Carew Cross
Carew Cross

The Carew Cross is a beautifully carved Celtic cross standing at the entrance to the grounds of Carew Castle in southern Pembrokeshire. The cross stands 13 feet high and is beautifully carved on four sides with lovely Celtic knotwork and key-pattern carvings.

There is some debate as to the age of the cross. The official Cadw stance is that the cross dates to the mid 11th century. The evidence for this dating is a carved Latin inscription on the west face of the cross shaft which reads:


One likely translation for the Latin is, "Margiteut (Maredudd) son of Etguin (Edwin)."

In 1033 Maredudd (a name we might Anglicize as Meredith) became joint ruler of the southern Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, a kingdom he shared with his brother Hywel. Maredudd died in 1035, leading historians to deduce that the cross was created as a memorial shortly after that date.

However, it is also possible that the cross is much earlier, as early as the 9th century, and that the inscription to Maredudd was simply added to the shaft of an already existing cross.

The cross stands immediately beside the main north/south A4075 road through Carew, but this is not its original position. It originally stood in an unknown location nearby, possibly beside a small chapel, of which no trace remains. It is easy to view the west (front) face of the cross, but the east face is more difficult to view, as the cross stands so close to the edge of the road.

The carving detail is exquisite, and the cross is in a generally superb state of preservation. The cross head was used to create the familiar logo used by Cadw, the organization set up to preserve historic sites in Wales.

It is only a few steps from the cross to the entrance of Carew Castle, and a further stroll to a historic 18th-century tidal mill. There is a free parking area immediately south of the cross on the A4075.