• david street

Pembroke Port: Photographs of a busy Pembrokeshire Port

The Royal Navy Dockyard was originally intended to be located on the Milford side of the Haven. However, due to a disagreement over price, the Royal Navy built its Dockyard in 1814 on the opposite shoreline not far from the town of Pembroke. The Dockyard, which built over 260 ships, became the seed around which Pembroke Dock grew and for over a century the town prospered. When the Dockyard closed in 1926, much of this prosperity went with it and the town has endured periods of boom and bust ever since.

Much of the infrastructure built during the Dockyards heyday still survives and in the years since its closure has found new uses. The former Royal Navy Dockyard has now become Pembroke Port and is owned and operated by The Milford Haven Port Authority, formerly the Milford Haven Conservancy Board which was created by an act of parliament in 1958. The slipways that once saw the launch of gunboats and battleships have been filled in to accommodate modern cargo ships. From Front Street beach, many of these vessels can be seen traveling along the Milford Haven waterway or maneuvering to offload their cargo on the quayside.

Cargo vessels aren't the only visitors to Pembroke Dock. A ferry terminal was built in 1979 and in 1992 Irish Ferries began operating a regular ferry service between Pembroke Dock and Rosslare in Ireland. For over 20 years the Isle of Inishmore sailed back and forth across the Irish sea. A drop in trade caused by Brexit saw her replaced by the smaller Blue Star 1 and placed on the Dublin-Calais route. Hopefully, this drop in trade won't be the start of another period of depression for Pembroke Dock.