Former Royal Dockyard Chapel, Pembroke Dock
This is the only Georgian military chapel which survives in Wales. It was built in the early 1830s for servicemen to attend Church of England services. By 1858 they had stopped attending because the chapel’s galleries were unsafe, and worship was arranged at a schoolroom in the barracks until the galleries had been reinforced.
The chapel’s choir would sing by the slipway when newly built ships were launched at the dockyard, after a religious service by the dockyard chaplain.
Memorials were installed in the chapel to naval officers and men lost at sea, including those of HMS Eurydice (which sank in a snow storm with the loss of 364 lives in 1878) and HMS Atalanta. The latter was a training ship until refitted at Pembroke Dock to replace HMS Eurydice but was lost, with all 280 crew, in January 1880 after its first voyage was cut short at Bermuda because yellow fever had broken out on board.
In 1909 a fire damaged the chapel’s pulpit and destroyed all windows except the Atalanta memorial. Worship continued at the chapel for decades after the dockyard closed in 1926. RAF personnel also used the building for entertainment, in which role it was known as the Garrison Theatre. It later housed a motor museum before standing empty for many years.
The building’s restoration finished in 2008, and now it’s home to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre. The Fleets to Flying Boats Centre, inside, displays models of ships built in Pembroke Dock, medals, uniforms, artefacts and documents. The centre complements the Flying Boat Visitor Centre, a short distance west along Fort Road. Both centres are managed by the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust. Please use the link below for details, including opening hours.
Postcode: SA72 6WS