"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).]


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.



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

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 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

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.

Church/chapel photographs - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Warren Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Tenby
  • Marsh Road Presbyterian Chapel, Tenby
  • St John's Congregational Chapel, Tenby
  • Tabernacle Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Tenby,
  • Deer Park English Baptist Chapel, Tenby
  • Park Road Baptist Chapel, Tenby
  • Tenby Church, Pembrokeshire
  • Interior view of St Mary's Church, Tenby

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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 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

    Description & Travel

    Journey to the past -  Tenby

    Tenby - Pyne, James Baker (watercolour) - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Various landscape/seascape photographs of the area and surrounds on the People's Collection Wales site

    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.

    You can see pictures of Tenby which are provided by:



    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.



    The transcription of the section for Tenby from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

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



    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.



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

    'Tenby and Caldey in a Thunderstorm' by John Wood Deane, 1838 (watercolour) - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Gateway in Tenby Town Wall - on the People's Collection Wales site

    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 & 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.


    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN132021 (Lat/Lon: 51.686601, -4.704465), Tenby which are provided by:


    Merchant Marine

    Tenby Lifeboat Station

    Launching a Lifeboat, Tenby c1910 on the People's Collection Wales site

    Tenby Harbour c1910 on the People's Collection Wales site


    Military History

    War Memorial, Tenby - on the People's Collection Wales site


    Names, Geographical

    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 ?;


    Front page of the earliest surviving copy of the Welsh newspaper The Tenby Observer 21 July 1854 - on the People's Collection Wales site



    'A Drawnet at Tenby' by Julius Caesar Ibbetson, 1795 (watercolour) - on the People's Collection Wales site

    'A Tenby Fisherman' by Edward J. Head, c. 1900 - on the People's Collection Wales site

    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 ................................."


    St Stephens School. Tenby - on the People's Collection Wales site


    Social Life & Customs

    Outing to Tenby, 10 September 1949 - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Tenby Postcard from 1907 - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Sedan chairs were popular in Tenby from the eighteenth century onwards. This chair was used to convey Miss Stokes, the bride of one of Tenby's Mayors to church in Haverfordwest, to be married in 1872. - on the People's Collection Wales site

    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