Added 20th November 2023
Our very own trustee and highly regarded local historian, Adrian James, will describe some of the enemy aerial activity that took place over South Pembrokeshire during WWII. Adrian will focus on information available from official sources, including the National Archives and Pembrokeshire Archives to show how well defended South Pembrokeshire was in the War.
Added 13th November 2023
The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) encourages the reporting of archaeological items found by metal detectorists and other members of the public.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme launched in Wales almost 25 years ago. During that time the scheme has recorded over 90,000 archaeological objects found by metal detectorists and members of the public. Join the passionate & enthusiastic Dr. David Howell to learn about the fascinating work of the scheme and the archaeological discoveries that have been recorded here in Pembrokeshire.
Thousands of objects are discovered by metal detectorists in Wales each year, including 20-30 items declared as Treasure.
Pembrokeshire archaeological discoveries
Added 5th November 2023
THE AUTUMN SESSIONS 2023 CONTINUE WITH A HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!
THE INIMITABLE HOWARD RUDGE SHARES THE STORY OF THE LANCASHIRE WITCH TRIALS IN 1612
Witchcraft or Politics?
Child witnesses used against their own parents!
Evidence or hearsay?
Howard Rudge tells all!
An enthusiastic audience were entranced by the story telling of Howard Rudge.
The trials of the Pendle Witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The twelve accused lived in the area surround Pendle Hill, Lancashire and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft.
Added 28th October 2023
THE AUTUMN SESSIONS 2023 COMMENCE WITH A HISTORY OF HAVERFORDWEST TOLD THROUGH 40 UNIQUE ARTEFACTS BY DR SIMON HANCOCK
Highly regarded local historian and curator of the Haverfordwest Museum Dr Simon Hancock kicked of the Autumn Sessions 2023 on Thursday 26th October at Foundry House, Pembroke.
A small but enthusiastic audience braved the extremely wet weather to hear Simon eloquently take us through the history of our county town, Haverfordwest, in a novel and unique way by bringing 40 artefacts back to life with fascinating stories of each.
Each of the objects might merit a few minutes of study in a museum but Simon's commentary gave them context in social history and explained their part in shaping the town.
The Borough Seal of Haverfordwest
The obverse of the seal bears the legend ‘Sigillum Commune De Haverfordia’ (the Common Seal of Haverford).
Added 21st January 2023
NEW PROMOTIONAL ROLLUPS UNVEILED
Our superb new roll up promotional posters in both English and Welsh were unveiled for their first public display at the recent talk at Foundry House by Dr Simon Hancock. The signs explain the primary aims of the Trust with lots of photos of parts of the walls and previous projects.
We will use them at public events to be an eye catching attraction to passers by and to allow more people to get a quick appreciation of our work.
The signs were designed and produced for us by Signspeed.
Added 21st January 2023
THE AUTUMN SESSIONS CONCLUDE WITH A VIRTUAL SEARCH FOR THE MEDIEVAL TOWN WALLS OF HAVERFORDWEST BY DR SIMON HANCOCK
The Autumn Sessions concluded on Friday 9th December with another interesting and informative talk "Vanished Glories: The gates and walls of Medieval Haverfordwest" by the highly regarded local historian Dr Simon Hancock at Foundry House, Pembroke.
He finished by showing recent photographs revealing tantalising glimpses of existing structures which could well have been original parts of the walls.
The fascinating insight into our local history was warmly received by the full and attentive audience.
Simon started by taking us on a virtual tour of British and European medieval walled towns illustrating the types of structures we might expect to have once stood in Haverfordwest.
He then looked at evidence from maps and archived documents to show where the Haverfordwest walls and their gates most likely stood.
The Borough received the grant of murage in 1264 for seven years and so the stone walls can be dated to this time. We know that the town gates were still standing into the eighteenth century but sadly nothing of them survives today.
Added 20th November 2022
THE AUTUMN SESSIONS CONTINUE WITH AN ILLUSTRATED TALK BY ADRIAN JAMES
Our excellent Autumn Sessions continued on Thursday 17th November with an illustrated talk by respected local historian and one of our Trustees Adrian James. The talk was entitled "A brief overview of the birth and expansion of Pembroke Dock". A full and appreciative audience was treated to an absorbing discussion about the buildings within the former dockyard and the houses built to accommodate the dockyard workers. An interactive map was then used to demonstrate the growth of the town over time. The audience shared their knowledge and memories to add to the event.
The event was kindly hosted by the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre and, whilst enjoying excellent refreshments, the attendees were able to wander round the interesting museum exhibits.
Added 19th July 2022
PARTY AT THE CASTLE
Well, it was worth the wait!
After 2 years without a party due to the pandemic and a postponement from June due to horrible weather, Party At The Castle finally took place on Saturday 16th July at Pembroke Castle.
Photo credit - Elizabeth Gossage
and, what a party it was! The weather was beautifully sunny just as we ordered! There was a really nice atmosphere and everyone enjoyed themselves.
Photo credit - Gwen Griffiths
Many thanks to all who came along and all who helped put the event on and make it such a special occasion.
We raised just over £700 for our funds too a tremendous boost to help us continue the work to preserve the town walls for all to appreciate and enjoy.
Photo credit - Gwen Griffiths
Click on the logo to see how the press have reported the event.
Photo credit - Caitlin Rowley,
Tanyard Youth Project
Added 22nd June 2022
INTRODUCTION TO HERITAGE STONE MASONRY COURSES COMPLETED
Watch our absolutely brilliant documentary about the recent training courses in Heritage Stone Masonry. The video was made by the talented Tanyard Youth Projects' Postcards & Podcasts crew.
Added 22nd June 2022
SECOND TEAM OF FUTURE STONE MASONS COMPLETE THEIR TRAINING
Added 12th April 2022
To see the full report as a video click on this link.
To see the full report as a pdf document click on this link.
Learning to place stones correctly
The training courses were designed especially for the project by the Tywi Centre based in Llandeilo and were led by Oliver Coe of Coe Stone Ltd in Haverfordwest. Advice on training young people in the skills needed for work in the sector was received from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
TRAINING FUTURE STONE MASONS TO RESTORE THE WALLS
Removing & sorting stones
The first of two taster courses in heritage stone masonry has taken place with ten students of construction from Pembrokeshire College. The courses are part of the project to develop a long-term management plan for the Pembroke Town Walls Trust being funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund. The second course will take place in May with another group of students.
As the week progressed, so did the wall...
All the students were registered by Cyfle Building Skills with their On Site Hub which was funded by CITB. This provided them with laptops to complete their training online and gave them a set of tools with which to go on site to work on one of Pembroke’s burgage walls for the second week.
Pembrokeshire College are arranging for one or two of the students to undertake some further work experience with Oliver Coe to restore the west wall of the Civil War gun platform along Pembroke’s north walls.
Arwyn Williams, Head of Faculty Engineering, Computing, Construction and Higher Education at the College, said, “The learners have had a tremendous experience and the project has been a complete success. Oliver has done an exceptional job of engaging the learners and we should all be very proud of the last two weeks and months of planning. Thanks to the Pembroke Town Walls Trust for having the vision to set out the project.”
Added 27th March 2022
BUILDING HERITAGE STONE WALLS - COLLEGE TRAINING COMMENCES
The first training course in building heritage stone walls started on Monday 21st March at Pembrokeshire College. Funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, the course is a taster for construction students at the College, designed by the Tywi Centre in Carmarthen. The students are being taught by expert stone mason Oliver Coe of Coe Stone Ltd and their College Lecturer James Roach John. On Monday 28th March they will be restoring a burgage wall in Pembroke.
Added 27th March 2022
FIRST GUIDED WALK
The first guided walk around the town and walls took place on Tuesday 15th March led by Howard Rudge. A walking group from Saundersfoot enjoyed fascinating anecdotes and the stories of Pembroke's heritage along the walls and Main Street and finished with a great lunch in the Castle Cafe.
Added 15th March 2022
LONG TERM PLANS FOR PEMBROKE'S HISTORIC WALLS
Pembroke Town Walls Trust is now pleased to announce a grant it has received from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. The fund is managed in Pembrokeshire by the County Council.
An exciting project is underway to plan the long-term restoration and management of Pembroke’s medieval town walls, to invest in skills, community and place, local businesses and to support young people into employment.
Pembroke Town Walls Trust is more than just the walls. The project will develop a new and linked social enterprise, to deliver training in heritage stone masonry and work with local stone masons to restore the walls and offer work experience and apprenticeships.
The training was successfully piloted in 2019 with students in construction skills from Pembrokeshire College, managed by Tywi Centre in Carmarthen. There will be two courses, each two weeks long, the first held in the construction department at Pembrokeshire College, and the second week practical work on the town walls themselves.
Oliver Coe of Coe Stone Ltd will lead the training and work with Cyfle Building Skills to offer work experience restoring the west wall of the Civil War gun platform.
Pembroke is a historic town still very much on its medieval layout with long narrow burgage plots leading down to the outer walls. This is rare and needs to be conserved.
This project will work closely with the owners of six of the properties along the Mill Pond Walk, which are either scheduled ancient monuments or listed heritage structures. A ground-breaking innovative approach to dealing with the complex issues involved with multiple private ownership of historic structures will take a three-way approach.
The Trust will adapt a model lease for each owner to enable funding to be found and work to be carried out on their walls. Secondly, they are working with Cadw to deliver the first Heritage Partnership Agreements in Wales. Finally, the Trust will establish a means for owners, the community and local businesses to have a stake in their work for the long term through the sale of shares.
An important part of the project is to commission research for a Masters’ student at Cardiff University to explore a broad method for valuing heritage assets which will extend the current envelope of methods employed to value heritage within Wales.
Young people from the Tanyard Youth Project’s Postcards & Podcasts project are also involved by filming the training to make a documentary and they have made a film about this project called More Than the Walls.
Guided walks around the walls will be offered each month for local people and visitors to learn about their history and the plans to restore them.
The project is being externally evaluated by Jake Elster-Jones and a management plan will be written and delivered to guide the Trust over the years to come.
Chair of Trustees of Pembroke Town Walls Trust
Talking with Cadw about Heritage Partnership Agreements in the walled garden behind Tabernacle Church
Walking along the Mill Pond Walk to survey walls with Cadw
Mae’r prosiect hwn yn cael ei ariannu gan Lywodraeth y DU trwy Gronfa Adfywio Cymunedol y DU.
This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund
PEMBROKE TOWN WALLS TRUST PILOT PROJECT IS OPENED
Pembroke’s "Garden Through Time" was officially opened by Pembroke's Mayor, Cllr. Linda Asman and Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Jonathan Nutting on Sunday 5th September.
Rev.Stella Hayton, The Minister of the Tabernacle United Reformed Church in Pembroke’s Main Street, welcomed 53 guests, including congregation, funders and project organisers to her 11am service preceding the official opening of the garden project. The project was undertaken in partnership with the United Reformed Church, Pembroke Town Walls Trust and Pembroke 21C Community Association. The late Nikki Anderson, creator of the Pembroke Story, on display in the church, planned the garden some years ago.
Added 17th November 2021
OUR LATEST PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
Have a look at our latest promotional video
"We Are More Than Just The Walls"
premiered at the
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority / PLANED Archaeology Day on 20th November 2021
Added 28th December 2021
A VIDEO TOUR OF THE
GARDEN THROUGH TIME
Enjoy this lovely video that Will Hogg, the young son of one of the people who completed the garden, has made.
A tour through the Garden Through Time at the Tabernacle Church in Pembroke which shows off the restored walls surrounding it.
It was delightful to be able to assemble safely in the church and it's grounds, still adhering to precautions necessary, as a result of the pandemic.
A touch of normality for us all, celebrating such a significant event in the history of the church and Pembroke town. Huge thanks on behalf of us all to Rev. Hayton for ensuring that this was possible.
Rev.Haton gave three most apt and poignant readings during the service. The first referencing " Creation " from Genesis Ch 2; secondly, referencing " Facing Life's Challenges " Luke Ch 22 and finally referencing "Healing" Revelations Ch 22. We read hymns silently from the order of service whilst organist Dai Rees played each beautiful melody.
At the end of the service, Chris Atherton, Project Manager for both the Tabernacle and the Town Walls Trust, thanked project funders. Howard Rudge, the current Project Manager and Treasurer for the Pembroke Town Walls Trust gave an interesting account of the pitfalls and resolutions leading to the success of the garden project.
Elizabeth Gossage, Pembroke Town Walls Trust Chair, spoke finally to explain the background to the garden project and thanking John Hayes, John Hogg M.B.E. and Joan Marsh for the final laying out and planting of the garden. Much gratitude was also expressed for the assistance of Valero's Community Volunteers.
Rev Hayton then invited guests into the church forecourt for coffee and Mary Williams delicious homemade Welsh Cakes which were kindly served by members of the congregation, prior to the garden opening by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
Once in the garden guests were served Pembroke Apple Juice by David and Jeanette Halsted. The shape of things to come, in what we know will be a superb venue for church and community events in the future of the garden.
The lovely photos you see here, kindly taken by Gwen Griffiths, depict a very happy celebration of a very successful project.
The project would not have been possible without local and national funding as Chris Atherton mentioned. Therefore, the partners wish to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cadw, The Pilgrim Trust, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembroke Town Council, John Hayes and Melanie Phillips, who contributed to the viewing platform in memory of her late father Mervyn Phillips.
Last but not least, a massive thank you to everyone who attended the Pembroke Tabernacle Garden Through Time Opening event.
You were all vital in this celebration.
PEMBROKE TOWN WALLS TRUST WORKING WITH THE WILDLIFE TRUST
YMDDIRIEDOLAETH MURIAU TREF PENFRO YN GWEITHIO GYDA’R YMDDIRIEDOLAETH BYWYD GWYLLT
Pembroke's medieval town walls are degrading very rapidly under the attack of the vegetation thereon. Ivy, saplings and tree roots are gradually lifting, cracking and separating the stonework and the Walls are now in sad decline. Those of you who walk along the North Walls on the Millpond will have seen the various stages of deterioration from cracking and holes appearing, to total collapse. This is your precious heritage that is now in serious danger and it could soon reach a point where not enough money can be found to correct the impending disaster.
The Pembroke Town Walls Trust has embarked on a long term maintenance and repair programme working with the Wall Owners, Pembrokeshire County Council and CADW that will last for many years to come. Having completed its major repair work at the Tabernacle Church Site, the Trust will be expanding its operations over the next twelve months and will keep the community informed as the programme of works develops. Many of you will have seen our first repair work on the North Walls underway on the site known as the Gun Platform, not far from the Town Bridge.
As part of this programme, teams of volunteers from the Wild Life Trust, led by Nathan Walton, the Wild Life Trust's Officer for Pembrokeshire, together with the Coast National Park volunteer team led by the Park Ranger, Chris Taylor, have been helping the Trust for the last eighteen months on a maintenance routine to keep the vegetation on the face of the walls under control. The attached photograph shows part of the Wild Life Trust team removing the most recent growth from the North Walls on Wednesday 7th October 2020. Removal of the vegetation reduces the weight of growth on the walls and root penetration into the lime mortar.
The Town Walls Trust is very grateful to to Nathan, Chris and their hardworking, dedicated teams who return every six months to clear the pernicious vegetation.
In the near future the Trust will be trimming back the ivy growing on the tops of the walls so that we can inspect the current condition of the wall tops, long hidden from view, and plan a programme of maintenance and repair for the tops.
Nathan Walton, the Wildlife Trust Officer for Pembrokeshire, who led the work party.
THE NEW FACE OF THE GUN PLATFORM
WYNEB NEWYDD LLWYFAN Y GWN
Pembroke Town Walls Trust Trustees, Martin Bell and Howard Rudge, Gun Platform Project Manager, recently visited the site with Cllr.Josh Beynon.
As previously reported, Cllr. Aaron Carey also visited the site, some months ago. Cllrs. Carey and Beynon both fully support the aims of the Trust with specific interest in this first restoration project on the North Walls. Councillor Carey sent a very supportive letter to the Trust saying his support is “Not only with regards to repairing and maintaining our historic walls but also the approach you have taken towards it; dealing with a variety of different partners and volunteers as well as enabling training for those learning a trade is a fantastic way to embed in the community and make this colossal project something that all of Pembroke can be proud of. I wish you the best of luck going forward, and I hope to continue to create a great working relationship between myself as local County Council member and the Town Walls Trust as well as another supportive voice for you in with Pembrokeshire County Council.”
Trustees look forward to their continued support and future visits to the site.
Trustees are also pleased to announce, at this positive stage in the restoration work, that the Pledge A Stone match funding figure now stands at £1005. Public support locally and nationwide has been unbelievable. This figure has been realised in 12 weeks. We are quite sure that everyone who has pledged will be as excited as we are at the success of idea to match fund Cadw's grant of £4125.
Your support is appreciated massively particularly during this pandemic. We hope to meet with you all when safe to do so.
As this latest photo shows, work has moved around the Gun Platform to the East Wall restoration area. The scaffolding now having been assembled to enable sheltered working for the stonemasons during inclement weather.
Our thanks once again to everyone mentioned here. Your interest and encouragement is priceless.
Please take a look at the new Pembroke Town Walls Trust website (www.pembroketownwallstrust.co.uk ) and Facebook page @pembroketownwallstrust which is regularly updated on funds and projects.
Join us too as a Trustee or volunteer., we look forward to hearing from you.
PEMBROKE TOWN WALLS TRUST AGM HELD ONLINE ON 11th MAY 2021
Elizabeth Gossage, the Acting Chair, giving her report, referred to the past very difficult and unpredictable year for the Trust.
The 2020 AGM was scheduled for the day after lockdown and was therefore cancelled. As a result, the 14th May 2019 minutes were approved at the 11th May 2021 AGM. There were no matters arising.
Fundraising events, next mentioned, vital to Pembroke Walls Trust income, were not possible this year. Particularly not being able to plan the annual " Party In the Castle" held since the Summer of 2014.
The support of Pembroke Castle Manager and Trustees is priceless for this annual event. We hope that a super event can take place next year.
We have had so many enquiries, it will be terrific to organise again, a little normality for us all. We look forward to seeing you.
The main project currently ongoing, being the restoration of the Pembroke North Walls, Mill Pond Walk, Gun Platform. Do walk along and observe the progress. It is a wondeful achievment so far. Work has proceeded, thanks to a grant from Cadw.
The Trust's contractor has since given a young man from Monkton an apprenticeship in stone masonry training, having formerly engaged him in work experience. Further work experience is planned for another young man from Milford Haven.
Pembroke Town Walls Trust's new website was launched this year. A local graduate of the Postcards and Podcasts project created a very modern new edition, which is continually updated.
The Treasurer, Mr Howard Rudge, reported a satisfactory cash flow, enabling the Trust to cover it's running costs, in spite of the lack of fundraising.
However, membership renewal fees were slow, owing to our not having Face to Face AGMs, when normally it is so easy for us all to pay.
We can advise that your membership renewal fee can be addressed to the Treasurer and posted or delivered to Foundry Hse, Commons Rd, Pembroke, at your convenience.
Trustee, Peter Thomas, proposed the acceptance of the The Annual Report and Accounts seconded by Life Member, Dr.Cllr.Simon Hancock.
The meeting was unanimously in favour.
At this point of the report, thanks our extended, on behalf of the Trust, to those members who joined the meeting via the Zoom link and those who gave their apologies.
The meeting concluded with the relection of Trustees and the formal proposals of co-opted Trustee members.
Trustees are now, Elizabeth Gossage, Martin Bell, Peter Thomas, Daphne Bush, Adrian James, Laura Evans, Malcolm White.
Mrs Elizabeth Gossage was also elected as the future Chair.
Mr Howard Rudge was elected to continue as Treasurer.
The meeting was in favour of all elections.
Final thanks on behalf of the Chair, Treasurer and Trustees to Anna Allen, Trust Minute Secretary for her superb minutes and IT support this year.