Haverfordwest is the county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 of Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is a county in the south west of Wales. It borders Carmarthenshire to the east and Ceredigion to the north east. The county town is Haverfordwest where Pembrokeshire County Council is headquartered....

, Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 and serves as the County's principal commercial and administrative centre. Haverfordwest is the most populous urban area in Pembrokeshire, with a population of 13,367 in 2001; though its community
Community (Wales)
A community is a division of land in Wales that forms the lowest-tier of local government in Wales. Welsh communities are analogous to civil parishes in England....

 boundaries make it the second most populous settlement in the county, with 10,812 people.

Haverfordwest is 6 miles away from the village of Broad Haven
Broad Haven
Broad Haven is a village in the south east corner of St Bride's Bay at the terminus of the B4341 in south Pembrokeshire, Wales. Broad Haven is part of the Havens division of Pembrokeshire County Council. The 2001 census records a population of 1,328 for the Havens...

, part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a national park along the Pembrokeshire coast in West Wales.It was established as a National Park in 1952, and is the only one in the United Kingdom to have been designated primarily because of its spectacular coastline...

, the United Kingdom's only coastal national park, which attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Haverfordwest is twinned with German town of Oberkirch
Oberkirch (Baden)
Oberkirch is a town in Western Baden-Württemberg, Germany about 12 km North-East of Offenburg and belongs to the Ortenaukreis district....



Haverfordwest serves as the market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 for most of the county
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 of Pembrokeshire. It forms an important road network hub between other towns in Pembrokeshire such as Milford Haven
Milford Haven
Milford Haven is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is situated on the north side of the Milford Haven Waterway, a natural harbour used as a port since the Middle Ages. The town was founded in 1790 on the north side of the Waterway, from which it takes its name...

, Pembroke Dock
Pembroke Dock
Pembroke Dock is a town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, lying north of Pembroke on the River Cleddau. Originally a small fishing village known as Paterchurch, the town was greatly expanded from 1814 onwards following the construction of a Royal Naval Dockyard...

, Fishguard
Fishguard is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, with a population of 3,300 . The community of Fishguard and Goodwick had a population of 5043 at the 2001 census....

 and St David's
St David's
St Davids , is a city and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Lying on the River Alun on St David's Peninsula, it is Britain's smallest city in terms of both size and population, the final resting place of Saint David, the country's patron saint, and the de facto ecclesiastical capital of...

, as a result of its position at the tidal limit of the western Cleddau
River Cleddau
The River Cleddau consists of the Eastern and Western Cleddau rivers in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. They unite to form the Daugleddau estuary, which forms the important harbour of Milford Haven....

 river. The majority of the town, comprising the old parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

es of St. Mary, St. Martin and St. Thomas, lies on the right (west) bank of the river. On the left bank are the suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

s of Prendergast and Cartlett. At this point, a pair of sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 ridges extending east-west and separated by a deep, narrow valley, are cut through by the western Cleddau. This leaves two high spurs on the west side of the river. On the northern spur, the castle and its surrounding settlement form the core of St Martin's parish. On the southern spur, the High Street ascends steeply from the river, and forms the core of St Mary's parish. From the foot of each spur, ancient bridges cross the river to Prendergast: St Martin's Bridge ("the Old Bridge") and St Mary's Bridge ("the New Bridge", built in 1835). St Thomas's parish occupies the south side of the southern spur. From these core areas, the town has spread, mainly along the ridges. In addition to the four ancient parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

es, the remains of an Augustinian priory
Haverfordwest Priory
Haverfordwest Priory was a house of Augustinian Canons Regular on the banks of the Western Cleddau at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was founded around 1200 on land given by Robert Fitztancard, the lord of Haverfordwest...

 are visible at the southern edge of the town.


The name of the town means "ford used by fat cows" from Old English hæfar=heifer, fat cows. In local dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

, it is pronounced "harford". The Welsh language
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 name is said by B.G. Charles to be "merely a corruption of the English name", and as such has no meaning in Welsh. Another claim is that Tudor period
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

 monarchs called it "Hereford or Hertford in the West", to distinguish it from either the English Hereford
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately east of the border with Wales, southwest of Worcester, and northwest of Gloucester...

 in Herefordshire
Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire" NUTS 2 region. It also forms a unitary district known as the...

 or Hertford
Hertford is the county town of Hertfordshire, England, and is also a civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of the county. Forming a civil parish, the 2001 census put the population of Hertford at about 24,180. Recent estimates are that it is now around 28,000...

 in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

. The veracity of these competing explanations of the name origin continue to be a matter of debate amongst scholars and linguistic experts.


It seems likely that such an obvious strategic location would have been settled in some way from an early date. Some have asserted that there is no documentary or archaeological evidence of a settlement on the site before the 12th century, when the first Norman architecture
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 was established. However archaeological discoveries in Pembrokeshire suggest otherwise. Edward Llwyd's note to Camden's "Britannia" (ed. 1695) refers to a valuable find of silver coins at Llanboidy, the latest coin being one of Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

 struck in AD 91. In the 1920s Sir Mortimer Wheeler
Mortimer Wheeler
Brigadier Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler CH, CIE, MC, FBA, FSA , was one of the best-known British archaeologists of the twentieth century.-Education and career:...

 partially excavated a Roman dwelling or villa at Wolfscastle (work restarted in 2002 by Professor Merroney).

The scores of Iron Age and Roman coinage and artefact discoveries, and excavations by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust under the direction of Heather James at Carmarthen (Maridunum) in the 1980s point convincingly to significant Roman penetration to this westernmost part of Wales. In 1992 aerial photography identified a Roman road running west of Carmarthen past Wiston to Poyston Cross, raising the possibility of Roman fortlets at strategic river crossings at Whitland and Haverfordwest.

The strategic position of Haverfordwest with its defensive bluff overlooking the lowest fordable point on the Western Cleddau and accessible to sea traffic would have required a Roman presence, probably modest in scale, from the first century AD to protect supplies to and from the coast. (The Roman legionary headquarters at Caerleon were roofed with slates from the lower slopes of the Preselly mountains.)

James Phillips, in (The History of Pembrokeshire) (published 1909) records a find of Roman silver coins in Haverfordwest, the earliest dated coin a Valerian
- Botany :* Valeriana, a genus of plants* Valerian , a medicinal plant* Red valerian, a garden flower, Centranthus ruber - People :* Valerian - Botany :* Valeriana, a genus of plants* Valerian (herb), a medicinal plant* Red valerian, a garden flower, Centranthus ruber - People :* Valerian...

 and the latest a Claudius Gothicus. The museum in which the coins were deposited has been "scattered to the winds" and the whereabouts of the coins is unknown. Phillips claimed that the pre-Norman name of Haverfordwest was Caer Alun, so named by the Emperor Maximus
Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus , also known as Maximianus and Macsen Wledig in Welsh, was Western Roman Emperor from 383 to 388. As commander of Britain, he usurped the throne against Emperor Gratian in 383...

 (Macsim Gwledig). His sources are not given but the Cambro-Briton in 1822 also recorded that Maximus, the last Roman Emperor of Britain, a man who for a time divided the Roman Empire with Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

, on withdrawing Roman legions from Britain granted civic status and Celtic names to a number of pacified Romano British settlements, including Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon times are only its beginnings...

, Old Sarum
Old Sarum
Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, in England. The site contains evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BC. Old Sarum is mentioned in some of the earliest records in the country...

 near Salisbury, Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648....

 (Caerfyrddin) and Haverfordwest (Caer Alun). Maximus had married Elen, a Welsh noblewoman, and they had three sons. Phillips claims that the name actually given to the town was Caer Elen, in honour of his wife (the name later changing to Caer Alun).

Medieval period

The ecclesiastical centre of the area (perhaps the seat of a bishop in the Age of the Saints) was probably one of the several churches of the local St Ismael, most probably St. Ishmael's
St. Ishmael's
St Ishmael's is a village and community close to the harbour of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales.The community comprises most of the parish of St. Ishmael's and had a population of 490 at the 2001 census. The ward includes the communities of Herbrandston, Dale and Marloes and St. Brides, and...

. This occurred around 1110.

The proposition that Haverfordwest Castle was founded by Tancred, a Flemish
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

 marcher lord is questionable. The Marcher Lords were not Flemish but Norman Barons originally along the Marches (English-Welsh border). The castle is recorded as having been founded in 1100 by the Norman Gilbert de Chuv. The Flemings, said to have arrived in three groups in 1107, 1111 and 1151, are likely to have participated in its later development for their own and the Normans' protection from the Welsh warlords. It is recorded that the Constable of the castle in 1207 was Itohert son of Richard Tancard - possibly a descendant of the first Tancred.
The Flemish presence, reputed to result from floods in the Low Countries, was more likely to have consisted initially of Flemish mercenaries originally in the invading army of William the Conqueror, who in reward for their part in William's victory were granted lands in parts of Northern Britain, and in Wales in the Gower
Gower Peninsula
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. Locally it is known as "Gower"...

, and Geraldus Cambrensis recorded their presence in the Hundred of Roose
Roose or Roosecote is a suburb and ward of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The word 'roose' is Celtic for "moor" or "heath" and the suffix 'cote' of Roosecote means "hut" or "huts"...

 in Pembrokeshire.

A Fleming, Wizo, who died in 1130 founded at Wiston a motte and bailey fortification, forerunner of the stone castle, for protection against the Welsh warlords: the Flemings were reportedly unpopular wherever they settled. The precarious position of Normans and Flemings was demonstrated in 1136 when the Normans, having already lost 500 men in battle at Loughor, re-recruited from Lordships from all over South Wales and led by Robert fitz Martin
Robert fitz Martin
Robert fitz Martin was a Norman knight and first Lord of Cemais, Wales.-Family background:Robert fitz Martin was born some time in the late 11th century to Geva de Burci, heiress of Serlo de Burci, and an otherwise unknown man called Martin.Geva de Burci's second husband was William de Falaise,...

 at Crug Mawr near Cardigan attacked Owain Gwynedd and his army. Routed, they fled over the Teifi Bridge which collapsed; the retreating Normans drowning under the weight of their armour. Their leader Richard de Clare had previously been intercepted and killed by Iorwerth ab Owen. Wiston and the castle were overrun in 1147 by Hywel Sais, son of the Lord Rhys. Ranulf Higden in his Polychronicus records the Flemings as extinct in Pembrokeshire by 1327 but Flemish mercenaries reappear in 1400 when at the behest of Henry IV
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

 they joined an army of 1500 English settlers who marched north from Pembrokeshire to attack the army of Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndwr
Owain Glyndŵr , or Owain Glyn Dŵr, anglicised by William Shakespeare as Owen Glendower , was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales...

 at Mynydd Hyddgen. The attack was repulsed with heavy casualties and legend has it that English prisoners were spared but surviving Flemish mercenaries were massacred or sold into slavery.

Haverfordwest rapidly grew, initially around the castle and St Martin's church (the settlement being called Castletown), then spreading into the High Street area. It immediately became the capital of the hundred of Roose
Roose (hundred)
The Hundred of Roose was a hundred in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was formed by the Act of Union of 1536 and was essentially identical to the pre-Norman cantref of Rhos. It derives its Welsh name from its position nearly surrounded by water, bounded east by the tidal Western Cleddau, south by Milford...

 (part of Little England beyond Wales
Little England beyond Wales
Little England beyond Wales is a name applied to an area of southern Pembrokeshire and southwestern Carmarthenshire in Wales, which has been English in language and culture for many centuries despite its remoteness from the English border...

), and because of its pivotal position, the commercial centre of western Dyfed
Dyfed is a preserved county of Wales. It was created on 1 April 1974 under the terms of the Local Government Act 1972, and covered approximately the same geographic extent as the ancient Principality of Deheubarth, although excluding the Gower Peninsula and the area west of the River Tawe...

, which it has remained to this day. In common with other British towns, its growth was rapid during the period up to 1300, and its extent by then was much the same as it was in the early 19th century. That being the case, its population was probably around 4000-5000 - a large town by the standards of the time. It received its first marcher charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

 from William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke some time between 1213 and 1219, and obtained the lucrative trading privileges of an English borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

. It traded both by land and sea, and had a busy tidal quay on the river below the "New" Bridge. At least ten guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s operated, and there was significant woollen cloth manufacture. On 30 April 1479, the town was designated a county corporate
County corporate
A county corporate or corporate county was a type of subnational division used for local government in England, Ireland and Wales.Counties corporate were created during the Middle Ages, and were effectively small self-governing counties...

 by a charter of Edward, Prince of Wales
Edward V of England
Edward V was King of England from 9 April 1483 until his deposition two months later. His reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III...

, with the aim of supporting a campaign against piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 in local waters. It shared this distinction only with Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648....

 and a few towns in England, and remained officially "The Town and County of Haverfordwest" until the abolition of the borough in 1974.
In common with other large towns in Europe, Haverfordwest was hit hard by the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 in 1348, suffering both depopulation (perhaps by more than 50%) and diminution of trade. Large parts of the town were abandoned, and it did not start to recover until the Tudor
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

 period. At the end of the 17th century, the town was still significantly smaller than in 1300. In 1405, the town was burned by the French allies of Owen Glendower, although in its early history Haverfordwest suffered less than most towns in Wales from such depredations.


During the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, the burgesses of the borough supported Parliament, while the ruling gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

 were Royalist. As a result there was considerable conflict, and the town changed hands five times. There followed a period of stagnation in which the comparative status of the town declined. Haverfordwest today has the air of a typical small country market town, but the centre still conveys the feel of the important mediaeval borough. The once run-down riverside area has been renovated and Bridge Street has been pedestrianised and improved.

The town has been English-speaking for centuries (south Pembrokeshire being known as 'Little England Beyond Wales'), but because the town markets traded the goods of Welsh farmers to the north and east, there has always been a significant Welsh-speaking influence and the air of a "frontier" town. The suburb of Prendergast seems to have originated as an extramural Welsh dormitory, dating from the times when all agricultural trade had to pass through the borough, and the fearful Normans before the destruction of Anglo-Norman power in 1136 tried to prevent Welshmen bearing arms from entering within the castle walls after nightfall.

Haverford Township, Haverford
Haverford, Pennsylvania
Haverford is an unincorporated community located partially in Haverford Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA, but primarily in Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County, about west of Philadelphia. It is on the Main Line, which is known historically for its wealth. As of August 2009,...

, and Havertown in Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, are all named after Haverfordwest.


For local government purposes the community of Haverfordwest comprises the Castle, Prendergast, Portfield, Priory and Garth wards. The community has its own town council and mayor.

Pembrokeshire County Council conducted an extensive review of community boundaries in 2007 which made a number of submissions to the boundary commission for Wales. These submissions included a number of recommendations for the extension of the Haverfordwest community boundary where there had been perceived community overspill due to housing developments. These suggestions were mostly implemented, with one significant exception leading to an increase in the number of electors in the Haverfordwest community. One area of contention concerned the status of the once separate village of Merlin's Bridge which continues to have its own community council despite its close proximity to Haverfordwest and a degree of community over-spill. As such the connurbation of Haverfordwest and Merlin's Bridge is the most populous urban area in Pembrokeshire though Haverfordwest's community boundaries mean it is only the second most populous settlement in the county after Milford Haven...

Haverfordwest is part of the Preseli Pembrokeshire National Assembly for Wales constituency and UK Parliamentary constituency. The local Assembly Member is Paul Davies of the Conservative Party and the local Member of Parliament is Stephen Crabb also a Conservative.


In accordance with its status as a sub regional hub-town, Haverfordwest continues to seve as Pembrokeshire's principal commercial and retail centre. Recent years have seen the development of the river-side shopping centre. More recently still there has been significant retail development in the suburb of Withybush on the outskirts of the town with the construction of a Marks and Spencer store which opened in 2010. Concerns about the relative decline of the historic town centre compared to the growth of the out-of-town centre retail centres at Withybush has led to Welsh historian John Davies
John Davies (historian)
John Davies is a Welsh historian, and a television and radio broadcaster.Davies was born in the Rhondda, Wales, and studied at both University College, Cardiff, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He is married with four children...

 expressing his concern that Haverfordwest was becoming "a medieval town surrounded by tin sheds".


  • Haverfordwest Grammar School, 1488-1978, was for a period in the 20th Century one of only two Public Schools in the whole of Wales.

  • The town's current generation of young people are served by Sir Thomas Picton School
    Sir Thomas Picton School
    Sir Thomas Picton School is a secondary school in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, with around 1250 students, 200 of whom are in Years 12 and 13...

     & Tasker Milward School
    Tasker-Milward V.C. School
    Tasker Milward Voluntary Controlled School is an English medium secondary school in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. It has over 1,000 students...

    . These comprehensive schools provide secondary education and serve both the town and its surrounding areas. Both schools have a pupil roll of approximately 1,200 each.

  • Pembrokeshire college, an affiliated college of the University of Glamorgan, is sittuated in the Merlin's Bridge suburb of the town. The college serves as the principal centre of further and higher education in Pembrokeshire.

Sport and leisure

Haverfordwest County A.F.C., an association football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 team, play at New Bridge Meadow Stadium
Bridge Meadow Stadium
New Bridge Meadow Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Haverfordwest, Wales. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of Haverfordwest County F.C.. The stadium holds 2,000 people.-References:...

. They play in the Principality Building Society
Principality Building Society
Principality is a Welsh building society based in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. With assets of just under £6bn it is the largest building society in Wales and the seventh largest in the United Kingdom. Principality Building Society is mutual, which means it is owned by its members rather than...

 Welsh Premier League. The town is also home to rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 club, Haverfordwest RFC
Haverfordwest RFC
Haverfordwest Rugby Football Club is a rugby union team from the town of Haverfordwest, West Wales. The club is a member of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a feeder club for the Llanelli Scarlets.-Club Badge:...

 which formed in 1885, and Haverfordwest Cricket Club.

In 2009 Haverfordwest's sports and leisure provision benefitted from significant investment with the opening of a new £8 million Leisure Centre sittuated at St. Thomas Green. The large facility boasts a 25m, eight-lane swimming pool with an adjoining learner pool and seating for 350 spectators. Additional features include a multi-purpose sports hall, four badminton courts with gymnastic provision, a dance studio and a two-storey health and fitness suite.

Sir Thomas Picton School, one of the towns two secondary schools, also benefits from a wide range of sporting facilities including a purpose built sports centre, hockey pitch, astro-turf and full sized athletics track.


  • Withybush General Hospital is the main hospital of West Wales
    West Wales
    West Wales is the western area of Wales.Some definitions of West Wales include only Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, an area which historically comprised the Welsh principality of Deheubarth., an area called "South West Wales" in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics....

     and part of the Hywel Dda NHS Trust
    Hywel Dda NHS Trust
    Hywel Dda Local Health Board is a local health board in Wales which was established on 1 October 2009 from the merger of the Hywel Dda NHS Trust, the Pembrokeshire Local Health Board, Ceredigion Local Health Board and Carmarthenshire Local Health Board. The local health board is named in honour...

     formally Pembrokeshire & Derwen NHS Trust.


Haverfordwest Bus Station is located beside Riverside Quay Shopping Centre. It has six bus stops with two additional bays for coach drop off/pickup. Haverfordwest is serviced by Haverfordwest (Withybush) airport. Haverfordwest railway station
Haverfordwest railway station
Haverfordwest railway station serves the town of Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire.The usual service pattern is one train every two hours in each direction, southwards to Milford Haven railway station and northwards to Manchester Piccadilly via , and ....

 is on the West Wales Line
West Wales Line
The West Wales Lines are a group of railway lines from Swansea through Carmarthenshire to Pembrokeshire, West Wales...


Forming one of the major "road hubs" of West Wales the town is at the junction of A40
A40 road
The A40 is a major trunk road connecting London to Fishguard, Wales and officially called The London to Fishguard Trunk Road in all legal documents and Acts...

, A4076
A4076 road
The A4076 is an A road in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK linking Haverfordwest with Milford Haven.The road begins at the roundabout junction with the A40 near Haverfordwest railway station. It Ends in the town centre of Milford Haven....

 and A487
A487 road
The A487 is a trunk road in Wales, running up the western side of the country from Haverfordwest in the south to Bangor in the north.It starts at Merlin's Bridge near Haverfordwest, from where it travels north west to St David's, then switches back north east through Fishguard, Cardigan, Aberaeron,...

 roads as well as several rural B roads. The A40 connects Haverfordwest with Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648....

 to the east and Fishguard
Fishguard is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, with a population of 3,300 . The community of Fishguard and Goodwick had a population of 5043 at the 2001 census....

 to the north; the A4076 connects Haverfordwest with Milford Haven
Milford Haven
Milford Haven is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is situated on the north side of the Milford Haven Waterway, a natural harbour used as a port since the Middle Ages. The town was founded in 1790 on the north side of the Waterway, from which it takes its name...

 to the south; the A487 connects Haverfordwest with St David's
St David's
St Davids , is a city and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Lying on the River Alun on St David's Peninsula, it is Britain's smallest city in terms of both size and population, the final resting place of Saint David, the country's patron saint, and the de facto ecclesiastical capital of...

 to the north west.

There have been numerous calls over the years for the A40 trunk road between St. Clears and Haverfordwest to be upgraded to dual carriageway standard. The Welsh Assembly Government gave approval for this upgrade in 2002 but the plan was later axed in 2005 due to "spiralling costs".

Notable people

See :Category:People from Haverfordwest

  • Christian Bale
    Christian Bale
    Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses....

    , who played the protagonist in Empire of the Sun
    Empire of the Sun (film)
    Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age war film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, and Nigel Havers...

    and Batman
    Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

     in Batman Begins
    Batman Begins
    Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

    and its sequel The Dark Knight
    The Dark Knight (film)
    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

    , was born in Haverfordwest in 1974.
  • Lauren Walker
    Lauren Walker
    Lauren Walker is an English female footballer who usually plays at either left-back or left midfield. She currently plays for Blackburn Rovers Ladies. She hails from Birches Head, Staffordshire.-Club career:...

    , Famous Blondie, was born in Haverfordwest in 1993.
  • Geraint Wyn Davies
    Geraint Wyn Davies
    Geraint Wyn Davies is a British-Canadian-American actor.He was born on 20 April 1957 in Britain, at Swansea. He was the son of a Congregationalist preacher...

    , a Welsh-Canadian actor, spent his early life in the town, where his father was the Congregational Church Minister.
  • Simon Davies, a footballer who has played for Fulham
    Fulham F.C.
    Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

     and Wales
    Wales national football team
    The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales , the governing body for football in Wales, and the third oldest national football association in the world. The team have only qualified for a major international...

    , was born in Haverfordwest.
  • Mark Delaney, a footballer who played for Cardiff City
    Cardiff City F.C.
    Cardiff City Football Club are a Welsh professional football club based in Cardiff, Wales. The club competes in the English football pyramid and is currently playing in the Football League Championship. Cardiff City is the best supported football club in Wales, averaging approximately 22,500 for...

    , Aston Villa
    Aston Villa F.C.
    Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder...

    , and Wales
    Wales national football team
    The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales , the governing body for football in Wales, and the third oldest national football association in the world. The team have only qualified for a major international...

    , was also born in Haverfordwest.
  • Connie Fisher
    Connie Fisher
    Connie Fisher is a Welsh actress and singer, who won the BBC One talent contest, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?...

    , the winner of the BBC talent show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
    How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
    How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? was a British television talent series, that was broadcast on Saturday evenings on BBC One between 29 July and 16 September 2006. It documented the search for a new, undiscovered musical theatre performer to play the role of Maria von Trapp in the 2006 Andrew...

    , actress and singer from The Sound of Music, lived in Haverfordwest from the age of six.
  • June and Jennifer Gibbons
    June and Jennifer Gibbons
    June and Jennifer Gibbons , were identical twins who grew up in Wales. They became known as 'The Silent Twins' owing to their choice to communicate only with their immediate family. They began writing works of fiction but turned to crime in a bid for recognition...

    , the selective mute
    Selective mutism
    Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder in which a person, most often a child, who is normally capable of speech is unable to speak in given situations, or to specific people...

     twins, whose story gained international interest after Marjorie Wallace
    Marjorie Wallace
    Marjorie Wallace is an American model, actress, beauty queen and television presenter. In 1973, Wallace made history as the first American to be crowned Miss World. But just 104 days later, pageant officials stunned the UK when they announced Wallace would be the first Miss World to have her title...

     documented their story, lived in Haverfordwest for much of their childhood.
  • Simon Halliday
    Simon Halliday
    Simon John Halliday is a former English rugby union international. He also played nine first-class cricket cricket matches...

    , an England rugby union international, was born in Haverfordwest.
  • Rhys Ifans
    Rhys Ifans
    Rhys Ifans is a Welsh actor and musician. He is known for his portrayal of characters such as Spike in Notting Hill and Jed Parry in Enduring Love and as a member of the Welsh rock groups Super Furry Animals and The Peth. Ifans also appeared as Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly...

    , who starred in the 1997 black comedy Twin Town
    Twin Town
    Twin Town is a 1997 revenge comedy film made and set in South West Wales. It was directed by Kevin Allen and had a working title of Hot Dog; a hot dog van features in a number of scenes in the film. It stars real-life brothers Rhys Ifans and Llŷr Ifans and also features Dougray Scott...

    and played Hugh Grant's delusional flatmate in Notting Hill
    Notting Hill
    Notting Hill is an area in London, England, close to the north-western corner of Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

    , was born in Haverfordwest in 1968.
  • Tori James, an explorer and the youngest woman to climb Mount Everest
    Mount Everest
    Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

    , was brought up in Haverfordwest.
  • Gwen John
    Gwen John
    Gwendolen Mary John was a Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. She is noted for her still lifes and for her portraits, especially of anonymous female sitters...

    , an artist, was born in Haverfordwest; and her brother Augustus John
    Augustus John
    Augustus Edwin John OM, RA, was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom....

    , also an artist, lived above the current Lloyds TSB offices.
  • Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked tens of thousands of US Military documents
    Arrest of Bradley Manning
    Bradley E. Manning is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed restricted material to the website WikiLeaks. He was charged in July that year with transferring classified data onto his personal computer, and communicating national defense...

    , lived in Haverfordwest with his mother for most of his adolescent life.
  • Peter Morgan
    Peter Morgan (rugby player)
    Peter Morgan is a former Welsh international rugby union player. In 1980 he toured South Africa with the British Lions and at the time played club rugby for Llanelli RFC.-Playing career:...

    , a councillor, mayor and rugby player (Llanelli, Wales and British Lions) born locally and went to school in Haverfordwest.
  • Fiona Phillips
    Fiona Phillips
    Fiona Phillips is an English journalist, broadcaster and television presenter.-Early life:Phillips was born in Kent and Canterbury Hospital in 1961. Her grandparents ran the Duke's Head pub in Church Street St. Paul's. Phillips attended Kingsmead Primary School...

    , a former television presenter on GMTV
    GMTV was the national Channel 3 breakfast television contractor, broadcasting in the United Kingdom from 1 January 1993 to 3 September 2010. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of ITV plc. in November 2009. Shortly after, ITV plc announced the programme would end...

    , lived in Haverfordwest from the age of 18.
  • Greg Pickersgill
    Greg Pickersgill
    Greg Pickersgill, born in Haverfordwest, Wales in 1951, is an influential British science fiction fan. He lived in London between 1971 and 1992, then returned to Haverfordwest....

    , an influential British
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     science fiction fan
    Science fiction fandom
    Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or "fandom" of people actively interested in science fiction and fantasy and in contact with one another based upon that interest...

    , was born in Haverfordwest in 1951 and lives there today.
  • Sir Thomas Picton, a British army general, was born in Haverfordwest and killed at the battle of Waterloo.
  • Picture Frame Seduction
    Picture Frame Seduction
    Picture Frame Seduction is a hardcore punk band from Haverfordwest, Wales. The band's influences included their peers of the day, Charged GBH and Discharge. With many other bands of the time like The Varukers, they helped develop the hardcore punk scene in the United Kingdom in the early to mid...

    , one of the pioneers of early hardcore punk rock
    Hardcore punk
    Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

     in the UK
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , formed in the town at the local Sir Thomas Picton School
    Sir Thomas Picton School
    Sir Thomas Picton School is a secondary school in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, with around 1250 students, 200 of whom are in Years 12 and 13...

     in 1978.
  • Gruff Rhys
    Gruff Rhys
    Gruffydd Maredudd Bowen Rhys is a Welsh musician, performing solo and with several bands, including Super Furry Animals who obtained mainstream success in the 1990s. He also most recently formed the electro-pop outfit Neon Neon with Boom Bip. Their album Stainless Style was nominated for the 2008...

    , the singer of indie rock
    Indie rock
    Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

     band Super Furry Animals
    Super Furry Animals
    Super Furry Animals are a Welsh rock band that lean towards psychedelic rock and electronic experimentation. Since their formation in Cardiff, Wales in 1993, the band has consisted of Gruff Rhys , Huw Bunford , Guto Pryce , Cian Ciaran and Dafydd Ieuan Super Furry Animals are a Welsh rock band...

    , was born here.
  • John Lort Stokes
    John Lort Stokes
    Admiral John Lort Stokes, RN was an officer in the Royal Navy who travelled on HMS Beagle for close to eighteen years.Stokes grew up in Scotchwell near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. He joined the Navy on 20 September 1824...

     was an officer in the Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     who travelled on HMS Beagle
    HMS Beagle
    HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames, at a cost of £7,803. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom in which...

  • Suggs, the lead singer of Madness
    Madness (band)
    In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

    , attended Haverfordwest Grammar School for Boys from 1970 to 1980.
  • Lucy Walter
    Lucy Walter
    Lucy Walter or Lucy Barlow was a mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. She is believed to have been born in 1630 or a little later at Roch Castle near Haverfordwest, Wales into a family of middling gentry...

    , the mistress of Charles II
    Charles II of England
    Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

    , was born at Roch Castle near Haverfordwest.
  • Waldo Williams
    Waldo Williams
    Waldo Williams was one of the leading Welsh language poets of the twentieth century. He was also a notable pacifist, anti-war campaigner, and Welsh nationalist.-Life:...

    , a pacifist and one of the most celebrated Welsh language poets of the twentieth century, was born in Haverfordwest.

External links

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