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Pembroke, Pembrokeshire

Historical Description

Pembroke, a market-town, a municipal and parliamentary borough, the head of a poor-law union and two parishes in Pembrokeshire. The town stands on a creek of Milford Haven, 2 miles S of Pembroke Dock, 7 E by S of Milford, 10 W of Tenby, 10 S by E of Haverfordwest, and 272 by railway from London. It occupies a peninsular ridge called Pen-fro, and took thence its name of Pembroke. It was founded, together with a strong castle in 1092, by Amulph de Montgomery, and was once surrounded with walls, remains of which are still standing. Pembroke consists chiefly of one long street, extending from E to W, and has a head post office, a station on the Pembroke and Tenby railway, and two banks. The town-hall is a plain building with a market-house on the ground floor. The assembly rooms were built in 1866. The castle stood at the seaward extremity of the ridge, was very large, strong, and doubly warded, was the birthplace of Henry VII., sustained a siege in the time of Charles I., and has left extensive and imposing ruins. These include the great gate with round towers, a circular keep 52 feet in diameter and 75 feet high, with walls 14 feet thick; and a subterranean apartment or cave 77 feet by 57, called the Wogan. The outer wards were added in the Edwardian period. Two arms of the creek enfold the sides of the ruins and are spanned by bridges. St Michael's Church is modern and forms a principal feature of the town. It was restored in 1887. St Mary's Church is partly Norman and has a massive steeple. It was restored in 1883. The Church of St Nicholas, Monkton, at the extreme west of the town, formed a portion of a Benedictine priory founded in 1098, and consists of a long, aisleless vaulted nave and a lofty tower, with a chancel and tower of later date. It was restored in 1883. There are Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The workhouse was built in 1837. Two weekly newspapers are published. A weekly market is held on Saturday, a market for stock, &c., on the last Monday in each month in the new cattle market, and fairs on second Monday in April, second Tuesday in May, second Monday in July, third Tuesday in Sept., 10 and 19 Oct., and second Monday in Dec. The town is a seat of petty sessions and county courts. The municipal borough was incorporated in the reign of Richard III., is divided into the two wards of Pembroke and Pembroke Dock, and is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors; the town council is the urban district council. It has a commission of The peace. It includes the parishes of Pembroke St Mary, and Pembroke St Michael, and part of Monkton. Acreage, 4618; population, 14,978. The parliamentary borough is more extensive than the municipal borough. Population, 17,564. It unites with Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford, Narberth, Tenby, and Wiston to form the Pembroke and Haverfordwest district of boroughs, returning one member to the House of Commons.

The two parishes are Pembroke St Mary, including Pembroke Dock, and Pembroke St Michael. Pembroke St Mary comprises 2430 acres of land and 5 of water, with 33 of adjacent tidal water and 468 of foreshore. Population of the civil parish, 12,558; of the ecclesiastical, 2077. The ecclesiastical parish of Pembroke Dock was constituted in 1848; population, 10,481. Pembroke St Michael comprises 1853 acres; population, 1367. The livings are vicarages in the diocese of St David's; net value of St Mary's, £125 with residence; of St Michael's, £132. The vicarage of Pembroke Dock is a separate benefice. Stackpole Court, the seat of the Earl of Cawdor, is about five miles from the town. Lamphey Court y Orielton, Underdown, Williamston, and Cresselly House arc .the chief residences in the neighbourhood.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Pembrokeshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online: