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Castlemorris

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Wales  /  Pembrokeshire  /  Castlemorris
(3.9/5 based on 80+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: shopping
Castlemorris is a small village in the heart of Pembrokeshire, Wales. It has a population of roughly 150 people. The Welsh manor of Castle Morris lay within the ancient Cantref of Pebediog given in perpetuity to the bishops of St David's by Rhys ap Tewdwr, then Prince of Deheubarth, in 1082. It was then seized by William FitzGerald de Carew during the Norman-Flemish invasion of Pembrokeshire after 1095. At the same time, his related half-brother Henry FitzRoy, the illegitimate son of King Henry I of England, acquired the interlocking manor of Priskilly. Prior to 1175, both manors were then granted to Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan by his brother David FitzGerald, then the second Norman approved bishop of St David's, as part reward for Maurice's appointment as hereditary steward of the episcopate. Castle Morris is generally considered to have acquired its name from Maurice. But it may be a far more ancient relic of the pre-Norman Welsh name - Castell Marlais - Marlais then being the name of the reach of the Western Cleddau river which flows immediately below the village. Maurice was the progenitor of the FitzGerald dynasty in Ireland. By 1265 Maurice's descendants were defaulting in their hereditary duties. The Bishops recovered seisin against them in the King's Court in Carmarthen and then renegotiated their obligations. But that clearly was also not satisfactory. In 1302 Sir John Wogan, chancellor of St David's and Lord Justiciar of Ireland, bought out the remaining Fitzgerald interests in both Castle Morris and Priskilly and returned them to the Bishopric. And both manors then remained under the direct overlordship of the Bishops until 1886 when the Church Commissioners, by then acting in their name, sold the surface interests off to their sitting tenants. But mineral rights, vested in the University of Wales following disestablishment in the 1920s, were nevertheless reserved. However because of their history a possibly unparalleled record of lands and interests in both manors still survives.
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