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Haverfordwest Priory


Haverfordwest Priory has the exceptionally rare remains of medieval monastic gardens. The site comprises a 13th-century cloister garden and an extensive 15th-century formal garden. The formal garden has a grid of raised beds and paths. One of the beds is more elaborate than the rest. The layout was discovered, excavated and preserved in the 1980s and 1990s.

The priory was built in the marshy areas of the west bank of the Cleddau River, outside the town of Haverfordwest. The main entrance to it was on the north side, due to the slope to the west and the river to the east.

This wonderful ‘pleasure garden’, a place of enjoyment as well as contemplation, was a rarity in monastic circles, a reflection of the priory’s notable wealth. Artefacts from the excavations are on display at the Haverfordwest Town Museum.

There are substantial remains of a thirteenth century cruciform church, together with cloisters and claustral ranges which were redeveloped in the fifteenth century, and a tower dating to that later period. The largely intact remains of the medieval Priory Garden were discovered through excavation.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


03000 256000

Access contact details

1st April - 31st March

Daily 10am–4pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January


The site is close to the centre of Haverfordwest, and can be reached by bus, train or bicycle.



Welsh Government, Ty’r Afon, Bedwas Road, Caerphilly, CF83 8WT

The Augustinian priory was founded around 1200 by Robert FitzRichard, on the outskirts of the important market town of Haverfordwest. In addition to land, Robert donated the income to the Augustinians from three town churches: St. Thomas, St. Mary and St. Martin, in which the brothers were to conduct pastoral activity.

At the end of the thirteenth century, the monastery already had eight subordinate churches, in addition to Haverfordwest, temples at Camros, Llanstadwel, St. Ishmaels, Dale, and Haroldston.

Until the beginning of the 16th century, the convent flourished, was expanded, and fortunately avoided major shocks. This was probably due to the monks’ non-involvement in the Welsh rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century, thus avoiding damages and post-uprising repression.

In 1982 the Guild of Freemen of Haverfordwest gave it into State care, and there followed extensive excavation and conservation works.


Medieval (1066 to 1540)

Features & Designations


  • CADW Register of Landscapes Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales

  • Reference: PGW(Dy)62(PEM)
  • Grade: I
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument

  • Reference: Pe 017


  • Priory (featured building)
  • Description: The site has the remains of a church, cloister, chapter house and other buildings, built of local limestone and gritstone.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: There is an extensive mid-15th century formal garden, consisting of ten raised beds separated by narrow paths.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Key Information





Principal Building

Religious Ritual And Funerary


Medieval (1066 to 1540)


Part: ground/below ground level remains



Open to the public


Civil Parish