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Pembrokeshire

Main attractions

Green Bridge, Wales
Green Bridge of Wales / , / CC BY 2.0

Highlights of Pembrokeshire are:

  • Castles - diverse, impressive and sometimes gruesome. One of the best is Pembrokeshire Castle.
  • Megalithic monuments - Pembrokeshire is very rich with Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments. The best known is Pentre Ifan.

Natural landmarks

  • Church Doors near Tenby - One of the most impressive natural arches in Great Britain, resembling an enormous doorway in the seaside cliff.
  • Elegug Stacks - Two spectacular rock stacks in the sea.
  • Grassholm gannet colony - Small island where are breeding some 39,000 pairs of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) – some 10% of world population.
  • Green Bridge of Wales - Large natural arch at the sea. Arch is 24 m high and more than 20 m wide.
  • Skomer bluebell meadows - Every May there is enormous bluebell flower carpet in open landscape on Skomer Island.
  • The Bleeding Yew of Nevern - One of the eight very old yew trees in the alley between Nevern Church and gate. This tree is „bleeding” a red sap. There is legend about a guiltless monk who was hung in this tree.

Man made monuments

Carreg Coetan Arthur
Carreg Coetan Arthur / , / CC BY-SA 2.0

Archaeological monuments

  • Bedd Arthur - Unique, boat shaped megalithic stone ring with 18 stones.
  • Bone Cave (Ogof yr Esgryrn) - Cave with extremely rich findings. Thus far here have been found more than 42 human skeletons from roughly 1000 BC. Contains also remnants of extinct animals – hyena, sabre tooth tiger and others.
  • Carreg Coetan Arthur - Neolithic dolmen, built sometimes around 3000 BC. Main feature is 4 m long capstone resting on three upright stones.
  • Cerrig Y Gof - Unusual megalithic monument – an oval setting of five burial chambers. Made in late Neolithic or Bronze Age. Hewn cupules.
  • Garn Turne - Impressive Neolithic burial chamber. Cup and ring petroglyph on the giant capstone of this megalithic structure. Capstone weighs more than 60 tons.
  • Gors Fawr - Complete megalithic stone ring with 16 stones.
  • Pentre Ifan - One of the best preserved and most picturesque dolmens in Wales, built sometimes around 3500 BC. Impressive feature is 16 tons heavy capstone placed 2.4 m high on the sharp tips of three standing stones.
  • St. Llawdogg Ogham Stone - Megalithic standing stone with Ogham writing.
Carreg Cennen Castle
Carreg Cennen Castle / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Castles

  • Carew Castle - Enormous, impressive castle, built sometimes around 1270, part of the castle converted into Tudor style mansion in the 16th century. Ghost story about tormented ape.
  • Carreg Cennen Castle - Very impressive castle ruins on the top of hill, overlooking a precipice. First built before 1197, later extended.
  • Haverfordwest Castle - Impressive ruins of medieval castle – English stronghold. Present structure dates mostly from 1290. Abandoned in 1648.
  • Llawhaden Castle - Ruins of medieval castle, built between the 12th and 14th century. Presently visible stone structures were built in 1362 – 1389.
  • Manorbier Castle - Massive ruins of a large castle at the sea. Originally built as a motte and bailey castle in the end of the 11th century, in the early 12th century rebuilt into large stone castle. Now consists of rectangular enclosure surrounded by curtain walls, with two towers. Chapel built around 1260, contains medieval frescoes, plaster work. Ruined since the middle of the 17th century.
  • Pembroke Castle - Remains of very impressive medieval castle, built in 1189 – 1218 and 1234 – 1241. Abandoned since the middle of the 17th century. Extensive restoration in the late 19th – 20th century has to large extent returned the former impression. Beneath the south-eastern corner of the building is Wogan Cavern – large natural grottoe.
  • Picton Castle - Medieval castle, built at the end of the 13th century and still inhabited by the family of original builders. Remodelled in the 15th century and 1820s.
  • Roch Castle - Impressive tower – some 30 m tall castle, built in the second half of the 12th century.
St David’s Cathedral
St David’s Cathedral / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Churches and chapels

  • Chapel of St. Non - Chapel over holy well in impressive location, near the sea coast.
  • Nevern St Brynach Church - Very old, archaic Norman church. The massive tower remains from the Norman times, most of the other parts have been rebuilt in later times.
  • St David’s Cathedral - Old and impressive cathedral in rural setting. Construction of the present cathedral was started in 1181 and soon completed. Building though has suffered much damage and modifications. Gravestone of Bishop Abraham murdered in 1080, adorned with intricate Celtic carvings.
  • St Govan’s Chapel - Old chapel in unique location – at the sea coast, in dramatic fissure, among high cliffs. Built in the 13th century. It is possible that already in the 6th century here was built first church by St. Govan.
  • St Illtyd’s Church in Caldey - Very old church with leaning tower. It is possible that the tower was built in the early 12th century. Caldey Stone in the church with Celtic Ogham script on it.
  • Tenby St. Mary’s Church - Very old church. It is believed that some parts of the existing church were built in Norman times, most of the present structure is built in the 13th century.
Tenby Five Arches Gate
Tenby Five Arches Gate / , Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Other man made landmarks

  • Carew High Cross - Memorial Celtic cross of stone, made in the 11th century. 4 m high, covered with intricate carvings.
  • Carew Mill - Intact tidal mill, originally built sometimes around 1542. Present mill dates from the early 19th century. Machinery preserved.
  • Colby Woodlands Gardens - Beautiful garden in forested valley with exquisite collection of azaleas and rhododendrons.
  • Lamphey Bishops Palace - Ruins of Gothic style palace from 1328 – 1347.
  • Nevern Cross - Celtic stone cross, made in the 10th or the early 11th century.
  • Tenby walled town - Walled town from the 13th century. Settlement on this promontory existed in the 9th century AD or earlier. Town walls were built in the late 13th century. Impressive feature is Tenby Five Arches Gate, historical centre is characterised by colorful houses.

List of described attractions

ArrowPentre IfanMegaliths, Ancient burials

Map of Pembrokeshire

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