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If he expected that a show of force would ensure a swift surrender, he was mistaken. Te garrison of Stackpole mounted a fierce defence, bringing a heavy fire of small arms and artillery to bear upon the attackers. For eight hours the Parliamentarians were held at bay until at last the outer defences were stormed. Laugharne’s men were still unable to capture the main house and had to use pickaxes and crowbars to widen a breach in the walls made by heavy cannon. Eventually the garrison surrendered and Stackpole was given over to plunder and destruction. Te Parliamentary troops were allowed to take whatever loot they wished.


Te loss of life involved in the storming of Stackpole House seems to have been mercifully light. Two of the Parliamentary soldiers were killed, whilst there were several deaths amongst the defenders. Of Roger Lort there was no sign. Legend has it that before the attack he had taken refuge in a cave, known later as Lort’s Hole. He and other Pembrokeshire gentlemen were to change allegiance more than once during the Civil War, earning themselves the nickname of ‘Te West Wales Weathercocks’.


During the Second World War it was proposed that the building – now Stackpole Court – be used as a military hospital and convalescent home for troops, and a reconnaissance of the area clearly established its suitability. However, there was a shortage of accommodation for units using the new Armoured Fighting Vehicle Range, Linney Head, (later the Royal Armoured Corps Range, Castlemartin), and the house and grounds were requisitioned early in 1940 to provide billeting for troops firing on the range. Initially there was accommodation for about 60 men, but as the war progressed and the number of units using the range increased, a far greater number of soldiers could be catered for. Certainly by the summer of 1942 the house could accommodate 40 officers and 350 other ranks.


Te wartime pumphouse next to the Lily Ponds provided water for Newton Camp.


Water for the ablutions was drawn from the lake below the house and there were rooms where a small medical team provided by visiting units could care for four or five patients. Electric light was installed and over the course of the war facilities gradually improved. Tere was also a Nissen Hut erected for the storage of ammunition near the house. Much damage was done to the interior of the house by the continual flow of British, Canadian and American troops, including damage to the roof, allegedly brought about by the growing of tomatoes!


In September 1942, the 2nd Armoured Battalion Irish Guards were billeted at Stackpole Court. Te author of the battalion’s war diary commented: “Stackpole Court... is a huge and very ugly barrack of a place, redeemed by some very fine beeches and wild flowering hydrangeas in the grounds, A good many reasonably unsuspicious wood pigeons have also been seen in the neighbourhood!”


From July 1943 until the end of October 1943, Assault Engineer Squadrons of the 79th


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