Scolton Manor, a traditional Victorian country house, was designed, built and furnished by the local firm of architects William and James Owen. Finished in 1842, the house cost just under £3,000 to build and, until it was acquired by Pembrokeshire County Council in 1972, was home to successive generations of the Higgon family. The Higgons were very prominent amongst Pembrokeshire society, with at least three family members holding the position of Sheriff of Pembrokeshire; including the last resident, Lt Col John Henry Victor Higgon (1902-1983). In Victorian times, the Higgons themselves held sway over their modest ancestral estate and their home parish of Spittal, there being no other resident landowners of note in the area. As chief employers, needing house servants, gardeners, coachmen and handymen, they provided jobs, stability and security for the local population.
Scolton Manor has been used as both a family home and a convalescence hospital for servicemen during the Second World War. It is now the site of the County Museum. The Manor House has been sympathetically restored by the Museum Service in order to provide visitors with a taste of Victorian society and style, both above and below stairs. Situated at the back of the Manor House, towards the Walled Garden, the stables originally consisted of two series of stalls, a coach house, and two smaller rooms for ‘tack' and accommodation for the groom. The loft was for storing fodder and may also have provided lodgings for the stable boy. The stable building on the right hand side of the arch contains the original floors and partitions marked with the names of the last horses to have been kept here. The horses were used by the Higgon family for riding, hunting and for pulling vehicles. The high status of horses is reflected in the elegance of the building.
The Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre, managed by Pembrokeshire Beekeepers' Association, is the centre of excellence for beekeeping in Pembrokeshire. Opened by Welsh Government Minister Edwina Hart in 2014, the Beekeeping Centre comprises: The Pine Tree Apiary with live hives for training beekeepers; The Bee Hive exhibition which, among other fascinating exhibits, includes a live ‘bee cam' straight from one of the hives; The Honey Kitchen for extracting and bottling honey. The Pine Tree Apiary is adjacent to the Stable Block and allows the public to view the beekeeping taking place behind a bee-proof fence. The delicious honey extracted and bottled at the Honey Kitchen is available to purchase from the gift shop. Bees have been of interest to people for thousands of years, using the honey produced as a sweetener, or to make mead. Bees' wax has been used for a variety of purposes, such as making candles. Bees used to be kept in straw ‘Skeps', but the development of modern hives meant that bees could be managed more effectively and enable effective disease control. At the height of the season, a modern beehive can have 50,000+ bees living in it as a colony. This colony typically comprises of: a Queen bee, who lays the eggs and maintains stability in the hive; a few hundred male drone bees, whose role is to mate with virgin queens; worker bees which make up the vast majority and whose role includes looking after the young, keeping the hive clean, making and repairing the wax comb for stores and brood, guarding the hive and foraging for nectar (to make honey), pollen (to feed the young) and propolis (or 'bee glue') to make repairs to the hive
The Walled Garden at Scolton Manor offers visitors a window into the Victorian era and the site's place in it as a self-sufficient nineteenth century community. The Higgon family who once lived here would have produced a wide variety of vegetables, fruit and flowers in the Walled Garden. The ‘Walled Garden' project has focused on carefully restoring the previously dilapidated Walled Garden compound to its former glory and enabled the re-establishment of an authentic working kitchen garden.
The exhibition hall displays the broad-ranging history of Pembrokeshire including natural history, geology, employment and trade, life during World War II and the Gwalia stores. The out buildings display collections reflecting Pembrokeshire country life, including: Stables and carriages; Traditional skills of carpenter and blacksmith; Relationship between the poacher and gamekeeper; Gulbenkian-nominated VARDA gypsy caravan and Fox Walker & Co. locomotive "Margaret," used locally on the Maenclochog Railway. There were stations at Llanycefn, Maenclochog and Rosebush and apparently a "fare stop" at Beag. There was a 1 in 27 climb for nearly two miles approaching Maenclochog and the line was worked on the "one engine in steam system".
A traditional Victorian country house near Haverfordwest surrounded by 60 acres of park and woodland. Nature trails feature through the peaceful woods along with plenty of open spaces, most of which is accessible for people in wheelchairs, those with limited mobility or small children in pushchairs. For youngsters, there's space to unwind including an adventure play area plus picnic area for mum and dad to have a sit in the sun! There are also children's climbing and scrambling walls, a wooden maze and other play features dotted around the park. Amenities include picnic tables, toilets and a tea-room serving homemade cakes, snacks and light lunches. Dogs are welcome in the park, providing they are kept on a lead. Assistance dogs are welcome throughout. There are disabled toilet facilities.
Location : Scolton Manor, Bethlehem, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA62 5QL
Transport : Haverford West (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : 313 and 343 stop nearby.
Opening Times : Daily 11:00 to 17:00.
Opening Times Park: Daily 09:00 to 18:00.
Tickets : Adults £3.50; Concessions £2.35; ; Children (4 - 17) £2.35
Tel. : 01437 731328