Haverfordwest sits on the banks of the Western Cleddau in the heart of Pembrokeshire South West Wales. The second largest town in the county, after Milford Haven, Haverfordwest is a charming town situated midway between Tenby and Fishguard. Haverfordwest derives its name from the Old English meaning 'Ford used by fat cows', these days Haverfordwest is a charming town set in the spectacular Pembrokeshire countryside. Located just 27 minutes from Fishguard and 15 minutes from the popular seaside resort of Broad Haven, there is plenty to explore both in Haverfordwest and the surrounding area. With a 12th century castle and three parish churches, many visit the town for its history and heritage. There are also the beautiful ruins of the Augustinian priory set along the southern edge of the town, not to mention the incredible views of the town from Haverfordwest Castle and the scenic walk along the Western Cleddau, and through the centre of the town.
William Marshall, first Earl of Pembroke, granted Haverfordwest its first royal charter some time between 1213 and 1219 and to this day Haverfordwest is a popular market town for the people of Pembrokeshire. Over the centuries the town has developed on the banks of the Western Cleddau River, the castle first, closely followed by the churches, until the advent of the 21st century and the new cathedrals ......the retail parks! However, Haverfordwest also offers a good selection of more traditional stores spread around the High Street and Bridge Street areas. There are a good number of public houses, restaurants, and cafes to be found on both banks of the river.
Castles and Forts
Haverfordwest Castle and Museum: are popular visitor attractions. In its long history the castle has passed through many hands. It was constructed by Tancred, a Flemish lord, some time during the 12th century and quickly grew to become one of the most notorious mediaeval castles in south Wales. The town grew around the castle and the parish church of St Martin's, and into what is today known as the High Street. By 1220 the castles' walls were strong enough to withstand the armies of the Welsh Prince, Llywelyn the Great, who had succeeded in burning the rest of the town to the ground.
In the late 13th Century under the patronage of Eleanor, wife of King Edward 1, much of the present walls were constructed. Moreover, by the late 14th century the castle was to be in the hands of Edward the Black Prince (1381 to 1385). Come the 15th century and another Welsh Rebellion, Haverfordwest Castle again proved its worth after withstanding the siege by the army of Owain Glyndwr in 1405. However, by the 17th century and the onset of the Civil War Cromwell ordered its destruction. Fortunately, for the heritage of Wales this never came about and today the walls of Haverfordwest Castle stand proud above the town. Indeed the castle is now home to Haverfordwest Town Museum.
Haverfordwest Golf Club: Haverfordwest Golf Club offers a real challenge to golfers of all abilities. Close to the Pembrokeshire National Park in West Wales, the course offers magnificent views of the Preseli Hills. Easily reachable on the A40, one mile east of Haverfordwest, the course is set in majestic parkland and is a true test of golfing skill.
Haverfordwest Lawn Tennis Club: Haverfordwest Lawn Tennis Club has been established since 1935 at The Parade in the centre of Haverfordwest. Use of four all weather courts and two indoor courts available.
Haverfordwest Priory: The Augustinian Priory dedicated to SS Mary and Thomas the Martyr, was founded by Robert FitzRichard around the year 1200 on the outskirts of Haverfordwest. The priory flourished until the 16th century. The ruins are to be found on the banks of the Western Cleddau. There are substantial remains of a 13th century cruciform church, cloisters, and a tower dating to the fifteenth century. The priory has the only surviving ecclesiastical medieval garden in Britain. Much architectural material of a high standard was discovered and can be seen in Haverfordwest museum.
Accommodation and Services
Accommodation is available in bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and hotels and self-catering cottages, you will be sure to find something that suits your preferences.
There are camping sites, touring sites and caravan parks in Haverfordwest and vicinity, including Newgale and Broadhaven.