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The town of Pembroke is steeped in history, dating back to the 11th century when Arnulf of Mongomery raised an earth and timber fortification on the banks of the Pembroke River. Although something of an outpost, it was considered to be of sufficient strategic value to justify progressive strengthening over the next 150 years, the first stone structure on the site dating from the middle of the 13th Century. William de Valence, one time Mayor of Pembroke, is thought to have been responsible for girdling the town with walls at some time during this period.
It was while a guest of her brother-in-law, Jasper, at Pembroke Castle in 1457 that Margaret Beaufort, widow of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, gave birth to Henry Tudor.
He was to be the founder of a dynasty that was to have a profound effect on the course of history far beyond the confines of Wales.Prosperity developed in the Middle Ages with the establishment of the woollen trade, originating from the activities of Flemish immigrants, but by the 16th Century it had declined.
Pembroke came into prominence during the Civil War when, in 1648, John Poyer, Mayor of the town declared for the King in spite of strong local support for the Parliament. Together with a group of sympathisers, Poyer occupied the Castle ? by this time a formidable stronghold, and eventually surrendered after prolonged bargaining, but not before Cromwell's men had laid siege to the town with artillery and inflicted much damage.
The town's centrepiece is its magnificent Norman castle, standing proudly at the head of a rocky ridge and surrounded on three sides by water. It is one of the finest and best preserved strongholds in the country.The Main Street, which runs the length of the old town, is ideal for strolling and browsing. There are several interesting Tudor and Georgian houses, two historic churches, and a pleasant mixture of shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
There are gentle walks along the Mill Pond (look out for kingfishers and otters) and to the remains of Monkton's Benedictine Priory.Pembroke is at the very centre of a wide circle of things to do and places to see, many of which come under the care of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Within easy reach of Pembroke are the resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot; the historic and revitalised dockyard towns of Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven; the castles of Manorbier and Carew; the magnificent beaches of the South Pembrokeshire Coastline; the popular market town of Narberth; the picturesque 24 mile Haven Waterway, and, of course, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Pembrokeshire has some of the best beaches in Britain. With over find over 50 beaches with crystal clear water and golden sands they have rightly earned Green Coast awards, Seaside awards or Blue Flags. Whether it's the calm and quiet of Barafundle, the hustle and bustle of Tenby or the surfing paradise of Freshwater West, there's a beach just right for you somewhere near us.
Surrounded by water on 3 sides, Pembrokeshire has a vast range of water based activities. Surfing, coasteering, windsurfing, sailing or kayaking along the Pembrokeshire coast or on the rivers is a must for any visitor. Pembrokeshire not only provide numerous marinas and harbours but there are also spectacular views of the coastline with its rugged cliffs and sandy beaches.
Many of the golf courses in Pembrokeshire golf courses are situated on coastal areas, so not only can you play a round of your favourite game, but you will also have the added bonus of some stunning and spectacular views. Whether your a learner or a professional, there's a golf course waiting for you in Pembrokeshire.
It doesn't matter if you are a novice or an experienced rider, there are many riding schools and stables in Pembrokeshire that you will easily find one to cater for you. Horses are an ideal way to explore the countryside and the many coastal and inland bridleways give you the opportunity to see so much.
Pembrokeshire has a host of attractions for the visitor, starting with the many historical sites to theme parks, places of outstanding natural beauty and some of the best beaches in Britain.
We could not possibly list all the attractions awaiting the visitor to Pembrokeshire, so we have compiled a list of what we believe to be the most interesting.
Idyllically set on the banks of the river estuary, this mighty fortress is largely intact, and its endless passages, tunnels and stairways are great fun to explore, plus there are super exhibitions, which tell the tale of its medieval life. Once the seat of a succession of major barons who played leading roles in shaping Britain's history,
Carew Castle is justly celebrated as one of the most most magnificent castles of South Wales. Its position is low-lying, but still prominent in the flat land around the tidal reaches of the Carew river. The Castle stands at the end of a ridge at a strategically excellent site commanding a crossing point of the then-still navigable river.