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.