Monday, 24 November 2014

PEMBROKE DOCK



Pembroke Dock was once home to a Royal Naval Dockyard, and there are reminders of that time in the form of the elegant Georgian architecture in the areas around the waterfront.  One example is the Garrison Chapel built in 1834 and originally used as a place of worship, although later incarnations include a theatre and a museum.  The chapel was restored with the help of lottery money, the work being completed in 2006.  Now the chapel houses the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, which, among other topics, tells the story of the 'flying boats' which used to be based in Pembroke Dock as well as the history of the dockyard as a whole.  The Centre aims to restore a  Sunderland flying boat; admission is free, though donations are welcomed.  The dockyard built 263 ships for the Royal Navy, including combat vessels and royal yachts, and its closure in 1926 had a devastating effect on the local economy.  Other notable buildings include the two Gun Towers, dating from the mid-19th century, one of which houses the town museum.

During the years 1930-1957 Pembroke Dock housed an RAF base, and was also home to the United Kingdom's largest operational flying boat base.  This made the town a prime target for World War II air raids.  In one attack in 1940 11 oil tanks caught fire, then in 1941 the town found itself in ruins following a series of raids.  Since 1979 Pembroke Dock has been the focal point for more peaceful pursuits, such as providing a ferry service for passengers crossing to Ireland.  Just inland from Pembroke Dock is Pembroke with its castle, occupying a location overlooking the estuary of the Pembroke River, an offshoot from the Cleddau.  The castle, which was restored in Victorian times and stands guard over the town of Pembroke, has seen a lot of action over the years, including an attack by Owain Glyndwr and a siege by Cromwell during the English Civil War.  Next to the castle is the town's main street, which has a mix of mainly Georgian and Victorian architecture.  

Map of the area. 


File:Martello Tower, Pembroke Dock - geograph.org.uk - 726626.jpg
Photo by Richard Fensome, via Wikimedia Commons

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