Templeton, Pembrokeshire

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Grid reference: SN112119
Location: 51°46’28"N, 4°44’13"W
Post town: Narberth
Postcode: SA67
Local Government
Council: Pembrokeshire

Templeton is a modest village in Pembrokeshire.

Once a place busy with industry, Templeton's its importance declined with the closures of the brickworks and the blacksmith. Now however it retains a high desirability as a country village on the outskirts of Narberth and Tenby. It retains a pub, the Boars Head, and a Primary School, as well as a church and a park. It has many buildings, including the pub which spans back to the 19th century, as well as some older buildings, one house in particular is famed to be of mediæval origins. Templeton is also a famous tight knit community, which has earned it a justified reputation as being a true country village where "everyone knows everyone!"

A popular village folktale speaks of the Wildebeest, a nocturnal monster, which has led to the launching in 2010 of the wildebeest ale by Templeton Beer, Wines and Spirits, the local drinks distribution company.


The name of Templeton may derive from "The Templar's Farm" or ("Tun").[1] It is possible that the Knights Templar had some form of religious house here before their order was dissolved and their assets in the realm divided between the Crown and the Knights Hospitallers: the latter had a commandery at nearby Slebech, which, by 1282 passed to the Mortimers, Lords of Narberth.

In 1282 Templeton was referred to as "Villa temparil" which means the "Vil" or settlement of the Templars and "Villa Templarorium Campestris" – the vil of the Templars in the fields. In 1283 there was also a reference to "Burgesses". These burgesses were "de vento" - "of the wind" meaning they were not property owners within the settlement but were permitted to come in and out of trade on a regular basis. Burgesses at Templeton are again recorded in the 16th century.[2]

The layout of the present village is an example of deliberate planning in the Middle Ages, with a single main street fronted by houses with their respected plots extending behind each dwelling. These houses and plots, the "burgages" of the Middle Ages, form a coherent unit imposed on the landscape and set in a regular system of fields, which themselves still show the narrow strips representing recent enclosures from an extensive mediæval "open field" agricultural field system.[2]

It is not certain whether the creation of the planned town was the work of Mortimer, incorporating an earlier agricultural holding or farm established by the Templars, or whether the Knights Templar did it.

Templeton was once a marcher borough. Owen, in 1603, described it as one of nine Pembrokeshire "boroughs in decay".[3]

In the 17th century Narberth Mountain was stocked with Red Deer and covered 873 acres of woodland. The Pembrokeshire county history records also show open fields in Molleston and Templeton being enclosed for pasture. The establishment of the Tavernspite Turnpike Trust in the 1770s led to a turnpike road toll gate being built at Catershook to the south of the village; its position on an important trading route from Tenby to Cardigan undoubtedly contributed to the growth of Templeton. In the late 18th century the countryside continued to change with woodland disappearing, more land being enclosed and farming dominating the landscape.

The 1870 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Templeton as "a chapelry, with a village, in Narberth parish, Pembroke; 5 miles SSW of Narberth-Road r. station. It was constituted in 1863: and it has a post-office under Narberth. Pop., 650. A property here belonged to the Knights Templars. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of St. Davids. Value, £182. Patron, the Crown. The church was built in 1862. There is a dissenting chapel." [4]

About the town

Sentance Castle

Sentance Castle is a raised fortification, a "ringwork", thought to date from the 12th century. Legends as recounted in the 13th century Mabinogion mention the area of Arberth and a place called Gorsedd Arberth, thought by some authorities to be Sentance Castle. The embanked earthworks are about 15M across and the site is a Scheduled monument.[5]

Margaret's Well

Located adjacent to Sentence Castle is one of the 'Holy Wells of Wales', known as Margaret's Well. Set into a bank, the well chamber is lined with stone and has a corbelled roof.[6]

Templeton Railway Station

Templeton Station

On 4 September 1866 a railway line was completed to link south Pembrokeshire with the main rail line at Whitland. In Templeton a high limestone bridge was built to span Tanner's Lane and a small station was built in 1867. This was mainly used by the adjacent brickworks until the Great War, when a new platform was built. There were also extensive sidings that were used twice for overnight stops for the Royal Train. The station was closed on the 16 June 1965 as part of the Beeching Axe and has since been removed.[1]

Templeton Airfield

Opened in 1943, Templeton Airfield had three concrete runways and was originally a base for 306 Ferry Training Unit which used twin engined Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber aircraft. Templeton was also used by 595 Squadron target towing Spitfires, as well as Spitfires and Mosquito fighter-bombers of A Flight, No. 8 Operational Training Unit in 1945, when operations moved to RAF Benson and the airfield closed.[7]

The disused runways are now occasionally used for military exercises and low flying training with Hercules transport aircraft.[8]

Templeton sign

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Experience Pembrokeshire". http://www.experiencepembrokeshire.com/history-archaeology/community-heritage/templeton-1. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Templeton". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/33212/details/TEMPLETON/. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  3. Owen, George, The Description of Pembrokeshire, by George Owen of Henllys, Lord of Kemes, Henry Owen (Ed), London, 1892; reprinted (1994), Llandysul, Cardiganshire: Gomer Press, ISBN 1-85902-120-4
  4. "Templeton Pembrokeshire". A Vision of Britain Through Time. http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=22952. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  5. "Sentence Castle Templeton". Gatehouse. http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/Welshsites/808.html. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  6. "Margaret's Well". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/304258/details/MARGARET'S+WELL,+TEMPLETON/. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  7. "Templeton Airfield". Control Towers. http://www.controltowers.co.uk/T-V/Templeton.htm. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  8. "Templeton Airfield". Experience Pembrokeshire. http://www.experiencepembrokeshire.com/history-archaeology/military-heritage/templeton-airfield. Retrieved September 26, 2011.