The motte at Castlebythe
Castlebythe is a village and ancient parish in the Cemais Hundred of Pembrokeshire, on the southern slopes of the Preseli Hills, six miles south-east of Fishguard. The northern part of the parish is in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Together with the parishes of Henry's Moat, Little Newcastle, Morvil and Puncheston, it constitutes the civil community of Puncheston.
The Welsh placename (shortened from Castell Fuwch) means "Cow castle", and is perhaps a mocking name for an abandoned fortification, inhabited only by cows. The English placename form is a corruption of the Welsh.
There is a prominent early-Norman motte close to the village. There are a few English placenames in the southern part of the parish, but there is no evidence to suggest large-scale English colonisation in the mediæval period, and the parish has always been essentially Welsh-speaking.
The church of St Michael was rebuilt in 1875 to the designs of Edwin Dolby. It has since been largely demolished.
The census populations are: 174 (1801): 266 (1851): 155 (1901): 102 (1951): 80 (1981).
The percentage of Welsh language speakers was 100 (1891): 98 (1931): 75 (1971).
- Charles, B. G., The Placenames of Pembrokeshire, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1992, ISBN 0-907158-58-7, p 32
- Charles, ibid, p liv
- Lloyd, Thomas; Orbach, Julian; Scourfield, Robert (2004). Pembrokeshire. The Buildings of Wales. Yale University Press. p. 262. https://books.google.com/books?id=AyK4f2_8H78C&pg=PA262&dq.