About this church
Our church has played a part in this history and its site is dominated by a landscape that emerged in Medieval times. Celebration of our past and preserving the recent memories of the people of this town has become a central part of our mission.
The church’s history starts in the year 1800 when two Congregationalist preachers from Carmarthenshire, Richard Morgan of Henllan and Morgan Jones of Trelech made several preaching tours through the English speaking parts of Pembrokeshire.
In 1811 Revd Thomas Luke, the newly appointed minister of the Tabernacle in Haverfordwest, visited Pembroke to preach to the townspeople. He was well received and urged the society in Lamphey to relocate to Pembroke. A foundation stone was laid on July 9th 1811, the official foundation date of the Tabernacle church. The chapel was opened on July 7th 1812 during a day of prayer and sermons. In 1862 Revd David Salmon of Trowbridge became pastor and decided the time was right to build a new Tabernacle. The chapel was designed by Revd Thomas Thomas of Glandwr, Swansea, the renowned minister and architect of over 100 chapels. The foundation stone was laid on August 4th 1867 and placed on top of a sealed bottle containing coins dated 1867 and current newspapers.
In July 1928 the church welcomed Revd Hughes. One of his first tasks was to oversee the fitting of a new stained glass window in the front of the chapel. The memorial window to Thomas Jones remains in place until this day.
The Tabernacle United Reformed Church has a unique and dramatic plot that extends down to The Commons and features medieval stone walls, a cliff, a cave, a 17th century lime kiln and stunning views across The Commons to the South side of Pembroke. This outdoor space is in the process of being regenerated and converted into a heritage garden which will provide a calm and beautiful public space.
The outer wall of the church garden is the medieval town wall. The garden has a cave, a lime kiln and is in the process of being linked to the church via a staircase. The walk up through the garden and church will illustrate the journey through time that the people of Pembroke have taken. The cave has a resident badger and bat along with the fauna and flora that has been prevalent in Pembrokeshire through the ages.