Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is known as the birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty. In 1453 Henry VI bestowed the Earldom of Pembroke with its castle upon his half-brother Jasper Tudor. Jasper had some alterations made to the castle - including a large (but now ruined) oriel window in the west wall of the Solar.  After the death of Jasper's brother Edmund, Edmund's pregnant child-widow Margaret Beaufort stayed at the castle with her brother-in-law Jasper and gave birth to the future Henry VII in 1457, allegedly in the Henry VII Tower. Henry lived at Pembroke with his uncle Jasper for the first four years of his life, along with his other uncle David Owen (who was about the same age as Henry himself)

Much of what can be seen of the castle today dates back from the 13th Century, which gives one a good picture of how it must have looked during the times of the Wars of the Roses.  When Edward IV took the throne in 1461, 4-year-old Henry was taken away from Pembroke and his uncle Jasper and put into the custody of the Yorkist William Herbert. Herbert became the new Earl of Pembroke but didn't live at the castle and instead took Henry to his home at Raglan Castle. After being in exile for nearly a decade, Jasper was able to put his brother Henry VI back on the throne and returned to Pembroke with Henry in 1471. But only to be besieged by the Welsh ap Thomas Family. Jasper and Henry were able to escape and flee from nearby Tenby to Britany. At last, when Henry defeated Richard III at Bosworth in 1485 and became King, Pembroke was returned to his rightful owner, Jasper Tudor.

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