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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 33201

Map Reference SM91NE

Grid Reference SM9530915672

Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire

Old County Pembrokeshire

Community Haverfordwest

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Multiperiod

Site Description Haverfordwest has its origins in the medieval town of Haverford, founded around the prominent castle (NPRN 94235) and sited close to the navigable reaches of the Western Cleddau. It is believed that the castle was first founded about 1110 by a Fleming, Tancred (or Tancard), and in its early years Flemish settlers completely transformed the local landscape, all but replacing the native population. By the thirteenth century Haverford was a thriving market town with the defended borough of Castleton extending to the west and north of the castle. In the following century the town expanded beyond the town walls (NPRN 102328) but began to decline following the Black Death of 1349. Even so, by the outbreak of the English Civil War nearly 300 years later (1642-8), Haverfordwest was considered to have been the third-largest town in Wales. Following that war the town became crippled by debt, particularly when the demolition of the castle was ordered by Oliver Cromwell and had to be paid for by the town. This has, however, led to the distinctive appearance of many of Haverfordwest’s buildings, constructed from masonry plundered from the castle. Today Haverford's town plan is still dominated by its castle and three parish churches, St Martin's, (NPRN 300433) St Mary's (NPRN 103300) and St Thomas's (NPRN 300440).

Adapted from: Driver, T. Pembrokeshire, Historic Landscapes from the Air, RCAHMW, (2007)pp. 178-181.

K Steele, RCAHMW, 23 January 2009

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