Digging out secrets of Welsh king of England.
HE was the Welsh-born English king who ended three decades of dynastic wars and brought prosperity back to the country.
But little research has been done on Henry Tudor's birthplace, the formidable Pembroke Castle, until now.
The ground within the walls, known as the outer bailey, is set to be excavated by experts looking for the remains of a late-medieval manor house they believe once stood there.
Their theory is that Lancastrian Henry's teenage mother, Margaret Beaufort, might have given birth in this house as it would have been far more comfortable than the drafty and cold castle itself. However, it may also have been built later when Yorkists controlled the Pembrokeshire castle.
Funded by a grant from the Castle Studies Trust, expert Neil Ludlow and Dyfed Archaeological Trust intend to dig two trenches which they hope will help them understand more about the form, date, context and function of the remains.
They are also planning a topographic survey, which identifies and maps the contours of the ground and existing features, to make a detailed record of the layout of the castle.
Tantalising glimpses of what lies beneath the surface were revealed in aerial photographs in 2013 with parch marks - white or brown marks in the earth which are visible from above - revealing the outline of a possible late medieval double-winged hall house.
This was further confirmed by geophysical surveys, which use sensing equipment to map features beneath the surface, carried out by Dyfed Archaeological Trust and funded by the Castle Studies Trust in 2016.
Mr Ludlow said: "The geophysical survey carried out in Pembroke Castle, in 2016, funded by the Castle Studies Trust, showed a large, winged building that resembles, in plan, a late-medieval manor house.
"This is an unusual find within a castle, and has additional significance at Pembroke as the possible birthplace of King Henry VII.
"But this is still guesswork, as nothing else about the building is known. All we really know is that it was excavated in the 1930s without records.
"Thanks to the support of the Castle Studies Trust, some of these questions will be answered as well as learning more about later medieval high-status living."
Castle Studies Trust chairman of trustees Jeremy Cunnington said: "Pembroke is a major monument but one not in state care and therefore has not been studied in the same degree of detail as many other castles.
"The trust is delighted to be able to fund further work on this iconic site and learn more about its hidden past."
Henry Tudor, who later became Henry VII, was born in Pembroke Castle on January 28, 1457. His father Edmund Tudor had died two months before his birth to 14-year-old Margaret.
Henry had strong Welsh ancestry stretching all the way back to Ednyfed Fychan, who had served Llywelyn the Great as steward, and his mother was a descendant of Edward III.
This made his claim to the English throne tenuous, but it was real enough for his mother to worry about his safety and he was entrusted to the care of his uncle Jasper Tudor.
With the Yorks on the throne Henry was taken to France by Jasper when he was 14, eventually arriving back in Wales at Milford Haven in August 1485. From there he marched to Leicestershire and defeated the House of York at the Battle of Bosworth.
His marriage to Elizabeth of York unified both houses and brought peace.
<B Pembroke Castle was the birthplace of Henry VII Andy Stothert