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Newhouse, Castell Coch

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Newton; Newehous; Newhous; Novadomus; Red Castle

In the community of Martletwy.
In the historic county of Pembrokeshire.
Modern authority of Pembrokeshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN07131359
Latitude 51.78843° Longitude -4.79802°

Newhouse, Castell Coch has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Castell Coch is a fine example of a semi-fortified but unvaulted first floor Hall-house of C14 that lies within a 'moated enclosure'. It was the centre of the Manor of Newhouse. The enclosure bank received at least one corner drum tower by c. 1500. A late medieval fishpond lies to the east. First floor windows were added to the Hall-house during C16, and in C17 a 3-storeyed house was formed within the building. The site may have been abandoned by 1670. The house though ruined is in fair condition but the entire site is thickly overgrown and parts are wooded. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER Record)

Listed as an exceptionally fine industrial building in the functional tradition, imposingly situated. It survives virtually intact and includes a full working set of machinery.
A moated manor house site, probably of the C13 or C14. In 1326 the manor was deemed to be in the possessions of the See of St. David's, but in the time of James I the title of Slebech to this manor was ratified. Fenton regarded the house as probably the 'Red Castle' listed by George Owen in his MS list of Pembrokeshire castles. Fenton also refers to it as one of the earliest habitations of 'uncastellated' form. The buildings lack any dateable features, and so it cannot be assumed that the house present on the site is original or contemporary with the moat; it might be as late as the C15 or even early C16. The tall and narrow proportions of the three main windows to the hall suggest no later than the C15. In the land to the E of the moated enclosure there were fishponds. The moat itself survives well but has been filled in at the SE corner. Nothing survives of any other buildings within the moated platform.
The undercroft and the hall are both of considerable height. There is a staircase in the SW corner turret, leading up from the hall certainly to a high lookout; it is not clear that there was any internal connection to the undercroft. In the N and S walls are the beam-holes of the hall floor, at about 1.4 m centres. In the reveal of the main S doorway to the undercroft there are rebates for the door and bar holes. The late cross-wall blocks some of the window apertures, and it is not bonded to the side walls. It is remarkable that there is no aperture, door or window, or even a hatch, giving communication between the two halves of the house. On the W side of the wall there are two fireplaces serving the hall storey and one central fireplace in the undercroft. There are no fireplaces on the E side, a point which suggests the partitioned-off E side was excluded from domestic use. Four high-level beam-holes indicate the late presence of a gallery at the E end of the larger portion of the hall, post-dating the division. This cross-wall survives to full height and indicates the roof pitch was 45 degrees.
The roofless ruin of a massive first-floor hall, about 23 m in length by 11 m wide. The masonry of the exterior walls is almost complete, apart from the loss of carved stone from doors and windows. The walls are of hammer dressed limestone informally coursed, with a thickness of about 1.5 m. The building ranges E/W, and its main entrance was in the S wall. It is unequally divided by a late cross-wall near to the E end. Much overgrown. The S elevation has a corner tower at the left. In the main (hall) storey the sequence is a lancet window at left, a tall window, a late first-floor entrance after the insertion of the cross wall, and another lancet. In the undercroft storey the sequence is a slit window at left, the main doorway to the undercroft, and another slit window. The N elevation, hall storey, consists of a pair of low pointed-headed windows, a tall window, and a door at the right, the latter opening probably reached by a lost external staircase against the N wall. In the undercroft there is a narrow low window at left, an irregular central breach which may have been a doorway, a narrow low window at the right and finally a small doorway close to the corner. Only a part of the E gable elevation survives, damaged. In the W gable elevation there is a tall window in the hall storey. The hall was thus lit by three tall windows, one N, one S and one W. (Listed Building Report)

The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved late medieval fortified mansion house (Item A) and associated fishponds (Item B). The house, a large rectangular stone built structure of three stories, still stands to a height of 8-10m, but most of the dressed stone around windows and doors has been removed. The house is situated within an enclosure surrounded by a well preserved moat, approximately 7m deep, and a stone wall. To the SE of the structure is a very overgrown, marshy area in which the fishponds of the house lie. (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 07/07/2016 09:28:43