"A balance needs to be struck."

That's the view of a historical buildings specialist following news that Pembrokeshire County Council is to sell three historic buildings.

Barnard's Tower in Pembroke, Lydstep Palace in Lydstep and Pater Church Tower in Pembroke Dock have been put on the market.

Barnard's Tower is a scheduled ancient monument, while Lydstep Palace and Pater Church Tower are Grade I listed buildings.

Thomas Lloyd, joint author of the Pevsner buildings of Wales books and former chair of the Historic Buildings Council for Wales, said: "Very good uses can now be found for ancient buildings but care has to be taken with them.

"There's always a worry when something, which has been in the public domain, goes into private hands.

"Lydstep Palace might possibly make a wonderful private house but then it would not be publically accessible, so a balance needs to be struck."

Mr Thomas said the buildings were of "great historic interest" and "three of the most significant smaller ancient buildings of Pembrokeshire."

Speaking about Barnard's tower, Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society chairman Linda Asman said: "I cannot believe that such a vitally important part of Pembroke's medieval heritage could be sold off - it would be like selling the castle."

But council leader Councillor Jamie Adams said: "These buildings have been in the council's ownership for some time but unfortunately – due to the current challenging economic times - we are unable to continue caring for them and they have been identified as surplus to requirements."