The Royal Military Dockyard Chapel of Pembroke Dock
The Royal Military Dockyard Chapel was completed in 1835. It is the only Georgian Military chapel left in the United Kingdom. It was a place for the dockyard workers, the military personnel and their families to gather to worship. By 1926 however, the dockyard closed and the chapel was quiet until the arrival of the Royal Air Force with their seaplanes in 1930.
The chapel provided not only a place of worship on Sundays, but also a place of entertainment with film shows, dances, and pantomimes being performed. Many a local romance began under its roof. Sadly by 1957, the RAF were pulling out of Pembroke Dock and the gates to the chapel were closed for the last time in 1959.
The chapel later re-opened, but fulfilled different functions. Amongst other things, it now served as a Motor Museum. The beautiful grounds at one time were home to a Sunderland Flying Boat, a gift from the French Navy. It remained there for 10 years, but is now on display in the RAF museum at Hendon.
Around 2013, moves were made house "The Sunderland Trust" in this building. Local historian John Evans set up the trust some years earlier after a ‘lost’ Sunderland T9044 was found wrecked in the Milford Haven Waterway. Renovation completed, the chapel was re-opened as museum by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll in April 2014.
‘PD’, as the town of Pembroke Dock is affectionately known worldwide, was truly a garrison town with all three armed forces stationed here. Today this magnificent and beautifully restored building houses the artefacts and memorabilia relating to the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Royal Air Force, the Army, and much more relating to the town's history. The latest addition is the Star Wars Exhibition, showing photographs and videos telling the story of how the Millennium Falcon was built in the Western Hangar of the Dockyard. This last ‘ship’ of sorts built in Pembroke Dockyard followed in line with the previous 263 fighting ships and five Royal Yachts.
All these stories and more are housed in this magnificent building, a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting the town. The Georgian Royal Military Dockyard Chapel is truly one of the jewels in Pembroke Dock's crown.