History in Structure

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Pricaston Farmhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6285 / 51°37'42"N

Longitude: -5.0099 / 5°0'35"W

OS Eastings: 191774

OS Northings: 196481

OS Grid: SR917964

Mapcode National: GBR G7.16H5

Mapcode Global: VH1SC.3BTF

Entry Name: Pricaston Farmhouse

Listing Date: 8 December 1995

Last Amended: 8 December 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 16604

Building Class: Domestic

Location: On RAC Castlemartin Range, entered by Linney Gate.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Stackpole and Castlemartin (Stackpole a Chastellmartin)

Community: Castlemartin

Locality: Warren

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Castlemartin

Exterior

History: Ruin of a large farmhouse incorporating elements of a mediaeval house. The farmhouse as extensively rebuilt c.1700 faces E. Vacated by 1938 when the Army Range was established and now subject to very restricted access. The house, its farm buildings and outhouses are now in ruins.

Mediaeval elements: At ground storey level: a vaulted through-passage 1.25 m wide with three plain pointed-arch doorways in the S wall and one similar doorway at its W end, all formed in thin masonry (about 0.2 m thick) of limestone ashlar, built into a structure of rubble masonry. The three arches to the S are just under 1 m wide and that to the W just over 1 m. To the south are two service rooms with very low segmental vaults, one now partly collapsed, entered by the first and second arches. The third arch now leads via a corner to the rear kitchen wing and probably originally led to a service room in that position. The wall at the N side of the cross passage is in ordinary rubble masonry about 0.6 m thick but it must be mediaeval as it supports the passage vault. The longitudinal walls of the vaulted service rooms are also of ordinary rubble masonry about 0.4 to 0.6 m thick and are part of the original construction. The hall of the mediaeval house must have been to the N of this passage, though whether at ground or first floor level is unknown.
The room above the vaulted service rooms was evidently a solar, with a surviving mediaeval window. Fragments of a staircase leading to this solar survive, awkwardly incorporated into the side of the dogleg staircase of the C18 house. It included a lateral chimney, corbelled on the outside.
C18 farmhouse: On this mediaeval core the building was extended to a three-storey main range approximately 15 m long by 6 m deep, in rubble masonry. There are two rear (W) wings, that to the SW containing the kitchens. There seems to have been some rebuilding of the rear quarters in the C19. A small porch was formed at the centre of the E front leading into the mediaeval passage, this now being the front of the house. A stairs enclosure was inserted in the angle between the NW wing and the main range. All the joinery is now missing, although Fox's notes refer to pine panelling of 1680-1710 on the first floor and a fireplace and china cupboard of similar date in the old solar. First floor window openings in the front elevation survive to the right of centre: three tall openings of 1:2 proportion with heads of 5 voussoirs including a projecting keystone. Slate sills. Smaller and narrower windows at 2nd floor level. The S half of the main elevation is collapsed, but enough survives or is seen in old photographs to suggest its fenestration was similar.
The room to the north of the mediaeval through-passage gives access to the C18 staircase. The main stairs are of dogleg type rising clockwise.
The old solar has been a dining room or parlour at some stage. A floor aperture into the old cross passage beneath was perhaps formed for serving purposes.
This house listed at Grade II* because it incorporates a very interesting and substantial fragment of a mediaeval hall house with vaulted service rooms, and is also valuable as an C18 house of good architectural appearance.
Ancient Monument no. PE451.

References: RCAHM site notes 1973; Sir C Fox's notebooks
P Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside (1988) plate 61
Dyfed Arch. Trust: S&M PRN 4976

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