Religion

Religion has always been an important influence in Haverfordwest. Beginning with St. Martin’s Church, where the original inhabitants of Castleton worshipped, the town eventually boasted two other parish churches, St. Mary’s and St. Thomas’s, an Augustinian Priory, Dominican Friary and other chapels to Mary Magdalene and the Holy Trinity. With the growth of Nonconformity, Haverfordwest had well over a dozen places of worship for the main denominations, from Baptists to Moravians.

Among the many fascinating exhibits, we have priceless medieval woodcarvings from St. Mary’s Church and archaeological finds from the Priory (excavated 1983-1996).

A wooden carving of a greenman

Fifteenth-century wood carving of The Green Man taken from the roof of St. Mary’s Church, Haverfordwest during a Victorian restoration. The museum has a number of other fascinating medieval wood carvings. www.stmaryshaverfordwest.org.uk

A bathstone corbel

Remarkable fourteenth-century bath stone corbel depicting seven male faces sharing five eyes found in the Chapter House of the Augustinian Priory in the late 1980s. Haverfordwest Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536. [Courtesy of Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments]

An early print of Haverfordwest priory

Early nineteenth-century print of Haverfordwest Priory.

A scene of the church

Photograph of St. Mary’s Church with the Council Chamber adjoining, in around 1860. The quietness of the street scene is remarkable.