Back to Research Topics


Extracts from The Pembrokeshire Historian.    No 3 1971[extracted 19/4/90]


Open Fields and Farmsteads in Pembrokeshire  B Howells.


“At Lamphey the growth in population within the village community lead to the expansion of township open fields between the twelfth and early fourteenth century."

"The old village of Carew Cheriton was left by a number of settlers who established a " Newton " a mile or so away. As late as the end of the 16c the tenements of Carew Newton had a higher proportion of rough land than those of the old parochial centre, similarly in the Lordship of Manorbier, a "Newton” was founded some two miles or so from the parent village on an inferior site, with Jameston representing a second offshoot."


1609 Manorbier the compact farm of Norchard was held in free socage by John Marichurch.


Carswell part of the medieval farmhouse known to have been in existence by the 14c, still survives, an impressive building with massive stone walls, a hugh inglenook, a vaulted ground floor, and a first floor hall reached by an external staircase.



In the reign of James I. John Gwyther a Penally farmer, prosecuted Charles Bowen of Trefloyne in the Court of Exchequer, declaring that the latter intended to depopulate the manors of Beere (Manorbeir) and Penally by expelling and rooting out all the ancient tenants and their posterity and converting the whole into sheep and cattle pasture (Cal Ex Proc Equity James I., p.307).

Further evidence about the change from arable to pasture farming is forthcoming from Castlemartin, where until the late 16c the vicar’s tithe had included a corn payment called the "Castlemartin draught". In 1594, however Nicholas Adams and several others certified "that the parsonage is very much decayed because a great deal of the land is converted into pasture" (Aug. Rec., p493).



In Lamphey the modern field system was in existence almost in entirety by 1700.



The only demesne lands at Manorbier in 1609 consisted of the castle and a park of 72 customary acres.


Though a distinct manor Penally was administered in conjunction with Manorbier (PRO Misc Book, Land Revenue 2/206)


Gilbert Thacker wrote in 1609 of the free tenants of Manorbier and Penally "Memorandum, that it is unknown how all ye aforementioned freehoulders (except Thomas Bowen esq., John Marichurch, gent) doe hould their lands by reason the rest did not appeare nor their writinga were showen whereby it might appear by what tenure their lands were held".


A Picton Castle deed dated 31st August 1397 recording a grant by Philip Robyn of Trefloyne of certain lands in Penally to William Ryse of Holloway.


1803.  Pembrokeshire

The price of provisions and the rate of labour are much lower than in any part of Wales or probably of England ; in October 1803 beef in Pembroke Market was 4d a pound and labourer’s wages 8d a day. That the prices are so kept down is owing to the firmness of Mr Mirehouse and other gentlemen who furnished their cottages with necessary articles at the ordinary rate during the scarcity, but resisted the advance of Wages.

(The Scenery, Antiquities and Biography of South Wales   Benj Heath Malkin  1804).


Back to Research Topics