron Age: 3,000 BC
Iron Age people built coastal forts to protect themselves from attack. We’re lucky enough to have two at Stackpole. Greenala is on the coast between Stackpole Quay and Freshwater East. Fishpond Camp was on the coast, but isn't any longer.
Romano-British era: 400 AD
The Romano-British settlement site has the remains of livestock enclosures and hut circles. The area would have looked very different – no lakes and no pine trees. There would probably have been a lot of small fields or enclosures with rough stone walls.
The Norman era: 1188 AD
The earliest known owner of Stackpole was Elidyr de Stackpole, who’s mentioned by Gerald of Wales in 1188. There’s a monument to him in Stackpole Elidor church. The Normans' legacy is the pattern of surrounding villages and churches that we know today.
Middle Ages and Tudor period: 1300-1600
The estate passed by marriage from the de Stackpoles through the Vernon and Stanley families. Rabbits, introduced by the Normans, were farmed on Stackpole Warren. Whether for sport or food, we don’t know.
The Lorts: 1611-1689
The Lort family were originally the Stanleys' stewards. They bought the estate in 1611. After Stackpole Court was besieged during the Civil War, Roger Lort had to hide in a cave near Barafundle.
Cawdor era - the early years: 1689-1780
The Campbells of Cawdor inherited the estate from the Lort heiress Elizabeth, who married Alexander Campbell in 1689. They built a new Stackpole Court in 1735. The Cawdors' first Deer Park was to the north of the house, part of what is today Bangeston Farm.
Stackpole at its peak: 1780-1914
Between 1780 and 1914 the Cawdors created the designed landscape including the lakes, and extended the house in the 1840s. The area between the lakes and Stackpole Quay became the New Deer Park, although there are no longer any deer there.
World War and decline: 1914-1976
Two World Wars saw a decline in the estate's fortunes, and the loss of land that became the Army Range. The Cawdors demolished Stackpole Court in 1963, after it had fallen into disrepair during and after World War II.
The National Trust: 1976 to the present
The National Trust acquired Stackpole in 1976. Since the estate came into our care, we’ve opened it up to the public so that everyone can enjoy this special place.