Tenby Castle

About Tenby Castle

Only a small tower remains of Tenby Castle, perched on top of Castle Hill, which is almost surrounded by the sea. The old town walls, however, are remarkably complete, containing a maze of narrow streets that make up the picturesque old town of Tenby.


  • The castle was built by The Normans in the 12th century.
  • There is a record of its capture by the Welsh in 1153.
  • Tenby was also attacked in 1187 and again in 1260, when Llewellyn the Last, sacked the town during his campaigns.
  • Most of the town walls were built in the 13th century.
  • In 1328, the D-shaped barbican was added to defend the gate.
  • D-shaped towers north and south of the gate were also added at this time.
  • In 1457, the moat, which ran outside the walls where St Florence Parade is now, was widened to 30ft, the walls were heightened and a second, higher series of arrow slits was built, reached by a new parapet walk.
  • In 1648, a unit of Royalist rebels held the castle for 10 weeks but were starved into surrendering.


  • The remains of the castle’s gateway cross the path as you climb up Castle Hill from the harbour.
  • A small tower occupies the highest point on Castle Hill.
  • The town walls on the north side are partially complete, although the north gate has gone.
  • The walls on the east side, however, run uninterrupted all the way to The Esplanade.
  • The main entrance on this side is ‘Five Arches’ gate.
  • Tenby Museum & Art Gallery is built on to a medieval domestic building, probably the castle’s hall.
  • The National Trust owned Tudor Merchant’s House is in the old town, near the harbour.

Additional Information

Open from December to December.