It’s Milford Marina’s 30th Anniversary. To celebrate, we are continuing to share Milford Waterfront’s development story, as we explore the rich history of one of Milford Haven’s oldest buildings, The Old Customs House.
30 years! Where has the time gone? 1991 was a time without the likes of digital giants Google or Facebook, when fuel was under 50 pence a litre and of course, when the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race visited Milford Haven!
And if you think 30 years is a long time…the Old Customs House was built in 1797. That’s 224 years ago! It’s pretty much been around since Milford Haven’s existence – how cool! The building was designed by a Swansea architect called Jernigan with the original purpose of the storage of whale oil awaiting transhipment for sale in London, which was a popular trade in Milford Haven’s earlier days. The architect is also believed to have designed the Lord Nelson Hotel too.
For more than 50 years, the building was used as the Customs House, hence the name! The two wing extensions were built either side of the building in the early 1800s too.
The Old Customs House also played an important role during the two World Wars when it was a convoy assembly point for minesweeping. It was then later housed as one of the most important ships chandlers and trawler supply companies on the dock. By the time it was taken over by the Milford Haven Heritage and Maritime Museum Trust in 1986, the building was derelict. It was then renovated and opened as a museum in 1990 (with support of Milford Haven Town Council) as part of Milford Haven’s Bicentennial celebrations.
It’s only fitting that one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Milford Haven is home to the amazing attraction which allows people to explore the town’s fascinating past; Milford Haven Museum. This Visit Wales ‘Hidden Gem’ is run by a number of amazing, selfless volunteers who work tirelessly to share everything about Milford Haven’s history. Why not check out their Meet the Faces feature when we talked with Colin Sharp (Chair of the Board of Trustees) and Sue Kenny (Secretary of the Trust Board) to find out more about the people behind the Museum?
As well as Milford Haven Museum, The Old Customs House is also home to The Walters Group who offer security solutions, including locksmithing, intruder alarms, CCTV and architectural ironmongery to domestic, commercial and industrial clients, as well as Cleddau Community Church Apostolic Centre.
And you may not know this, but the original bonded warehouse still exists within the building. This space is divided into storage and workshop space.
If only these walls could talk, imagine the tales they could tell of our Historic Haven! Why not visit Milford Haven Museum to find out more?
So far, we have shared the development stories of Cleddau House, Barrallier House, Neptune and Temeraire House, and Victory and Vanguard House. We look forward to sharing more stories of the development of Milford Waterfront throughout 2021.
Milford Haven Museum
Delve into Milford Haven's fascinating heritage with a trip to the award-winning Milford Haven Museum.
Go from the Bronze Age to the 21st century by looking at the role Milford Haven plays in supporting the world's energy demands, and everything in between!