Let the celebrations begin......2014 Bi-Centenary




PATER 1814 

The beginning for Pembroke Dock came in 1812, when a misunderstanding took place between the government and the late Honourable Robert Fulke Greville, proprietor of the land at Milford, where a dockyard was used by the Admiralty. The consequence was that Mr Stone, the master shipwright, whose observant eye had discovered the singularly advantageous situation of Pembroke Dock, then called Pater for a naval arsenal of the largest extent, recommended it to the Government, who on surveys being made, quickly took advantage of the proposition, and in 1814 H.M. Dockyard Pembroke was formally established by Order in Council of 31st October 1815.  

The Royal Dockyard was established on the south shore of the Cleddau River, between the remains of a 1757 zigzag fort, named so because of its shape, and a stone built tower, better known as Pater Church which today (2009) still stands defiantly within the former H.M. Dockyard, where in the opinion of some was an old Church; but there is good reason for believing that it was really a domestic building rather than ecclesiastical architecture.  It is certain that David de Patrick Church had a residence here.  'His daughter and sole heiress, Ellen, about the 1st of Henry VI., married John Adams, Esq., of Buckspool (Bierspool), several of whose posterity in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth served in Parliament for the town of Pembroke.'-Arch. Camb., vol. VI., 1851.  This old tower is in all probability all that is left of David de Patrick Church's family house.

On the other hand, it might well be said that the David de Patrick Church family derive their name from a local Patrick Church? Or was it their name that was best remembered, and did he not only live there but was he the lookout for Pembroke Castle which was and still is just two miles south.  

The map on page five is a copy of an undated Ordinance Survey showing the boundary of Pembroke and Pater Ward, and while it is difficult to read, those two areas are clearly shown.  That said you will see the Pater Ward is in the parish of St. Mary and starts close to the Pembroke River in the south up to the banks of the Cleddau River in the North.  You will also note that the East/West borders stretch from the Pennar mud flats on the west side, to the Lower Road known today as Ferry Lane on the east side.  Furthermore Upper Road now named Pembroke Road can also be seen, as can the track on which Pembroke Dock was initially built on.

Today that track is still in use; it starts at the corner of Commercial Row and Queen Street and continues via Queen Street, Dimond Street and Hawkstone Road all of whom were build on it, today the only remaining part of that track is the path known as ‘Bird Cage Walk’.  

At this stage I must bring to your notice that had Mr White (a sheep farmer) not taken the 4,455 offered by the Admiral in 1813 Pembroke Dock may never have existed today, Vivian Hay, who owns the Nut Shell shop on Queen Street, proudly reminds visitors that Mr White is an ancestor of his.  

The population of Pater Ward by 1831 was 3,076.  The population increased over the years as shown by the following Census returns:-

            Census             Inhabited Houses        Population.

            1851                1069                              6,236

            1861                1353                            10,190

            1871                1670                              9,622

            1881                1752                              9,871

            1891                1912                            10,481

                        2008                3950                              9,154

Up to 1891 the totals included; Military and Shipping Populations of Pembroke Dock, the other difficulty in recording accurately was the size of the Ward.  For instance Pater Ward up to around 1900/06 recorded houses which today are in Pembroke, and to this day the Population numbers do not count students who are away from home.   Read More........................



Pictures to follow..........but more can be found at Roberts Rambles