Scolton Manor Museum & Country Park
Scolton Manor Museum & Country Park
Scolton Manor is the Victorian manor house built for a country squire, and is authentically furnished with 11 period rooms on show. An interesting museum at Scolton has thousands of artefacts relating to Pembrokeshire country life.
History
Scolton Manor was built in 1842 for the Higgon family by the local architects William and James Owen. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the cantilevered staircase, made of Bath stone. The Higgons supplied no less than 3 Sheriffs of Pembrokeshire, and since there were no other large landowners in the area they were the major employer.

In the inner hall hangs a portrait of John Higgon (1873-1916) who would have inherited Scolton but died while fighting in France during WWI.

The last Higgon to reside at Scolton was Lt Col John Higgon, who was captured and held as a prisoner of war in WWII. He survived and in 1951 became the 3rd of his family to become Sheriff of Pembrokeshire.

Scolton Manor Highlights
Scolton served as the Higgon's family home until World War Two, when it became a convalescent hospital. In 1972 it was purchased by the Pembrokeshire County Council and restored to house the county museum, offering visitors a glimpse of Victorian life above and below stairs. Watch out for a wonderful array of Victorian household gadgets, from knife cleaning machines to an 1880s clothes washing machine.

Look for the portrait of Lucy Walter in the drawing room. Walter was Charles II's mistress and mother of James, Duke of Monmouth. Much of the Higgon family furniture was sold when the County Council acquired the manor, so the house is furnished with similar Victorian pieces loaned by the National Museu of Wales. One piece that survived the sale was a mahogany cupboard and secretaire, made by the Owens for the Higgon family.

The cupboard stands in the Library, near a writing desk in Arts and Crafts style made in 1892 for Henry Owen, of Poyston Hall. Owen was the son of William Owen, who built Scolton. Another historic feature worth mentioning is a painting of the 'Battle of Fishguard' (also known as The Last Invasion) and surrender of the French at Carreg Wastad in February 1797. The painting, though of no great artistic merit, is based on eye-witness testimony and was painted just 2 days after the invasion attempt was foiled. Look for the likeness of a local woman named Jemima Nicholas holding a dozen French soldiers prisoner with her pitchfork!

The manor is set in a 60 acre country park, managed to encourage birds and wildlife. There are viewing hides to watch birds, and a children's nature trail. The visitor centre offers a look at how the park is kept 'green' and environmentally friendly, with advice on where best to view wildlife and birds. The Victorian walled garden is also being restored.

The largest museum collection is focussed on agriculture and rural life. One of the most recent additions to the family attractions at Scolton is the Pembrokeshire Bee Keeping Centre, with exhibitions on bees and beekeeping. See demonstrations of how to extract honey and buy the sweet results in the shop!

The museum is open from spring through autumn, and there is a small entrance charge.