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A little bit of History

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 modern 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 devastating of which 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.

Concealing of the future king of Britain beneath Hafod y Môr

In the 15th century, nearby 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 below Hafod y Môr, is what provided Jasper and Henry Tudor with refuge and means of an escape. See An Official History of Tenby, Mark W Merrony.

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