The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Paterchurch Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the community of Pembroke Dock.
In the historic county of Pembrokeshire.
Modern authority of Pembrokeshire.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SM95760355
Latitude 51.69350° Longitude -4.95651°

Paterchurch Tower has been described as a probable Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The De Paterchurch family is first mentioned in 1289. The medieval tower may have served as a lookout post. The rooms have fireplaces, and a connecting spiral staircase. By C17, additional domestic and farm buildings stood close by. The tower now lies behind the Dockyard wall, whose builders in 1844 unearthed numerous skeletons --- the isolated settlement had its own cemetery, whose last recorded burial is that of Roger Adams, in 1731. Paterchurch Tower was the centre of an estate said to stretch from Pennar Point to Cosheston. This changed hands in 1422 when Elen de Paterchurch married John Adams. (Hull)

A possible 14thC tower, all that survives of Paterchurch in Pembroke Dockyard. The tower would have stood on the N side of the church. The burial ground was found about 1844, near the tower, while work on the new dockyard wall was being carried out. Medieval tower associated with a medieval mansion, ruinous by C19. Of uncertain function. Rubble stone 3-storey embattled tower with castellated parapet. Vaulted chamber to each floor, plastered vaults to upper two storeys. (Source CADW listed buildings database) (Coflein)

Situated just within Dockyard wall, some 130m E of Fort Road entry to Royal Naval area. History: Medieval tower associated with medieval mansion, ruinous by early C19 and the remains otherwise demolished by mid C19. In C15 occupied by David de Patrickchurch, and in 1422 passed by marriage to the Adames family of Buckpool, who held it until 1731. The evidence for this being a domestic building is problematic, but there is no evidence of a church on the site. The tower was freestanding to NE of a large block of buildings on the 1820 dockyard map. It stood outside the dockyard walls until they were realigned 1844, subsequently Admiralty workshops were built around. In 1844 bones were found around the tower. Exterior: Rubble stone 3-storey embattled tower with castellated parapet and taller rounded NE stair tower. S front has blocked chamfered pointed entry with heavy corbelling over, blocked first-floor (later) camber-headed opening and plain second-floor window. Loop under parapet. W side has loop to ground and first floor, blocked square second-floor opening with voussoirs and two drainage gutters above. E side has loop, plain window to first and second floor and two drainage gutters. NE tower has N and E stepped buttressing, rounded masonry between and two small lights. W of N buttress is short wall section with pointed arched doorway in line with main pointed N doorway, and between (to left) is E door into tower stair. N side has one plain first-floor window with traces of gable above and loop above second floor. Interior: Vaulted chamber each floor, ground floor with square section ribs, four from corners and four to ridges, meeting at octagonal boss. Segmental arch to blocked S doorway. Plastered vaults to two upper floors, rounded to first floor, pointed on second floor, the crown of the vault rising behind parapets of tower top. First floor has narrow corner SW flue. (Listed Building Report)

A medieval crenellated tower surviving to full height but missed by all the usual castle authors such as D.J.C. King. Presumably the position, within a naval dockyard, made access to the site difficult although descriptions had been published. It does also seem that the site is sometimes described as altered chapel and this could have lead King to dismiss it as a fortified building.
Almost certainly always had attached timber buildings and would have functioned as a solar tower for the De Paterchurch's.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling   Listing    
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Historic Wales   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
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.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, the four welsh archaeological trusts and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain Designated Historic Asset Descriptive Information from The Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown.
Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Lidar coverage in the UK is not complete. The button above will give an idea of the area of coverage. Higher resolution lidar images in both DSM and DTM form may be available from Lle A geo-Portal for Wales (click the preview tag to bring up a map and then select format byclicking on the small blue diamond in the top right corner of the map.)
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of the described site.

This record last updated 03/07/2016 21:45:44