Pembroke — Understanding Urban Character

Pembroke from the air (Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales).

Pembroke from the air (Crown Copyright: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales).

Pembroke is a unique and unusual town, rich in history and with a layered architecture firmly fixed in its earliest origins.

The town began as part of a Norman fortified settlement with one long main street bordered either side by narrow medieval burgage plots. Some of the earliest buildings survive near the castle and others may be hidden beneath later alterations. Their bare stonework is visible, but development of the early town from the Georgian period onwards has given Pembroke a character of coloured stucco and render, which reflects its rise in the eighteenth century from a neglected medieval town to a regional trading centre.

Nineteenth-century regrowth took place as a result of the explosion of activity at nearby Pembroke Dock and further development has been a response to the influx of growing prosperity and commercial adaptation. Nevertheless, the town centre is medieval in plan with later buildings occupying the medieval layout and plot pattern.

This study of Pembroke includes the conservation area, Monkton and areas of later development to the south and north of the town. It is anticipated that it will be used by planning officers, developers, home owners and other interested parties when considering development within Pembroke and the surrounding area in order to sustain and enhance the character of the town.