The Welsh language (Cymraeg) is central to the culture and history of Cymru (Wales as you may know it). The number of 'Welsh' speakers has been falling over the years and by now only 19% of the population of Cymru are 'Welsh' speakers. Being a colony of England, as the other colonies, eradicating languages has been used to eradicate nations. One of the reasons for the loss of language, for decades, is the out migration from Cymru which then creates vaccum for the immigration from England to the country.

In Pembrokeshire there is a notable divide between the prominence of the Welsh language in the north of the county, and its general absence in the south of the county, this invisible language boundry is known as the Landsker. More information can be seen here. The people of Cymru and in south Pembrokeshire who do not speak Cymraeg are awakening to their loss and more and more 'Welsh' schools are opening throughout Sir Benfro.

The terrirory of Pembrokeshire made up part of the kingdom of Deheubarth ruled by Rhys ap Tewdwr. In the 11th century came the Norman invasion, during the second half of this century the Normans captured southern Pembrokeshire away from the Welsh. In the years to come Tenby under Norman rule had to deal with a number of Welsh onslaughts on the town. (Most of Cymru had been recaptured by Gruffudd ap Cynan in 1101). One of the strongest campaigns to regain Dinbych y Pysgod was that of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in 1260. This is what prompted the Earl’s of Pembroke to improve the town’s defensive towers and gateways. You can see these today, the most impressive would be the present day Five Arches. For more history of th other parts of Sir Benfro visit this website.

In the 15th century, the country next door to Cymru (Wales), England, was in a grip of a civil war known as the War of the Roses, a war between the houses of Lancaster and York. In 1471, two members of the House of Lancaster, Jasper Tudor (Earl of Pembroke) and his nephew, Henry Tudor (born at Pembroke castle in 1457, Lancastrian claimant to the throne, and later Henry VII), fled to France from Pembroke with their rivals in hot pursuit. It is believed that a vaulted chamber and tunnels, running from beneath present day Boots towards the harbour, through the Harbwr flat of Hafod y Môr and out to the garden and to the sea, is what provided Jasper and Henry Tudor with refuge and means of an escape.

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