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"TENBY (DYNBYCH Y PYSCOED), a parish, including the In-Liberty and the Out-Liberty (each of which separately maintains its own poor), the former constituting the borough, and comprising the seaport and market town of Tenby, and having exclusive jurisdiction, though locally in the hundred of Narberth (but Ralwins says Castlemartin hundred), county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 11 miles (E.) from Pembroke, 20 (S.E.) from Haverfordwest, and 245 (W.) from London, containing 2128 inhabitants, of which number, 1942 are within the limits of the borough. . . The town is romantically situated on the eastern and southern sides of a rocky peninsula stretching out into the Bristol channel, and rising to an elevation of one hundred feet above the level of high water: it consists of one principal street, and several smaller ones diverging from it . . . The principal street is well paved, but not lighted, and the inhabitants are provided with water from conduits in the town, supplied by pipes from a reservoir . . . The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a venerable and spacious structure, principally in the early style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty spire . . . There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; and a building on the pier, said to have been dedicated to St. Julian, and used as an oratory, in Roman Catholic times, by seamen, prior to their setting out on a voyage, is occasionally used by the Dissenters as a marine chapel. A Sunday school is supported by subscription; and it is in contemplation to establish a National school . . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]

Monumental Inscriptions for this parish have the LDS Call Number: 0104320


The 1851 census for this parish has been indexed by Dyfed Family History Society.

Census Returns for this parish have the following LDS Call Numbers:

  • 1841 Census - 0464347
  • 1851 Census - 0104233
  • 1861 Census - 0543242
  • 1871 Census - 0850852/3
  • 1881 Census - 1342303
  • 1891 Census - 6099637/8


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Tenby area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

The Parish of Tenby consists of 5 Churches including St.Marys; Ss. Nicholas & Teilo, Penally; St Lawrence, Gumfreston; St. Anne's, New Hedges and St. Julian's, Tenby Harbour.
The Ancient Parish Church built in the C12th is part of the Anglican Church in Wales, Diocese of St. Davids.
It is situated in the centre of the Ancient borough of Tenby and is a focal point of the community.

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants

  •  St Mary's Parish Church, High St, Tenby             J N Humphreys, Rector
  • Mans Hill chapel, Tenby Out-Liberty, Brethren in Christ              Erected in 1827     Used as a dwelling      George Morgan, Leader, Mans Hill
  • The Bethel chapel     Mixed         "The Bethel chapel belongs to all the Denominations in the town of Tenby. Tis an united effort to benefit the Sailors & Fisherman. ......."    Rev Daniel Anthony, Occasional Supply
  • Wesleyan chapel          Erected in 1804                Thomas Rowe, Steward, 7 Crackwell St
  • The Tabernacle chapel, Frog St     Ind            Erected in 1822     Rev Danel Anthony, Minister, High St
  • Baptist chapel              Erected in 1845               William Thomas Phillips, Baptist Minister, Rose Cottage, South Parade


Parish entry for Tenby with Gumfreston from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Mary
  • &
  • St Julian
  • &
  • New Hedges Mission Church
  • &
  • Parish Church (Gumfreston)
  • Incumbent and Curates; B C Edwards (F A Oswell & J C Hill)
  • Rural Deanery of Narberth
  • Acreage 2,047 & --- & --- & 1,658; Population 5,102

Brief history of the Congregational Church Tenby. H. G. Walters, [1968] 46p,[2] leaves of plates : ill, ports ; 22cm. "Centenary celebration souvenir" -

Laws, Edward . Church book of St. Mary the Virgin, Tenby . Tenby : John Leach ; 1907.xviii, 292 p. : ill., plans ; 23 cm.

Thomas, W. Gwyn, (William Gwyn). Tenby Parish Church : a short account of the building and history of St. Mary's Church.Tenby Parish Church, 1984. 22,[2]p : ill, plan ; 20cm.

Williams, George. Excavations outside St Mary's Church, Tenby . Archaeology in Wales 34 (1994), p. 26-9

Church Records

Parish registers: Christenings (1711-1930), Marriages (1711-1971) Banns (1823-66, 1877-1963), Burials (1711-1971) at Pem.RO.

Fac copy (1711-28) at NLW

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1685, 1762, 1799-1804, 1806-7, 1811-51, 1853-94) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105212.

Baptisms 1712-1930, Marriages  1754-1930,  Burials 1720-1971

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Chapel, in Tenby town [Baptists,1845 at South Parade, 1885 at Deer Pk]          South Parade   SN1326100494     Built 1845, not still open 1998    Coflein              On Dyfed FHS
  • Deer Park Baptist chapel,             SN1317100603               Built 1830, modified, altered or rebuilt 1845 and 1884,   Still open 1998        Coflein    [same place on new site?]
  • Ebenezer Baptist chapel (Salvation Army Citadel), Upper Park Rd, Tenby       SN132004       Coflein           On Dyfed FHS  - [has 'The Salvation Army'  above the doorway in photograph]
  • Marsh Road CM chapel, Tenby             SN1209000509    Built 1880, not still open 1997      Coflein                  On Dyfed FHS
  • Tabernacle Chapel, in Lower Frog St/Tenby town  [Calvinistic Methodists, 1869]                SN13400037      Built 1822, modified, altered or rebuilt 1868    Not still open 1997     Coflein 
    It would appear from available sources that this chapel was originally the Independents chapel in Lower Frog St.
  • *Tabernacle, in Warren St/Tenby town  [Independents, 1822]. Records ; births and bapts, 1803-37 in connection with Bethel/St Florence and Sardis/St Issells at PRO RG4/3919, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 819966, IGI                       On Dyfed FHS [but shown as in Frog St) - there was originally a Congregational Chapel in Lower Frog St, see above entry for the CM chapel called Tabernacle). See also below
    Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for this chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Gareth Hicks (Jan 2009)
  • *St John English Congregational chapel, South Parade / Warren St, Tenby       SN1320600542   Opened 1868    Still open 1993     Coflein         On Dyfed FHS      From the Hanes translation I am sure this is the same cause that used to worship in Tabernacle, Frog St until 1868/9 and was then  referred to as The Congregational Church
  • Man's Hill, in Tenby town  [Moravian, 1827]. Records ; See Moravian Chapel, Haverfordwest        SN1300     Built 1827, closed by 1851           Coflein 
  • Chapel , in Warren St/Tenby town [Wesleyan Methodists, 1804]. Records ; births and bapts, 1847-70 Pembroke Circuit ; 1868-1961 with Tenby Circuit . Other circuit records including accounts, minute books, Sunday School papers etc, are also at Pem RO                           SN1308200568       Built 1804, rebuilt 1880      Not still open 1993           Coflein 
  • Wesleyan Methodist chapel, High St, Tenby                SN1340000502       Built 1804 as the first Wesleyan chapel to be built in Tenby   Not still open 1998       Coflein    [same place on new site?]
  • Mortuary chapel, Tenby                 SN1306001155   Coflein 
  • Holyrood & St Teilo RC church, Tenby                On Dyfed FHS


Dyfed FHS have published a series of indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials from Pembrokeshire hundreds for various periods.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Tenby which are provided by:

Places, villages, farms etc within Tenby parish as shown on the online parish map from the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.).  (Extracted by Barry Johnson)

  • Tenby St Mary(In-Liberty) (138); Brynhir, Castle Hill, St.Catherine's Island, Tenby, Waterwynch.
  • Tenby St Mary (Out-Liberty) (137); Broadfield; Cornish Down; Knightstone Fm; Monkstone Point; New Hedges; Park Ho.; Red Ho.; Rhode? Wood; Sch.; Scotsborough Fm/Ho ?; Trevayne; Waterwynch ?;

Virtual Tenby , includes some history

A pictorial and descriptive guide to South Wales: including Brecon, Newport, Cardiff, Vale of Neath, Swansea, Gower, Carmarthen, Llandovery, Tenby, Pembroke, Fishguard, Cardigan, New Quay, Aberystwyth, etc. (4th ed.), London, Ward, Lock & co., Ltd. (1925) 192, 80 p., front., ill., maps, plans, plates.

Ball, Geoffrey. Old Tenby and its enduring charms . The Lady 207 (1988), p. 129

Bourne, A.M.  Tenby and its neighbourhood; A guide to  (1843)

Cripps, Brian. Tenby postcards of yesteryear. Llandysul : Gomer, 1995. ix,124p : ill, maps, ports ; 19cm. In Gomer's 2002 Catalogue. 1 85902 295 2. Gomer site intro;
"Since the publication of the earliest picture postcards of Tenby around the turn of the century, viewcards of the town and nearby Penally have sold in vast quantities.Many cards were the product of three leading postcard publishers, Charles Smith Allen, his son Henry Mortimer Allen, and Arthur Squibbs, whilst others were the work of both local and national photographers. All the cards illustrate the skill of these early photographers and provide us with an invaluable historical record of daily life and social activity in Tenby town."

Daniels, D. Ken. Saundersfoot and Tenby. Stroud: Chalford, 1995. 159p : ill, facsims,map,ports ; 24cm. Series title Archive photographs

Fair and fashionable Tenby. Tenby Museum, 1987. 64p : ill ; 21x25cm.

Gosse, Philip Henry. Tenby: a seaside holiday. London : J. Van Voorst, 1856. xviii, [1], 400, [8] p. ([8] p. at end advertisements) : 24 plates (part col.)

Gwynne, F.P.  Tenby and its neighbourhood; Sketches of  1846

Howells, Roscoe Tenby Old and New. 1981 (Gomer Press) 91pp. 114 b/w illus. Sections cover The Harbour, The Lifeboat, Visitors, Municipal Authority, St Margaret's Fair, Religion, Caldey, St Catherine's. Tenby United R.F.C., Schooling, The Hospital, The Gasworks, The Fire Brigade, Swimming Pool, Tenby Observer, Days of Change. 1-2 page intro. to each section as well as general intro.

Leach, Arthur L. Charles Norris 1779-1858 of Tenby and Waterwynch .Topographical Artist. 1939 (Tenby Observer).58pp. inc. index, biblio and appendix. 10 b/w pls. of Charles Norris's etchings.

Leach, A. L.  Tenby and South Pembrokeshire; Leach's guide to,  (1898); ii, (1901); iii, 1908

Mason, R.  Tenby and its neighbourhood; A guide to the town of,  [1856]*; ii, *; iii, undated; iv, [c. 1860]; v, [1864]; vi, [1873]

Morris, J. P. The Pembroke and Tenby railway . Haverfordwest : Laidlaw-Burgess, 1976. 48p

Norris, Charles. Etchings of Tenby, including many ancient edifices which have been destroyed, and intended to illustrate the... Early Flemish archtitecture; : with a short account of that town and of the principal buildings... London : J. Booth, 1812. 2 p. l., v, 84 p : 17 pl ; 25 cm.

Price, Martin Randall Connop. The Pembroke and Tenby railway.  Oxford : Oakwood Press, 1986. 112p

Shepherd, Alan. A picture guide to Tenby .Saundersfoot : Guideline Publications, 1986. 15p : col.ill ; 21cm.

Skone, Evelyn. Tenby in old picture postcards. Netherlands : European Library, 1985. [80]p : ill, ports ; 15x21cm.

Tenby : old & new. Llandysul : Gomer, 1981. 91p : ill, ports ; 22cm.

The geology of the South Wales coalfield. : Part XIII. The country around Pembroke and Tenby. Great Britain. Geological Survey. Edition 3d ed. London : H. M. Stationery Off., 1964- pts. illus., maps, diagrs : tables ; 25 cm

The Tenby guide : comprehending such information, relating to that town and its vicinity, as could be collected from ancient & modern authorities. Swansea : Printed by J. Voss, 1810. iv, 142, iv p. ; 16 cm.

Walker, R F            Tenby guides and Tenby visitors c1800-1940          The Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society, No.2, 1986-7  Welsh Journals Online

Worsley, Roger.   Prince of Places: A Pictorial & Social History of Tenby . Featuring the work of the pioneer Photographer Charles Smith Allen. n.d.(Haverfordwest) 88p. inc. list of references and intro. a chapter on photography and on Tenby as a holiday resort, richly illus. card covers.


Transcript of complete entry in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1833.  

Pigot & Co South Wales Directory for 1830   Here are Extracts for Tenby

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are Extracts for Tenby

Ward Lock's "Red Guide" to Tenby and South Wales. 7th ed. 1947,complete with all maps, photo. illus. many ads.


Pembrokeshire Families


Edward J Head : resident Tenby artist, 1863-1937.Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, 1998. 4p : ill, facsim,port ; 21cm.

Jones, David. JAMES of New Hedges, nr Tenby. Dyfed FHS journal  (4/313) The story of Anne, a teacher in London, and the daughter of Thomas and Hannah James, who emigrated to Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1868

King, Elizabeth. Tenby Museum archives : Pembrokeshire records for family historians. Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, 1996. [8]p ; 21cm.

Tipton, John. Charles Norris,1779-1858, and his legacy to Tenby. John Tipton, 1997. 13p, [5]p of plates : ill, geneal.table,port ; 21cm.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Tenby has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


A history of Tenby is given in the Lewis transcription - see under Directories.


Beardsworth, Tim. The sieges of Pembroke and Tenby, 1648 .Backwell : Stuart Press, 1998. 20p

Beynon, John. The 125th anniversary of Tenby Museum and Art Gallery.   (NLW's site)   Pemb Historian XIII

Davies, Margaret. The story of Tenby. Tenby : Tenby Museum, 1979 26p : ill, maps ; 21cm.

Davies, Margaret          Victorian naturalists in Tenby           The Pembrokeshire Historian vol 7 1981        Welsh Journals Online

Harrison, Wilfred.  Some aspects of Tenby's history   (NLW's site)  Pemb Historian Vol II

Laws, Edward. A short account of the great Civil War as it affected Tenby and its neighbourhood. Tenby : F. B. Mason, 1893. 24p, 5 leaves of plates ; 19cm.

Murphy, Kenneth. Pottery from the Tudor Merchant's House, Tenby. Medieval and Later Pottery in Wales (Bulletin of the Welsh Medieval Pottery Research Group) 8 (1985), p. 25-39

Price, Brian.  The vandals of Vandalton   [Tenby]  (NLW's site)  Pemb Historian XII

Price, Brian. Two Tenby duels and their associations   (NLW's site)  Pemb Historian XIV

Rhys-Phillips, David. The postal history of Tenby.Tenby Museum, 1974.[1],14p : ill ; 22cm.

Smith, Gilbert N. (Gilbert Nicholas). On the Tenby bone-caves, and the question of the antiquity of the human race as inferred from certain flint implements found in them. London : Tenby : Kent & Co. ; R. Mason, [1860] 16p ; 22cm. 'This paper was read, in brief, before the Geological Section of the British Association, meeting at Oxford on Saturday 30th June 1860'

Stubbs, Arthur. A brief history of Tenby harbour and surrounding area . Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, 1994. [4]p ; 21cm.

Thomas, W. Gwyn, (William Gwyn). The walls of Tenby. Archaeologia Cambrensis 142 (1993), p. 1-39

Taliesin. Etmic Dinbych : or, In praise of Tenby : from The book of Taliesin (c.875 AD).Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, 1995. [4]p ; 21cm.

Land and Property

Held at the NLW ;

  • Deeds [deposited by Messrs Maude & Tunnicliffe] relating to the Waters family of Chester and Tenby and to properties in several Welsh counties, 1792-1913.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN134004 (Lat/Lon: 51.671259, -4.700014), Tenby which are provided by:


Lewis, Mark. Tenby in camera : a history of photography and Tenby photographers : to accompany the exhibition of 29 March - 31 October 1999 .Tenby : Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, 1999. [16]p : ill ; 21cm.

Morris, Jeff . Tenby lifeboats.[Tenby] : RNLI, Tenby Branch, [1988] 34, [1]p : ill, map,port ; 15x21cm.

Nixon, Avis. A Tenby lifeboat family : the memoirs in her own words of Tenby Lifeboatman's daughter.Tenby : John Fish, c2000. 204 p. ; 18 cm.  Series title Star of Pembrokeshire series

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Tenby Borough, records  1849-1977     "Tenby, Pembrokeshire, was the site of a Welsh fortress which was captured by the Normans in the late 11th century. The town was awarded its first charter in 1290 by Wiliam de Valence, Lord of Pembroke. Henry IV's charter of 1402 granted ................................."

Social life and Customs

Bielski, Alison . Tales and Traditions of Old Tenby. 1981 (Tenby) 108pp. illus. b/w repro.

Cule, John. Some Early Hospitals in Wales and the Border. National Library of Wales journal. 1977, Winter Volume XX/2. Here is the opening section of an extract relating to this parish;
"There appear to have been two early hospitals in Tenby. The leper hospital of St. Mary Magdalen near the bottom of Heywood Hill, which was founded by Gilbert Mareschal about 1236 and another hospital dedicated to St. John the Baptist, to the west of the Globe Inn, which was founded by William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke and his countess, Joan ....."

Davies, Margaret. Victorian naturalists in Tenby . Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, 1998. 11 p. ; 21 cm.

Jones, David. The Tenby daffodil : the remarkable story of the true Welsh daffodil .Tenby : Tenby Museum, 1992. 28p : ill ; 21cm.

Price, Brian.  'Edmyg Dinbych' or ' In Praise of Tenby'   (NLW's site)  Pemb Historian IX


[Gareth Hicks:  31 Dec 2012]