All things Pembrokeshire

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Over a thousand million years ago

Volcanoes erupted forming igneous rocks, the most ancient of these being the Pre-Cambrian rocks that can be found along the St David's peninsula from Stumble Head to Ramsey Island and also at Trefgarn, Johnston, Talbenni, Benton and Roch

About 2.6 million years ago


The earliest known occupation of Pembrokeshire occurred during the later cold stages of the ice age. Neanderthalers or hunters sought shelter in the limestone caves on Caldey Island and at Cathole Quarry.

About 400 million years ago

Caledonian mountain chain reformed giving us the spectacular cliff faces at Pen-yr-aft and Ceibwr. Red sandstone, limestone and carboniferous rocks formed another geological area found in the south of Pembrokeshire. This contained the famous south Pembrokeshire anthracite coal. The Armorican oregano pushed Pembrokeshire further against the north, as a consequence, what are known as the three chimneys formed at the end of Marloes Sands.

10000 to 8000 BC

Early dwellings found in Hoyle's Mouth cave near Penally. Another cave, Wogan cave, can be seen within the walls of Pembroke Castle. The melting ice caps rushing out to sea carved out the Gwaun Valley at Fishguard

About 3000 BC

Britain now cut off from France. Next people to arrive in Pembrokeshire were the Neolithic farmers, arriving by sea. Archaeologists have reconstructed huts used by these people at Clegyr Boia near St David's Cathedral.

About 2000 BC

Arrival of Bronze Age people or Beaker Folk, descendants from the Northern warrior peoples speaking a sort of Indo-European language.

About 1700 to 1650 BC

It was thought that the Beaker people moved the bluestones of Preseli to Wiltshire, creating Stonehenge

About 600 BC

Iron age forts at Castell Henllys and Martin's Haven. It is assumed that Martin's Haven provided a landing stage for the first Celtic settlers

43 AD to 410 AD

Arrival of the Romans. Evidence of a Roman villa found near Wolfscastle by archaeologist Dr Mark Merrony from Tenby

Between 300 and 400 AD

The Irish tribe, the Deisi, under the leadership of Eichaid Almuir, settled in Pembrokeshire. The Ogham writing on stones bears witness to the introduction of Christianity into Pembrokeshire long before it reached the rest of Great Britain. This was also the age of Celtic crosses including the one found at Carew Castle and the one found at Nevern in North Pembrokeshire dated 11th century

About 462 AD

The approximate birth year of St David

589 AD

St David died on 1st March of this year

Between 844 and 1091 AD

The Vikings raided the coast of Pembrokeshire using Milford Haven as their temporary base

877 AD

A Viking chieftain called Hubba wintered in the Haven. Hubberston was named after him

1033 AD

The king of West Wales, Hywel Dda and his brother Hywel ab Edwin obtained possession of Deheubarth

1063 AD

The victory of King Harold over the Welsh

1081 AD

The battle of Mynydd Carn, a dynastic struggle for control of the Welsh kingdoms of Gwynedd and Deheubarth

1091 AD

Viking Olaf Haroldston invaded Pembrokeshire. Town names such as Fishguard, Fis Gard meaning fish yard, Goodwick, Gud-vik, meaning a fine harbour and Caldey, Caldy, the cold island are from Norse derivation.

1092 AD

Death of Rhys ap Tewdwr triggered the most important event in the history of Pembrokeshire. Welsh tribes of Deheubarth were overcome by the advancing Norman armies.

Between 1108 and 1156 AD

Flemish refugees settle in South Pembrokeshire where they worked as farmers

1110 AD

The Order of the Templars founded. It is reputed that the Knights Templar had a religious house in Templeton.

1115 AD

Wizo granted all the churches in his barony to the Benedictine abbey at Gloucester, which included a church at Slebech. Wizo's seat was at Wiston Castle.

1120 AD

St David was canonised at the request of Henry I by Pope Caixtus II

1138 AD

Gilbert de Clare became Earl of Pembroke

1145 AD

Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) born at Manorbier castle

1180 AD

St David's cathedral built

Between 1189 and 1245 AD

Pembroke Castle built by William Marshall and his five sons

1200 AD

Haverfordwest Priory founded by Robert Fitz Richard

1324 AD

The Earl of Pembroke received annual rent of 16s 4d for a 'seam of sea-cole at Coadrath'

1328 AD

Henry de Gower became bishop of St David's

Before 1382 AD

The earliest known Welsh manuscript written. This contains the stories of the Mabinogion and portrays the mythological lives of the old Celts.

1457 AD

Henry Tudor born at Pembroke Castle

1471 AD

Pembroke Castle besieged by an army of Welshmen led by Sir Rhys ap Thomas' brother

1475 AD

Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembrokeshire helped Tenby inhabitants rebuild and strengthen the walls of the town against the coming of the Spanish Armarda

1485 AD

Henry Tudor sets foot on Welsh soil at Mill Bay, near Dale on Sunday 7th August with the banner bearing the red dragon of the ancient hero Cadwaladr.

1510 AD

Robert Recorde, the famous mathematician, was born in Tenby. Pioneer of the (=) sign

1532 AD

Henry VIII gifted Pembroke castle to Anne Boleyn creating her marchioness of Pembroke castle

1552 AD

George Owen, the Welsh Antiquarian, author and naturalist was born in Henllys

1588 AD

Another repair of the town walls in Tenby. Howell Howell, who was mayor at the time, has his initials on a plaque on the town walls, opposite the old Ford Garage (now a car park)

1630 AD

The Quakers established in Haverfordwest

1683 AD

Barti Ddu (Black Bart) born in Little Newcastle, the son of a poor farmer

1644 AD

Royalist, Earl Carbery of Carmarthenshire, attempted to break Pembroke's hold but was driven back by Colonel Rowland Laugharne

1648 AD

Oliver Cromwell left London on 3rd May with the aim of destroying Pembroke Castle

1652 AD

An outbreak of plaque hits Haverfordwest, over 300 residents died

1668 AD

First Baptist church in Wales established in Rhydwilym

1726 AD

The Ford (old bridge) at Haverfordwest was gifted to the town by Sir John Phillips of Picton Castle

1736 AD

Molleston Chapel built

1747 AD

Pembrokeshire historian, Richard Fenton born at Rhosson, St David's

1758 AD

General Sir Thomas Picton born in a town house in Hill Street, Haverfordwest

1792 AD

The Mabinogian translated into English by the Reverend John Jones so that non-Welsh speaking people could enjoy the book. Arberth (Narberth) is the first place mentioned and tells the tale of Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed

1800 AD

Cosheston was an important area for ship building.

1802 AD

Admiral Lord Nelson visited Milford Haven

1823 AD

Lamphey Court built

1829 AD

Harbour built at Saundersfoot

1839 AD

The start of the Rebecca Riots

1853 AD

Arrival of the first special excursion train operated by the South Wales Railway Company in Haverfordwest

1854 AD

First passenger railway in Haverfordwest

1857 AD

Steamship service commenced from Neyland to take passengers to Ireland, Portugal and Brazil

1864 AD

Over 30,000 tons of coal a year was being exported from Saundersfoot

1873 AD

The Tenby town corporation were to pull down the arches at the South West Gate until Dr George Chater applied to the Court of Chancery for an injunction to prevent their destruction.

1888 AD

First trading vessel to enter Milford Haven was the steam trawler Sybil on 27th September

1930 AD

Pembroke Dock became the home of the famous Sunderland flying boats after the Royal Air Force established a base here

1936 AD

Bird sanctuary established at Skokholm

1952 AD

Pembrokeshire coastline first designated as a National Park

1959 AD

Approval and building of the first oil refinery, Esso, near the village of Herbrandston

1975 AD

Opening of the Cleddau Bridge

1996 AD

Sea Empress oil spillage disaster on 15th February. Tanker ran aground just off the rocks at St Anne's Head