Pembroke Castle

Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in Europe and in Pembrokeshire we have more than our fair share, the foremost of which is Pembroke Castle, famed for being the birth place of Henry VII.  It only takes about 15 minutes in the car to get from the Little Welsh Wood campsite to Pembroke and it is certainly worth a visit. The site of Pembroke Castle has been occupied since Roman times due to its strategic position on a rocky promontory surrounded by water.  The first motte and bailey castle was built in timber in the 11th century during the Norman invasion of Wales and it was later rebuilt in stone to become the heart of Norman controlled south-west Wales.

A very large castle

It is a massive castle – its keep stands 75′ high with walls 20′ deep at its base.   In the late 13th century, buildings were added including a new Great Hall.  A 55 step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave underneath the castle known as Wogan Cavern.  This cave was created by natural water erosion and was fortified with a wall, barred gateway and arrow slits.  It might have been used as a boathouse or as a sallyport where cargo or people could have been transferred.    Moving on to the time of the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke in May 1648 and took the castle after a seven week siege and ordered that it should be destroyed.   The ruined castle was abandoned until 1880 when it underwent a three year restoration.    Nothing more was done until Major General , Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle in 1928 and carried out further extensive restoration of the castle’s walls, gatehouses and towers.  On his death a trust was set up for the castle managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.  Today, it’s a magical place for the whole family to explore and it has a large programme of events and concerts that take place in its grounds – Covid rules permitting.

Information

Admission tickets are available pre-booked and paid for in advance through the castle online booking system.  It isn’t essential that you pre-book but it may speed up your entry when you arrive.  

 

For more information visit the website of Pembroke Castle