Pembroke Castle

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link_to_french_translationPembroke Castle

This castle was the birthplace in 1457 of Henry Tudor (Harri Tudur), who became King Henry VII in 1485 after defeating King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, near Leicester. Henry’s mother was a 13-year-old widow when she gave birth to him, and had been married twice!

A small inner bailey was built c.1093 at this strategic location, a promontory between two inlets. Roman coins have been found, suggesting earlier activity here. In the early 13th century the imposing stone tower, c.24m in height, was built. This and the castle’s twin courts were enclosed by walls and towers over the following 100 years or so. The structure was damaged after a Civil War siege in 1648 and restored in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This is the only castle in Britain built above a natural cave, known as the Wogan. Visitors can walk down to the cave in the tunnel created as a supply route from the waterside.

The castle is now owned and managed by Pembroke Castle Trust, which provides exhibitions and activities to help bring history to life.

Henry Tudor was grandson of Owain Tudur of Penmynydd, Anglesey, who had served illustriously in the army of King Henry V. Owain married the king’s widow, Catherine de Valois, after the king’s death. One of their sons, Edmund, married the 12-year-old heiress Margaret Beaufort in 1455 but he died the following year, after being illegally imprisoned in Carmarthen Castle.

Margaret gave birth to Henry three months later, when she was 13 years old. She had no more children, despite remarrying and living until 1509. There has been speculation that childbirth at such a young age left her infertile.

Henry lived in exile in Brittany and France during the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century. In 1485 Henry landed at Mill Bay, near Dale, Pembrokeshire, to stake his claim. He marched through Wales, gathering support from landowners and swelling his army. After defeating Richard III at Bosworth, he was crowned King Henry VII – the last king to win the crown on the battlefield. The ensuing Tudor dynasty had a profound influence on the development of Britain as we know it today.

Postcode: SA71 4LA    View Location Map

Website of Pembroke Castle

Other MILITARY HiPoints in this region:
Pembroke war memorial
Carew war memorial
Air Sea Rescue base, Tenby – supported RAF’s local activities in Second World War

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