Pembrokeshire (/ˈpɛmbrʊkʃɪər/, /ˈpɛmbrʊkʃər/, or /ˈpɛmbroʊkʃɪər/; Welsh: Sir Benfro [ˈsiːr ˈbɛnvrɔ]) is a county in the southwest of Wales. It is bordered by Carmarthenshire to the east, Ceredigion to the northeast, and the sea everywhere else.

The county is home to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only national park in the United Kingdom established primarily because of the coastline; the Park occupies more than a third of the area of the county and includes the Preseli Hills in the north as well as the 190-mile (310 km) Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

Industry is nowadays focused on agriculture (86 per cent of land use), oil and gas, and tourism; Pembrokeshire's beaches have won many awards. Historically mining and fishing were important activities. The county has a diverse geography with a wide range of geological features, habitats and wildlife. Its prehistory and modern history have been extensively studied, from tribal occupation, through Roman times, to Welsh, Norman and Flemish influences.

Pembrokeshire County Council's headquarters are in the county town of Haverfordwest. The council has a majority of Independent members, but the county's representatives in both the Welsh and Westminster Parliaments are Conservative. Pembrokeshire's population was 122,439 at the 2011 census, an increase of 7.2 per cent from the 2001 figure of 114,131. Ethnically, the county is 99 per cent white and, for historical reasons, Welsh is more widely spoken in the north of the county than in the south.


Sir Benfro
Pembrokeshire's location in Wales
Pembrokeshire's location in Wales
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Ceremonial countyDyfed
Admin HQHaverfordwest
Largest townHaverfordwest
 • TypePembrokeshire County Council
 • ControlIndependent
 • MPs
 • AMs
 • MEPsWales
 • Total610 sq mi (1,590 km2)
Area rank5th largest Welsh county
 • Total124,700
 • RankRanked 13th in Wales[1]
 • Density200/sq mi (77/km2)
 • Ethnicity
99.2% White
Welsh language
 • RankRanked 8th
 • Any skills29.4%
Geocode00NS (ONS)
W06000009 (GSS)
ISO 3166 codeGB-PEM


The county town is Haverfordwest. Other towns include Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven, Fishguard, Tenby, Narberth, Neyland and Newport. In the west of the county, St Davids is the United Kingdom's smallest city in terms of both size and population (1,841 in 2011). Saundersfoot is the most populous village (more than 2,500 inhabitants)[2] in Pembrokeshire. Less than 4 per cent of the county, according to CORINE, is built-on or green urban.[3]

See List of places in Pembrokeshire for a comprehensive list of settlements in Pembrokeshire.



Milford Haven
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: The Met Office

There are three weather stations in Pembrokeshire: at Tenby, Milford Haven and Penycwm, all on the coast. Milford Haven enjoys a mild climate and Tenby shows a similar range of temperatures throughout the year,[4] while at Penycwm, on the west coast and 100m above sea level, temperatures are slightly lower.[5]

Pembrokeshire, though, featured twice in the 2016 wettest places in Wales at Whitechurch in the north of the county (1,390.4mm) and Scolton Country Park (1,284.8mm), near Haverfordwest. Orielton was the tenth driest place in Wales in 2016.[6]

The county has on average the highest coastal winter temperatures in Wales due to its proximity to the relatively warm Atlantic Ocean. Inland, average temperatures tend to fall 0.5 °C for each 100 metres increase in height.[7]

The air pollution rating of Pembrokeshire is "Good", the lowest rating.[8]


The rocks in the county were formed between 600 and 290 million years ago. More recent rock formations were eroded when sea levels rose 80 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Around 60 million years ago, the Pembrokeshire landmass emerged through a combination of uplift and falling sea levels; the youngest rocks, from the Carboniferous Period, contain the Pembrokeshire Coalfield.[9] The landscape was subject to considerable change as a result of ice ages; about 20,000 years ago the area was scraped clean of soil and vegetation by the ice sheet; subsequently, meltwater deepened the existing river valleys.[10][11] While Pembrokeshire is not usually a seismically active area, in August 1892 there was a series of pronounced activities (maximum intensity: 7) over a six-day period.[12]:184

Coastline and landscape

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park UK location map
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park shown in green

The Pembrokeshire coastline includes numerous bays and sandy beaches. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only park in the UK established primarily because of its coastline, occupies more than a third of the county. The park contains the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a near-continuous 186-mile (299 km) long-distance trail from Amroth, by the Carmarthenshire border in the southeast, to St Dogmaels just down the River Teifi estuary from Cardigan, Ceredigion, in the north.[13] The National Trust owns 60 miles (97 km) of Pembrokeshire's coast.[14] Nowhere in the county is more than 10 miles (16 km) from tidal water. The large estuary and natural harbour of Milford Haven cuts deep into the coast; this inlet is formed by the confluence of the Western Cleddau (which flows through Haverfordwest), the Eastern Cleddau, and rivers Cresswell[15] and Carew. Since 1975, the estuary has been bridged by the Cleddau Bridge,[16] a toll bridge carrying the A477 between Neyland and Pembroke Dock. Large bays are Newport Bay, Fishguard Bay, St Bride's Bay and western Carmarthen Bay. There are several small islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, the largest of which are Ramsey, Grassholm, Skokholm, Skomer and Caldey.[17]

There are many known shipwrecks off the Pembrokeshire coast with many more undiscovered.[18][19] A Viking wreck off The Smalls has protected status.[20] The county has six lifeboat stations, the earliest of which was established in 1822; in 2015 a quarter of all Royal National Lifeboat Institution Welsh rescues took place off the Pembrokeshire coast.[21]

View from Carn Menyn eastwards towards Foel Drigarn and Y Frenni 2011
View from the bluestone quarry to other peaks in the Preseli Hills

Pembrokeshire's diverse range of geological features was a key factor in the establishment of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and a number of sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).[22] In the north of the county are the Preseli Hills, a wide stretch of high moorland supporting sheep farming and some forestry, with many prehistoric sites and the probable source of the bluestones used in the construction of the inner circle of Stonehenge in England.[23] The highest point is Foel Cwmcerwyn at 1,759 feet (536 m), which is also the highest point in Pembrokeshire. Elsewhere in the county most of the land (86 per cent according to CORINE) is used for farming, compared with 60 per cent for Wales as a whole.[3]


Pembrokeshire has a number of seasonal seabird breeding sites, including for razorbill, guillemot, puffin and Manx shearwater,[24] and rare endemic species such as the red-billed chough.[25]:133–135 Grassholm has a large gannet colony.[26] The county's wildlife is diverse, with marine, estuary, ancient woodland, moorland and farmland habitats all within the county.[27][28] An appeal for otter sightings in 2014 yielded more than 100 responses.[29] Seals,[30] whales, dolphins and porpoises can be seen frequently off the Pembrokeshire coast.[31]


Pentre Ifan burial chamber - - 384085
Pentre Ifan neolithic burial chamber

Human habitation of the region that is now Pembrokeshire extends back to between 125,000 and 70,000 years[32]:3 and there are numerous prehistoric (such as Pentre Ifan) sites and much earlier neolithic remains, more of which were revealed in an aerial survey during the 2018 heatwave;[33] in the same year, a 1st century Celtic chariot burial was discovered, the first such find in Wales.[34]

Roman period

Descriptio Prime Tabulae Europae
Map dated 1450-75 based on Ptolemy's "Geography" c. 150

There is little evidence of Roman occupation. Ptolemy's Geography (c. 150) mentioned some coastal places, two of which have been identified as the River Teifi and what is now St Davids Head, but most Roman writers did not mention the area; there may have been a Roman settlement near St Davids and a road from Bath, but this comes from a 14th century writer. Any evidence for roads, villas or Roman building materials reported by mediaeval or later writers has not been verified, though some were identified near Dale by Fenton in his Historical Tour of 1810.[35]:144 Some artefacts, including coins and weapons, have been found, but it is not clear whether these belonged to Romans or to a Romanised population. Welsh tradition has it that Magnus Maximus founded Haverfordwest, and took a large force of local men on campaign in Gaul in 383 which, together with the reduction of Roman forces in south Wales, left a defensive vacuum which was filled by incomers from Ireland.[36]:37–51

Sub-Roman period

Dyfed, after the late 7th century, showing its seven cantrefi

Between 350 and 400, an Irish tribe known as the Déisi settled in the region known to the Romans as Demetae.[32]:52,17,30,34 The Déisi merged with the local Welsh, with the regional name underlying Demetae evolving into Dyfed, which existed as an independent petty kingdom from the 5th century.[32]:52,72,85,87 In 904, Hywel Dda married Elen (died 943)[37], daughter of the king of Dyfed Llywarch ap Hyfaidd, and merged Dyfed with his own maternal inheritance of Seisyllwg, forming the new realm of Deheubarth ("southern district").[38] Between the Roman and Norman periods, the region was subjected to raids from Vikings, who established settlements and trading posts at Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Caldey Island and elsewhere.[32]:81-85[35]:135–136

Norman period

Dyfed remained an integral province of Deheubarth, but this was contested by invading Normans and Flemings who arrived between 1067 and 1111.[32]:98 The region became known as Pembroke (sometimes archaic "Penbroke"[39]:53–230), after the Norman castle built in the cantref of Penfro. In 1136, Prince Owain Gwynedd at Crug Mawr near Cardigan met and destroyed a 3,000-strong Norman/Flemish army and incorporated Deheubarth into Gwynedd.[40]:80–85[32]:124 Norman/Flemish influence never fully recovered in West Wales.[41]:79 In 1138, the county of Pembrokeshire was named as a county palatine. Rhys ap Gruffydd, the son of Owain Gwynedd's daughter Gwenllian, re-established Welsh control over much of the region and threatened to retake all of Pembrokeshire, but died in 1197. After Deheubarth was split by a dynastic feud, Llywelyn the Great almost succeeded in retaking the region of Pembroke between 1216 and his death in 1240.[32]:106,112,114

Mediaeval period

Pembroke Castle - June 2011
Pembroke Castle, birthplace of Henry VII

Henry Tudor, born at Pembroke Castle in 1457, landed an army in Pembrokeshire in 1485 and marched to Cardigan.[36]:223 Rallying support, he continued to Leicestershire and defeated the larger army of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. As Henry VII, he became the first monarch of the House of Tudor, which ruled England until 1603.[42]:337–379

The Laws in Wales Act 1535 divided the county into seven hundreds, roughly corresponding to the seven pre-Norman cantrefi of Dyfed.[43] The hundreds were (clockwise from the northeast): Cilgerran, Cemais, Dewisland, Roose, Castlemartin, Narberth and Dungleddy and each was divided into civil parishes.[44] During the First English Civil War (1642–1646) the county gave strong support to the Roundheads (Parliamentarians), in contrast to the rest of Wales, which was staunchly Royalist. In spite of this an incident in Pembrokeshire triggered the opening shots of the Second English Civil War when local units of the New Model Army mutinied. Oliver Cromwell defeated the uprising at the Siege of Pembroke in July 1648.[45]:437–438 On 13 August 1649, the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland began when New Model Army forces sailed from Milford Haven.[46]

18th and 19th centuries

In 1720, Emmanuel Bowen[47] described Pembrokeshire as having five market towns, 45 parishes and about 4,329 houses, with an area of 420,000 acres (1,700 km2). In 1791 a petition was presented to the House of Commons concerning the poor state of many of the county's roads, pointing out that repairs could not be made compulsory by the law as it stood. The petition was referred to committee.[48]:178 People applying for poor relief were often put to work mending roads. Workhouses were poorly documented. Under the Poor Laws, costs and provisions were kept to a minimum, but the emphasis was often on helping people to be self-employed. While the Poor Laws provided a significant means of support, there were many charitable and benefit societies.[49] After the Battle of Fishguard, the failed French invasion of 1797, 500 French prisoners were held at Golden Hill Farm, Pembroke.[50] From 1820 to 1878 one of the county's prisons, with a capacity of 86, was in the grounds of Haverfordwest Castle.[51] In 1831, the area of the county was calculated to be 345,600 acres (1,399 km2) with a population of 81,424.[47]

20th century

Throughout much of the 20th century (1911 to 1961) the population density in the county remained stable while it rose in England and Wales as a whole.[52] There was considerable military activity in Pembrokeshire and offshore in the 20th century: a naval base at Milford Haven because German U-boats were active off the coast in World War I[53] and, in World War II, military exercises in the Preseli Hills and a number of military airfields.[54] From 1943 to 1944, 5,000 soldiers from the United States Army's 110th Infantry Regiment were based in the county, preparing for D-Day.[55] Military and industrial targets in the county were subjected to bombing during the latter.[56] After the end of the war, German prisoners of war were accommodated in Pembrokeshire, the largest prison being at Haverfordwest, housing 600.[57]


Welsh speakers in the 2011 census Pembrokeshire
Proportion of Welsh speakers (Wales 2011 census) in Pembrokeshire (county border shown by white line)


Pembrokeshire's population was 122,439 at the 2011 census,[58] an increase of 7.2 per cent from the 2001 figure of 114,131.


As a result of differential immigration over hundreds of years, such as the influx of Flemish people,[59] the south of the county has fewer Welsh-speaking inhabitants (about 15 per cent) than the north (about 50 per cent). The rough line that can be drawn between the two regions, illustrated by the map, is known as the Landsker Line, and the area south of the line has been termed "Little England Beyond Wales". The first objective, statistically based description of this demarcation was made in the 1960s,[60]:7–29 but the distinction was remarked upon as early as 1603 by George Owen of Henllys.[61] A 21st century introduction of Welsh place names for villages which have always been known by their English names has caused some controversy.[62]


In 1851, a religious census of Pembrokeshire showed that of 70 per cent of the population, 53 per cent were nonconformists and 17 per cent Church of England (now Church in Wales).[63] The 2001 census for Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency showed that 74 per cent were Christian and 25 per cent of no religion (or not stated), with other religions totalling less than 1 per cent. This approximates to the figures for the whole of Wales.[64]


In 2001, Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency was 99 per cent white European, marginally lower than in 1991, compared with 98 per cent for the whole of Wales. 71 per cent identified their place of birth as Wales and 26 per cent as from elsewhere in the UK.[64]

Governance and politics

Under the Local Government Act 1888, an elected county council was set up to take over the functions of the Pembrokeshire Quarter Sessions. This and the administrative county of Pembrokeshire were abolished under the Local Government Act 1972, with Pembrokeshire forming two districts of the new county of Dyfed: South Pembrokeshire and Preseli – the split being made at the request of local authorities in the area.[65] In 1996, under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, the county of Dyfed was broken up into its constituent parts, and Pembrokeshire has been a unitary authority since then.[66] In 2017 Pembrokeshire County Council had 60 members and no political party in overall control; there were 34 independent councillors.[67] In 2009, the question of county names and Royal Mail postal addresses was raised in the Westminster parliament; it was argued that Royal Mail's continued use of the county address Dyfed was causing concern and confusion in the Pembrokeshire business community.[66] In 2018, Pembrokeshire County Council increased council tax by 12.5 per cent, the largest increase since 2004, but the county's council tax remains the lowest in Wales.[68]

The Pembrokeshire (Communities) Order 2011 established the most recent arrangement of communities (the successors to civil parishes) in the county which have their own councils; see the foot of this page for a list of communities.[69]

Since 2010, Pembrokeshire has returned two Conservative MPs to the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster: Stephen Crabb for Preseli Pembrokeshire and Simon Hart for South Pembrokeshire which is represented jointly with West Carmarthenshire.[70] The corresponding Assembly Members (AMs) returned to the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff are Paul Davies and Angela Burns respectively, both Conservatives.[71]


There are no motorways in Pembrokeshire; the nearest motorway is the M4 from London and South Wales, which terminates at the Pont Abraham services in Carmarthenshire some 46 miles (74 km) from Haverfordwest. The A40 crosses Pembrokeshire from the border with Carmarthenshire westwards to Haverfordwest, then northwards to Fishguard.[72] Some improvements have been made since the 1990s but others were still the subject of discussion in 2014.[73] The A477 from St. Clears to Pembroke Dock is 24 miles (39 km) long, of which only 2 miles (3.2 km) are dual carriageway. The Cleddau Bridge, toll-free from 28 March 2019,[74] carries the A477 across the Cleddau Estuary. The A478 traverses eastern Pembrokeshire from Tenby in the south to Cardigan, Ceredigion in the north, a distance of 30 miles (48 km). The A487 is the other major route, running northwest from Haverfordwest to St David's, then northeast following the coast, through Fishguard and Newport, to the boundary with Ceredigion at Cardigan.[72] Owing to length restrictions in Fishguard, some freight vehicles are not permitted to travel northeast from Fishguard but must take a longer route via Haverfordwest and Narberth.[75] The B4329 former turnpike runs from Eglwyswrw in the north to Haverfordwest across the Preseli Hills.[76]

The main towns in the county are covered by regular bus and train services, and many villages by local bus services, or community or education transport.[77]

Pembrokeshire is served by rail via the West Wales Lines from Swansea. Direct trains from Milford Haven run to Manchester Piccadilly. Branch lines terminate at Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Fishguard, linking with ferries to Ireland from Pembroke Dock and Fishguard.[78] Seasonal ferry services operate from Tenby to Caldey Island,[79] from St Justinians (St Davids) to Ramsey Island[80] and Grassholm Island,[81] and from Martin's Haven to Skomer Island.[82] Haverfordwest (Withybush) Airport provides general aviation services.[83]


Pembrokeshire's economy now relies heavily on tourism; agriculture, once its most important industry with associated activities such as milling, is still significant. Mining of slate and coal had largely ceased by the 20th century. Since the 1950s, petrochemical and liquid natural gas industries have developed along the Milford Haven Waterway and the county has attracted other major ventures. In 2016, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb, then Welsh Secretary, commented in a government press release: "...with a buoyant local economy, Pembrokeshire is punching above its weight across the UK."[84]


Until the 12th century, a great extent of Pembrokeshire was virgin woodland. Clearance in the lowland south began under Anglo-Flemish colonisation and under mediaeval tenancies in other areas. Such was the extent of development that by the 16th century there was a shortage of timber in the county. Little is known about mediaeval farming methods, but much arable land was continuously cropped and only occasionally ploughed. By the 18th century, many of the centuries-old open field systems had been enclosed, and much of the land was arable or rough pasture in a ratio of about 1:3.[85]

Solva Mill (3962)
Solva Woollen Mill

Kelly's Directory of 1910 gave a snapshot of the agriculture of Pembrokeshire: 57,343 acres were cropped (almost half under oats and a quarter barley), there were 37,535 acres of grass and clover and 213,387 acres of permanent pasture (of which a third was for hay). There were 128,865 acres of mountain or heathland used for grazing, with 10,000 acres of managed or unmanaged woodland. Estimates of livestock included 17,810 horses, 92,386 cattle, 157,973 sheep and 31,673 pigs. Of 5,981 agricultural holdings, more than half were between 5 and 50 acres.[86]

Pembrokeshire had a flourishing wool industry.[87] There are still working woollen mills at Solva and Tregwynt.[88] One of the last few watermills in Wales producing flour is in St Dogmaels.[89]

Pembrokeshire has good soil and benefits from the Gulf Stream, which provides a mild climate and a longer growing season than other parts of Wales.[90]:142 Pembrokeshire's mild climate means that crops such as its new potatoes (which have protected geographical status under European law)[91] often arrive in British shops earlier in the year than produce from other parts of the UK. Other principal arable crops are oilseed rape, wheat and barley, while the main non-arable activities are dairy farming for milk and cheese, beef production and sheep farming.[92]

The county lends its name to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a herding dog whose lineage can be traced back to the 12th century,[93]:6 but which in 2015 was designated as a "vulnerable" breed.[94]

Since 2006, Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise and Development (PLANED) has provided a forum to promote an integrated approach to rural development, in which communities, public sector and voluntary partners and specialist interest groups come together to influence policy and promote projects aimed at sustainable agriculture. Sub-groups include promoting food and farming in schools and shortening supply chains.[95]


Milford Marina2
Milford Haven dock, 2009

With much of Pembrokeshire being coastline or tidal river estuaries, fishing was an important industry at least from the 16th century, with many ports and villages dependent on the industry before it declined.[96] The former large sea fishing industry around Milford Haven is now greatly reduced, although limited commercial fishing still takes place. At its peak, Milford was landing over 40,000 tons of fish a year.[96] Pembrokeshire Fish Week is a biennial event[97] which in 2014 attracted 31,000 visitors and generated £3 million for the local economy.[98]


Slate quarrying was a significant industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries with quarrying taking place at about 100 locations throughout the county.[99] Over 50 coal workings in the Pembrokeshire Coalfield were in existence between the 14th and 20th centuries,[100] with the last coal mine, at Kilgetty, closing in 1950.[9][101]

Oil, gas and renewable energy

Pembroke Power Station-Geograph-3601523-by-David-Medcalf
Pembroke Power Station in 2013

There are two oil refineries, two liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals and the 2000 MW gas-fired Pembroke Power Station (opened in 2012) at Milford Haven. The LNG terminals on the north side of the river, just outside Milford Haven were opened in 2008;[102] a 196-mile (316 km) pipeline connecting Milford Haven to Tirley in Gloucestershire was completed in 2007.[103] The two oil refineries are operated by Chevron (formerly Texaco) producing 214,000 bbl/d (34,000 m3/d) and Murco (formerly Amoco/Elf) producing 108,000 bbl/d (17,200 m3/d); the latter was sold to Puma Energy in 2015 with the intention of converting it to a storage facility.[104] At the peak, there were a total of five refineries served from around the Haven: the Esso refinery operated from 1960 to 1983, was demolished in the late 1980s and the site converted into the South Hook LNG terminal; the Gulf Refinery operated from 1968 to 1997 and the site now incorporates the Dragon LNG terminal; BP had an oil terminal at Angle Bay which served its refinery at Llandarcy and operated between 1961 and 1985.[105]

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has identified a number of areas in which renewable energy can be, and has been, generated in the county.[106] Following several years of planning after the initial impact studies begun in 2011,[107] the first submarine turbine of three was installed in Ramsey Sound in December 2015.[108] The cumulative impact of single and multiple wind turbines is not without controversy[109] and was the subject of a comprehensive assessment in 2013.[110] In 2011 the first solar energy farm in Wales was installed at Rhosygilwen, Rhoshill with 10,000 panels in a field of 6 acres (2.4 ha), generating 1 MW.[111]


BarafundleBeach StackpoleEstate WalesUK
Barafundle Beach

Pembrokeshire's tourism portal is Visit Pembrokeshire, run by Pembrokeshire County Council.[112] In 2015 4.3 million tourists visited the county, staying for an average of 5.24 days, spending £585 million; the tourism industry supported 11,834 jobs.[113] Many of Pembrokeshire's beaches have won awards,[114] including Poppit Sands and Newport Sands.[115] In 2018, Pembrokeshire received the most coast awards in Wales, with 56 Blue Flag, Green Coast or Seaside Awards.[116][117]

The Pembrokeshire coastline is a major draw to tourists; in 2011 National Geographic Traveller magazine voted the Pembrokeshire Coast the second best in the world and in 2015 the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was listed among the top five parks in the world by a travel writer for the Huffington Post.[118] Countryfile Magazine readers voted the Pembrokeshire Coast the top UK holiday destination in 2018.[119] With few large urban areas, Pembrokeshire is a "dark sky" destination.[120] The many wrecks off the Pembrokeshire coast attract divers.[19]

The county has a number of theme and animal parks (examples are Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Manor House Wildlife Park, Blue Lagoon Water Park and Oakwood Theme Park), museums and other visitor attractions including Castell Henllys reconstructed Iron age fort, Tenby Lifeboat Station and Milford Haven's Torch Theatre.[112]



The flag of Pembrokeshire consists of a yellow cross on a blue field. In the centre of the cross is a green pentagon bearing a red and white Tudor rose. The rose is divided quarterly and counterchanged: the inner and outer roses have alternating red and white quarters.[121][122]

Physical heritage

20100614-DSC 1535
St David's Cathedral

Pembrokeshire has more than 1,600 listed buildings, ranging from mud huts to castles, and including bridges and other ancient and modern structures, under the auspices of Cadw and the County Council.[123] The National Monuments Record of Wales of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales identifies nearly 6,000 sites in Pembrokeshire as worthy of study, preservation and recording, including prehistoric and modern buildings, wrecks and natural features.[124] There are 10 National Trust properties in Pembrokeshire.[125]

The arts and media

Music festivals in Pembrokeshire include those at St David's, Fishguard (folk, jazz and the International Music Festival) and Tenby (Blues Festival).[126] Milford Haven's Torch Theatre produces drama, screens films and holds exhibitions of art and crafts,[127] and there is a theatre-cinema in Fishguard (Theatr Gwaun)[128] and a cinema in Haverfordwest.[129] There are museums and art galleries in several locations in the county, including Scolton Manor, Narberth, Tenby, Milford Haven and Fishguard;[130] in Fishguard, the 100 feet (30 m) long Last Invasion Tapestry, commemorating the Battle of Fishguard in 1797, is on display.[131]

Pembrokeshire's coastal landscape and wealth of historic buildings has made it a popular location choice for film and television, including Moby Dick at Fishguard, and the final two Harry Potter films at Freshwater West. Others include:

There are seven local newspapers based in Pembrokeshire: the Western Telegraph (the largest in Pembrokeshire), The Milford Mercury, Tenby Observer, Pembroke Observer, County Echo and The Pembrokeshire Herald (founded 2013[148]). The Milford Mercury (circulation 3,681) and Western Telegraph (circulation 19,582) are part of the Newsquest group. Radio Pembrokeshire, and several other West Wales radio stations, were broadcast from Narberth until 2016, when they were relocated to the Vale of Glamorgan, while retaining satellite offices at Narberth and Milford Marina.[149][150]


As the national sport of Wales, rugby union is widely played throughout the county at both town and village level. Haverfordwest RFC, founded in 1875, is a feeder club for Llanelli Scarlets. Village team Crymych RFC in 2014 plays in WRU Division One West.[151]

Triathlon event Ironman Wales has been held in Pembrokeshire since 2011, contributing £3.7 million to the local economy, and the county committed in 2017 to host the event for a further five years.[152] Ras Beca, a mixed road, fell and cross country race attracting UK-wide competitors, has been held in the Preseli Hills annually since 1977. The record of 32 minutes 5 seconds has stood since 1995.[153] Pembrokeshire Harriers athletics club was formed in 2001 by the amalgamation of Cleddau Athletic Club (established 1970) and Preseli Harriers (1989) and is based in Haverfordwest.[154]

The annual Tour of Pembrokeshire road-cycling event takes place over routes of optional length.[155] The 4th Tour, in April 2015, attracted 1,600 riders including Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman[156] and there were 1,500 entrants to the 2016 event.[157] Part of Route 47 of the Celtic Trail cycle route is in Pembrokeshire. The Llys y Fran Hillclimb is an annual event run by Swansea Motor Club.[158]

Abereiddy's Blue Lagoon was the venue for a round of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2012,[159] 2013[160] and 2016;[161] the Welsh Surfing Federation has held the Welsh National Surfing Championships at Freshwater West for several years[162] and Llys y Fran Country Park hosted the Welsh Dragonboat Championships from 2014 to 2017.[163][164]

While not at major league level, cricket is played throughout the county and many villages such as Lamphey, Creselly, Llangwm, Llechryd and Crymych field teams in minor leagues under the umbrella of the Cricket Board of Wales.[165]

Notable people

Enrique VII de Inglaterra, por un artista anónimo
Henry VII (1505)
See also Category:People from Pembrokeshire

From mediaeval times, Rhys ap Gruffydd (c. 1132-1197), ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth, was buried in St David's Cathedral.[166] and Gerald of Wales was born c. 1146 at Manorbier Castle.[167] Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) was born in 1457 at Pembroke Castle.[168]

In later military history, Jemima Nicholas, heroine of the so-called "last invasion of Britain" in 1797, was from Fishguard,[169] Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton GCB, born in Haverfordwest, was killed at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815[170] and Private Thomas Collins is believed to be the only Pembrokeshire man that fought in the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879.[171]

In the arts, siblings Gwen and Augustus John were both born in Pembrokeshire,[172]:251–252 as was the novelist Sarah Waters;[173] singer Connie Fisher grew up in Pembrokeshire.[174]

Stephen Crabb, former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for Wales, was brought up in Pembrokeshire and represents the county as one of its two Members of Parliament.[175]

Education and health

Withybush General Hospital Geograph-280886-by-ceridwen
Withybush General Hospital, Haverfordwest

A comprehensive review of education in Pembrokeshire was carried out in 2014 with a number of options for discussion in 2015.[176] In 2018 there were 58 primary schools, 8 secondary schools (two are age 3-16) and one special school, providing education for more than 18,300 pupils. These include 15 Welsh medium primary schools in the county, three dual stream schools and two transition schools; four primary schools are classified as English Welsh schools (English medium schools with significant use of Welsh). In 2017/18, 22 per cent of seven-year-old pupils were educated through the medium of Welsh. This figure is expected to rise to 25 per cent by 2019/20.[177]

The Preseli Branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) provides musical appreciation as a subject.[178]

Health services in the county are provided by Hywel Dda Local Health Board which also provides for Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. The county's principal hospital is Withybush General Hospital in Haverfordwest,[179] with local hospitals in Tenby[180] and Pembroke Dock.[181] In November 2018, Hywel Dda informed Pembrokeshire's Community Health Council that the county had 38 full-time and 34 part-time GPs.[182]

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Further reading

  • Awbery, G. M. (1986). Pembrokeshire Welsh, A Phonological Study (First ed.). Cardiff: National Museum of Wales. ASIN B000S54DVE.
  • Charles, B. G. (1992). The Place-Names of Pembrokeshire (2 Volumes) (First ed.). Cardiff: National Museum of Wales. ISBN 978-0-907158-58-5.
  • Charles-Jones, Caroline (2001). Historic Pembrokeshire Homes and Their Families: The Francis Jones. Illustrations by Leon Olin & David H. White Jr. (2nd Revised ed.). Dinas: Brawdy Books. ISBN 978-0-9528344-5-8.
  • Davies, B. S. (1997). Pembrokeshire Limekilns (2nd Revised ed.). St Davids: Merrivale Publications. ISBN 978-0-9515207-7-2.
  • Dillon, Myles (1977). "The Irish settlements in Wales". Celtica. Volume 12. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. pp. 1–11.
  • Downes, John (2011). Folds, Faults and Fossils: Exploring geology in Pembrokeshire. Pwllheli: Llygad Gwalch Cyf. ISBN 978-1-84524-172-8.
  • Fudge, Pam (2014). South West Wales Through the Lens of Harry Squibbs Pembrokeshire. Volume 2. Stroud: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4456-3435-7.
  • Harris, P. Valentine (2011). South Pembrokeshire Dialect And Place Names. Tenby: H. G. Walters. ISBN 978-1-4474-1940-2 – via Gebert Press, Plano, TX.
  • James, J. Ivor (1968). Molleston Baptist Church-Reflections on the Founders' Tercentenary (First ed.). Carmarthen: V.G. Lodwick & Sons Ltd. ASIN B00J1IHH9Y.
  • Jenkins, J. Geraint (2016). Pembrokeshire, its present and its past Explored. Pwllheli: Llygad Gwalch Cyf. ISBN 978-1-84524-246-6.
  • John, Brian S. (1998). The Geology of Pembrokeshire. Cardigan: Abercastle Publications. ISBN 978-1-872887-20-3.
  • Jones, Francis (1996). Innes-Smith, Robert, ed. Historic Houses of Pembrokeshire and Their Families (First ed.). Dinas: Brawdy Books. ISBN 978-0-9528344-0-3.
  • Lloyd, Thomas; Orbach, Julian; Scourfield, Robert (2004). Pembrokeshire: The Buildings of Wales (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of Wales) (First ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10178-2.
  • Lockley, Ronald Mathias (1969). The Regional Books: Pembrokeshire (2nd ed.). London: Robert Hale. ISBN 978-0-7091-0781-1.
  • Owen, George of Henllys (1796) [First published 1603]. A History of Pembrokeshire. With additions and observations by John Lewis of Manarnawan. London. pp. 53–230 – via Cambrian Register, Volume 2.
  • Willison, Christine (2013). Pembrokeshire Folk Tales. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-6565-4.

External links

Coordinates: 51°50′42″N 4°50′32″W / 51.84500°N 4.84222°W

1999 Pembrokeshire County Council election

Elections to Pembrokeshire County Council were held on 6 May 1999. It was preceded by the 1995 election and followed by the 2004 election. On the same day there were the first elections to the Welsh Assembly and elections to the other 21 local authorities in Wales and community councils in Wales.

All council seats were up for election.


Dyfed (Welsh pronunciation: ['dəvɛd]) is a preserved county of Wales. It was created on 1 April 1974, as an amalgamation of the three pre-existing counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. It was abolished twenty-two years later, on 1 April 1996, when the three original counties were reinstated, Cardiganshire being renamed Ceredigion the following day. The name "Dyfed" is retained for certain ceremonial and other purposes. It is a mostly rural county in southwestern Wales with a coastline on the Irish Sea and the Bristol Channel.


Haverfordwest (; Welsh: Hwlffordd [ˈhuːlfɔrð]) is the county town of Pembrokeshire, Wales, and the most populous urban area in Pembrokeshire with a population of 13,367 in 2001, though its community boundaries made it the second-most populous settlement in the county, with 10,812 people. The 2011 census quoted a population of only 12,042 living within the confines of the parish. This agreed with the total population of all five wards involved: Castle, Prendergast, Portfield, Priory and Garth. Merlin's Bridge is a separate village and community situated to the south.The suburbs include the former parish of Prendergast, Albert Town and the residential and industrial area of Withybush (housing, retail parks, hospital, airport and showground).

Haverfordwest has held a strategic position from the Roman era to the opening of the Cleddau Bridge (1975) because of being the lowest fordable point of the Western Cleddau.


Jeffreyston (also known as Jeffreston) is a village, parish and community in Pembrokeshire.

Jeffreyston lies on the B4586 road about one mile west from the main A477 road; the nearest town is Tenby about six miles (9.7 km) to the south and east. As well as Jeffreyston itself, the community includes the settlements of Cresselly, Cresswell Quay, Loveston, Broadmoor and Yerbeston.

The parish church is dedicated to St Jeffrey and St Oswald and is a grade II* listed building.Cresselly House in the village of Cresselly is a Georgian country house, seat of the Allen family, which is now a country house hotel and wedding venue. Castle School Pembrokeshire is also in Cresselly.

List of Parliamentary constituencies in Dyfed

Five constituencies cover Dyfed, also used for elections to the National Assembly for Wales. The current boundaries have been effective since the 2007 Welsh Assembly election and the 2010 United Kingdom general election.Dyfed is one of the eight preserved counties of Wales, consisting of the principal areas of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

These principal areas are also known as counties.

For Welsh Assembly elections, constituencies are grouped into additional member electoral regions.

List of places in Pembrokeshire

This is a list of cities and towns (and former towns) and villages in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Most places in blue have their own article; those in red do not. Some (annotated (r)) are currently redirected to their parent parish or community and may be sufficiently notable for their own article. There is a list of communities at the foot of this page. Coordinates can usually be found in List of United Kingdom locations.

For other principal areas in Wales, see the list of places in Wales.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (Welsh: Gwasanaeth Tân ac Achub Canolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru) is the fire and rescue service covering the Welsh principal areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea.

The service was created in 1996 by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 which reformed Welsh local government. It was created by a merger of the earlier Dyfed, Powys and West Glamorgan fire brigades.The service is the largest by area in England and Wales covering a predominantly rural area of 4,500 square miles (11,700 km2) and the third largest in the United Kingdom behind the Scottish and Northern Ireland fire services. It has 57 fire stations, and around 1,400 staff.

The fire authority which administers the service is a joint-board, made up of councillors appointed from Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea councils.

Milford Haven

Milford Haven (Welsh: Aberdaugleddau, meaning "mouth of the two Rivers Cleddau") is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is situated on the north side of the Milford Haven Waterway, an estuary forming a natural harbour that has been used as a port since the Middle Ages. Founded in 1790 by Sir William Hamilton, designed to a grid pattern, it was originally intended to be a whaling centre, though by 1800 it was developing as a Royal Navy dockyard which it remained until the dockyard was transferred to Pembroke in 1814. It then became a commercial dock, with the focus moving in the 1960s, after the construction of an oil refinery built by Esso, to logistics for fuel oil and liquid gas. By 2010, the town's port had become the fourth largest in the United Kingdom in terms of tonnage, and continues its important role in the United Kingdom's energy sector with several oil refineries and one of the biggest LNG terminals in the world.

Being the second largest settlement in Pembrokeshire, with a population of 12,830, and 13,086 people within its six community boundaries, Milford Haven is the most populous in the county. The community of Milford Haven covers an area of 1,573 hectares (6.07 sq mi) and includes the Milford Central, East, Hakin, Hubberston, North and West wards.The natural harbour of the Haven was known as a safe port and was exploited for several historical military operations throughout the second millennium. Campaigns conducted from the Haven included part of Henry II's Invasion of Ireland in 1171 and Cromwell's own attack on Ireland in 1649, while forces which have disembarked at the point include Jean II de Rieux's 1405 reinforcement of the Glyndŵr Rising. In 1485, the future Henry VII landed close to his birthplace in Mill Bay before marching on to England.

Narberth, Pembrokeshire

Narberth (Welsh: Arberth) is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales. It was founded around a Welsh court, but later became a Norman stronghold on the Landsker Line. It became the headquarters of the hundred of Narberth. It was once a marcher borough. George Owen described it in 1603 as one of nine Pembrokeshire "boroughs in decay".

The town, which is close to the A40 trunk road, holds a number of events throughout the year and is twinned with Ludlow, Shropshire.

Newport, Pembrokeshire

Newport (Welsh: Trefdraeth, meaning: "town by the beach") is a town, community and ancient port of Parrog, on the Pembrokeshire coast in West Wales at the mouth of the River Nevern (Welsh: Afon Nyfer) in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

A popular tourist destination, Newport town straddles the Fishguard to Cardigan (A487) road, while the old port area hosts beach, water and other activities.


Neyland is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales, lying on the River Cleddau and the upstream end of the Milford Haven estuary. The Cleddau Bridge carrying the A477 links Pembroke Dock with Neyland.

Pembroke, Pembrokeshire

Pembroke (; Welsh: Penfro pronounced [pɛnˈvroː]) was the establishing county town of Pembrokeshire in Wales. Pembroke still features a number of historic buildings, town walls and complexes. It is a community and one of the larger towns in the county with a population of 7,552.

Pembroke Castle was the birthplace of Henry Tudor, later to become Henry VII of England.

Pembroke Dock

Pembroke Dock (Welsh: Doc Penfro) is a town and a community in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Pembroke on the banks of the River Cleddau. Originally Paterchurch, a small fishing village, Pembroke Dock town expanded rapidly following the construction of the Royal Navy Dockyard in 1814. The Cleddau Bridge links Pembroke Dock with Neyland.

After Haverfordwest and Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock is the third-largest town in Pembrokeshire.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (Welsh: Parc Cenedlaethol Arfordir Penfro) is a national park along the Pembrokeshire coast in west Wales.

It was established as a National Park in 1952, and is the only one in the United Kingdom to have been designated primarily because of its spectacular coastline. It is one of three National Parks in Wales, the others being the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) and Snowdonia (Eryri).

SA postcode area

The SA postcode area, also known as the Swansea postcode area, is a group of postcode districts around Aberaeron, Ammanford, Boncath, Burry Port, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Clynderwen, Crymych, Ferryside, Fishguard, Glogue, Goodwick, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Kilgetty, Lampeter, Llanarth, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandysul, Llanelli, Llanfyrnach, Llangadog, Llangrannog, Llansaint, Llanwrda, Llanybydder, Milford Haven, Narberth, Neath, New Quay, Newcastle Emlyn, Newport, Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, Pencader, Pontardawe, Port Talbot, Saundersfoot, Swansea, Tenby and Whitland in Wales.

Saint David

Saint David (Welsh: Dewi Sant; Latin: Davidus; c. 500 – c. 589) was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw (now St Davids) during the 6th century. He is the patron saint of Wales. David was a native of Wales. A relatively large amount of information is known about his life. His birth date, however, is uncertain: suggestions range from 462 to 512. He is traditionally believed to be the son of Saint Non and the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda, king of Ceredigion. The Welsh annals placed his death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore's dating revised this to 601.


Saundersfoot (Welsh: Llanussyllt) is a large village, community and electoral ward in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. It is near Tenby and they are two of the most visited Welsh holiday destinations. Saundersfoot lies in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

St Davids

St Davids or St David's (Welsh: Tyddewi, [tɨː ˈðɛwi], lit. "David's house") is a city and a community (named St Davids and the Cathedral Close) with a cathedral in Pembrokeshire, Wales, lying on the River Alun. It is the final resting place of Saint David, Wales's patron saint, and named after him. St Davids is the United Kingdom's smallest city in terms of population (1,841 in 2011) and urban area; however, the smallest city by formal definition of local authority boundary area is the City of London.

In the 16th century, St Davids was given city status. The status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although in England and Wales it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals. This association between having a cathedral and being called a city was established in the early 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses. City status was lost in 1886 but, at the request of Queen Elizabeth II, restored in 1994.


Tenby (Welsh: Dinbych-y-pysgod, meaning fortlet of the fish) is a walled seaside town in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on the western side of Carmarthen Bay.

Tenby is a local government community. Notable features include 2 1⁄2 miles (4.0 km) of sandy beaches and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, the 13th century medieval town walls, including the Five Arches barbican gatehouse, Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, the 15th century St. Mary's Church, and the National Trust's Tudor Merchant's House.

The town is served by Tenby railway station.

Boats sail from Tenby's harbour to the offshore monastic Caldey Island. St Catherine's Island is tidal and has a 19th century Palmerston Fort.

Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Year Film title Location Refs
1940 The Thief of Bagdad Freshwater West [132]
1956 Moby Dick Fishguard [133]
1961 Fury at Smugglers' Bay Abereiddy [134]
1968 The Lion in Winter Pembroke Castle, Marloes Sands, Milford Haven [133]
1972 Under Milk Wood Fishguard [133]
1977 Jabberwocky Pembroke Castle & Bosherston [135]
1994 Dragonworld Manorbier [136]
1998 Basil Tenby, Manorbier, Bosherston [137]
2003 Baltic Storm Fishguard [138]
2003 I Capture The Castle Manorbier Castle [139]
2008 The Edge of Love Tenby & Laugharne [133]
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Freshwater West [133]
2010 Robin Hood Freshwater West [140]:34
2010 Third Star Barafundle Bay, Stackpole Estate [141]
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Freshwater West [142]:52
2012 Snow White and the Huntsman Marloes Sands [143]
2015 Under Milk Wood Solva [144]
2015 The Bad Education Movie Pembroke Castle [145]
2016 Their Finest Trecwn, Haverfordwest, Cresswell Quay, Freshwater West, Porthgain [146]
2016 Me Before You Pembroke, Pembroke Castle [147]
Principal settlements
Towns and villages
Historic cantrefi and hundreds
Islands and headlands
Communities of Pembrokeshire
Transport in Pembrokeshire
Railway lines
Railway stations

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