Formed by a drowned valley, or ‘ria’ after the ice age, our deep water, tidal estuary has brought Vikings, crusaders, would-be kings, sea merchants and admirals to shelter in our safe and beautiful historic haven. Viking Chieftain Hubba, overwintered here with 23 ships in 854 and left his legacy on the area of Milford Haven known as Hubberston. In fact, Viking heritage inspired the name Milford Haven, or ‘Melrfjordr’ – from the Norse words ‘melr’ (sandbank) and ‘fjord’ (inlet).
Milford Haven also had an important part to play in establishing the Tudor Dynasty. Henry Tudor landed at Mill Bay in 1485 and gathered an army on his way to Bosworth Castle, where he defeated King Richard III and took the throne!
We’ve since been visited by Oliver Cromwell, who set sail from Milford Haven to attack Ireland in 1649, and Admiral Lord Nelson who visited on his grand tour in 1802 (legend has it that Nelson etched his name on the glass of the hotel that bears his name to this day!), as well as the historic Tall Ships Race in 1991 which saw the opening of Milford Marina, and the start of our current chapter of leisure and tourism, which has seen Milford Waterfront develop to a bustling visitor attraction.
As part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Milford Youth Matters have worked with the pupils at Milford Haven School to create a series of Heritage Walking Trails at Milford Waterfront. The Historic Haven trail has 4 stops between Phoenix Bowl and the site of the new Tŷ Hotel, where you can stop and scan the QR code to read the full stories written by the young people of our town. Look out for the red banners on the lampposts, and you’ll find full information on the signs below.
To delve further into the stories of our Historic Haven, why not visit Milford Haven Museum, which is open from April to October. It’s a Visit Wales ‘Hidden Gem’ with lots to explore and enjoy.
These stories have been researched and written by the pupils of Milford Haven School, who have used their creativity to tell the stories of Milford Haven’s history in their own words.
* The areas marked in blue are owned and managed by Milford Waterfront. These areas can accommodate in excess of 300 cars between them. Some may be closed off from time to time for events, but other than that they are free for anyone to use.
** The areas in red are owned and managed by the management companies of the seven residential blocks around Milford Waterfront. The spaces behind and between these blocks are reserved for residents only. A private parking enforcement company will be issuing fines to vehicles not showing residents’ parking permits in the spaces marked in red, so please don’t risk a fine – park in the blue areas on your visit.
Discover Milford Haven's history
The tide has brought invaders, crusaders, would-be kings, sea merchants, admirals, pirates and global energy leaders, up the Cleddau estuary to the safe haven of Milford. They’ve all played a part in our extraordinary story.