Pembroke Dock, Doc Penfro in Welsh, developed in the nineteenth century from the small village settlement Paterchurch, or Pater village, on the southern banks of the Cleddau estuary. Multiple invasions of Ireland, including those under Henry II and Oliver Cromwell, set out from the natural harbours of this extensive waterway.

Located on the north side, Milford Haven was founded as a new town in 1793. Shortly after, several Quaker families from Nantucket chose to settle there and operate a whaling fleet. In 1800, a dockyard was established in Milford Haven, building war ships throughout the Napoleonic wars.

In 1814 the Royal Dockyard was transferred to Paterchurch and a new town grew up around it. Royal navy ships were commissioned and built here for over 100 years. The last one, the Oleander, launched in 1922.

During the twentieth century, Pembroke Dock served as an important base for the RAF. It became the most significant centre for Sunderland flying boats in the world. In 1940 the Luftwaffe attacked, bombing a series of nearby oil-tanks and causing a massive series of fires.
This military history has left a striking architectural legacy of admiralty buildings, Martello towers, barracks, a naval chapel and large-scale hangars for the Sunderlands. One of these hangars saw the creation of the Millennium Falcon in 1979 for the Star-Wars film The Empire Strikes Back.

Use the Port Places App to explore Pembroke Dock and its surroundings.

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Things to See and Do

As you depart the ferry, you will pass the location where the Millennium Falcon was built. If you want to explore more of Pembroke Dock’s Star Wars history and the heritage of the town, stop by the Heritage Centre just before you leave the port.

The historic part of the town around the port is laid out on a grid network and easy to explore on foot. Enjoy a casual stroll along the waterfront, starting at the West Martello tower, walking towards the West Wales Maritime Museum. Located in a disused boatyard, this quirky little museum specialises in restoring historic sail boats and is a good place to learn about Pembroke Dock’s naval history.



As you walk around the town, you will see bronze way markers laid into the pavement at irregular intervals. Use our free app to discover the historic story behind each plaque. Did you know that some of Britain’s earliest films were made in and around Pembroke Dock?

Cleddau Rivers

For a wonderful overview of Pembroke Dock, make your way uphill towards the Defensible Barracks located above the town. Here you can see right across the Cleddau rivers, the ferry port and the town.

If you want to explore the area’s medieval history, head to Pembroke and its magnificent castle to visit the birthplace of Henry Tudor.

Further to the southwest lies the small village of Angle, surrounded by two small, quiet bays ideal for a stroll along a quiet beach.

Pembroke Castle


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