Pembrokeshire, Wales


Pembrokeshire or Pembroke, a maritime county of South Wales, bounded on the NE by Cardiganshire, on the E by Carmarthenshire, on the SE and the S by Bristol Channel, on the W and the NW by St George's Channel. Its outline is very irregular, and its NE boundary is traced by the river Teifi. Its greatest length, from NE to SW, is 36 miles, its greatest breadth is 29 miles, its circuit is about 145 miles, of which about 100 are coast, and its area is 395,151 acres. The coast, in general, is stern and precipitous, but embraces, in the S, the long sweep and the numerous creeks of Milford Haven; includes, in the SW, the wide and long incurvature of St Bride's Bay, and is flanked by the Caldy, Skokam, Skomar, and Ramsey Islands, and by various skerries. The-interior, for the most part, is undulating, or presents a series of hills intermixed with pastoral vales; and rises, in the N, into the range of the Precelly Mountains, culminating at an altitude of 1754 feet. The chief rivers besides the Teifi are-the East Cleddau, the West Cleddau, the Nevern, the Gwayne, the Solva, and the Rudford. Lower Silurian rocks occupy most of the area, from the N boundary all onward to a line a little S of Narberth and Haverfordwest; old red sandstone forms a belt, from the E boundary to a point about 4 1/2 miles WSW of Narberth, and three other belts around Milford Haven ; millstone grit forms two narrow belts between the first and the second of the old red sandstone belts; the coal measures, chiefly with anthracite in seams of 3 feet and under, form a considerable belt between the millstone grit belts, and onward to St Bride's Bay and partly round it; carboniferous limestone dips below the millstone grit and forms a girdle round it in the E, and trap rocks protrude in many places, particularly throughout the Silurian region. Poor slate is quarried in the Precelly Mountains, hard building stone is plentiful, lime is worked for manure, anthracite is worked to some extent, and clunch and ironstone are found.

The soils on the Silurian and coal rocks are generally poor, those on the old red sandstone and the limestone are fertile, and those elsewhere are very various. Wheat and barley are grown on the best soils, and oats and potatoes are the chief crops. Much agricultural improvement has been effected by the wealthier landlords, and much also by farmers' clubs and agricultural societies. Farms commonly run from 100 to 200 acres, and are let either on lease or from year to year. Many cattle are of a fine local breed, called Castlemartins- black, soft-haired, and easily fattened. Native sheep with coarse wool, but yielding fine mutton, abound in the N, and sheep of various breeds are kept in the S. Hogs and good small horses are reared. Wood is scarce, and the aspect of many of the landscapes is bleak.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5
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Archives and Libraries

Pembrokeshire Record Office,
The Castle,
SA61 2EF
TEL: 01437 763707
FAX: 01437 768539

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

List of Registration Districts in Pembrokeshire from 1837 to 1974.

Land and Property

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


Old map of Pembrokeshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)

Old map of Pembrokeshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)

Newspapers and Periodicals

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

Parishes and places

The towns and parishes have now been moved to a separate page.