Friday, 4 September 2009

Historic Buildings open their doors

Four historic buildings in Pembroke Dock are being opened to public viewing at the weekend (5th and 6th September).

Three of the buildings - Paterchurch Tower, Sunderland House and the Garrison Chapel - are not normally open to the public. The fourth is the town's Market Hall.

All four are within the Pembroke Dock Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and - with the exception of Paterchurch Tower - have been restored under the THI scheme.

The initiative is part of European Heritage's Open Doors days, co-ordinated by the Civic Trust for Wales and supported by Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh Assembly Government.

The buildings will be opened free of charge on Saturday, 5th September, and Sunday, 6th September, between 11am and 4 pm.

They will be manned by volunteers from Pembrokeshire County Council, the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust and Pembroke Dock Civic Society.

Said the Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Councillor John Allen-Mirehouse: "I'm delighted that we are opening these historic buildings to the public. It will give everyone a chance to view the hidden heritage of Pembroke Dock."

Paterchurch Tower, Sunderland House and the Garrison Chapel are all within the walls of the town's Royal Dockyard.

The three-storey tower - a Grade One Listed Building - dates back to medieval times. Access is limited as a narrow spiral staircase leads to each floor.

Sunderland House was built in 1822 and was the first office building constructed on the site of the Royal Dockyard. It was disabled access to the ground floor only and now houses the THI offices.

Now restored to its former glory, the Garrison Chapel is believed to be the only Georgian classical chapel in South Wales. Built around 1830, it fell into disrepair when it was sold to a local developer. Compulsory Purchased by the County Council in 2003, the building and grounds were completely restored leading to it to winning two awards.

Situated just outside the Royal Dockyard wall, the Market Hall was built by the Admiralty in 1826 at a cost of £4,360. During its life it has been used as a corn exchange and town council offices.

Now completely restored, it has been the site for some years of the weekly Pembroke Dock market.

The Open Doors weekends feature more than 300 events, amongst many others in the British Isles and thousands across Europe. Full information can be found on the Internet at or


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