Pembroke Dock

A collection of stories about Pembroke Dock and its history.

Pembroke Dock in Focus

Pembroke Dock (Doc Penfro) and adjacent Milford Haven (Aberdaugleddau) both developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from small village settlements, Paterstown and Hubberstown, on the banks of the Cleddau river. The vast natural harbour…

A Very New Port

'Pembroke Dock' is an abbreviation of 'Pembroke Dockyard', the new name given to the location in 1817. The Royal Navy had built the dockyard and adjacent town three years earlier in 1814, initially calling it 'Pater Yard'. The sole purpose of the…

The Cursing of the HMS Caesar

A local story in Pembroke Dock concerns the launch of HMS Caesar, planned for July 21, 1853. The ship was a wooden two decker, screw propelled ship of ninety-one guns. As was the custom on launch days all the residents of Pembroke Dock would flock…

The Haunting of the HMS Asp | Ysbryd yn cerdded HMS Asp

In 1857, Pembroke Dock was the setting for the remarkable climax of the haunting of the HMS Asp which, at the time, was used as a surveying vessel in the Royal Navy under the command of one Captain George Manley Alldridge (1815–1905). Over the…

The Front Street Martello Tower, Pembroke Dock

The gun tower in Front Street, Pembroke Dock, is commonly referred to as the 'Martello tower'. However, when it was built it was known as a Cambridge Gun Tower. Emperor Louis Napoleon III was building a Second Empire of France in the 1840's, and was…

Admiral Togo and the Ginkgo Tree

David James sat down with Ports, Past and Present to share the fascinating story behind Pembroke Dock's 80-foot tall ginkgo tree and its link with the creation of Japan's modern navy.

A Model Ship Maker

In the just over 200 years of its existence, Pembroke Dock has had a proud history of building hundrets of ships, large and not so large, motorised and propelled by wind. Although the dockyard has been closed now for several decades, ships still get…

Mudlarking in Pembroke Dock

David James sat down with Ports, Past and Present and shared his memories of moving to Pembroke Dock as a child during the Second World War and the pastimes he enjoyed with friends around the town and down by the river edge.

The Old Girl's Got It

David James sat down with Ports, Past and Present to share his passion for sailing and talks about a particularly fine sailing yacht that he restored and sailed for many years. Ahoi!

U-Boats in the Irish Sea, 1917-18

Throughout the First World War, the UK imported significant amounts of food from the United States, Canada and through Gibraltar. The German naval command calculated that they could starve Britain into surrender and win the war with a five-month…

Island of the Gannets | Ynys yr Huganod

We may associate seabirds with islands – puffins standing sentinel on ledges, guillemots in serried ranks on slim ledges – but this is only a temporary habitat. On land they are edgy, vulnerable to predation. These are, after all, sea birds and the…

The Smalls Lighthouse Tragedy | Trasiedi Goleudy’r Smalls

The cluster of rocks known as The Smalls, 20 miles off the coast of south west Wales, was a major shipping hazard, notorious for ferocious rip tides, until 1777 when an unorthodox timber lighthouse structure was erected consisting of nine stout oak…