A Visit to Stackpole

Article and images from local writer SIAN WALKER

Stackpole Walled Gardens are located in a lovely corner of Pembrokeshire, part of the Stackpole Estate, located just off the B4319 from Pembroke to Stackpole and Bosherston. The gardens were created around 1770 by Sir John Campbell who lived at Stackpole Court. This was demolished in 1963.

In 1791 the garden had 18 staff, 14 men and four women, and all produce was used to supply the Stackpole Estate. 

After Stackpole Court was knocked down, it was used as a market garden for many years until the family had their tenure terminated. There were plans to turn it into a holiday camp but luckily this never happened.

 In 1976 the Walled Gardens and part of the Estate were passed over to the National Trust. The gardens are now managed by the trustees of Pembrokeshire Mencap and you can see some of their gardening skills as you take a stroll around the grounds.

Produce from the gardens is used in the café, where there is a large selection of sandwiches, cakes, ice creams and many other delicious treats to tempt your taste buds. They do a fantastic pumpkin pie in the autumn, using pumpkins from the garden.

Also on site is a small shop selling fruit, vegetables, other food products, and local arts and crafts. A wide selection of plants is available to buy outside, usually on sale from spring through to autumn.

The café has indoor and outdoor seating with dogs being allowed in the outdoor seating area. Staff are friendly, helpful and always smiling.

The café and gardens are open Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 5pm.

My family visited a number of times last year and we felt it was one of the safest places to visit in the county. They took all possible measures to keep visitors and locals safe with hand sanitiser being widely available and tables and seats being wiped down after every use.

A new pond was installed  over a year ago and is popular with local wildlife. In spring/summer you can watch the swallows feeding their babies. In summer you can pick your own fruit, including strawberries  and raspberries.

One of my favourite places is the secret garden. To get to this you have to go through an orchard which is enclosed by shrubs, plants and flowers and also has a few seating areas in which to sit and relax. Not many people venture that far and It is a great spot for writing poetry.

There is a path around some areas of the gardens which is accessible for wheelchairs, but on wet days it’s best to stick to the area near the café as the grass can cause problems for wheelchairs.

There are disabled facilities  in the café area.

The aims of helping the community are:

To provide work experience and horticultural experience to adults and young people with learning disabilities. 

To develop participants social skills  in a friendly and caring environment. 

To encourage the development of self worth and a sense of achievement  through participation in a recognised  qualification. 

To encourage inclusivity  and to provide good-quality fresh fruit and vegetables to local  residents and visitors.

This place is definitely worth a visit if you fancy a quieter moment in your day.

For more information phone 01646 661442 or email info@stackpole-walledgardens.co.uk

Sian Walker

Sian Walker says: “I have lived in Pembrokeshire all 38 years of my life. Always loved art and writing and did fashion and textiles at college. Started writing poetry in 2012, self-published a poetry book in  2013 and was opening poet at the Celtic Women’s Festival in 2013, where I shared the same stage with the musician Amy Wadge. I also had my own poetry group for two years in Narberth. I love attending the Hay Festival and people-watching while I’m there. I love all things gothic and quirky and I hate plain socks!! I also love to travel and have been lucky enough to sail on two tall ships. One of my hobbies is to make artificial wreaths for different occasions and I hope next year to attend craft fairs with them. I love the beach and am at my happiest when I’m there with the smell of the sea in the air. 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty knows that she will always be an incomer, but this is to be her sixth summers. The wet and grey days of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire, but she is always grateful for the golden light of spring and summer. Her love of the sea sustains her even through the darkest of days and she can often be found at high tide bobbing about in Fishguard harbour at high tide, often with seals in attendance. When not freezing in water she is usually at her computer. She says" Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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