• SCOTSBOROUGH HOUSE, Tenby, Pembrokeshire 2018

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Notes on SCOTSBOROUGH HOUSE, Tenby, Pembrokeshire 2018

Abandoned in 1824 due to a smallpox outbreak and lain ruinous ever since. Surprisingly, for a house that’s been left to the elements for almost two hundred years there’s much to see at Scotsborough. I parked on the B-road next to the gated entrance – two farm gates padlocked together – risking the owner/farmer would not be requiring access on this Saturday morning – the trackway was muddy but I saw no recent tyre treads from tractor or quad bike. I figured I was safe parking my car where it was. I should also mention it was raining hard, I was on a tight schedule, my daughter was with me but my partner refused to leave the car!

The walk down the track was short, maybe only 75 yards, and the high walls sat in light woodland. I only had a few sheets of film with me, so I set about exploring and taking a few shots. I knew I would return as soon as I had arrived, a winter visit would be required, when the tree branches are skeleton and the day overcast but dry!
As ever prepared, my unsuitable footwear was sodden (as were my daughters) but I can say fairly this was a spontaneous visit on my birthday. According to the web, also known as Scotsborough Castle, and was probably built late 14th or early 15th century. Before the marsh land was reclaimed beside it, the river Rhydeg was an inlet to the sea, and it was likely there was a docking bay close to the house.

Wandering around the ruins it becomes obvious that at times the ground around the house has been cleared, saplings have grown but the trees are not overly mature. Perhaps unsurprising, given its close proximity to Tenby, within some of the walls, bottles of beer were found, local youths gravitating to secluded areas, small campfires blackened stone and earth. Quite a solitary visit, my daughter quietly taking photographs, calling excitedly if she saw something worthy of viewing. I thought; chip off the old shoulder. Twenty minutes later we were heading back to the car, drenched but satisfied with our short visit and the mind curious about the history of the house.

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