Pembroke story history



As a Local History Society we are very much concerned with collecting evidence of our more recent history.

To this end we are collecting and scanning photographs, recording memories, stories, collating research and working with others in the field. Much has been lost, but it is still not too late to piece together a picture of life in late Victorian and 20th century Pembroke.

We are working on a community history which we hope to publish next year: it is to be called "Through My Eyes: a Community History of Pembroke and Monkton".  Many people are participating in this.

The Changing Face of the Main Street. 

Vicki and Jim at their exhibition, Monkton Church Hall June 2011

Vicki's Main Street Project

Businesses and the people who lived here change but one thing that hasn't changed is that the Main Street is special: it remains the street, our street, the only shopping street   Vicki Haggar, who was born and brought up on the main Street, is leading the way in collecting memories and photographs, involving the community in writing their own stories of Main Street.  Already she has organised a very successful exhibition. This has attracted great interest and led to more contributions.  To find out more, visit Vicki's page by clicking the photograph.

The Demise of the Port

Most to be regretted is the total demise of the port.  Pembroke's former prosperity was very much linked to its favourable location on the Pembroke River.  Coastal trading continued up to the mid twentieth century when schooners and ketches would travel up the River to trade at the Quays. 

We are collecting material on Pembroke's Maritime History and work closely with the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society.

Kathleen and May at North Quay

The Kathleen and May, pictured here alongside the North Quay, was the last ship to use the port in the 1950s.

Post World War II Expansion

Geographically, Pembroke has changed greatly in the course of the twentieth century.  Indeed, until the second World War, Pembroke was largely still confined within its walls and the Mediaeval layout of burgage plots was almost intact. The image below shows Pembroke around the mid century.

Pembroke, unlike Pembroke Dock, was left unscathed by the blitz of WWII. It was after the Second World War that Pembroke was to change most dramatically:  the post war years saw a huge expansion with houses spilling out way beyond the orginal town. The photographs below (with kind permission of Sid Howells) illustrate this. .

Aerial view from the North photo by Sid Howells   Aerial Pembroke photo c Sid Howells

The first Social Housing

After the War a huge, but greatly needed, council house estate was built on "The Green" on the opposite shore to the Castle. 

Another council estate was created at Monkton in the 1960s:  a great deal of Monkton was destroyed in order to create this new development

Tourist Town

In 1972 Pembroke was designated a Conservation Area in recognition of its national historic importance and architectural merit. Now, Pembroke relies largely on tourism, with its castle one of the finest in the country. At one time painters like Turner and Sandby came here to paint the picturesque ruins and surroundings: since then Castle has largely been restored thanks to the antiquarian J R Cobb and Sir Ivor Philips. Now managed by a Trust, it is Pembroke’s great asset, a leading tourist destination and venue for events.












































Pembroke's Maritime Heritage


Through the Ages



The pages below are in the process of construction and are not yet linked

Round House
Iron and Rome


Celtic pattern
Dark Ages




Middle Ages


Tudor Rose
Wars of the Roses


Henry VII


Stuart & Civil War


18th Century


Pembroke-Tenby Railway
19th Century


Modern Times