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Picton

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the Philippses of Picton Castle were the most powerful family in Pembrokeshire, exercising tremendous political, social and economic influence over all aspects of local life. They had vast estates, were prominent philanthropists (being particularly notable supporters of the Charity School movement), and for generations supplied Pembrokeshire with sheriffs, justices of the peace, deputy lieutenants, lords lieutenants and members of Parliament.

Picton Castle was once the home to Philipps family and a substantial number of friends and servants, a centre of squirearchal government, and a focus of local social and cultural life, functions which it has retained in some measure to the present day. The castle is now owned by the Picton Castle Trust.

PICTON CASTLE

The Castle was probably built by Sir John Wogan, who was Justiciar of Ireland between 1295 and 1308. The plan is unusual. The castle has no internal courtyard, and originally the main block was protected by seven projecting circular towers: the two at the east end were linked to form a gatehouse, and the entrance led straight through a portcullis into the undercroft of the hall, a very unusual feature. There was a walled courtyard around the castle but probably no moat.

Picton's closest architectural affinities are with a group of Irish castles built in the 13th century - Carlow, Lea and Ferns - but these had four circular towers at the corners of rectangular main blocks instead of seven as at Picton. A 1740 print by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck (shown at right) shows slit windows with trefoil heads on the north-east tower which were characteristic of the period about 1300.

PICTON CASTLE



Picton
PICTON CASTLE

Cilgerran
CILGERRAN CASTLE

Kidwelly
KIDWELLY CASTLE

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