New Chapter Opens for Castle Which Inspired Literary Greats; OWNER TO HOST COURSES IN WRITING AND CREATIVE ARTS

Article excerpt

Byline: RACHAEL MISSTEAR West Wales Editor

A HISTORY OF MANORBIER CASTLE Manorbier Castle was sold by the De Barri family, and ownership subsequently passed through many Royal hands, although few ever actually lived at the house.

Manorbier Castle is a Norman castle and was owned by the De Barri family for over 250 years and its appearance has changed little since their time.

The most noted member of the family was Gerald who, as Gerald of Wales, became one of the finest Latin writers of the Middle Ages.

During the 14th century IT'S inspired literary greats like George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf.

Now the owner of a medieval Welsh castle is hoping it can inspire a new generation of writers.

Dame Emily Naper is returning after 30 years in Ireland to Manorbier Castle, near Tenby, to run writing and creative arts courses and retreats at the historic site.

Ms Naper, who prefers not to use her title, co-inherited the castle with her aunt several decades ago, as an ancestor of Sir Francis Dashwood, an 18th century Chancellor of the Exchequer.

She said the dramatic location could serve to reinvigorate the site as a destination for aspiring authors.

She is hoping the writing courses will become as popular as the surfing, hiking and walking for which Pembrokeshire is renowned.

"Manorbier, with its beach, dramatic cliffs and fertile rolling hills, has been an idyllic place for thousands of years where writers can be inspired by the peace and romance of a medieval castle beside the sea," she said.

"The idea is that budding writers are guided under the tutelage of a published author.

"The courses vary according to the genre of writing being taught, whether short stories, poetry, essays, food writing or memoir. …