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Upton Castle

Visited July 2019

Location Nr. Cosheston Pembrokeshire 
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes 
Facilities Toilets








Upton Caste is a private family home, and as such is not open to the public. However the gardens surrounding the castle are open from April- September and they are well worth visiting. The castle can be glimpsed at at various points around the garden. Access to the medieval chapel next to the castle is included in the entrance fee for the gardens. The current chapel dates back to 1150 and is older than the castle, but there was an earlier chapel on the site so the place has been used for Christian worship for a long time. The chapel is still used for worship today and has a service every week.


The castle was originally the seat of the Maliphant  family, and the chapel still contains effigies of the  family.  They first started building sometime before 1200, which is the first written record of the castle. Some of the towers from the earlier castle exist today, but most of the castle has been rebuilt during the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries.The towers are very thick, as if built for defence, but the castle has few other defensive features. For example there is no moat, although there may have been a trench with a drawbridge over it at one time. This would not have done much to stop an attack though.





The castle has only been owned by three different families in its lifetime, and it was the second owner, a Stanley Neale, who laid out the garden in the 1920s. The gardens were first opened to the public in 1976 by his daughter Joyce, who then sold the castle & grounds to the present owners in 2007. 


As well as the gardens and the chapel, there is a small display of drift wood sculptures, two horses and an owl. These are housed next to the chapel. 





Although there is only a limited amount of the castle that can be seen, it is still a great place to visit. What it offers to visitors with children is space- lots of space to run around, to walk through woodlands, to discover little wooden bridges over streams and occasionally pieces of play equipment. The woodland walk takes you down to a creek (it was nearly dry on the day of our visit but there has been a lot of rain since!) The site is full of impressive trees, and the closer to the castle you get the more formal the planting is. We were there on a week day in July, and despite there being a lot of other people there everyone was spread out in the grounds so we barely saw another person. We could hear some of the other children there having a great time playing in the grounds.


The only down side for us was that there was no official way of photographing the exterior of the castle- we actually got lost and took a wrong turn and ended up right in front of the gatehouse, but the upper lawns for example were out of bounds, even though they are part of the gardens. This was a little disappointing as there would have been a good view of the castle from there. We also did not see the lovely white peacock who lives in the grounds, (there is a picture of  him on the website) although we did see a peahen. 


In terms of facilities, there are toilets close to the car park but no other facilities so we would suggest you bring your own picnic. 






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