Tenby is a town in west Wales of some 5,000 people, situated on the eastern and southern sides of a rocky peninsula stretching out into Bristol Channel a a few miles to the east of the town of Pembroke. To the Welsh it is known as "Dinbych y Pysgod", the "little fortress of the fish" to distinguish it from the other "Dinbych" or Denbigh in the north-east which is just the "little fortress".
Tenby was evidently a small Welsh fortress captured by Roger of Montgomery during the late 11th century when he marched into south Pembrokeshire with his Norman army and established a castle and a small town there to protect the eastern flank of Pembroke.
Tenby therefore became a target for Welsh reprisals and counterattacks - in 1153 the town was captured and burnt by the brothers Maredudd and Rhys and in 1187 was ransacked once again by Maelgwn ap Rhys. In 1260 the town was burnt once more by Llewelyn ap Gruffydd of Gwynedd. This last assault persuaded William de Valence, who became Earl of Pembroke around 1264, to begin the construction of an imposing stone wall around the town - the remains of which can be seen today.
By the 15th century Tenby was a small fishing and trading port but it was during the Georgian and Victorian eras that the town flourished as it achieved renown as a health resort. Since then it has became a noted seaside resort which is how modern Tenby makes its living. It claims to be the 3rd most popular place in the United Kingdom in which to celebrate the New Year, and was voted the world's second best location for stag parties by the magazine Maxim.
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