Cartoon Competition - The Siege of Pembroke

Pembroke Town Wall Trust are holding a cartoon competition to celebrate the 370th anniversary of the Siege of Pembroke.  We can't wait to see what imaginative and exciting drawings and designs that you can produce illustrating your favourite part of the siege or of medieval Pembroke. To enter send us your artwork as detailed below.  We have prizes for adults and children and can't wait to see what you produce!

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Competition Rules

Age Categories 5-7; 8-9; 10-11; 12-15; 16+ (Adults too!)

·         The competition is to produce a Cartoon on the theme of “The Siege of Pembroke”

·         Failure to follow entry directions as listed will result in disqualification

·         Decision of the judges will be final and no correspondence will be entered into about the results.

·         The competition is on the theme ‘The Siege of Pembroke”

·         Last date for receipt of entries is 5 pm, Friday 29th June 2018 either by post or to the Website address.

·         All cartoons submitted, prize-winning or otherwise, may be used in the social media pages of Pembroke Town Wall Trust, with due credits given. The submissions may also be used in future publications without further consent from the participant.

·         The Cartoon should be the work of the participant and not copied. It should not contain any third party materials and/or that which violates any copyrights.

·         The Cartoon should not contain any nudity, pornographic or sexually explicit content. It should not contain any profanities and should not defame, misrepresent or make disparaging/threatening remarks about any person (living or otherwise), company or organisation.

Entry Regulations

·         The contest is open to children and adults in the published age categories. The age of the participant when their entry is submitted must be their age on Friday 29th June 2018

·         The contest is open only to individuals, not groups.

·         Only one Cartoon may be submitted by each participant.

·         Entries may be submitted either in digital format or in hard copy versions.

·         Digital versions: The preferred format is .jpg but .png and pdf formats are also acceptable.

·         It should have a minimum resolution of 300dpi and dimensions of 600 pixels wide and 400 pixels high (must be suitable for printing).

·         Text or captions, if any, should be in English or Welsh only.

·         The digital version can be emailed to on or before 5.00pm on the 29th June 2018.

·         Hard-copy versions: Please use an A4 sheet (210 X 297 mm) only. The hard copy version may be sent to:

Pembroke Town Walls Trust (Cartoon Competition), Foundry House Community Centre,  Orange Way, Pembroke, SA71 4DR

·         Submissions must be static images with no Flash or other animation

·         Entries, digital or hard copy, must be accompanied by duly completed 

·         Entries, digital or hard copy, must be accompanied by duly completed Consent Form (see below) if entering the competition in one of the under 16 age categories.


·         The best Cartoon of each age category shall be awarded a prize (To be announced)

·         Prizes to be awarded at the Party at the Castle Event on Saturday, 14th July 2018

Consent Form (If under 16)

Name ………………………………………………………………….

Age (if entering the competition in one of the under 16 categories)…………………………..(Age is entrant’s age as per competition entry closing date of Friday 29th June)

I confirm that above named child is eligible to enter the Siege of Pembroke Cartoon Competition in the following Age Group …………………………

I consent to my drawing being used in future publications and on Pembroke Town Wall Trust Social Media.

Email address of participant/participant’s parent/guardian………………………………………….


GDPR Statement - Pembroke Town Walls Trust will only use email addresses given during the cartoon competition for letting participants know of the results of the competition and to inform winners of their success. They will not be held on file thereafter. 



The Siege of Pembroke – Summer 1648

The Siege took place during the Civil War of 1642-1649

The opponents in this war were:

King Charles 1st and his Royalist supporters known as the Cavaliers, against The Parliament of England and Wales with its army known as the Roundheads (shape of their helmets)

Pembroke in the First phase of Civil War

Pembroke Town and Castle led by its Mayor, John Poyer, supported Parliament in its fight against King Charles 1st and his royalist supporters. John was a large burly man, rumbustious, and temperamental who, unfortunately, created a large number of enemies for himself in his relatively short life. He was also known to like his ale. John had made a fortune from trading in cloth.

Over the next few years of the war Pembrokeshire was chaotic with first the Parliamentarians and then the Royalists gaining the upper hand. John Poyer was in the thick of it all, manipulating, bribing and fighting to advance the parliamentary cause. Many of his actions were high handed and sometimes barely legal.

In October 1643, the mayor and corporation of Pembroke issued a declaration of loyalty to the King but John Poyer led a mob to seize Pembroke Castle for Parliament. After overthrowing the Royalist mayor, he became the military governor of Pembroke with the rank of Colonel in the Parliamentary army.

Pembroke Castle and town, under the command of Poyer and General Rowland Laugharne, quickly became a serious thorn in the side of royalist forces in Wales. So serious was the threat that the local royalist commanders declared that when they captured John Poyer they would put him in a barrel pierced by nails and roll him downhill into Milford Haven. John Poyer merely shrugged and commented that they would have to catch him first!

Introduction to the Second Phase of the Civil War 1646

In 1646 the King had lost the war and was jailed in the Tower of London. Parliament now governed England and Wales. It quickly became obvious to the people that this Parliament was corrupt. Cromwell himself was later to say “this Parliament is self-seeking and self-serving, being both corrupt and venal in every way, having no care for the people”.

Parliament began to make plans to disband its army. This created a great deal of concern as many of the soldiers had not been paid for several months. Others were furious about the increase in taxes imposed by the parliamentary government.

The gulf between Parliament and the Army widened through 1647 into early 1648. Parliament wriggled out of paying any arrears of pay and ordered all units of the Army to stand down and disband.

In February 1648 John Poyer was furious when he heard the news and began making speeches to his soldiers and the townspeople, attacking Parliament's decision to disband the army. When Parliament discovered that Poyer was talking of rebellion against Parliament they sent Colonel Fleming to replace him as the governor of Pembroke Castle.

Second Phase of Civil War 1648

Poyer refused to give up the castle and instead sent a letter to Parliament demanding the then huge payment of £1,000 (over £1,000,000 today) in wage arrears for his men. Colonel Fleming offered £200 (£200,000), but this was rejected. Other soldiers based in South Wales, who had heard about Poyer's actions, began to head for Pembroke to give him their assistance. Poyer's supporters included the two most senior army officers in South Wales, the now Major-General Rowland Laugharne and Colonel Rice Powell.

On the 10th April 1648 Poyer openly declared for the King.

Parliament now realised that they had a major rebellion on their hands. Pembroke became the springboard for a new Royalist rebellion which soon spread throughout Britain. South Wales was in revolt. Disaffected parliamentary troops, who had not been paid nor recognized for their achievements, gathered around Poyer and Laugharne. John Poyer had led an army through South Wales and achieved great success in taking control of huge areas of South and West Wales.

Pembroke had started the second phase of the Civil War!

The Siege of Pembroke 1648

When Parliament heard about John Poyer's success in taking much of South Wales into the control of the rebel troops now supporting the King they sent Colonel Thomas Horton with 3,000 Roundhead troops to deal with the rebellion. 

General Laugharne and some 8,000 rebels left Pembroke and engaged Horton's parliamentary army at St. Fagans in Glamorgan on 4th May 1648. Although outnumbered, Horton's experienced and well-disciplined Parliamentary army was able to defeat Laugharne's poorly armed soldiers. Over 200 of Laugharne's men were killed and another 3,000 were taken prisoner. Laugharne, and what was left of his army, managed to escape back to Pembroke.

Parliament realised that the rebellion had to be put down quickly and decided to send Lieutenant General Oliver Cromwell and five regiments to retake South and West Wales. Cromwell arrived at Tenby on 15th May 1648 and, leaving Colonel Horton to deal with the Tenby garrison, moved on to Pembroke to deal with Poyer and General Laugharne. On 21st May Colonel Powell was forced to surrender Tenby.

With great bravado, Poyer swore that if Cromwell came to Pembroke he would "...give him a field and show him fair play; and will be the first man that shall charge against the Ironsides"; and saying that he (Poyer) had "a back of steel and a breast of iron if he dare encounter him

Pembroke’s Castle and Town were considered to be one of the strongest fortresses in Britain and Cromwell had expressed this in his correspondence.

General Cromwell did not have canons large enough to break through walls that are in some places 19 feet thick. Nor did he have besiegers' ladders that could deal with the high walls. Attempts at storming the castle failed and so Cromwell was forced to wait and attempt to starve the rebels into submission.

Having set up camp immediately south of Pembroke Cromwell began what was to be the two-month siege of a town that he described as "equal to any in England and well provided with all things". Naval guns, brought ashore, were mounted at Monkton and on the north side of the River where they could fire on the castle and the town.

Cromwell launched fireballs and grenades over the town walls to burn the resident’s wooden houses down. Nevertheless, the defenders managed to retain command and mounted regular attacks outside of the Town and Castle walls against the enemy. In return, several storming parties were led against the town by Parliamentarian forces, but these attacks failed to make significant inroads.

After six and a half weeks of siege Cromwell’s Roundhead soldiers had only bread to eat and were cold and wet, camped out in the fields opposite the walls of the town and castle with the river and tidal salt marshes preventing them from making easy attacks against the walls.

However after eight weeks of siege, on the 10th July 1648, two great heavy siege guns carried on sailing barges arrived on the high tide. One of the great guns moored on the River by the bridge at Northgate and fired one shot, destroying the Northgate.

John Poyer and the soldiers realised that resistance was useless, as these great guns could blow the castle and town walls down. Oliver Cromwell immediately sent an ultimatum to the commanders promising to spare the people and soldiers of Pembroke if they surrendered to him. The garrison, trapped in the castle and town – now isolated and apparently forgotten by the Royalist high command – did surrender on 11th July 1648. It was the arrival of the siege guns, and not mythical stories about water pipes being cut, that forced the surrender of Pembroke.

Death of John Poyer

After the surrender of Pembroke, John Poyer, General Powell and Colonel Laugharne, were taken to London under close arrest and eventually tried for treason against Parliament. All three men were condemned to death, but the Council of State decided on leniency, whereby only one man was required to die. So it was ordered that lots should be drawn to decide which prisoner would be executed.

Three pieces of paper were prepared – on two of them were the words 'Life given by God' while the other was blank. The story goes that the prisoner’s guards refused to make the three men draw lots out of respect for their brave support of Parliament in the first phase of the war. Instead a child handed the three pieces of paper to the prisoners. John Poyer drew the blank paper and he declared “Son est contra me” – 'Fate is against me'.

Colonel Poyer was executed by firing squad in Covent Garden, London on 25th April 1649.

Destruction of Pembroke's Defences

Cromwell decreed that Pembroke’s defences should be destroyed, or "slighted". Sections of the town wall were demolished while, at the Castle, charges of gunpowder were placed in each of the towers forming the south front, (next to the road), blowing out the towers' external faces. These were repaired in 1928 -1938.

We are looking for a new Treasurer

Pembroke Town Walls Trust are recruiting a new Trustee Treasurer to be elected by our members are out AGM on 26th April. 

PTWT is a small CIO and does not employ any staff, so ideally this is a role for someone with some accounting knowledge and experience.  However, training can be given, and someone experienced in Charity accounting will be able to mentor the new Treasurer. 

If you are interested in finding out more click on the link below for a full role description and how to apply.

Treasurer Application and Role Description

Restoration work has begun!

Work has started on the repair of the Town Walls on the Tabernacle Garden site.  This is an exciting moment for the Trust and marks a key milestone in our goal to protect the Town Walls for future generations.  The work, funded by the National Lottery, will demonstrate sympathetic conservation of the Walls and form part of a public garden and the Journey Through Time exhibition at the Tabernacle. 


A Memorial to Nikki Anderson 1947-2017

Nikki was one of the very first active volunteers with Pembroke 21C Community
Association when it was established back in 2001 and was a Trustee of Pembroke Town
Walls Trust from 2012- Nov 2015. Across a broad spectrum of activities, she consistently
devoted hours and hours of her time to help to celebrate and regenerate Pembroke.

 Nikki launching her book Pembroke & Around Through Time

Nikki launching her book Pembroke & Around Through Time

Nikki was passionate about so many things:- our wildlife through her work with the Wildlife
Trust with a particular interest in the otters in the Millponds; recording our history and
stories through The Pembroke Story Project, creating a website bursting with facts and
knowledge – this project was housed in the Tabernacle United Reformed Church in Main
Street where she displayed a frequently updated exhibition and held monthly story telling
events; she led a group of litter pickers who one Saturday morning each month collect litter
along the Commons or the Millponds; she led the Town Heritage and Environment Group
who managed, among other things, the derelict spaces along the commons by sowing
them with glorious wild flowers – the same group have started a project to record the
medieval burgage plots within our town walls.

Nikki’s research into the Pembroke Story Project brought her very close to our local
community in conversations about the history of our living town. So many, through her,
could contribute to the ‘story’. She created opportunity to hear the voice of the community
which has evolved into a fellowship that is run by Tabernacle URC. Nikki helped the
church understand how to be ‘church’ in their community.

In the last two years, she worked with artist Lisa Hellier to produce two stunning bilingual
trail maps of Pembroke packed with information – Pembroke Nature Trail which takes you
on a biodiverse celebration around the town and Junior History Detectives for young
people to find out the history, tales and legends of their town.

Most recently she was working with the same artist to prepare interpretation boards for the
Journey Through Time heritage garden behind the Tabernacle. Regrettably she died
before this could be completed but it will be lovingly dedicated to her memory.

We have lost a very dear and remarkable friend who we will not forget and who has left
her wonderful legacy throughout our community.

Rest in Peace Nikki.


Future of Pembroke’s medieval town walls set in stone, thanks to National Lottery players

Over a quarter of a million pounds (£256,000) of National Lottery money will be awarded to protect the historic town walls of Pembroke.

Dating back to c. 1280 the walls were built after the outer ward of Pembroke Castle was completed, and now the Pembroke Town Walls Trust want to protect and preserve them for future generations.

 The Pilot Project site where work to conserve the Pembroke town walls is beginning. 

The Pilot Project site where work to conserve the Pembroke town walls is beginning. 

For the next 800 years

Modern Pembroke has successfully retained much of its medieval layout and stonework, with some sections of Grade II and Grade II* wall subject to Scheduled Ancient Monument status and of national and international significance.

Janet Drogan, Chair of the Pembroke Town Walls Trust, said: “Having stood proud for nigh on 800 years, many sections of the town walls are now deteriorating rapidly and are currently unsafe. Our intention in forming the Pembroke Town Walls Trust was to help protect this important historic legacy ensure they are still here for the next 800 years.

“This funding is vitally important as it means we can now - for the first time - start to conserve the walls. It is the first step on a long journey, but one we are incredibly excited to take.”


 PTWT are working to preserve the town walls for future generations to discover. 

PTWT are working to preserve the town walls for future generations to discover. 

Everybody’s backyard

More than 50 volunteers will be involved in the initial pilot project, producing information panels and leaflets as well as a series of events and guided tours to explain and showcase the restoration work to the local community.

Volunteers will also be able to get their hands dirty and take part in accredited training in traditional stonework.

With many sections of wall currently owned by local homeowners, the project will also create an online database of owners and, using its findings, encourage appropriate repair and maintenance of all sections of the wall in the future.

Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Pembroke Town Walls are a fantastic asset for the local community, but it’s often easy to take heritage on your doorstep (or in this case, your back garden!) for granted.

“This important conservation project made possible by National Lottery players will help create a greater awareness of the walls’ true value and how to maintain them, making sure they stand the test of time and continue to be recognised as one of Pembroke’s defining historic features.”

 The Pembroke community coming together to take preserve the town walls.

The Pembroke community coming together to take preserve the town walls.

What next?

In addition to restoring the wall and the 18th century lime kiln built into it, the work will also link the main street to provide access to the Tabernacle United Reformed Church and adjacent community garden - itself currently undergoing restoration as part of another project also funded by the National Lottery.

Angela Burns, Assembly Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, added: “Pembroke’s town walls are synonymous with the town and its wealth of medieval history, and it is crucial that we protect them to ensure that history is preserved for future generations growing up here as well as those visiting the town.

“It has been heartening to see the community come together to take charge of the walls’ preservation, and I wish the project and the Pembroke Town Walls Trust every success with it.”

You can keep up to date with the project’s progress on the group’s Facebook page and on our website.

Thank you for a fantastic evening at Pembroke castle

The PTWT Party at the Castle, 2017, was a great success.  We had a lovely evening of music, games and exhibits. The event raised a total of £1300 to support our work in restoring the Town Walls of Pembroke.  It was fantastic to see people of all ages enjoying the event and we are incredibly grateful for the generous and ongoing support that we have received from both local people and visitors to the town.  

Please join our Facebook group to find out more about future events and join the trust to help us in our mission to restore the historic town walls of Pembroke.

Pembroke Town Walls Chair Wins Trustee of the Year Award

Janet Drogan, the Chair of the Pembroke Town Walls Trust was recently awarded the Trustee of the Year Award at the PAVS Volunteering Week Awards.  

  Janet Drogan receiving her award from Peter Davison, Chair of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action

Janet Drogan receiving her award from Peter Davison, Chair of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action

National Volunteers Week is an opportunity that PAVS use each year to organize the Pembrokeshire Volunteering Awards to recognize the hard work and dedication of local volunteers.  This week the well-attended ceremony was held in the Regency Hall, Saundersfoot on 7th June.  

Janet has led the Pembroke Town Walls Trust (PTWT) for the last five years.   Over that time PTWT has evolved from being a Steering group in 2012, to an Incorporated Organisation and finally to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation so that it could seek major funding.  

In 2013, she oversaw the signature of a partnership agreement to deliver a pilot project for the PTWT with Pembroke 21C Community Association and the Tabernacle United Reformed Church.  

The nomination explained that Janet has patiently given hours of her own time to oversee the development of the pilot project over that period while the Trust has striven to develop its ideas and plans, to seek and secure funding.  She has chaired both Board and public meetings, representing the PTWT in the press and at meetings with funders, the local authority and Cadw.  She has led the board through its learning curve, establishing their clear aims, objectives and values and to develop clear plans and strategies.  

She is inspirational because of her desire to lead from the bottom up, both listening to and hearing what others say and working to a concensus.  She is able to use the skills of others in a team.  She is also inspirational because of her complete understanding of the significance of walls to the heritage of not only Pembroke but to Wales.  She fully understands that the walls are as important as the Castle and that Pembroke as a town is worthy of World Heritage Status.  However, at the same time she is fully aware of the importance of the walls and the pilot project to the local community, its civic pride and wellbeing.  

This summer the PTWT should be able, at last, to begin restoration of the walls around the Tabernacle URC garden, both the curtain town walls and lime kiln and the walls that surround the burgage plot garden.  This pilot will be an exemplar for the Trust to be able to restore walls around the town, to show the care and good techniques that will be taken and to demonstrate the significance of the walls.   The pilot and the restoration of the Pembroke’s medieval Town Walls will be a significant project for the benefit of the town’s heritage and its economy and something in which the community can take great pride.

Party at the Castle, Sat 17th June 2017

PTWT castle party 2017.png

Join us in Pembroke Castle on Saturday the 17th of June for an evening of music, games and heritage. This is our 3rd year running this great family event which has, so far, raised over £2000 for the Town Walls. 

This year we have an exciting mix of live music including The Krooks, Razor Bill and the Quaynotes Choir. The Party at the Castle is a fun event for the whole familly; come and enjoy a mix of children's games, heritage and crafts. Attractions will include hands on pottery, wood turning, bee keeping, classic cars and art exhibition. 

The Castle will be open to explore throughout the evening. Food and drinks will be available from the Castle Cafe or alternatively feel free to bring along your own picnic. 

Tickets are available on the door. Adult tickets are £5 and familly tickets are £12.50.

We look forward to seeing you!