Medieval 'Defending' Tower

To see this tower you need to be outside the Town Walls in Gooses Lane on the Commons

The Medieval Tower or The Gun Tower - to the rear of no.99 Main Street

This squat, two-storeyed cylindrical drum tower, built as if to interrupt the line of the wall, was certainly one of Owen’s six towers of circa 1600, since it was depicted by Speed in 1611. Until the 1970s, a cannon was mounted on its roof, and it was known locally as 'the Gun Tower’. Conservation work was undertaken by the then South Pembrokeshire District Council during the 1970s and 80s, with permission from the owner as it was in private hands.

The Gun Tower is very similar to the Gazebo Tower and the Southeast Tower, which are all equidistant from one another, being separated by 63m. With a height of around four and a half metres from the roadway the Gun Tower stands complete to its parapet; but much of the thickness of its northern face, looking towards the town, has gone.

The Gun Tower is an irregular circle seven metres in diameter, with a ‘bulge’ to the east (slighter than in the Gazebo Tower), and houses a spiral staircase which connects the two floors and the parapet. The ground level inside the town wall lies just below the medieval parapet level and there is no entry from the outside - the only means of access being from the wall-walk of the adjacent town wall.

The two cylindrical chambers are entered from the spiral stair through plain doorways. Each chamber possesses three arrow-loops: one facing the field, the other two covering the adjacent sections of wall. The western loop in the ground floor chamber has been enlarged to form an entry and subsequently blocked; the spiral stair shaft opposite has undergone a similar process. The two chambers were separated by a timber floor, carried on an offset around the internal face. The upper chamber carries a domed stone vault like that in Barnard’s Tower, where its curiosity has been remarked upon. The parapet is medieval in outline, but the crenellations were rebuilt during the 19th century and again, partly, in 1979 under the then South Pembrokeshire District Council. Some original cream and pink mortar survives on the east face, but the tower has been extensively repointed over time, including in the Nineteenth Century with hard grey mortar, and in the Twentieth Century with cement mortar and lime mortar used in the conservation project.

The Gun Tower is regarded as being broadly coeval with the main work on the town wall, ie. possibly commencing in the 1280s and maybe completed in the 1320s. It is, however, a much simpler affair than Barnard’s Tower and lacks the plunging loops seen in the latter.