History

Pembroke owes its origin to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem who built two Watch Towers on its coast, which served as a means of defence for the Grand Harbour due to Pembroke's strategic position. However, the British Services were instrumental in the development and fortification of Pembroke. The first principal barracks were constructed between 1859 and 1862 and were named after England's Patron Saint – St. George's. Other barracks were built later and named after Ireland and Scotland's Patron Saints – St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s. Fort Pembroke was built between 1875 and 1878 to serve two defence purposes, namely to safeguard the seaward approach towards the Grand Harbour and to defend the right flank of the Victoria Lines. Later, Pembroke Battery was built between 1897 and 1899 to serve the same purposes.
 
Various regiments served in Pembroke and the last soldiers left Pembroke during the first three months of 1979 when the Military Agreement between the Maltese Government and the British Government came to an end exactly on 31st March 1979; a day the Maltese celebrate as Freedom Day and which makes up one of the six national days. During the Second World War, German Prisoners of War were imprisoned in Pembroke and during their stay, built a small chapel which served the needs of the British Services. Since then, all the land which had been purchased by the British Services on their arrival in Malta was handed over to the Maltese Government. For a few years, Pembroke was left deserted but in the mid 1980's, the Housing Department embarked on a program for the conversion of the barracks into private residences, offices and also a holiday complex. At the same time, the Government issued plots of land for sale and the first residents settled in 1986. During the coming years, Pembroke is set to see a greater influx of residents as a housing expansion program is under way.