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Pembrokeshire Principal Area
England Anglesey Flintshire Wrexham Denbighshire Conwy Gwynedd Ceredigion Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire Swansea Neath Port Talbot Bridgend Rhondda Cynon Taf Merthyr Tydfil Blaenau Gwent Caerphilly Vale of Glamorgan Cardiff Newport Torfaen Monmouthshire PowysPembrokeshire
About this picture
Administrative headquarters Haverfordwest
surface 1,590 km²
Residents 122,439 (2011)
Welsh speakers 29.4%
ISO 3166-2 GB-PEM
ONS code 00NS
St Govan's Head

Pembrokeshire ( Welsh : Sir Benfro ) is a principal area and traditional county in south-west Wales . The administrative seat is the city of Haverfordwest .


South West Wales extends from Swansea and the Gower Peninsula through Carmarthenshire to Pembrokeshire. The most south-westerly Welsh county is surrounded on three sides by the sea and has a coastline with a total length of 273 km, which belongs almost entirely to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park . With its numerous bays, cliffs and sandy beaches, this area is an important breeding ground for sea birds.

Pembrokeshire has a wavy surface; the Precelly hills in the northeastern part reach a height of 537 m at Foel Cwmcerwyn . In addition, numerous other ranges of hills traverse the country and run out into a multitude of foothills, of which St. David's Head is the westernmost and St. Govan's Head the southernmost. The north of the county is largely characterized by moorland and heathland . The remaining part is relatively flat and is used for agriculture.

A cove at Angle Bay across from Milford Haven is being cleaned of oil.

The coasts are steep, very fragmented and have many bays, several of which are excellent harbors. In the north are the Newport- and Fishguardbai, in the west the deep St. Bridesbai, in the southwest Milfordhaven. On the west and south coast there are numerous small islands and archipelagos, all of which are part of the national park: Caldey Island , Ramsey Island , St Catherine's Island , Skomer and Skokholm .

The largest rivers are the Afon Tywi , which forms the border with Cardiganshire, the Eastern Cleddau , the Western Cleddau and the River Solva .

Environmental disaster of 1996

On February 15, 1996 there was a serious environmental disaster caused by the crude oil tanker Sea Empress . The tanker hit a rock in the Milford Haven area , losing 74,000 tons of oil over the next few days. Much of the southern Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the coastal areas around Milford Haven were badly affected. Thousands of seabirds perished in the oil, and tourism also suffered from the misfortune. The Bundeswehr soldiers, who were stationed at Camp Merrion, Castlemartin, until 1996, helped clear up oil-contaminated sand and dead animals.


Pembroke Castle

In Pembrokeshire, a multitude of megalithic finds such as stone circles , megaliths and dolmens attest to the importance of the northwest region including the Preselly Hills in early history. Dyfed, as the area was called in the Middle Ages, fell nominally under the rule of the Prince of Wales in 877 . However, this did not prevent Scandinavian pirates from attacking the coastal cities; many place names along the coast attest to this, e.g. Tenby .

The Norman expansion began in 1090 with the construction of Pembroke Castle . The additional castles of Manorbier , Llawhaden and Narberth ultimately ensured that South Dyfed was isolated from the rest of Wales. In the 12th century, Flemings settled in the region, so that the south was soon more densely populated than North Dyfed in Welsh and English interests were more open. Under the rule of Gilbert de Clare , the first Count of Pembroke, the Norman stronghold became a Palatinate in 1138 .

In the meantime the Welsh managed to escape almost entirely from the English influence, but after repeated apostasy the Welsh princes compared themselves with the king in 1171 and recognized his sovereignty. However, the country was not fully subjugated until 1276 under King Edward I. In the time of Henry VIII , Pembroke finally became a formally English county in 1536, and from 1542 the region was subject to English jurisdiction.

Pembrokeshire is one of the thirteen traditional counties of Wales . Pembrokeshire was also a Welsh administrative county until 1974 and was then divided into the two districts of Preseli Pembrokeshire and South Pembrokeshire of the newly formed county of Dyfed . During the administrative reform of 1996, the two districts were merged to form the Principal Area Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire today has county status again.

Economy and Transport

In the interior of the country, agricultural use is the priority, while the coastal region is mainly developed for tourism. Industry and trade are concentrated in Pembroke Dock , the seat of the district administration. The older part of Pembroke now functions as a market town and tourist center. There are ferry services from Fishguard and Pembroke Dock to Cork and Rosslare , both locations in Ireland . One of the most important ports is the natural port of Milford Haven , which is also called by large oil tankers . Inland transport links are provided by rail ( Transport for Wales / Trafnidiaeth Cymru ) and a connection to the M4 motorway .

Cities and villages

Tenby Harbor


Green Bridge of Wales

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Official population figures 2011 ( MS Excel ; 291 kB)

Coordinates: 51 ° 51 ′  N , 4 ° 51 ′  W