Caldey Island - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
CALDEY ISLAND, the principal of a cluster of insulated rocks in the bay of Tenby, and forming an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of Castlemartin, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2 miles (E.) from the main land: the population is returned with the parish of Penalley. This island, of which the ancient British name is Ynys Pyr, is about one mile and a quarter in length, and half a mile in breadth, and comprises upwards of 600 acres of land, lying on a bed of limestone, something more than half being in a state of cultivation. Owen, speaking of the fertility of the spot, describes it as abounding with corn; but he adds that "all their ploughs goe with horses, for oxen the inhabitants dare not keepe, fearing the purveyors of the pirattes, as they themselves told me." There are some large limestonequarries. Robert, son of Martin de Tours, founded a priory here in the reign of Henry I., which he dedicated to St. Mary, and made a cell to the abbey of Dogmael, to which establishment the whole of the island was granted by his mother. Its revenue, at the Dissolution, was £5. 10. 11. The remains have been mostly converted into offices attached to a mansion erected on part of the site, now belonging to the proprietor of the island. Among them is the tower of the ancient conventual church, which is surmounted by a stone spire, and forms a conspicuous object of picturesque appearance, imparting, with the rest of the ruins, an interesting and romantic character to this sequestered spot. An ancient chapel, about a quarter of a mile from the priory, was repaired a few years ago, and service is performed in it when any clergyman crosses from the main land for the purpose. A lighthouse, with a steady light, has been erected on the island, which is of great service to vessels entering Tenby harbour, distant about three miles.