Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society  was founded in October 2009 with the following aims:

  • To raise public awareness of the heritage of our communities

  • To research, record and disseminate the history of Pembroke and Monkton

  • To encourage community participation

  • To support Pembroke Museum

To achieve these aims we have a programme of speakers, events and exhibitions. We organise visits and carry out research, scan photographs and record memories. We are now a registered charity.



Presented at the AGM on March 17th 2023

2022 saw the lifting of the Covid restrictions.  However, after having been forced to suspend public engagement for much of 2020/21, the Society is now back on track and I am pleased to report that much progress has been made in this year's annual report.

First, sadly, I should like to pay tribute to Marcia Whitehead who passed away last year.  Marcia had volunteered to take on the role of Museum Treasurer for several years until ill health forced her to retire. She is much missed.

On a happier note I extend our congratulations to our vice Chairman, Rose Blackburn BEM for the award of British Empire Medal which was announced in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours last year – so well deserved. So many years of voluntary service to the community in many roles - from the youth justice board to animal welfare and the Pembrokeshire Community Health Council. She has been a Town Councillor for many years, a former Mayor and, as Town Crier, cut a colourful figure in Pembroke for 27 years!

Rose Blackburn receiving her BEM from the

Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Ms Sarah Edwards.


Pembroke Museum

After having to close for much of 2020 and the whole of 2021, we opened again, as previously reported, last February for the 2022 season.  The public opening was a very successful event having invited other local heritage groups to participate to advertise their work, our first public event in two years: Modellers, Sunderland Trust, Cosheston History Society, Chapel Bay Fort, Carew Control Tower and the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society.

Volunteers are vital to the running of the museum and a big thank you to all concerned. The museum is a sub committee of the History Society and was chaired for several years by Jill Ensom for which we are very grateful. However, Jill because of her many other commitments had to step down and Ron Rees, vice Chairman has stood in as Chairman in her place. George Palmer was elected vice chairman. We are very lucky to have such dedicated volunteers who have achieved much in developing the museum displays –Ron Rees, George Palmer and Roy Smith have given so much of their time and expertise to this and Rose with her Miniaturist exhibits. A big thank you to all who commit their time every week to manning the Museum. The work of the volunteers was recognised by Pembroke Town Council, each receiving a certificate of appreciation at an Awards evening held in Pembroke Town Hall last November.

Pembroke Museum

Our museum relies on goodwill, not only for volunteer helpers but on donations to build the collection of artefacts together with our own fundraising efforts. I would like to thank all who have made donations, but in particular I thank Mr Ian Williams for giving us a valuable postcard collection consisting of 5 albums of old picture postcards belonging to his late father David Williams who had contributed much to our Society by taking part in our ‘Through My Eyes' project. I’d also like to thank Lorraine Rickets for her generous donation of Welsh costume and Lamphey History Society for their donation of £300.


i) Programme of Events

This past year, the Society’s programme of events had again to be put on hold because of restrictions.  We have now been able to recommence our programme of events, which are now held in Pembroke Town Hall on the first Saturday morning of the month between October and May.  On each occasion we have a coffee morning for the first hour during which we open up the museum and Council Chamber, in which we assemble an additional display. This is followed by a talk and we thank the following participants: Gareth Mills (A New Look on the Pembroke Dock Story), Liz Rawlins (The Flanders Connection), Jack Tree (The History Beneath our Feet), Dr Martin Crampin (Pembroke Stained Glass) and Linda Asman (Pembroke’s Great Art Heritage). All are welcome to our events and there is no entrance fee as overheads are funded by the raffle and coffee morning.

ii) Exhibitions and displays

By kind permission of Mrs Glenys Brown, we put up displays in the shop window of Brown’s café to advertise the museum, events and projects we are involved in.

We put up displays in St Mary’s Church and, in August, participated in their Welsh Week. Displays are changed regularly.

We also have stalls at local events: the William Marshal statue unveiling, the Pembroke Show, River Rally, Monkton School Fun Day and the Christmas Market.



I am pleased to announce the completion of two important projects

i)The William Marshal Statue

It is with great pride that we have seen this project through to completion and the much anticipated statue of the Greatest Knight now stands proud in its lovely location at the foot of the castle he built.

  • Naturally, we must thank first and foremost, our sculptor and the team which produced this beautiful statue: Harriet Addyman along with Andy Cann and Rhianna Robson: the Team at Castle Fine Arts Foundry and John Barnett of Cambrian Castings.
  • Whilst the fundraising campaign was led by Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society, without the support and assistance of Pembroke Town Council it could not have succeeded. A big thank you to Pembroke Town Council Town Clerk Suzie Thomas and assistant Town Clerk Jane Howes and staff at the Town Hall. We are also indebted to Anthony Price and Stephen Benger of PCC for sorting out last minute hitches and ensuring the plinth was built in time.
  • Thank you to our funders - Mr Richard Evans as it was his very generous donation that put us on this journey for a second statue in Pembroke. And to Mr Stephen Thornton of Valero who is always so supportive of worthwhile, local community projects. A grant of £30K was received from the Enhancing Pembrokeshire Fund –which supports projects, which promote Pembrokeshire.  So thank you to Pembrokeshire County Council Regeneration Team particularly Sinead Hanahan and Kevin Shales for their assistance. Other organisations deserving special mention  - Pembroke Rotary, Pembroke Male Voice Choir, and even further afield, to the Bar Council, Inner Temple (where William Marshal is buried) and Middle Temple.  So many people donated – so thanks to all. 

The unveiling was a great occasion - the community turned out in force to witness it. And they were not disappointed. HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mr Meurig Raymond did the honours. pulling away the covering sheet to reveal the magnificent, life size, bronze statue. Following the unveiling ceremony, everyone made their way to the Castle for a community celebration which, thanks to the generosity of the Castle Trustees, was opened up with free entry for all. A programme of entertainment, music and activities ran throughout the afternoon including a concert by Pembroke Male Voice Choir, Neil Thomas, stalls in the marquee, children’s activities organised by Messy Church and a competition for the best-dressed knight and princess . To add to the occasion, visitors were be able to find out more about William Marshal and his times from the Living History Society, Historia Normannis.

After a couple of years of restrictions, it was lovely once more to be able to come together as a community. Around 2 ½ thousand people attended the event and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves – young and old. Even the weather was perfect. It was a truly memorable day- a great day for a great knight.

ii) The Monkton History Project

It is an important function of our Society that we carry out research and make the results accessible; to preserve aspects of our history that would otherwise be lost. To date, we have published five books.

When we began the Society many years ago in 2010, we launched the Monkton History Project, which resulted in the ‘Monkton Sense of Place' leaflet, funded by Planed. This was a bi-lingual pamphlet outlining the history of Monkton, written by Linda Asman and illustrated by George Lewis. It has long been the intention to produce a history of Monkton and I am pleased to report that we have now done this.  ‘Monkton: a Hidden History’ was co written by Keith Johnson and Linda Asman.  People who remembered the old community joined in with contributions from Liz Jenkins, Ann Lankshear, Bill Thomas, Ann Yerbury, Dot Lloyd.  The book was dedicated to the late and much missed Pauline Waters, a founder member of our Society, a lady who loved Monkton.

I had obtained a grant of £4,500 from the Heritage Lottery Wales to cover the cost of publication but costs had sky rocketed to such an extent that we had to cut the length of the book with a much shorter run of 250 copies. It was printed by Gomer Press which, as usual, did us proud in producing a very attractive publication.   The book was launched at Pembroke Castle’s Christmas market and demand exceeded all expectation with the result we have sold out.  However, a digital copy of the book has been uploaded to our website and the People’s Collection where it can be accessed by all.




Inspirational Dragons Project

As reported in last year’s Report, the aim of our project is to build a fountain in Pembroke Millpond:  the vision is to develop a fountain in the form of a dragon, inspired by Llandrindod Wells ‘Fabulous Water Beast’. A grant of £13,587.00 from LEADER (which is administered by Planed), funded a schools project to involve children in the design and technology involved. Golden Grove and Monkton Priory Community School participated in this.  Unfortunately, lockdown meant that we were unable to complete the project with Ysgol Harri Tudur Henry Tudor School.  The project was to have formed part of coursework for GCSE, but closure of the schools put this on hold, although the school offered the work to pupils on its online portal during shut down. 

Although the maquette has been constructed by Gideon Petersen, we have not been able to advance this project. We have lost momentum on this and we are going to have to look at how to proceed.


Developing a Statue/Arts Trail

However, we do now have the basis for an arts/ statue trail on which to build: we already have the Town Hall Murals, our museum collection of art, the existing cherubs on the Clock Tower along with the golden lion on the former Lion Hotel, the ‘There but not there Tommy’ by the Church entrance together with the lovely Charles Kempe windows and displays. Added to this are our two impressive statues of Henry VII and William Marshal. The dragon would make a stunning addition.

To conclude, Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society is back on track after the Covid restrictions.  Therefore, a big thank you to our dedicated group of volunteers and supporters who make this possible.

Linda Asman

Chairman, March 2023                                                                                   



Our much missed Pauline Waters (right), Mayor of Pembroke and former Vice Chairman of the Society. Pictured here outside Pembroke Castle with Rose Blackburn, Town Crier.



Former Society President, the late George Lewis receiving the Civic Award from Pembroke Town Council for the Society's contribution to the community













Visit our BLOG

for a complete

account of our activities


Download our

2022-23 Programme



Annual Report