Lamphey Bishop’s Palace is a ruined medieval palace belonging to the Bishops of St. David’s.
Once the Normans gained control of South Wales, the Bishops of St. David were wealthy Norman nobility, many of whom cherished their creature comforts. To that end, not only did they build the palace of St. David’s but maintained other properties such as the palace at Lamphey. Throughout, they lived a lavish lifestyle, one that was comparable with the lifestyle of lords and earls.
The first palace at Lamphey was begun in the 13th century, and the old hall from that era is still standing. Much of what is visible today dates from the mid-14th century, when Henry de Gower was bishop. He constructed a lavish and extensive summer retreat for himself to the east of St. David’s. The palace was built in three stages and originally had over 20 rooms and featured fishponds, orchards, fruit and herb gardens, and grazing deer over 144 acres of parkland.
The palace was surrendered to the crown in 1546 during the reformation and the reign of King Henry the 8th. At this point it became a palace for the nobility until the English civil war during which it so damaged it became a ruin.