The Tudor Trail starts in Pembrokeshire
You could say the Tudor Trail starts at Pembroke Castle on 28th January 1457, the birth date of Henry Tudor VII. Although, there were Tudors here before this, of course- Edmund and Jasper Tudor.
Bringing the Tudor Trail to Life
The historical novelist, Philippa Gregory brings all this history to life through her series of novels, based on fact with some novel writing to fill in the gaps. There are many many references to locations in Pembrokeshire throughout her novels and I find it fascinating trying to imagine what the world looked like back then, when it would take a whole day to get from Pembroke Castle to Lamphey, where Margaret Beaufort used to spend her time between when she had been married off to Edmund Tudor whilst still a girl. You can get a great sense of history by following the Tudor Trail around Pembrokeshire
So, rather than me re-write the novels, I will give reference to them here, so that you may read them and then point you to various places you may want to visit to re-live the Tudor Trail history in Pembrokeshire. Here are all the novels by Philippa Gregory
So, we start at Pembroke Castle , birthplace of Henry VII-when you visit here, do try and take a guided tour, it’s so worth it. The guides bring the whole place to life and it’s so much more than just the birth place of Henry VII.
Then drive 5 minutes up the road and visit Lamphey Palace, now known as Lamphey Bishops Palace, only 5 minutes away for us now by car, but was a day away on a hard ride or walk back in Henry VII’s day!
These 2 places are where Henry VII spent some of his childhood, eventually going into exile by boat from Tenby harbour and then travelling to France for most of his youthdom, before coming back to Pembrokeshire via Mill Bay, only a 10 minute (or so, depending on if you are following a tractor!) drive from us, or, of course, you can walk the Coast path (interactive Walk selection from PCNP) from us here to it! There is an information panel on the cliffs above the bay to advise you of his invasion. It was from here that Henry led his men across Wales and into England to reach Bosworth and then to take the crown from Richard III and become King of England.
Then, a visit to St Davids (5 things to do in St Davids) is key, where the tomb of Edmund Tudor lays in the Cathedral for all to see, it is said that they had to move the tomb at some point and so it was was opened, to still show Edmond Tudor’s striking red hair-later made famous by Elizabeth I, still intact. If you take a guided tour around St Davids Cathedral, I am quite sure you will get the full version of this story, in all it’s glory!
So, there is a quick whistle stop tour around Pembrokeshire and the Tudor connection, on my very own Tudor Trail.
For more information on Phillipa Gregory books, and which ones too read, do click on the link at the beginning of the text.