Haverfordwest Castle

Introduction

Until earlier in the 20thC the Western Cleddau was navigable up to the point which has now become the shopping centre of the town. In the Middle Ages, Haverfordwest was more important than Cardiff and although the castle’s importance decreased its strategic position is still evident, standing as it does 80ft above the river. Few castles can match it for its dominance.

Until earlier in the 20thC the Western Cleddau was navigable up to the point which has now become the shopping centre of the town. In the Middle Ages, Haverfordwest was more important than Cardiff and although the castle’s importance decreased its strategic position is still evident, standing as it does 80ft above the river. Few castles can match it for its dominance.

Geraldus Cambrensis, Gerald of Wales, visited it in the company of Archbishop Baldwin in 1188 when it was an earth and timber structure. Marriage brought William Marshall to the castle, he had great insight into and demonstrated here the intricacies of defensive building techniques. In 1215 Llywelyn ap Iorwerth failed to take Haverfordwest, in 1220 the second of Llywelyn’s attacks also failed. The stronghold even resisted the endeavours of Owain Glyndwr and his considerable French supporters.

By the 16thC it was in a distressed state. However it was refurbished during the Civil War during which time the castle changed continually between Royalists and Parliamentarians. The ruins of the south tower of the hall together with those of the chapel are still impressive. In 1779 a gaol was built in the inner ward but was replaced in 1820 with a similar provision in the outer ward. Later it became the headquarters of the Pembrokeshire Constabulary and in 1063 a county record office, museum and gallery.

Location: town centre
Admission: Free. Open: Standard Hours.
Exterior only

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Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015


An idyllic small-holding nestled amongst trees and fields without any passing traffic. Guests have their own entrance and lounge and are welcome to stay and relax here all day if they wish.