Tenby’s Welsh name, Dinbych y Pysgod (little fortress of the fish) reflects its origins as a coastal fort. Although there is evidence of human habitation in the area dating back over 10,000 years, Tenby town’s history really began following the Norman invasion when they built a garrison town – complete with St. Mary’s Parish Church, the largest of its kind in Wales.
Attacks on the town by the native Welsh in the 13th Century resulted in the building of the town walls by William De Valence, Earl of Pembroke, and the town is one of the founding members of the multi-national Walled Town Friendship Circle.
Tenby’s importance increased as trade with Europe flourished in late medieval times, and in 1566 Portuguese seamen landed the first oranges to be brought to Wales at Tenby harbour.
Civil War and the Plague in the 17th Century ravaged the town, but by the Georgian and Victorian eras Tenby was again flourishing as it became renowned as a health resort and centre for botanical and geological study.
With its miles of European Blue Flag winning beaches, picturesque working harbour and rich heritage, Tenby continues to be known throughout the world as a fashionable and fun seaside resort.
Over the last decade the town has also become renowned as the host town of Ironman Wales and other large scale triathlon events.