outside of the town of Haverfordwest, stands Roch Castle. Roch Castle towers majestically over the village of Roch in the heart of the Pembrokeshire
Coastal National Park. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the castle offers spectacular
views over countryside and coast, including the full sweep of St Brides Bay from Skomer to Ramsey Island. It makes a splendid
base from which to explore and enjoy the many beaches, bays, cliffs and scenic walks around Pembrokeshire's stunning coastline.
It was built
around the time of Henry III by Adam de Rupe, a Norman Knight, it marks the northern limit of the Norman Conquest of West Wales. It is said that he built it on the top of a rock due to a prophesy that he would die after being bitten by a Viper. His prophesy was delivered by a local wise woman, but
she said that he could escape the prophesy if he managed to get through a predicted year in safety. Despite his efforts, it just seems that if your number is up…
its up! He
spent the fateful year in the upper reaches of the castle. On the last day of that year the weather was freezing, and a servant
delivered some firewood to the secluded room from the local woods. Adam was reaching in the basket to pull out a log when
a Viper, that had been sheltering inside bit him. He was found dead the next
morning in front of the low burning embers.
In 1644 it was garrisoned for King Charles 1 but surrendered to Cromwell's troops later that year. After the Civil
War it slowly fell into ruin until it was restored in 1900 by the first Viscount St David's, friend and frequent host to Lord
Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts movement, and to David Lloyd George, Great Britain's Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922. The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of
Lucy Walters, who was the first mistress of King Charles II and mother to the Duke of Monmouth. It is said this lady in white will wander through rooms and that her footsteps will awake the “heaviest
Roch Castle is let on a self-catering basis and offers a unique
blend of historic grandeur and modern comfort… oh, and you might see a ghost as well!
Peter Underwood – Ghosts of Wales