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STACKPOLE ELIDOR

From

From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)

STACKPOOL-ELIDUR, a parish in the hundred of CASTLEMARTIN, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 3 1/2 miles (S.) from Pembroke, containing 348 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from the Stack rock at the mouth of the Broad Haven, at the head of which it is situated, in the Bristol channel; and its adjunct from St. Elidur, to whom the original foundation of its church is attributed. The parish comprises an extensive tract of good arable and pasture land, in a high state of cultivation; and the scenery, enriched with the beautiful grounds and extensive plantations surrounding the mansion of Stackpool Court, is finely diversified and strikingly picturesque. Stackpool Court, the property and one of the seats of Earl Cawdor, is romantically situated in a deep and richly wooded valley, ornamented with a fine artificial lake, over which is an elegant stone bridge of eight arches. The present noble mansion, which overlooks the lake, was erected by the great-grandfather of the present Earl Cawdor, the first of the family that settled in Wales, who, by marriage with Miss Lort, the heiress, became possessed of the estate. It is built of hewn limestone, and has an imposing grandeur of appearance, having two spacious and magnificent fronts: along the whole of that which faces the lake a wide terrace has been formed, from which there is a delightful and extensive prospect; and from the other front, in which is the entrance, there is a fine view of the pleasure grounds, which are disposed with great taste. The interior comprises a splendid suite of apartments, and a library containing an extensive collection of rare and valuable works in every department of literature: the gardens are laid out with great taste, and the greenhouses and hothouses are stored with every species of rare and valuable exotics. The park, which is well stocked with deer, is very extensive, and in the grounds there is a large conservatory. The whole of this splendid property has been greatly improved by the present noble proprietor; and the estate, which comprises not less than fifteen thousand acres of rich and valuable land, in the highest state of cultivation, with its luxuriant woods and plantations, forms a distinguished ornament to this part of the principality. The living consists of a rectory and a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's: the rectory, which is a sinecure, is rated in the king's books at £15. 12. 11, and the vicarage, which is rated at £3. 18. 4., and discharged, is endowed with £600 royal bounty: both are in the patronage of Earl Cawdor. The church, dedicated to St. Elidur, or, according to some authorities, to St. James, is an ancient structure, containing several monuments to different members of the family of Stackpool Court, among which is one, under a richly sculptured canopy of stone, bearing the effigy of a crusader, said to be that of Sir Elidur de Stackpool, the earliest known proprietor of that estate, and the reputed founder of the church. The interior was richly embellished by an ancestor of the present Earl Cawdor, in 1766. A school, for the gratuitous instruction of all the poor children of this and the adjoining parishes of St. Petrox and Bosheston, is supported by Earl Cawdor. On a tongue of land commanding a branch of the Stackpool aestuary there is a strong encampment, near which, in several places, have been found human bones, a brazen spearhead, and an ancient sword, probably memorials of some of those conflicts which frequently took place along this coast, between the natives and the invaders of their country. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £150. 7.

Gareth Hicks, 1 Jan 2000

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