Roch – tower house


   The Roch tower house was built by the Norman knight Adam de Rupe in the second half of the 12th century or at the beginning of the 13th century. It was one of the links in the fortifications forming the so-called Landsker Line, that is a belt of castles built in the Pembrokeshire, that separated the Celtic Welsh from English colonists. The de Rupe family died out in the fifteenth century, which led to several changes of the tower owners, until it was in the possession of the Walter family at the beginning of the 17th century. One of the family was Lucy, born in the castle, who later became a courtesan of Charles II and gave him the son James, the prince of Monmouth. During the English Civil War, the Walter family remained loyal to king Charles. The tower house was changed owners twice, but eventually the Walter fled when, for the second time, it was conquered by the forces of Parliament and burned down in 1644. Roch was in ruins until 1900, when it was bought by John Philipps, the first Viscount of St. Davids. It restored the ruins, adding a new range at the same time.


   The original building from the 13th century consisted of a tower house in  the shape of an elongated horseshoe, erected on a rock spur. The tower was topped with a parapet on the corbels and probably battlement. On the north side there were two corner bartizans. At the end of the 15th century from the south, a quadrangular, smaller tower with an annex was added on the south-eastern side.

Current state

   Roch Castle is a valuable example of a medieval defense tower house. Its original appearance is distorted from the outside only by large, early modern and contemporary windows. Fortunately, the northern range from the early twentieth century was stylistically adapted to the original castle. Renovated recently, it is now in private hands. On the castle castle operates a luxury hotel.

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Website, Roch Castle.
Website, Roch Castle.