The East end of town, once the site of the great East Gate
To local people the name 'East End' covers both East End Square and the area immediately around it. As the site of the great East Gate the road here must have been ridden or driven over by heroes (or villains) for centuries: from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the last Welsh king, who would have come to the Llys where the Castle stands today - to young Lady Margaret Beaufort travelling past here on her way from Lamphey Palace to Pembroke Castle when pregnant with Henry Tudor. Oliver Cromwell would have passed through the great East Gate too, and Daniel Defoe and painters Sandby, Norris and Turner when travelling from Pembroke to Tenby.
In the last century English tanks trundled their way from Pembroke railway station where they had been brought by rail on low-loaders, to Castlemartin Range, and for decades after 1961 German tanks were bought in each year by the same means. Both nationalities have even been known on occasions to drive their tanks along Main Street itself. Then there were the long loads, the high loads and the extremely wide loads of the massive machinery, plant and equipment bought in for the construction of the oil refinery and power station some miles away – all had to travel through to the end of Main Street, and yes, quite a few got stuck.
In times gone by the East End was the working, busy end of town with a strong sense of community which still exists today, and it was bustling with life on all levels. Within a very small area were many pubs: The Hope Inn, The Royal Oak, The Railway Inn and The East Gate Hotel, The Blackhorse, The Commercial, The Maltsters, The White Lion, The Red Lion, and The Rifle Corps Arms were the main ones. All but the first two are now closed – gone but most definitely not forgotten.
East End House has also been demolished with the aim of preventing accidents and very large loads such as tanks on low loaders getting stuck at the top of Well Hill. The house was of interest because one of the bedrooms extended into number 7 Station Road next door to it.