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Llwybr Treftadaeth Doc Penfro – Pembroke Dock Heritage Trail

Heritage Lottery Funded project working with children in the six local schools; Bush Comprehensive School, the Pembroke Dock Community School, St Marys RC School, Albion Square Infants School and Pennar Infants and Junior Schools.

Inspired by old photographic images showing the rich history of the Town , the children created designs that form a Town Trail. A map and anthology of children’s writings will guide people around the Town.

The cast bronze plaques are designed to be ‘brass-rubbed’ so the 39 different images can be ‘collected’.

1. Y ‘Carmarthenshire’- The ‘Carmarthenshire’ (Library)

The Library, which was built on land once tidal, was opened in 1987. Water Street, the road that separates the library and the police station was once called Shore Street, a reminder of the extent of the original tidal pill. It was here that many ships were built, including the merchant ship ‘Carmarthenshire’ that was constructed in 1865. It was the first such ship to enter the Japanese harbour of Yokohama. As well as its cargo of Cardiff coal, the ship carried with it the first Western females to be seen by the Japanese population. Soon after the Captain’s wife and his daughter set foot on land, images of European fashions appeared on a range of oriental tableware.

2. Yr Adeilad Pwmpio - The Pump House

This quirky red-bricked building stands in the centre of the roundabout leading to Western Way. Although originally built to pump sewage from the town to the Dockyard, it was never actually used for this function. It was found completely unnecessary to have such a pumping system!
In its time, this elegant building has been used as a meeting house and a church.

3. Sioe Orllewin Gwyllt Byffalo Bill - Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

It’s difficult to imagine that one of the greatest entertainers of the late 19th Century visited this dockyard town, but Buffalo Bill certainly did!
The spectacular Buffalo Bill Wild West Show was brought to this spot on May 14th 1903. The show, a massive tableau of the Wild West, containing over 500 horsemen, began its performance with a procession from Pembroke Railway Station to this site in Bierspool. This was led by the showman himself, William F. Cody, otherwise known as Buffalo Bill. Among the star attractions was a range of horsemanship featuring Native Americans, sharp shooting exercises and various displays featuring South American gauchos, Bedouin tribesmen and Russian Cossacks.

4. Mynwent Filwrol Llanion - Llanion Military Cemetary

Few people realise that this is the only Military Cemetery in Wales. It is the last resting place of servicemen and their relatives who were killed or died while serving in the Garrison town. Concealed within the Llanion housing estate, this really is one of Pembroke Dock’s ‘hidden treasures!
Look out for row of seventeen graves towards the south of the graveyard. These are the graves of soldiers who died in an accidental explosion while practising the techniques of disarming mines. The incident occurred on 28th April 1942. The men killed were nine Royal Engineers, four men from The King’s Own Scottish Borderers and four who were serving with The Pioneer Corps.
An incredible footnote – one officer escaped certain death that day when he chose to leave the tragic scene to answer the telephone!

5. Y Gwersyll Cytiau - The Hut Camp

This was once the home to Hut Camp, later known as Llanion Barracks. Originally these barracks, which could house anything up to 1000 men, were built in only six weeks! Infantry regiments from all over the country have occupied these barracks.
The red-bricked barracks we see standing today were built later in 1906. During the Second World War, American GIs of the 110th US Infantry Regiment were based here and this led to a visit from the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower who arrived here in at Llanion in 1944.
Recently, this impressive structure served as the main offices for South Pembrokeshire District Council.
6. Hobbs Point – Hobbs Point

Hobbs Point was built by apprentices in 1829 as a ‘Fitting Out’ area for ships that were built in the Dockyard. They used a diving bell to lay the foundations.
When Telford’s road system from St Clears was completed in 1837, Pembroke Dock became a post town and, as such, became an important point for the movement of mail to and from Ireland and Great Britain.
Prior to the building of The Cleddau Bridge, a car ferry operated between Hobbs Point and Neyland.

7. Cae Ffair – Fairground

In days gone past, here on ‘Watery Meadows’, Fun fairs and horse racing events were held here.

8. Stryd Flaen– Front Street

When you walk down Front Street, take a close look at numbers 25 to 28 as these are reputed to be the first houses that were built in Pembroke Dock. Much has changed and it is difficult to believe that this relatively short street once housed seven public houses to serve the hundreds of thirsty dock workers! Women from Llangwm would supplement this by steering their boats in this direction in order to sell a range of fish.

9. Amgueddfa Twr y Gwn – Guntower Museum

This impressive stone structure, built in 1849 – 50 at a cost of £9,230, is situated at the western end of Front Street. This ‘Cambridge’ Gun Tower is one of only seven in the world, of which seven are to be found in the Haven. Originally built to repel foreign fleets, it is now the town’s museum and is definitely worth a visit.

10. Arwydd Lloches Rhag Bomiau – Air Raid Shelter Sign

No longer a chemists, this quaint building at the end of Commercial Row is an excellent example of an early 20th Century shop front. It was the backdrop for a number of scenes of the popular television programme, The Onedin Line.
Next door to the chemists, stood Pembroke Dock’s first bank, The Milford Haven Bank. Opposite the shop, sharp eyes will spot a war time air raid shelter sign embedded in a tree.

11. Capel Y Garsiwn – Garrison Chapel

Then Garrison or Dockyard Chapel, built in 1831, is considered to be the only Classical Georgian church in Wales.
Built specifically to serve the soldiers based here, one of its most famous worshippers was General Gordon of Khartoum who served with the Royal Engineers. The chapel’s most interesting features is its doomed roof and bell tower. The bell, which originally hung here, was cast in Spain, having been captured from a Spanish cruiser!
The chapel later became the Garrison Theatre, then a motor museum before falling into disrepair. To the delight of everyone, its restoration, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was completed in 2005.

12. Awyrennau Môr ‘Sunderland’ – Sunderland Flying Boats

In 1930, a major part of the dockyard was transferred from the Admiralty to the Air Ministry. The following year, the Royal Air force established a seaplane base, operated by Southampton flying boats of 210 squadron. 1938 saw the arrival of the squadron’s first Sunderland flying boats – the aircraft that Pembroke Dock is most associated. During the second World War the Sunderlands fulfilled the important role of protecting British Convoys from the German Navy.

13. Terfynfa’r Fferi – Ferry Terminal

Ireland is only a four-hour journey from the ferry terminal here in Pembroke Dock. The ferry taking you there is the Isle of Innishmore and it is the second largest passenger ferry in Europe.

14. Yr Iard Longau Lyngesol Frenhinol – Royal Naval Dockyard

At its peak in the 1890’s, the Royal Dockyard was one of the largest in the world, employing over 3,000 people. Over 250 Royal Navy vessels and five royal yachts have been built here over the years. Pembroke Dock can boast many firsts as it built the first steam man-of-war, HMS Tartar and the first propeller-driven warship, HMS Conflict.


15. Twr Paterchurch – Paterchurch Tower

Dating back to at least the 13th Century, this is the oldest building in Pembroke Dock. A fine example of a first floor hall tower, there is uncertainty over its original purpose. We know that it was once owned by the knights of St John of Jerusalem. Was it a church, look-out tower or farm? Perhaps it was a combination of all three. Certainly the case for it being a church was strengthened when the walls of the dockyard were extended in 1844. This led to the discovery of an old burial ground next to the tower.
Pembroke Dock was known as Pater until the dockyard became established.


16. Rasys Beiciau Peni-ffardding – Penny Farthing Bike Races

17. Llongau Tanfor Y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf - WW1 Submarines

In addition to the many ships that have been built here in the dockyard, the Whitehouse torpedo sheds remind us of the many submarines that were constructed here during the First World War. They included the unlucky L10 which had been built in Pembroke Dock in 1918. Whilst undergoing sea trails off St Ann’s Head, the submarine hit the bottom and failed to surface. News of her plight soon reached the dockyard and anxious onlookers waited for her return in the wind and rain. Eventually, after many hours and much to the relief of everyone, it managed to resurface.
Its luck was not to last though, as, a few months later, it was sunk by a German warship!

18. Balwnau Amddiffyn – Barrage Balloons

This is the site of one of the many Barrage Balloons that were tethered throughout the town during World War Two. One of those in Pennar created some minor havoc when it broke free from its mooring by St Patricks Church and proceeded to float over Bufferland. It knocked off many chimney pots before it could be recovered.


19. Y Capten Watkin Owen Pell – Captain Watkin Owen Pell

One of the most colourful Dockyard supervisors during the 19th Century was Captain Watkin Owen Pell. He lost his leg in action against the French in 1800 and adopted a wooden replacement. A strict disciplinarian, the Captain would check the work of his men by spying through a telescope from the top of Barrack Hill. His donkey, on which he toured the Dockyard, was trained so well, it would carry him up the gangways onto the decks of the ships under construction.

20. Barics Amddiffynadwy – Defensible Barracks

A scheduled II listed building, The Defensible barracks was built to defend the dockyard from a land attack. The building was started in 1841 and completed in 1846. It is claimed that the barracks’ overall design was influenced by 16th Century Italian style fortifications. Originally the barracks were known as Treowen Barracks and from here, twice a day, a cannon firing a blank charge would alert town residents lacking watches that it was either noon or nine thirty in the evening. The 9.30 signal became recognised as the curfew for local girls ‘out courting.’ The noon day and evening guns rang out for the last time in the 1920’s.
Serving with the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry during World War Two, the popular character actor Arthur Lowe (Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army) found himself stationed here at the Defensible Barracks.

21 Tan Tanc Olew – Oil Tank Fire

The Admiralty built a range of huge oil tanks on this site at Llanreath in 1927. During the War, these tanks were attacked by three German planes on Monday August 19th 1940. The fire that ensued was one of the greatest infernos of the war. It raged for three weeks and was fought by 650 firemen from brigades all over the country. 11 of the 17 tanks were completely destroyed and five fire fighters from Cardiff lost their lives. A memorial to them is to be found in the middle of the Golf Course.


22. Ffrwydrynnau Tanfor – Submarine Mines

The Government constructed a torpedo store and magazine close to the shore near Pennar Mouth in 1875. Torpedo trails and submarine mining experiments, unique in Wales, were carried out there. The site was also used to store all the equipment necessary to mine the whole of the Haven.
After the Second World War, the site of the torpedo depot became surplus to requirements. The land was sold and converted into Pennar Park Holiday Camp. This has since closed.


23. Cwch Fferi – Ferry Boat

The Bentlass to Pennar ferry boat service was a major way for farmers’ wives to bring their produce to market in Pembroke Dock. Workers who lived on the other side of the Pembroke River also used it.
Tragedy struck on February 8th 1889 when the ferry sank and all nine people on board were drowned. The ferry man, John Jones and his young assistant was returning with seven women on board who had visited the market. The waters had been choppy and the tide was ebbing against a strong wind. The inquest verdict was “that the deceased and those with him met their death by the accidental upsetting of the boat.”


24. Jacobs Pill – Jacobs Pill

Sir Edward Reed established Jacob’s Pill Boat Yard in the 1874 as a rival to the Royal Dockyard. After becoming elected MP for Pembroke Borough, he fulfilled his promise of creating a shipyard, offering many jobs recently made redundant workers. Sir Edward Reed, who had a hand in designing the Royal yacht Osborne, was a prolific boat designer. Perhaps the most famous ship built here was The Hiei, a Corvette built for the Japanese Navy and launched in 1877. By the end of the 19th Century, the yard closed and between the two World Wars an Isolation Hospital was established here.


25 Capel Bethania – Bethany Chapel

With the inception of the Dockyard and the rapid growth of the new town of Pembroke Dock, churches and chapels sprung up to satisfy the growing demands of the town’s worshippers. First off the mark were the Baptists who built Bethany Chapel in 1818. They were the first Christian organisation in Pembroke Dock to build a place of worship. Constructed using voluntary labour, the original building had a seating capacity of 350.
In 1877, it was thought that a new building was needed to meet the demands of its growing congregation. A schoolroom was added in 1904-5.


26. Neuadd y Farchnad – The Market Hall

The Market Hall was built in 1826 and purchased by the Borough Council in 1881. The whole site was recently renovated with the help of a heritage Lottery grant Weekly variety shows were once held in the former courthouse.
Of interest is the old postage stamp machine that can be found on the Eastern wall.


27. Ysgol Sgwâr Albion – Albion Square School

Albion Square was the hub of Pembroke Dock. The first Co-op opened here in 1893 and, in nearby Charlton Terrace, was the County Police Headquarters, jail and pound.
In the centre of the square is a memorial lamp, erected in 1914 to commemorate the Royal Dockyard’s centenary.
On the South side of the square stands Albion Square Infants School, a prime example of a Victorian Board School. Originally the school catered for girls and infants. The boys went to the Old British School in nearby Meyrick Street.
Sadly, the Infants School is due to close at the end of Christmas Term 2005.


28. Bysiau Deulawr - Double Deckers

29. Eglwys Gatholig Y Santes Fair – St Mary’s RC Church

Reputedly, Catholic dockyard workers, many of who were Irish immigrants escaping famine, each chipped in a day’s pay every month in order to build St Mary’s in 1847. Some of them provided unpaid labour in its construction. Of interest are the stained glass windows that adorn the eastern wall which were erected in 1926. Buried alongside t5he church by special dispensation, is the grave of Father Oliver Murpthy who served St Mary’s as its parish priest for 44 years.


30. Eglwys Rydd Seion – Zion Free Church

This beautiful building was once a Wesleyan Chapel. It was built using compensation money received when the Methodists former chapel had to demolished because it stood within a specified distance to the projected Defensible Barracks site.
A growing congregation meant that it had to be enlarged in 1867 to its present imposing structure which seats 1340 people.
The Wesley Chapel, as it became known, was closed and put on the market in 1986. It was purchased and renamed the Zion Free Church.
Prior to this, the chapel’s basement was used as the town’s library until the building was considered to be unsafe for public use.


31. Sinema’r Grand – Grand Cinema

32. Neuadd Pater – Pater Hall

The Pater Hall was built on the site of the town’s Temperance Hall, which was destroyed by bombing during World War Two. It was said that when the bombs exploded, the main doors of the building flew out and its ornate key was later recovered in Front Street!
The hall is the town’s major entertainment and social centre and has a seating capacity of 255. Within the building is the Council chamber, the office of the Town Clerk and a meeting room.


33. Capel Bethel – Bethel Chapel

When a dissident group from Bethany Chapel’s congregation wanted a separate church, they built Bethel Chapel here in 1844. This neo-gothic building, with its 400 seats, had to be re-built in 1872 after a violent gale ripped off part of its roof.
In 1857, it was claimed that Bethel was the first nonconformist church in Pembrokeshire to have a ‘keyed instrument’ – a harmonium.


34. Canolfan y Coroni – Coronation Centre

It is said that because of dissension due to the influence of the Church in the Victoria Road National School that the Meyrick Street Old Brritish School was founded. In 1901, this school was demolished and in 1904 it was replaced by the building we see today, the Coronation Boys School.
Now it serves as the town’s Further Education Centre.
Inside the building are two large dramatic murals that depict Pembroke Dock’s rich heritage. These were created by Mr George Lewis and were painted with the help of his students.


35. Eglwys Blwyf Sant Ioan – St John’s Parish Church

St John’s parish Church was built in 1847. The 13th Century churches at Tenby and Castlemartin influenced its overall design. This church has fifteen stained glass windows designed by C.E. Kemp and in the Lady Chapel are beautiful examples of carved reredos. One should also note the carved screen that serves as a memorial to the men of the King’s Own Light Infantry who had been stationed at Pembroke Dock during the First World War. In addition, at the rear of the church, there is a memorial board listing the names of all those service men from Pembroke Dock who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The peal of bells in the impressive tower was completed in 1902 in commemoration of the coronation of Edward VII.


36. Eglwys Sant Andreas – St Andrew’s Parish Church

Built in an Italian Gothic style in grey squared limestone with prominent red brick and Bath stone features, this building was established in 1866. St Andrews Presbyterian Churchhas three beautiful stained glass windows, unusual for a Nonconformist church and its large basement that served as a Sunday school could seat 750 children!
The church went under extensive reservations in 1881, which involved re-roofing and improving the acoustics of the building.


37. Y Parc Coffa – Memorial Park

The Memorial Park opened in 1925 and commemorates the “fallen heroes of Pembroke Dock who gave their lives in the 1914-18 Great War.”
The gates and clock were erected in memory of two young men who were killed in the air raids of 1941. One was aged 18, the other a mere 14.
During the Second World War, a large part of the park was ploughed up as part of the Dig For Victory campaign. The idea was to grow onions, but nothing grew. Eventually the ground was deemed unsuitable for growing any kind of vegetable!


38. W. Haggar – Arloeswr y Sinema – W. Haggar – Pioneer of Cinema

Arthur William Haggar (1851-1925) was a true pioneer of cinema. He was also a showman and fairground proprietor. He and his large family travelled throughout Britain bringing entertainment to the people. Here at Station Field his Electric Bioscope, waxworks and theatrical shows regular took place to entertain the people of Pembroke Dock. His grandson, Len Haggar later ran cinemas in Pembroke, Milford Haven, Cardigan and Pembroke Dock.

39. Gorsaf Reilffordd – Railway Station

Pembroke Dock stationed opened in 1864, offering a free ride to Tenby on its inaugural journey. The railway line cut through the town into the dockyard. A secondary spur leading to Hobbs Point followed in the 1870’s. Haggar’s 1908 film The Life and Death of Charles Peace used the station as its main location. Not only was the film the first ‘chase’ movie ever made, predating the more famous Keystone Cops films by a number of years, it was also the first film to show a death scene. Based on a true story, the film was a huge sensation and made the Haggar family very wealthy.
The station is still operating and its former office and waiting room have been transformed into a public house.

Pembroke Dock Townscape Heritage Initiative
Children and Staff of;
Albion Square School
Pennar Junior School
Pennar Infants School
Community School
St Mary’s RC School
Bush Comprehensive School John

Williams of Silcox
David James
John Davies
Ron Watts
R Haggar etc
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