Haverfordwest owes its existence to its location on the River Cleddau which today flows through the centre of this bustling market town. It was the first place on the river which afforded a safe opportunity to ford the Western Cleddau, hence its name which is derived from the Old English word haefer, meaning buck or he-goat. It was the place where goats crossed the river.
It was at this point that Henry Tudor crossed with his army after landing at Dale in August 1485 on his way to Bosworth Field, where he defeated Richard III and became King Henry VII, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.
It was also the highest tidal point of the river and in later years became a thriving port with coastal and foreign vessels sailing right into the centre of town to deal in such cargoes as salt, iron, wines and apples from the orchards of the Forest of Dean. Exports, which contributed to Haverfordwest being regarded during the reign of Elizabeth I as the second largest port in Wales, included coal, slates, butter, oats, wheat, barley, hides and wool.
The Haverfordwest of today has the feel of a bustling market town with a character that has developed over several hundred years of brisk trade. The steep streets and old houses tell tales of years of commerce gone by, with monuments to old markets contrasting with those that still exist.
Graphic sourced with thanks from Haverfordwest-Wales
Graphic sourced with thanks from Brown.edu/Haverfordwest
Haverfordwest Town Centre Partnership - Information on local shops ...
Haverford West Home Page
BBC town site for Haverfordwest - stories, galleries, what's on & more.
Haverfordwest County Official Website
Knowhere: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Inside Information.