Hidden Histories of Pembroke’s Walled Gardens

Ken Murphy addressing a packed hall

Ken Murphy addressing a packed hall

Over 100 people were held in thrall on the afternoon of Saturday 20th June, when Ken Murphy, the Director of Dyfed Archaeology Trust, came to Foundry House in Pembroke to talk about how the burgage plots in the town developed.

Like Medieval towns all over Britain, Pembroke was planned to enable the freemen to work and live in key places. Some have evolved and are now totally built over like those in  London. Others fell totally out of use such as the ones in Newport, Pembrokeshire.  Pembroke has the great advantage of having plots that are still in use and not built over, but as yet little is known about what could be found in these spaces.   

One of the plots behind the Tabernacle URC Chapel is being developed as a heritage garden, and an archaeological survey is being carried out by Archaeology Wales.  Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw, this will include digging around half-a-dozen test pits this summer and so for the first time we may have a record of how the spaces were used and how the town walls have developed.

The event, called Hidden Histories of Pembroke’s Walled Gardens, was organised by the Town Heritage and Environment sub-group of Pembroke 21C Community Association.  The group had invited exhibitors including Pembrokeshire Prospectors, Landsker Regia Anglorum re-enacters and Pembrokeshire Archive, who not only had their findings on display but were also there to advise people how to discover more for themselves.

Pembroke Town Walls Trust, the Tabernacle garden project and The Pembroke Story heritage project were able to show the work they been done so far and how the local community can get involved in recording and valuing Pembroke’s wonderful heritage.

The next event will be Open Plots on Sunday 5th July when some of the burgage plots will be open to the public to visit from 2pm.  On Wednesday 7th September at 7.30pm in Foundry House there will be an opportunity to hear more about the projects that have already started, especially the partnership project with the Tabernacle Chapel, Pembroke Town Walls Trust and Pembroke 21C.