Tabernacle Church, Pembroke

A series of archaeological investigations was undertaken at the site of the Tabernacle Church, Pembroke, including investigations and surveys to the rear of the structure, where extant sections of the Grade II* listed Pembroke Town Wall survived. The work was undertaken as part of a planning application for the redevelopment of the site into a ‘Journey Through Time’ garden for the Pembroke C21 Community Association and included significant contributions from the local community.

The site was bounded by upstanding masonry to the east and west separating it from adjoining burgage plots, the high retaining wall for the Tabernacle Church in the north, and the Town Wall in the south. The survey noted that the upstanding boundary walls and an associated lime kiln were in a reasonable state of preservation, dating broadly to the 18th to 19th centuries. The earliest walls were those in the east and west, which, although likely to run along medieval alignments, may have been associated with industrial activity of the 18th century. The retaining wall to the north was heavily obscured by vegetation, but may have been contemporary with the construction of the Tabernacle Church in the late 1860s.

In addition to the survey, volunteers helped with the excavation of investigative trial pits located in the garden area to the rear of the Tabernacle Church. Vegetation was cleared and six pits were hand-excavated, each positioned to investigate possible features and areas of archaeological potential identified by an earlier desk-based assessment. Discoveries included evidence of extensive quarrying, particularly in the western part of the site, foundation work associated with stair access to the church in the northeast, and the remains of a crucible, associated with the limekiln that was bonded into the southern boundary wall of the site.

As well as participation with the site investigations, the active support of the Pembroke C21 Community Association helped to generate significant publicity for the work, both within the local community and on social media platforms.

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