Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Sculptor Gideon Petersen with the Dragon maquette

Last year we won a funding grant from LEADER to explore the feasibility of  a fountain in Pembroke Millpond.The idea originated from the need to improve the environment of Pembroke Millpond, a cause for public concern.  Reeds growing out of control and green algal bloom covering the waters of Pembroke Millpond are problems which Pembroke Town Council is seeking to resolve.  Last year a new Millpond Group was formed to find solutions to these problems.  Working alongside these organisations, the History Society believes that a fountain would help aerate the waters of the Millpond to improve the water quality with a beneficial effect on the local landscape and pond life.
Funding was obtained from LEADER to explore this idea:
1. Explore the design and technology involved in the fountain’s working and construction
2. Involve the local schools in a STEAM project
3. Build a working maquette - (small scale working model)

The fountain in the shape of a dragon will be a fitting sculpture for a town branding itself as the birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty. The supporters of the Tudor Coat of Arms are the Welsh Dragon and the White Greyhound.  The Henry Tudor statue on the Mill Bridge features the greyhound – we need the Welsh Dragon to complete the picture.
This stage of the project is now complete and the maquette of the dragon has been made by local sculptor Gideon Petersen, responsible for the acclaimed statue of Welsh resistance hero Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in Llandovery and the popular Bertie the Sea Bass created for the Turn the Tide on Plastic project led by Amroth and Saundersfoot community councils.  We would like to organise a public consultation to invite community views but, because of COVID-19 restrictions, this is not possible at the present time.  However, we are exhibiting our Dragon in the shop window next to Brown’s CafĂ© (by kind permission of Mrs Glenys Brown) so that it can be on public view - a practical demonstration of its workings will have to wait until we can hold a public meeting. 
If you would like to offer any comment, please contact Pembroke Town Hall or email us on

You can view the maquette in the window next to Brown's Cafe

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Friday's Quiz Night has had to be cancelled due to Government advice.  
These are exceptional times and we all have to be careful particularly as a very large proportion of our members and volunteers fall into the vulnerable category. 
There remains a question mark over future events as nothing can take place until the threat is lifted. 
Please check out also our website and Facebook for further information.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

1939 - Reflections from Castlemartin

Lynn Houston presents a copy of her DVD to our President, Frank Harries
Saturday's Coffee Morning and Talk was very well attended. It was disappointing that Father Gilda could not be with us but we were extremely grateful to Lynne Houston of Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks for stepping in at the last minute to give us a presentation of her DVD' 1939 - Reflections from Castlemartin'. 
The Requisition of farms for the tank range was a traumatic period in our local history and it is still felt. We have also collected memories from this time and, following Lynne's film, showed two of the digital stories we made on this subject - one by John Russell (who was brought up on Lyserry Farm) and one by Josie Thomas( who was born on Newton Farm). Newton Farm was one of those taken by the military and Josie's family had to relocate to the North of the county - a poignant story as her parents were never happy. These 2 digital stories or short films form part of our community history 'Through My Eyes' - a collection of 45 stories in a book with an accompanying dvd, which traces the history of Pembroke through the individual stories of local people. We published this in 2014 and still have copies left, now  reduced in price to the bargain price of £5.

The Russell family of Lyserry Farm

Baby Josie Thomas with her parents outside Newton Farm.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Saturday's meeting (February 1st) drew a very large audience.

Saturday's meeting in Pembroke Town Hall drew a very large audience of around 120 people.  Entitled 'was this the birthplace of Henry VII?' Archaeologist James Meek gave a fascinating, illustrated talk about the 2018 excavation in Pembroke castle, which was undertaken by Dyfed Archaeology Trust.
James stated that within Pembroke Castle the outline of a building regularly reappears as parch marks in the grass.  Its floor plan suggests that here was once a late medieval double-winged hall-house, which was uncovered in the 1930s' renovation of Pembroke Castle, but not recorded.
In the course of this investigation, James said that 2 trenches were excavated across the building  remains: trench 1 was positioned to cross the area of the possible cess pit and a corridor within the building (thought to have been exposed in the 1930s excavation), while trench 2 targeted the north western corner of the structure.  Overall the evaluation confirmed the presence of a large, free standing stone building within the Outer Ward of the castle, the remains of which indicated it was domestic and of high status.  However, James stressed that the building could not definitely be confirmed as being of late medieval origin, although the evidence would indicate that this was very likely.  Of great interest and excitement of course is the fact that if the structure is of that date and was standing at the time of Henry Tudor's birth at the castle on 28 January 1457, then it was very likely that he would have been born here as opposed to a tower on the outer wall.
For more information follow this link
historic photograph taken at the time of the 1930s renovation of Pembroke Castle

The 2018 excavation

James Meek (centre) with Society President Frank Harris and Chairman Linda Asman

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Our New Year's Quiz Night and Buffet - January 17th

It was full house at Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society’s New Years Quiz on Friday with all 15 tables taken!  Competition was fierce therefore, and the worthy winners were (left to right in the photograph) Bob and Amanda Schopp and Gaynor and Peter Thomas pictured here with Question master Rose Blackburn (far left). The ladies of the History Society produced their usual high standard of buffet which was enjoyed by all. Thanks to them and to Rachel and Diana for conducting the raffle.
The next Quiz Night will be held on Friday, March 20th at Monkton Church Hall, 7.30pm.

Winners of the Quiz

Monday, January 6, 2020

New Year's get-together

Society President Frank Harries with Vicky Tomlinson and Linda Asman (Chairman)
After the long Christmas break, Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society held its New Year’s get-together on Saturday - the coffee morning and talk drew large numbers.  ‘Caldey Island, a glimpse into its fascinating past' proved a popular topic and was presented by Vicky Tomlinson, volunteer warden with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks.  

Vicky’s talk took us back some 1,500 years with the discovery of  archaeological finds unearthed during the excavations in three of  Caldey’s caves Nanna's Cave, Potter's Cave and Ogof–yr-Ychenbetween between 1911 and 1970.  

One of the holy islands of Britain, Caldey is best known today for its monastery.  Monastic settlement, Vicky told us, stretched back to the sixth century when the island was known by its Welsh name Ynys Pyr, named after its first Abbott Pyr. Later, during the time of the Viking activity in the area in the ninth century, we see the emergence of the name by which we know it today – Keld or Kold-ey (meaning Cold Island).   

Caldey thrived in the Middle Ages as a daughter house of St. Dogmaels' Abbey and lasted until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 when it passed into private hands. The current abbey was built in 1910 by Anglican Benedictine monks but financial problems beginning in 1925 led to the 1929 purchase of the property by Belgian Cistercians. 
Vicky's talk drew a large audience!