Tenby Castle
Tenby Castle
13th century castle walls remain along with a ruined gate and a tower. The town's defensive walls are very well preserved, and indeed may be considered of greater historical interest than the rather scanty castle ruins. The first castle here was built by an unknown Norman lord sometime before 1156, when it was captured by Lord Rhys.
Tenby was sacked by Rhys's son Maelgwyn in 1187, and again by Llewelyn ap Gruffudd in 1260. To add an extra measure of defense the extensive town walls were built by William de Valence. The walls served their purpose, saving Tenby from an attack by Owain Glyndwr's French allies in 1405.

In 1873 the town council wanted to pull down the medieval walls, but were prevented by the efforts of a certain Dr Chater. As a result, we can get a good idea of what most Welsh medieval town walls would have looked like (leaving aside the very grand and extensive walls at major centres like Caernarfon and Conwy).

As for the castle, it was built on a promontory joined to the mainland by a narrow neck of land, and linked to the medieval town walls. The most prominent features of the castle are the D-shaped gatehouse, with barbican defenses, and the stump of a stone keep with a stair turret.

This is the smallest 'great tower' of any castle in Wales, and may have been isnpired by the great tower at Pembroke Castle. Beside the gatehouse is the residential block, now serving as the town museum of Tenby.  The museum boasts displays on the archaeology, geology, maritime, and natural history of the Tenby area, plus local art and exhibits relating to the Castlemartin (Pembrokeshire) Yeomanry.