Milford Haven East Blockhouse

Has been described as a Certain Artillery Fort

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameMilford Haven East Blockhouse
Alternative Names
Historic CountryPembrokeshire
Modern AuthorityPembrokeshire
1974 AuthorityDyfed

Fragmentary remains of C16th artillery blockhouse built by instruction of Thomas Cromwell for King Henry VIII. (Coflein)

The East Blockhouse is one of a pair of Tudor blockhouses constructed by Henry VIII in the sizteenth century to guard Milford Haven. It is one of a pair of blockhouses protecting the mouth of the haven. It was later adapted for local defence in World War Two when a signed and dated rifle embrasure was cut in the building's east wall. It is a roofless ruin, 7.3m north-south by 4.0m, divided into two unequal parts; an enclosure was noted to the north and a second, smaller building to the south-east, however by 1975 cliff errosion had caused t the building's north wall to fall. (Coflein)

Soon after 1539 construction started on two blockhouses at the mouth of Milford Haven waterway, East Blockhouse and West Blockhouse. The latter at Dale was removed by a 19th century gun fort. It would seem that the blockhouses were never finished for in 1546 it was recorded that they were not made up to the first floor and part of them had already fallen over.

East Blockhouse is in a perilous location and much has already fallen into the sea, and what survives is essentially one room with some walls up to c. 4m high. An excavation in 2012 showed that all floor levels and rubble had been cleared from the room during the 20th century, probably during the Second World War when witnessed limited reuse. (K Murphy, March 2012) (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Possibly referred to in 1543 as the 'bulwarks', "lately made at Milford Haven" King wrote the visible ruins are of "some later addition of no importance" although this seems to be a bit too dismissive of the actual fragmentary remains. Twin to West Blockhouse of which there are no remains.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSM841027
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 178
  • Salter, Mike, 1996, The Castles of South West Wales (Malvern) p. 86 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 398
  • Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) p. 482-3
  • RCAHRCAHMW, 1925, An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire (HMSO) p. 10 no. 22 online copy
  • Laws, E. and Owen, H., 1908, Archaeological Survey of Pembrokeshire 1896-1907 (Tenby) p. 88
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy


  • Owen, Henry (ed), 1892, Owen's Pembrokeshire (Society of Cymmrodorion) Vol. 1 p. 543 (originally written 1603)


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Barnwell, E.L., 1881, 'Mediaeval Pembrokeshire' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 36 p. 162-4 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Gairdner, J. (ed), 1890, Letters and papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII Vol. 14 Part 1 p. 152, 330 online copy


  • Crane, P., 2011, East Blockhouse, Angle Archaeological Excavation July 2011 (Dyfed Archaeological Trust report 2011/33) online copy