Haverfordwest was an excellent example of a prosperous Georgian town, complete with cobbled streets, elegant buildings and thriving centres of commerce and social life.
The 1748 copperplate engraving by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck shows the row of large warehouses fronting the river and the surprising range of craft which underlined the town’s status as a major port.
At high tide, with no stone bridges to obstruct them, large ships could sail into the heart of Haverfordwest and unload cargoes into Bridge Street itself.
Indeed, one of Haverfordwest’s oldest public houses, The Bristol Trader gets it’s name from the ships trading with and travelling from Bristol.
A pair of merchants, David and John Jardine had extensive warehouses where No.3 nightclub now stands.
Haverfordwest had official town residences for all the leading Pembrokeshire families, including the Philipps and Laugharne families.
It was to cater for gentry pursuits that, in 1727, a racecourse was first laid down at Portfield.
Races continued to run regularly until 1901.Now the land is governed by a trust and is used for recreation for Haverfordwest’s residents and visitors. There is an upper and lower racecourse, commanding spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. Walks are laid out with regular seating to stop and admire the views.
Near St Mary’s Church was an assembly room for the celebrations and entertainments of all kinds.
When Mary Morgan visited Haverfordwest in 1791 she was impressed by the agility of the men who carried the sedan chairs. The physical appearance of the town compelled her to describe Haverfordwest as “Little Bath”.