An Afternoon at Pembroke Castle

Last Summer we started visiting castles local to us and the boys really enjoyed exploring and learning about their history.  One castle we wanted to visit was Pembroke Castle but we didn’t manage it last summer.  So at the beginning of this Summer holidays we decided to make the trip. 
Located in Pembroke, it is about an hours drive which isn’t to bad and there is lots to see on the journey.  Once in Pembroke the castle is easy to find.  Towering above the banks of the Pembroke River this majestic castle really is impressive at first sight.  
We parked below the castle where there was plenty of cheap parking.  We then made our way over the bridge and up the hill to the Castle entrance.  At the gate there is a gift shop and brass rubbing Centre.  There is a little hatch at the side of the shop to pay your entrance fee and also the option to buy a guide to the castle.  Once paid we made our way to through the castle gatehouse where you could either walk through into the courtyard or take one of two flights of stairs which led to into the castle battlements and various rooms.  We decided to go out into the courtyard to have a look around first before exploring.  Once in the courtyard the sheer size of the castle hits you and the level of preservation.  On the day we visited there was a reenactment group there setting up demonstrations.  It was great fun to watch and see how they cooked and the sorts of things they ate etc. 

 We were all hungry so decided to head to the cafe which is located at one side of the courtyard.  They was also a BBQ available bit we opted for sandwiches which we took back out into the courtyard to eat at a table.  It was quite busy for a Sunday afternoon but it wasn’t overcrowded so you could watch the demonstrations and people exploring the grounds.    

The boys were eager to go and explore the castle and wanted to climb to the battlements so while I sat and fed Erin, dad of three took them off to explore.  After fifteen minutes I was able to go and explore myself with Erin.  We headed over to the opposite side of the courtyard where there were several doorways and stairs leading into rooms and up to the battlements.  Towards the back of the castle there was an archery demonstration taking place.   Shortly after I reappeared from a room the boys came running over excitedly telling me what they had seen.  Dad of three had managed to take a fantastic panoramic photo of the castle.  The boys wanted ice cream so we headed over to the ice cream seller and then found a nice shady spot.  

Then it was my chance to go and explore the inside of the castle with the older boys while Dad of three sat and relaxed in the sun with the younger two.  Trystan and Luc wanted to take me to the places they had discovered with their dad.  It was great fun climbing up the spiral staircases in the Barbican Tower, Henry VII Tower and the Monkton Tower and discovering the exhibitions in the rooms off each staircase.  Then walking along the long corridors to the next tower and set of staircases and rooms.  Then climbing up to the battlements to walk.  The attention to detail within each exhibition was fantastic and the boys were enthralled with the scenes, wanting to know what each one was.  I loved being able to explore all the nooks and cranny’s of the castle as its been a long time since I had visited such a large well preserved castle.  It was great to see how enthralled the boys were by it as well.  

There is evidence that the site that Pembroke Castle stands on has been used for the past 12,000 years in one form or another.  From the Wogan (the cave beneath the castle which was used as a shelter in the Ice Age) to evidence of a Iron Age Fort, A timber Castle from 1093-1204 (Pembroke 1)to the Stone built Castle from 1204-1247(Pembroke II).  Then from 1247 to 1457 The invincible Castle (Pembroke III) then from 1454 to 1642 The Tudor Mansion (Pembroke IV).  During the civil war the castle under went more changes (1642-1648 Pembroke V) when the castle was destroyed to the Castle being restored again from 1880 until the present day which is what can still be seen Pembroke VI.  (Information taken from the Castle Guide “Birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty”) 

After a good two hours we decided to go and look around the brass rubbing centre and gift shop on our way out.   The brass rubbing centre unfortunately was very busy so we decided not to wait on this occasion but said we would return to the castle again and hopefully have the chance to go a brass rubbing then.    

Walking back to the car we all agreed it had been an enjoyable afternoon out and we had thoroughly enjoyed exploring Pembroke Castle.  Since returning home I have read the castle guide and enjoyed learning more about the history of Pembroke Castle.   I would certainly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

7 thoughts on “An Afternoon at Pembroke Castle

  1. Coombe Mill says:

    That certainly is a proper castle! Perfect for young boys. When mine were the age of yours we used to visit Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, looks very similar with drawbridge and they had reenactment days too which they all adored. I just loved watching the awe on the boys faces as they went round! Thanks for sharing a great day out on Country Kids.

    1. welshmumof3 says:

      Yes it was lovely watching the boys faces as they went around exploring and the excitement at wanting to be the one to show us what they’d found.

  2. TheBoyandMe says:

    I’m really looking forward to showing The Boy some castles, but I have no idea how he’s going to react to them at all! This is the problem with a three year old! Last weekend we took him to the zoo and he couldn’t give two hoots about the animals when I thought he’d love them, today he was in feeding the pigs and goats in Coombe Mill!

    Popping over from Country Kids

    1. welshmumof3 says:

      Rowan’s 3yr and to be honest he loved the reenactment more but seemed to have enjoy the whole castle experience mode this year compared to last year.

  3. SusanKMann says:

    Looks like a fun day out x

  4. pinkoddy says:

    DS3 really wants to visit a castle and from your post I can really see why.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Visiting via Country kids

  5. That looks and sounds like a gorgeous place to visit. We go to South Wales a lot as my husband is from there, but the only time we have been to Pembrokeshire is to visit Folly Farm which my children adore. We must make the effort to go and properly explore.

    Visiting from Country Kids

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