Haverfordwest St Martin


"The town and county of the town comprise the whole of the parish of St. Mary, and part of the parishes of St. Thomas and St. Martin, together with a very small part of the parish of Prendergast, and a large extra-parochial area called "Poor-field;" the parishes of St. Thomas and St. Martin also comprise divisions respectively called the hamlets of St. Thomas and St. Martin, which are within the hundred of Rhôs . . . The living of St. Martin's is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's, endowed with £1200 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Hugh Webb Bowen, Esq. The church, supposed to be the most ancient in the town, is a venerable structure, displaying portions in the early style of English architecture, with a low tower surmounted by an elegant spire: it consists of a nave, chancel, and south aisle, but has suffered so extensively by the insertion of windows and other alterations, that little of its original character remains: the nave and chancel are long and lofty, and are separated by a fine old arch, which reaches to the roof; in the chancel, on the southern side, are some ancient stalls in recesses. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]

"SKOMAR, a small island forming a detached portion of the parish of ST. MARTIN, HAVERFORDWEST, situated on St. Bride's Point, from which it is separated by a strait called Jack Sound. It lies nearly due north of the islet of Skokham, from which it is separated by a strait, a mile and a half in breadth, called Broad Sound; and comprises about seven hundred acres, of which a considerable portion is under tillage. It abounds with rabbits, has an abundance of freshwater, and is based on limestone, of which there are various detached rocks on its shores, the principal of which is Midland Isle, lying in Jack Sound: the whole is let to a resident tenant." From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833):



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 - 0464345
  • 1851 Census - 0104236
  • 1861 Census - 0543244
  • 1871 Census - 0850856
  • 1881 Census - 1342305
  • 1891 Census - 6099646

Church History

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 Martin Parish Church "......... but as the children of St Martin's parish go every Sunday to St Mary's Church, the central church of the town, in company with the National School children of the parishes in the Township...." Amos Crymes, Perpetual Curate
  • Wesleyan WM Erected before 1800 John Morgan, Minister, Court House, Haverfordwest
  • Bridge Street Latter Day Saints Erected before 1800 Separate building wholly for public worship John Griffiths, Elder, Bridge St
  • Tabernacle Ind Erected in 1774 "Chapel closed being under repairs since Jan 1st 1851" Thos Beynon, Secretary and Deacon
  • Bethesda Baptist Erected in 1788 David Davies, Minister
  • Wesleyan WM Erected about 1835 John Morgan, Minister, Court House

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

  • St Martin
  • Incumbent and Curates; A Baring-Gould
  • Rural Deanery of Roose
  • Acreage 2,052; Population 1,596
    Smith, David. They did it their way : the story of St. Martin of Tours, Haverfordwest. St. Martin of Tours Parochial Church Council, 1992. 106p

    Church Records

    Parish registers: Christenings (1721-36, 1745-85, 1793-1887), Marriages (1721-1917) Banns (1824-1952), Burials (1721-36, 1745-85, 1793-1974) at Pem.RO

    Copy ts PR [extracts] C (1722-1812) M (1729-1884) B (1721-1839) at NLW and Pem.RO

    Mf copy ms PR CB (1745-73) M (1745-72) [Cardiff Central Library MS.2.116] at NLW

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1800-7, 1809-19, 1823-71) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 1238658.

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Bethesda, in Haverfordwest town [Baptists, 1788]. Records ; 1. papers and accounts, 1823-94 plus material relating to the Sunday School building fund etc, NLW Ms 2986-2989. 2. List of subscribers with amounts to the Baptist burial ground 1841-42, NLW 2990. SM9511815675 Built 1788-9, modified, altered or rebuilt 1816, destroyed by explosion & rebuilt in 1842, rebuilt as present chapel 1880 Still open 2000 Coflein On Dyfed FHS
    • Tabernacle [Independents, 1774], Barn St / City Rd Records ; births and baptisms, 1790-1837 at PRO RG4/3475 and 4075 , and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 813551, IGI. SM9509715744 Built 1774, re-opened as a Congregational chapel 1790, repaired 1851, rebuilt or restored 1874 Still open 1993 Coflein On Dyfed FHS
      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 Maureen Saycell (April 2008)
    • Chapel, in Haverfordwest town [Wesleyan Methodists, 1772]. Records ; 1. Births and baptisms, 1826-37 at PRO RG4/3962 , and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 813551, IGI. 2. Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Circuits ; baptismal registers 1842-1934, circuit schedule and plans, quarterly minutes, accounts 1889-1980 at Pem RO [DFC/M/9] 3. A small pamphlet, 32 pp, regarding history of this chapel ; a bicentenary exhibition, 1763-1963, 10pp. article on this cause in Methodist Magazine 1836, p139, and Methodist Recorders, 1901 and 1903. Wesleyan Methodist Archives, John Rylands Library, Manchester. 4. On page 260 of the book Origin and History of Methodism in Wales by David Young, the author mentions a circuit book that dated from 1771. It gave the names , states, and occupations of the members of the circuit. It was still in existence in 1893 when he wrote this book. On Dyfed FHS [is this the same place as on St Mary's ?]

    Description & Travel

    Buxton, John/Lockley, R M. Island of Skomar. London, 1950.

    You can see pictures of Haverfordwest St Martin which are provided by:





    Howells, Roscoe Cliffs of Freedom: The Story of Skomer Island and the last man to farm it . 1961 2nd ed. (Llandysul).155pp. 29 b/w photo illus. maps on endpapers.


    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SM834129 (Lat/Lon: 51.772413, -5.141515), Haverfordwest St Martin which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Haverfordwest St Martin 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)

    • Haverfordwest St Martin (86); Cuckoo Grove, Pelcomb Bridge, Slade, Slade Hall.
    • Skomer Island (98B); Black Stones; Bull Hole; Camp; Garland Stone; Little Sound; Marloes Ph (part of); Mew Stone; North Haven; Pigstone Bay; Skomer Head; South Haven; The Basin; The neck; The Table; The Wick; Thorn Rock;