Learn About Pembrokeshire’s Fascinating History

22 May, 2024

Wales is a small but mighty country, proud of its heritage and history. It’s believed that the area of Wales has been inhabited since 250,000 BC and became formally known as a country under Henry VIII in the 1500s. The word ‘Wales’ itself actually came from the Anglo Saxons, but Cymru is the Welsh translation of Wales, and will continue to be widely used.

So, when it comes to the county of Pembrokeshire, or Sir Benfro in Welsh, you can bet there’s a lot of history and stories to uncover. Let’s take a closer look!

Pembrokeshire in prehistoric times

There are many prehistoric sites still visible today as you explore Pembrokeshire, dating as far back as the Stone Age. Neolithic tombs and stones can be found, including Pentre Ifan in Newport which was created using the same stone that was used in Stonehenge. It’s believed to be over 5,000 years old. There are also ruins of holy buildings, such as St Non’s Chapel and the Holy Well, built to mark the birthplace of St David. It’s thought that St Non was David’s mother, and legend has it that she gave birth on the cliff side.

Coetan Arthur, also known as Arthur’s Quoit, is another example of a neolithic burial chamber which is believed to be as old as 3,000 BC.

The Iron Age also left a lasting impact on Pembrokeshire’s land. Celtic settlers arrived and began making the land their home, creating hill forts that can be found across the Preseli Hills, just like Foel Drygarn. The Celtics also cultivated the land, creating field boundaries on Skomer Islands that were used for centuries.

You can visit Castell Henllys, a previous Iron Age fort that has been resurrected with replica roundhouses that stand on their original spot.

Pembrokeshire in the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages, also known as the medieval period, brought with it a lot of unrest. It’s when the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, took over England in the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066. However, they didn’t reach Wales until 1090, but they quickly began building castles, including Carew Castle. Pembrokeshire became known as ‘Little England beyond Wales’.

By the 1400s, the Normans were long gone, but the Tudors arrived. This is significant because Henry Tudor, also known as Henry VII, was born at Pembroke Castle. Pembrokeshire quickly became a more prosperous place, with towns like Tenby benefitting from their close location to the sea, playing an important role in sending and receiving cargo.

3 historic sites to visit in Pembrokeshire

It’s safe to say that Pembrokeshire has played some pivotal roles during the course of history, from having ties to Stonehenge to being the very birthplace of one of the country’s kings. So, if you’re looking to visit Pembrokeshire, we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. As well as all the other sites we’ve mentioned, here are some of the other places you can visit on your next trip.

Together with its fascinating history and stunning scenery, Pembrokeshire has so much to offer. Whether you’re hoping to reconnect with nature, check out the area’s best food or enjoy a thrill-seeking adventure here at Oakwood Theme Park, it’s a county that can deliver it all.