St Florence probably derives its name from St Florent, to whom the church is dedicated. St Florent is commemorated in Saumur in the Loire Valley, an area with which Arnulph de Montgomery, the Norman conqueror of South Pembrokeshire, is associated.
Little is known of St Florence before the 13th century, although there was almost certainly a settlement at the head of the then tidal creek before the Normans arrived in c1100AD. The first reference to St Florence is in a return of lands owned by the Earl of Pembroke in 1248.
The local place names and language are almost exclusively English, stemming from a twofold process in the 12th century. Firstly the Normans, after possessing the land, encouraged English followers to settle in the area and secondly Henry I is said to have sent the Flemings to colonise South Pembrokeshire. As a result, the area has been referred to over the centuries as Little England Beyond Wales.
The Ritec flows through St Florence to the sea at Tenby. Before an embankment was built across the mouth of the river in 1820 to allow land reclamation, the Ritec was navigable as far as where the village shop now stands, and the old Causey corn mill, the ruins of which can still be found in the village, was important for trading.
In 1988 the Prix d'Honneur in the European 'Entente Florale' Awards was won by the village.