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Dylan Jones

Carew
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In order to get to the splendid attraction that is Carew Castle take the A4075, sign posted off A477, 5 miles East of Pembroke.  The nearest train stations are at Pembroke Dock and Tenby, where you can catch the 361-bus service to Carew.  For further information phone Pembrokeshire Country Council on 01437 764551 ext. 5227 during office hours.

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The magnificent Carew Castle has a history spanning 2000 years. Set in a stunning location, overlooking a 23-acre millpond, the castle displays the development from a Norman fortification to an Elizabethan country house. The site incorporates an impressive 11th century Celtic Cross; the only restored Tidal Mill in Wales, a medieval bridge and a picnic area all linked by a delightful mile round-walk.  It is open daily 10 am - 5 pm, March 22nd - End October 2005.

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The castle is believed to be haunted by the wraith of a White Lady, believed to be Princess Nest, also known as the  “Helen of Wales”.  She was the daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr.  It is said that she had a "turbulent life".  She was most notably the mistress to Henry I, by whom she had a son. It is said that her benign presence drifts through the rooms and passages of the castle. 

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The entrance to the haunted North West Tower

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The doorway to the haunted room

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This great corner tower of the castle is said to be haunted by the ghosts of a seventeenth century lord and his pet ape, who died in mysterious circumstances.

 

During the 17th Century, the castle was tenanted by Sir Roland Rhys who resided in the North West Tower.  He was considered something of a recluse, possibly because nobody wanted to bother with him as he had the reputation of having a raging temper.  However, he did share his home with an ape he brought back from the Barbary Coast.

 

Sir Roland's son eloped with the daughter of a local Flemish merchant, which naturally upset the merchant to the extent that he went straight to the castle to make his complaint.  An argument soon erupted between the two men, which resulted in Sir Roland setting his ape on the unlucky man.  He was badly mauled in the attack, but managed to escape with his life.  As he left the castle, the merchant cursed Sir Roland to suffer the same fate.

 

It is said that later the same night, terrible screams of pain were heard eminating from the North West Tower...

 

Servants tentatively made their way to investigate.  As they cautiously entered the room, they made a gruesome discovery.  Their master lay amongst scattered and broken furniture and burning tapestries - his throat torn open.  The pet ape had turned on its master, but also lay dead amongst the carnage.

 

It is said that the ghost of the ape can sometimes be seen late at night on the battlements above the tower.

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If you make it to the room and find that Sir Roland and his pet ape are not there to great you, you will still be able to take in the spectacular view from the window that faces out towards the Tidal Mill.
 
Carew Castle is a delightful and stunning place to visit, with very helpful staff on hand to answer questions about the history of this monument.
 

Refs:

 

For a full account, please read “Ghosts of Wales” by Peter Underwood, published by Corgi.

 

www.carewcastle.com

All material on this site is copyright to Dylan Jones, unless otherwise stated.