The Two Towers

The South West Gun Tower Photo©Nigel Summerley

If you are visiting South Pembrokeshire Hospital at Pembroke Dock, you will find yourself near two historic towers.

One is the South West Gun Tower, a 19th-century Martello tower built – along with the Front Street Gun Tower, at the other end of the Dockyard Wall – as part of the naval base’s defences. The hospital, in fact, used to be a naval hospital.

Paterchurch Tower Photo©Nigel Summerley

The second historic tower just across the road from the hospital is the Paterchurch Tower, a Grade I-listed medieval fortified keep. It is all that remains of a complex of ancient buildings that disappeared for good when the dock was expanded in 1844.

The land here was originally owned by the De Paterchurch family. Although the tower looks as if it should be part of a church, there is no evidence that it ever was.

Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at

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