Set in the heart of Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, Llawhaden is a quiet and peaceful village with a fascinating history. The village name derives from “church of St Aidan”, which can still be found next to the castle. The bishops of St David's occupied many palaces in the county and Llawhaden Castle was no exception.
The castle was first built as an earth and timber settlement in the 12th century and was refortified in stone by Lord Rhys later in the same century. It was certainly a grand place, with a domestic wing for the hall, kitchen and service rooms, servants' quarters and private apartments for the bishops.
The status and importance of the castle was improved during the 13th century, when Bishop Thomas Bek came and expanded Llawhaden. In the next century the bishops built a twin-towered gatehouse for the castle. Although one of the most striking features, it does not beat the tower-porch, which can still be climbed today.
Sadly, the castle suffered at the hands of Bishop Barlow. Obsessed with lead in order to gain money, he removed the roof from Llawhaden Castle and it was left to fall into disrepair.
St Aidan's church sits on the banks of the river Cleddau and features beautiful windows and a 14th century double bell tower.
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