Henry Tudor landed at Mill Bay on 7th August 1485 (534 years ago). He marched from here to Bosworth to ultimately take the Crown at the Battle of Bosworth from Richard III and this was the start of the Tudor Dynasty. He was only 28!
We have hosted a lovely gentleman called Dean today who is literally walking in Henry’s footsteps and is making the trek from Mill Bay to Bosworth. He plans to arrive in Bosworth 534 years t the day that Henry arrived. What a fabulous journey to make. He is walking for two purposes, he studied History at Oxford and concluded that Henry VII was our greatest Monarch and having just retired, felt he has both the time and fitness to pay homage to his great achievement. Dean is also Type 1 Diabetic, so his walk will also raise about £2,000 for Diabetes UK-what a great thing to do!
Mill Bay is short drive from us here at Fields Lodge and although I have lived here all my life, it was not until I became involved in tourism that I discovered all the rich history we have on the Tudor Dynasty here in Pembrokeshire. It was not a topic in school whilst I was growing up, and although I knew a great deal about Milford Haven history, from my parents and grandparents connections with the owners of Milford Haven, the Tudor Dynasty didn’t come into it at all.
I have heard that this year, curriculums in our local schools are being amended so that our history and heritage will play a greater part going forward-that’s great news to ensure our young people understand how great this place is that we call Pembrokeshire.
Mill Bay is (to me) a pretty inhospitable place to choose to land, it is just inside from the mouth of the river (the Heads, we call it) around the corner at St Ann’s Head. I assume Henry chose there as any further in would have had look outs and raised a warning of attack.
If you’re walking the coast path at Mill Bay, you will find a small plaque telling you you’re at the spot and also the tale of Henry’s invasion and his success of winning the Crown a few weeks later.
There’s too much history to go into in one blog post, so I will do a series of Tudor History blogs for you to follow, but in brief; Henry Tudor was born in Pembroke Castle, spent some time at Lamphey Palace with his Mother Margaret Beaufort and then lived in exile for his safety(from Tenby Harbour) for most of his life in France. His Father, Edmund Tudor is entombed in St David’s Cathedral(he died before Henry was born) and there is a story that you will hear if you take the guided tour at the Cathedral of a time when the tomb had to be opened to expose Edmund’s bright red hair as so well known in the Tudor Dynasty! At Edmund’s death, Jasper Tudor who was Earl of Pembroke (Henry’s Uncle) vowed to look after Henry and Margaret and was instrumental in teaching Henry warfare and aiding him in reclaiming the Crown.
My most favourite way of enjoying this history is through Philappa Gregory’s historical novels-I love the way she focuses on the female characters and weaves a story around all the known facts from the time. I find they really bring the facts, people and places to life and makes visiting all these fabulous places in Pembrokeshire just so much more interesting!
You can read all of Philippa’s books about the Tudor Dynasty here whilst visiting Fields Lodge
If you’d like to give to Dean’s fundraising, then you can go here
For more Tudor news, click here
To read more about Fields Lodge click here