Haverfordwest Shire Hall in its full glory, as it was
Some of what remains, now
Read the full account here
Welcome to a rich heritage at the heart of beautiful Pembrokeshire
With some 12,000 inhabitants, Haverfordwest is not today the most populous town in Pembrokeshire, but it is so obviously the hub of the county that it is still the chief administrative centre (i.e. county town) as it has been for nearly five hundred years. It is a vitally important centre for shopping and for professional services (legal, accountancy, property, insurance) serving a huge area. It contains the county’s main hospital, and principal centre for further education. It is also a focal point for visitors to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Where we are: shading signifies Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (map opens in new window)
The map tells you a great deal more than where to find us. Notice how the roads radiate from Haverfordwest to everywhere else in West Wales. Drive north and in half an hour you will be in Fishguard. Head south for Pembroke, east for Carmarthen. For the 12th century cathedral of St Davids drive north-west out of the town. To reach Cardigan by the most direct route take the quiet B road that runs north-east over the Preseli hills. Milford Haven lies south-west, only seven miles distant. Tenby is to the south-east.
A larger scale map would reveal other things. The fact that the town has a castle indicates a medieval settlement. The existence of as many as four churches is unusual in a town of this size, suggesting that it has long been a place of considerable significance. The river which the town bestrides is quite narrow as it approaches from the north, but broadens out as it leaves. There would have been a ford here before any bridge was built. South of the town there are mud flats, evidence that the river is tidal. It flows into the sea via Milford Haven waterway, and was for centuries navigable by sea-going ships.
There must be a lot of history in a place like this - and a heritage worth preserving.