THE rich and more unknown heritage of Pembrokeshire was brought to life this month for 45 members of the National Trust Association at Lamphey.

A special lunch and talk was held on October 6 at Lamphey Court Hotel and Richard Turner, a retired Senior Inspector of Ancient Monuments at CADW revealed the hidden ancient history of Lamphey Palace buildings.

Prior to lunch he guided members and guests on a tour, explaining when they were constructed and their use and which Bishop of St Davids had most influenced the Palace’s development.

Following lunch, Richard gave a talk about the Bishops of St Davids highlighting the contrasting purposes of their three palaces in the region, St Davids, Llawhaden and Lamphey. These were built in stages between the 12th and 15th centuries with each serving different aspects of the Bishops roles.

He explained Lamphey was the Bishop’s Palace for relaxation. In addition to living apartments it has gardens and a large estate, from which tenants had to provide their tithes.

Lamphey was significantly the most valuable property for the Bishop. There was also a park for hunting. All this came to an end with King Henry VIII’s dissolution. Lamphey was bought by Robert Devereaux, the favourite of Good Queen Bess who ultimately lost his head, grew up there.