History of Pembrokeshire


It is no surprise that many visitors to Pembrokeshire come here first and foremost for the county's magnificent sandy beaches;twelve with European Blue Flag Awards and thirty beaches have Green Coast (rural) awards.

The historic town of Pembroke has well-preserved medieval walls, but the structure that dominates everything else here is the mighty Pembroke Castle, a truly monumental piece of military architecture and one of the best preserved medieval castles in Wales.  The wide walls are honeycombed with seemingly endless system of rooms, passageways and spiralling flights of narrow stone steps.  One of the most impressive features is the distinctive round keep, built soon after 1200, 75 ft high and views from the top in all directions are nothing short of magnificent.  From this lofty position it is easy to understand why the Normans were well aware that the site was ideal for fortification, a low rocky peninsula between two tidal creeks offering superb natural defence.  They quickly established a wooden fortress and in 1200 AD work began.  Henry Tudor, King Henry VII was born in Pembroke Castle on 28th January 1457.

Just half a mile from the castle is Monkton Priory, founded in 1098 by Arnulf de Montgomery for Benedictine monks.  The priory church, with its long narrow barrel-vaulted nave and monastic chancel, was re-arranged in the 14th-century and after lying in ruins for many years, restored in 1878-87.