Picton Castle: a more Personal View of the Phillips ancestral home. Its ancient history and modern facilities.


The Castle now. The location and phone number of the castle. And more...


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Picton Castle is now owned and operated by the Picton Castle Trust. The Phillips family relinquished ownership in recent times (around 1983 - although some family members still reside there) due to overhead expenses and the cost of taxes. Just imagine what taxes would be for this large castle and extensive grounds. Almost no private family in Britain has been able to retain ownership of large estates. But for seven hundred years, this castle was the home of the founding base of the Phillips family. In this castle, modern education was conceived by Sir Richard Phillips. In this castle, family units sprung from non-heir family members and migrated to Ireland, London, Lincolnshire, Somerset, America, and Canada.


Picton Castle is located 3 1/2m SE of Havorfordwest, Dyfed, Pembrokehire, south Wales. It is two miles south of highway A40. (see a MAP on the Phillips Origins feature page on this web site)


Visitor's Notes about Picton Castle...

"There is much fine plaster work. Parts were remodelled in the 1750s by Sir John Phillips, the 6th Baronet, and Lord Milford added a wing in the 1790s. (Sir John Phillips and Lord Milford are found in the NFFG online family tree.)

The Walled Garden has a pond, herbaceous borders, fernery and extensive herb collection, whilst the Woodland Gardens contain many species of trees, wild flowers and unusual conifers. There is also a maze and picnic area.The Picton Nursery in the courtyard has a good selection of 'home grown' plants available for sale. The Shop places emphasis on creations from individuals and on cottage industries and has gifts that are value for money and of good quality; Telephone: 01437 751369

The Restaurant provides hot meals and snacks, cream teas, salads and fresh sandwiches.

Telephone 01437 751346

Parties are welcome by prior appointment.

Free entry to Royal Horticultural Society members during April - June.


Location: Signposted 3 miles east of Haverfordwest and 2 miles south of the A40. Further Information: Telephone: 01437 751326"



The Early History of Picton Castle (courtesy Picton Castle Trust)

"The Beginnings of Picton Castle....

The first castle on this site has long since vanished, but it was established in the reign of William II ("Rufus") by William de Picton. De Picton was a Norman knight who accompanied Arnulph de Montgomery into south-west Wales. De Montgomery founded the first Pembroke Castle in 1097, while de Picton moved further north. It is likely that Picton Castle was a Welsh stronghold, and that de Picton moved in, and stayed in, after he had ousted the castle's original owners.

The castle changed hands during Owain Glyndwr's revolt in 1403, and was soon after. taken over by the Phillips family.



The substantial ruins of the large, solid castle-block, with its four attached round towers and the small double-towered gatehouse, date from the late 13th century or even early 14th Century. The history of the earlier castle is unknown , but Picton Castle did succeed the nearby Wiston Castle, and the last mention of that castle was in 1220 when it was recorded that it was to be rebuilt. It never was, and perhaps the move took place soon after, with work on the new Picton Castle beinning after Edwards I's victorys of 1282-83. The castle changed hands during Owain Glyndwr's revolt in 1403, but it was not until the Civil War between Charles I and his Parliament that Picton Castle became truly embroiled in national events. Sir Richard Philipps garrisoned the castle for the Royalists, and after it had changed hands in the early stages, the Parliamentarians besieged it.




For the Love of a Child

A Unique Castle Story of the Phillips Family...


During the war between Parliament and King Charles I, the castle, under Sir Richard Phillips, was a Royalist stronghold and withstood a long siege.

The castle nursery occupied on of the lower rooms and had a window looking away from the walls. A Parliamentary messenger, carrying a flag of truce, rode up to the window one day when the nursemaid held the infant Erasmus Philipps in her arms. To receive the message she opened the window and leant out, stretching toward the horseman. Suddenly he snatched the child and galloped back to his camp. The demand to surrender or sacrifice the child soon arrived, and the castle immediately surrendered. The Parliamentarians were apparently moved by the Garrison's stand and by the unhesitating way the gave themselves up to save the child-and, no doubt, were troubled by their own tactics. So, they allowed the garrison the full honours of war, and even arranged that Picton Castle, and the Phillips family, unlike most, should not be slighted.

Later this child became Sir Erasmus Phillips. This family is found in our online family tree.




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