Tenby Victorian History Tenby
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Victorian Tenby History

Victorian History Tenby
South Beach Circa 1900
The spate of guidebooks published to cater for the needs of Tenby's visitors provide a fascinating insight into Victorian Tenby. Graeat emphasis is placed on the health-giving properties of its location. Pages are littered with tributes and recommendations from eminent medical authorities of the period on the suitability of holidaying or over-wintering in the resort, for people with a vast range of medical conditions.

The implication was clear. If you had a medical condition, Tenby would help ameliorate it. If you didn't have it, Tenby would keep you fit and healthy. Regular visits would guarantee almost superhuman levels of verve and vitality. Having ensured your physical salvation, Tenby would provide endless opportunities for stimulating your mental powers with wholesome educational pursuits. Rock pools, cliff-top flowers and grasses, shells, tideline seaweeds and contorted rock formations, provided the raw material for observation, collection and classification. These earnest guidebooks assured naturalists, botanists, geologists, zoologists and the curious layman, that at every turnTenby's natural delights were waiting to dazzle and amaze.

Much of this local activity was given greater focus and significance by the prescense in Tenby of some of the country's leading biologists. All of this commendable behaviour was to be set within a context of long walks, preferably to sites of major historical interest within the neighbourhood, which would further feed the Victorian appetite for knowledge and self-improvement.

Afternoons and evenings were often given over to the favourite social pursuit of dressing up and being seen in acceptable company. Promenading was taken very seriously. Victorian Tenby saw a great increase in its population. All of the prime cliff-top locations round the old town were now used for building terraces of stylish, well-proportioned houses for wealthy residents. Some were lived in throughout the year, others were bought solely for summer use.

Opening of Royal Victoria Pier 1899

As the century progressed some of the residences changed hands and became small hotels. The Castle Hill walkways to all the town's beaches were created during this period. More landscaping, involving the creation of sitting out areas, took place on Castle hill when the Welsh national monument to Prince Albert was erected on the crest of the hill in 1865.

Town Walls | Church Tower | Norman Conquest | Cromwell and Tenby | Victorian Tenby

Tenby History Books

Sieges of Pembroke and Tenby 1648 - Click here for more details


Treasury of Historic Pembrokeshire - Click here for more details


Saundersfoot and Tenby - Click here for more details

the tower
town walls
the plague
ghost walk