ONE of Pembrokeshire's institutions in family fun and entertainment is to close its doors after over 40 years of business.

Owners of Hilton Court Gardens and Crafts in Roch have announced after deep consideration they are to close their doors to the public.

One of the founders of the business Cheryl Lynch spoke to the Western Telegraph about the long hard hours of deliberation her and husband Peter had to go through in deciding that the work load was too much and it was time to focus on themselves.

"It has not been an easy decision," said Cheryl in a heartfelt phone call. "I am going to miss a lot of people, just chatting and seeing them two, three times a week, but I have got to think how long I am going to continue for."

Cheryl and Peter bought the property over four decades ago which included a 350-year-old unkept garden.

The couple discovered they had an old well which they did up and from there the place grew and grew.

They turned the property into a garden centre and transformed the 42 acre site, building a new garden that involved planting over 3500 trees and digging three ponds, one of which is 15 foot deep.

After all this hard work a new 8 acre garden was established that people from all across Pembrokeshire have enjoyed over the years.

"They find it very restful," said Cheryl, "very therapeutic. Children find it very special because they are with nature. It is a healing place."

In a emotional tribute written on Facebook, daughter Rachael said that enough was enough and it was time for mum and dad to enjoy some down time.

"Forty-five years ago Peter and Cheryl took on Hilton Court," wrote Rachael, "a rundown, derelict courtyard and 34 acres of agricultural land.

"With a 3-year-old and 6-week-old in tow they started the transformation from wasteland to wonderland including converting the courtyard, landscaping the gardens and planting thousands and thousands of trees and shrubs.

"I have seen the blood, sweat, tears and pain that has gone into growing the business year by year and there comes a time when watching your parents you have to say enough is enough.

"They have had some awesome highs and lows, met some incredible people and made life long friends, but it’s now time to bow out gracefully."

The couple do not plan to totally shut the site with the venue still available for events, particularly weddings.

The tea room will close at the end of the year. The gardens will close after half-term at the end of October.

Cheryl finished by saying she was grateful to everyone who had visited and that many of them had become like family.

"I am going to desperately miss so many people that came here, really miss them."

Do you have any pictures or memories of your time at Hilton Court Gardens? Why not share them on the Western Telegraph Facebook page.