Pembrokeshire - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
PEMBROKESHIRE, a maritime county of South Wales, bounded on the north-east by the south-western extremity of Cardiganshire, from which it is separated by the navigable river Teivy; on the east by Carmarthenshire, on the south-east by Carmarthen bay, on the south by the Bristol Channel, and on the west and north-west by St. George's Channel. On the north-west side its coast forms part of the southern boundary of the great bay of Cardigan, whilst directly westward it is deeply indented by the broad expanse of St. Bride's bay. It extends from 51° 33' to 52° 4' (N. Lat.), and from 4° 45' to 5° 37' (W. Lon.); and comprises an area, according to Mr. Carey's Communications to the Board of Agriculture, of 345,600 statute acres, or nearly 532 square miles. Within its limits are 18,832 houses inhabited, 1028 uninhabited, and 144 in course of erection; and the population amounts to 88,044, of whom 40,250 are males, and 47,794 females. The annual value of real property in the county assessed to the property and income tax, for the year ending April 1843, was as follows: lands, £266,865; houses, £57,731; tithes, £24,438; mines, £7781; quarries, £1690; canal navigation, £723; tramways, £598; manors, £120; fines, £1016; other kinds of property, £680: making a total of £361,642. All the boroughs in the county are included in these various details.
At the period of the conquest of Britain by the Romans, the district now forming the shire of Pembroke was part of the territory of a tribe styled by these conquerors Dimet, who also occupied the present counties of Cardigan and Carmarthen, and whose country has been called after them Dimetia. The ancient British appellation of this province was Dyved, from which word Mr. Llwyd thinks it probable that the Roman Dimet was derived. The British name may be considered as an abbreviation of Deheuvod, or Deâuvod, "the southern country," or "the country on the right;" as Deheubarth is the common Welsh term for South Wales. In process of time, however, the limits of the territory to which Dyved was especially applied seem to have been contracted until they became nearly identical with those of the present county of Pembroke, which, by Welsh writers, is still frequently called by its ancient British designation. The etymology of its present name of Pembrokeshire does not appear ever to have been satisfactorily ascertained; but it seems that, in the time of Giraldus Cambrensis, the small peninsula of Castlemartin, lying between Milford Haven, on the north, and the Bristol Channel on the south, constituted the province of Pembrock, a term also bestowed upon the town and fortress built there by Arnulph de Montgomery, in the reign of Henry I., and thence afterwards given to the whole county. The British words pen and bro, from which this appellation has been supposed to be derived, signify the promontory, or headland region, and are correctly descriptive of the territory to which the name originally belonged. Under the Roman dominion, Pembrokeshire contained the station Ad Vigesimum, near its eastern confines; and that of Menapia, in the vicinity of St. David's. It was traversed from east to west by the great Via Julia, which entered it from the station Maridunum, at Carmarthen, and passed by that of Ad Vigesimum to Menapia; while another road, vulgarly called in later times "the Flemings' Way," connected the latter station with Loventium, at Llanio in Cardiganshire, running for a great distance over the Percelly or Preselè mountains into the northern parts of Carmarthenshire.
Little is known concerning this territory for a long period after the withdrawal of the Roman forces from Britain. It appears, in common with most other parts of the country, to have passed under the dominion of several lines of lords, or princes, some of whom are occasionally called in the Welsh annals, kings of Dyved; but it seems doubtful whether the whole country was ever subject to the authority of a single chieftain, until a kind of nominal authority was claimed over it by the princes of Dynevor, and occasionally by those of North Wales. Of the pedigrees preserved by the Welsh heralds of the succession of the lords of Dyved, one only is worthy of remark, viz., that of the family of Morien Glâs, which was the most illustrious line of these princes: the exact period at which Morien Glâs flourished is not precisely ascertained, but he is supposed to have been a descendant of the great Caradoc, or Caractacus. In the year 892, during the quarrels among the three sons of Rhodri Mawr, King of all Wales, which ensued upon the death of this monarch, Anarawd, Prince of North Wales, advanced through Cardiganshire with a powerful force, augmented by some English auxiliaries, and made great devastation in this county, burning the houses and destroying the corn. After the death of Hywel Dda, Ievav and Iago, Princes of North Wales, asserted their right to the dominion of all Wales, and entering the territory of the sons of Hywel, in South Wales, defeated them in a great battle, and then proceeded into Pembrokeshire, making dreadful ravages along the whole line of their march. This incursion took place in 949; and the year following, encouraged by their former success, the Princes of North Wales marched a second time into Pembrokeshire; but on that occasion they were opposed with great spirit by Owain ab Hywel Dda, who obliged them to retreat so precipitately, that many of their forces were drowned in the river Teivy.
In 987, the coasts of the county were invaded by the Danes, who committed great ravages on different parts of them, burning the churches of St. David's and St. Dogmael's, the latter near Cardigan. Such was the destruction of corn and cattle made by these barbarians, that it caused a general famine, which proved fatal to many of the inhabitants; and Meredydd, the reigning Prince of South Wales, was compelled to purchase the retirement of the invaders by paying a large tribute. Shortly after, Edwin, son of Eineon, considering himself wrongfully dispossessed of the sovereignty of South Wales by his uncle Meredydd, raised an army, and, having obtained succours from the Saxons and Danes, marched without opposition through this county, entering it from Cardiganshire, and quitting it for the southernmost parts of Carmarthenshire.
In the year 1021, Hywel and Meredydd, sons of Edwin, accompanied by Eulaff, or Aulaff, and a large army of Irish and Scots, landed in the county, with the view of obtaining for themselves the principality of South Wales from Llewelyn, who then ruled over all Wales; and, after pillaging the church of St. David's, marched eastward to Carmarthen, where they were totally defeated by Llewelyn, who, however, was slain in the action. Grufydd, Prince of all Wales, towards the middle of the eleventh century, ravaged the lands of some of his vassals in Dyved, to punish them for having assisted Caradoc, son of Rhydderch, a prince of Glamorgan, in his endeavours to obtain the sovereignty of South Wales. During the short reign of Caradoc, who possessed himself of the dominion of South Wales soon after the conquest of England by the Normans, a party of whom he brought to his assistance against the reigning prince Meredydd, a hostile Norman force made a descent upon the western coasts of his dominions, and ravaged a great part of this county, as well as that of Cardigan: Caradoc marched against them with celerity, and compelled them to abandon their plunder and retreat to their ships. Two years afterwards, in 1071, they made a like predatory visit, but with no better success, being defeated with great loss by Caradoc's son and successor Rhydderch. Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, having, in 1077, recovered the sovereignty of South Wales almost without opposition, was soon called upon to assist another prince, who, like himself, had been unjustly deprived of his lawful inheritance. This was Grufydd ab Cynan, who laid claim to the principality of North Wales, and landed in Pembrokeshire, in the year 1080, with a large force composed of Irish-Scots; being joined by Rhŷs, their combined armies marched into North Wales, where they fought the celebrated battle on the hills of Carno in Montgomeryshire, which established Grufydd in the sovereignty of that country. About this time also, William the Conqueror entered South Wales with a powerful army, and received the homage of the Welsh princes, from whom experiencing no resistance, he changed the character of his visit, and went with his troops on a pilgrimage to the city of St. David's at the westernmost extremity of this county, where he offered up his devotions at the shrine of the patron saint of the Cambrians.
Cadivor Vawr, or Cadivor the Great, lord of Dyved, called also, from the place of his residence, lord of Blaencych, and the twenty-first in descent from Morien Glâs, died in 1088, leaving five sons by his wife, the daughter and heiress of Llywarch Llawen Vawr, another chieftain of the country included within the limits of the present county of Pembroke. Two years after this event, his eldest sons, Llewelyn and Eineon, with their uncle Eineon ab Collwyn, and Grufydd ab Meredydd, another chieftain of Dyved, joined in rebellion against Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales; and, having united their forces, marched towards Llandydoch, now St. Dogmael's, on the Pembrokeshire side of the river Teivy, near Cardigan, where Rhŷs at that time resided; expecting probably to take him by surprise. In this, however, they were disappointed: Rhŷs immediately gave them battle near that place, and completely defeated them. Both the above-named sons of Cadivor were slain in the conflict, and Grufydd was taken prisoner, and immediately put to death as a traitor; while Eineon ab Collwyn, the sole surviving leader, fled into Glamorgan, where he acted so prominent a part in the fatal measure of introducing the Normans into that province. Bledri, the next son, having taken no share in the insurrection, was allowed to remain in quiet possession of the lordship of Kîlsant, and from him was descended its late proprietor, the late Lord Milford.
The next attempt of the Norman conquerors on the coasts of this territory proved more successful than the two preceding ones, frustrated by Caradoc and Rhydderch respectively. It was made by Martin de Tours, a Norman knight, whose services under the Conqueror had been rewarded by a grant of lands on the coast of Devonshire, adjacent to the Bristol Channel. Martin fitted out an expedition to act against such parts of Wales as he should find least prepared for defence, and having rounded the western portion of Pembrokeshire, he finally resolved on landing his troops at Fishguard; this was effected with little difficulty, and he made an easy conquest of the adjacent lordship of Cemmaes, or Kemmes, in which his son Sir William afterwards erected the castle of Newport. The conquest took place during the minority of Grufydd, son of the late Prince of South Wales, to whom the district lawfully belonged; and the possession of it was subsequently secured to the family of its new master by the marriage of Martin's son, William, with the daughter of Rhŷs ab Grufydd, usually called the Lord Rhŷs.
This enterprise was undoubtedly undertaken on the general understanding that the English monarch would sanction any attack on the Welsh; and the next invasion of the territory now forming the county of Pembroke was under the direct approbation of William Rufus, to whom, in the year 1092, Arnulph, the younger son of Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, did homage by anticipation for the province of Dyved, which he was licensed to subdue whenever and by whatever means he chose. Arnulph obtained almost immediate possession of the district around the present town of Pembroke, where he constructed the castle of Pembroke, for the defence of his newly-acquired territories against the attacks of the native chieftains. That fortress proved of sufficient strength to resist the assaults of a formidable force brought against it in the course of the same year, by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn; who again assailed it two years afterwards, but with the like ill-success. Arnulph de Montgomery appointed Gerald de Windesor governor of this castle, but how far his actual conquests extended is uncertain; and neither he nor his immediate successors appear to have held them with such ample powers as were exercised by the lords marcher; for the king's writs issuing out of the courts at Westminster were current in the conquered territory of Pembroke. On the accession of Henry I., Arnulph joined in a rebellion against that monarch, which led to his voluntary exile and the forfeiture of his estates. Henry, on this occasion, gave the government of Pembroke to a Norman knight, named Saer, but soon restored it to Gerald de Windesor, who had married Henry's late concubine, Nêst, daughter of Rhŷs ab Tewdwr: Gerald rebuilt the castle of Pembroke, in the year 1105.
Cadwgan ab Bleddyn, the principal chieftain in South Wales, after the death of Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, contrived to continue at peace with Henry I. for some time after the accession of the latter, and in this interval of repose gave a grand festival at the castle of Eare Weare, in the parish of Amroath, in this county, or, as some have asserted, but with less probability, at that of Aberteivy, or Cardigan, to the principal persons of the surrounding country. At this entertainment Owain ab Cadwgan (son of the host), who had his residence at Powys, hearing the beauty of Gerald de Windesor's wife praised in the highest terms, his curiosity was greatly excited to see her; and, to gratify his wish, he took an early opportunity, on pretence of relationship, of paying her a visit. Struck with her charms at this interview, he instantly determined to make himself master of her person; and having engaged in his service some young men upon whom he could rely, he returned the same evening either to Pembroke, or to Carew, it being somewhat uncertain whether this violent outrage occurred at the former or the latter place. He entered the castle unobserved, stationed a guard over the chamber in which Gerald and his wife lay, and set fire to the building. Gerald, in the confusion and alarm that ensued, would have rushed out among the incendiaries; but Nêst, suspecting some treachery, prevailed upon him to make his escape in another direction: Owain and his followers broke open the chamber door, seized Gerald's wife and his four children, and, leaving the castle in flames, and ravaging the adjacent country, carried off Nêst and the children into Powys. It appears that the captives were soon restored; but this unprincipled outrage, in violation of the peace with the English, brought great evils upon the offender's family. About the year 1113, Grufydd ab Rhŷs, the eldest surviving son of Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, who, during his minority, had resided in Ireland, came to South Wales, and was encouraged by Gerald de Windesor, who was his brother-in-law, to assert his claim to the principality. At first, fearing the power of the English monarch, he retired into North Wales; but he returned soon after, and commenced a desultory warfare against the English in the south of Carmarthenshire, which he sometimes extended into this county. King Henry, regarding Gerald's conduct on this occasion with extreme suspicion, circumscribed his power as lieutenant of the English crown in every way consistent with the safety of the royal possessions here.
One of the most remarkable features in the history of Pembrokeshire is the settlement, about this period, of a numerous colony of Flemings among its native population; the memorials of which, however, are very scanty. It appears that, about the year 1106, during a tremendous storm on the coast of Flanders, the sand-hills and embankments were in many places carried away, and the sea inundated a large tract of country. This calamity occasioned a great body of the inhabitants to seek an asylum in England, where, being well received by Henry I., they dispersed themselves throughout different counties, in which, however, they soon became odious to the native population. Henry at last removed them to the district of Rhôs, or Roos, in this county, westward of the town of Haverfordwest, where at the same time a strong castle was erected; as also at Tenby. How long they remained here is not known; but it is stated by Caradoc of Llancarvan, that after a few years they disappeared; and according to the same historian, a second inundation, in the year 1113, drove another body into England, and Henry, having urgent occasion for men to oppose the rising power of Grufydd ab Rhŷs, in South Wales, sent this colony also into Pembrokeshire. He assigned to them the district which had before been given to their countrymen, and ordered his commanders there to provide them with habitations and the means of subsistence, on condition that they should consider themselves as his subjects, and act under his officers in the wars against the Welsh. Henry is also said by the Welsh historians to have placed among them some English settlers, to teach them the English language, and habituate them to English customs. The posterity of these settlers remain to this day in the southern parts of the county, where they are plainly distinguishable from the ancient British population by their language, manners, and customs.
The death of Henry, in the year 1135, diffused a spirit of revolt and hostility throughout the whole of the native population of Wales, which he had kept in strict submission. The insurrection began within the present county of Pembroke, where a considerable body of Normans was defeated and destroyed. Animated by this success, the insurgents spread themselves over and ravaged this whole territory, putting to death great numbers of the foreigners. To repress this and subsequent formidable insurrections and invasions, the united forces of the Normans, Flemings, and English, in the south-western parts of Wales, were directed by several powerful leaders, amongst whom were the two sons of Gerald de Windesor; also Robert Fitz-Martin, descended from the first invader of the county; William Fitz-John; and Stephen, the governor of Cardigan. But they were defeated in the vicinity of Cardigan, with the loss of 3000 men, besides numbers who were made prisoners, or drowned in the Teivy, the few that remained taking refuge in their castles. In the year 1137, Owain, surnamed Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, invaded this territory, and compelled its inhabitants to pay him tribute.
The parts of Pembrokeshire held by the AngloNormans at this period were regarded as the property of the crown, the commanders for the time being acting only by a delegated authority as lieutenants; but early in the reign of Stephen, in 1138, Gilbert de Clare, surnamed Strongbow, who had been created Earl of Pembroke by Henry I. in 1109, and, before the late reverses, had made himself master of the greater part of the present county of Cardigan, was invested with all the powers of a count palatine over the country from which he derived his title. This noble long made great but fruitless endeavours to reconquer the territories of which he had been deprived by the Welsh in Cardigan and elsewhere. In 1145, the castle of Gwys, in this county, was besieged and taken by the sons of Grufydd ab Rhŷs, aided by Hywel, a natural son of Owain Gwynedd. In 1150, Cadell, brother of Rhŷs ab Grufydd, Prince of South Wales, while on a hunting expedition in the territory of Pembroke, was waylaid and attacked by a party of English from Tenby: his attendants, being unarmed, were immediately dispersed, but, though left alone, he faced his assailants with great bravery, and is said to have killed several of them, at the same time receiving a severe wound, which for a long time after disabled him from active service. His brothers Rhŷs and Meredydd, in revenge for this outrage, marched their forces against Tenby which they surprised, taking the castle by escalade, and slaughtering the garrison.
One of the first acts of the government of Henry II. was to banish out of England the Flemish mercenary soldiers who had followed the fortunes of King Stephen; to whom, however, with much political wisdom, he granted leave to settle among their fellow-countrymen in the province of Pembroke, of which permission great numbers availed themselves, thus bringing to the colony a considerable accession of strength. Early in this reign also, Gilbert Strongbow at length succeeded in recovering much of his territory in Cardiganshire. But Rhŷs ab Grufydd, Prince of South Wales, enraged against the English by repeated injuries, became their most violent enemy, and in this county made many inroads on the estates of the Flemings, ravaged their country, and then returned to his castle of Dynevor, the ancient royal seat of his ancestors. The same chieftain repeated his incursions a few years afterwards with the like success, taking and destroying the castle of Kîlgerran, a place of great strength and importance. About the year 1186, Maelgwyn, son of Rhŷs ab Grufydd, with an overwhelming force, took Tenby Castle, and demolished the works. Gilbert Strongbow had in the mean time been succeeded in the palatinate of Pembroke by his son Richard, who died in 1176, leaving issue only one daughter, Isabel, who was in her infancy at the time of his decease, and remained a ward of the crown for fourteen years. Richard I., on his accession, gave this lady in marriage to William de la Grace, surnamed Le Mareschal, in whose family the earldom of Pembroke thus became vested, and who obtained from Richard's successor, John, the castle of Haverfordwest, and the custody of those of Carmarthen, Cardigan, and Gower. In 1199, Grufydd, son of Rhys, the last Prince of South Wales, took the important fortress of Kîlgerran from his brother and enemy Maelgwyn; but a few years afterwards it fell into the hands of the Earl of Pembroke. After the death of Grufydd, his son Rhŷs having been reconciled to his uncle Maelgwyn, these leaders united their forces, and, entering Pembrokeshire, overran and subdued the greater part of it.
About the year 1215, Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, led a large army into South Wales, against the territories of the English vassals, took the castles of Kemmes and Newport, in the present county of Pembroke, and closed the campaign by the reduction of those of Kîlgerran and Cardigan. In settling the division of the reconquered territory, Llewelyn assigned to Maelgwyn four cantrevs in Dyved, viz., Gwarthav, Penllwynoc, Kemmes, and Emlyn, with the castle of Kîlgerran. In 1217, continuing his march from Brecknockshire. whither he had gone to chastise the defection of his son-in-law Reginald de Breos, Llewelyn entered the territory of Pembroke with his army, to attack the Flemish settlers. They sent him proposals for peace, which he received at a place called Cevn Cynwarchan, but which he refused to accede to; and a part of his army crossed the river Cleddy to commence hostilities. The bishop of St. David's, attended by his clergy, then repaired to the prince on a like mission: the prelate's intercession at length prevailed, and a peace was concluded, the principal conditions of which were, that the inhabitants of the districts of Rhôs and Pembroke should be subject to the Prince of North Wales, and should hold their lands of him as their liege lord; should pay him 1000 marks towards defraying the expenses of the war; and should deliver to him twenty hostages of the first note in their country, as a pledge of their future fidelity. William Marshal, or Le Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, who, during the lifetime of King John of England, had constantly adhered to his interests, and, on the death of that monarch, had espoused the cause of the young prince Henry in opposition to the pretensions of the Dauphin of France, died in 1219, and was succeeded in his titles and honours by his eldest son William.
In 1220, the Flemings threw off their allegiance to Llewelyn, and marching northward, seized the castle of Cardigan. This, however, the Welsh prince soon after recovered, and razed to the ground; then, advancing into Pembrokeshire, he destroyed the castle and fired the town of Gwys, now Wiston, and extended his ravages to the country bordering on Milford Haven, and to the gates of Haverfordwest Castle. During the absence of William, Earl of Pembroke, in Ireland, where he had a command in the English army, Llewelyn laid waste his territories in this county, and took and garrisoned two of his castles. The earl, hearing of these ravages, landed from Ireland with a strong body of forces near the city of St. David's, recovered the castles of Carmarthen and Cardigan, and retaliated on the garrisons the slaughter which Llewelyn had inflicted: he soon after rebuilt the strong castle of Kîlgerran. Earl William died in 1231, and was succeeded in the palatinate by his next brother Richard, at that time abroad, and whom the king, on pretence that he had leagued with the king's enemies in France, refused to admit to the honours of his family; upon which he retired into Ireland, where, having raised a powerful band of adherents, he returned to Pembrokeshire, and took forcible possession of the Welsh territories. He now became reconciled to the king, with whom, however, he quarrelled again in 1233, concerning his Poictevin favourites: then, withdrawing to South Wales, he made common cause with some of the Welsh chieftains against Henry's more devoted vassals. He was soon compelled once more to seek refuge in Ireland, where he was treacherously slain in 1234. He was succeeded in the earldom by his brother Gilbert, who obtained from the crown a grant of the towns and castles of Cardigan and Carmarthen, which had been seized from his predecessor into the hands of the king. Being accidentally killed in the year 1241, and leaving no issue, the family honours and possessions devolved upon the next brother, Walter, who in his turn died without issue, in 1246, and was succeeded by his only remaining brother, Anselme, who died a few days after, also without issue. The remarkable circumstance of the decease of all these five adult sons of William Le Mareschal without issue was attributed, by the monkish historians of the time, to the impiety of their father, who had seized two manors in Ireland belonging to the Bishop of Ferns, and whom that prelate had consequently excommunicated.
On the death of Anselme, the family inheritance passed to his eldest sister Maud, who had married, first, Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, and afterwards John de Warren, Earl of Surrey, and who with the king's consent bestowed the office of marshal, forming part of the inheritance, on her son by her first husband, Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. Maud died in 1248, when the estates of the earldom of Pembroke, by marriage with her next sister Joan, devolved on Warren de Mountchensi, who died in 1255, leaving issue by this marriage a son, William, and a daughter, Joan. William succeeded his father in the earldom of Pembroke, but was killed at the siege of Dryslwyn Castle, in 1289: his sister married William de Valence, half-brother to Henry III., who was created Earl of Pembroke by that sovereign, and succeeded to the palatinate. After the complete subjugation of Wales by Edward I., the attempt of that monarch to tax his newly-acquired subjects caused numerous insurrections; and the rebels of Cardiganshire, headed by Maelgwyn Vychan, overran and plundered this county. William de Valence was succeeded in the earldom of Pembroke by his son Aymer, who was murdered in 1323, while attending Queen Isabella to France; and, leaving no issue, his honours and estates passed to Lawrence Hastings, grandson of his sister Isabel, who had married John Hastings. Lawrence died in 1347 or 1349, leaving only an infant son, named John; and the custody of the castle of Pembroke, with its dependent territory, was granted, during his minority, to his mother Agnes, and afterwards to her jointly with her second husband, John de Hakeluyt. John Hastings was succeeded on his death by his son John, during whose minority the palatinate of Pembroke was given in charge to his relation, William de Beauchamp. John was accidentally killed in a tournament at Woodstock, in 1390, when only seventeen years of age; whereupon the family honours were claimed by Reginald, Lord Grey of Ruthin, who considered himself the next heir, as lineally descended from Elizabeth, the sister of John Hastings, the greatgreat-grandfather of the late earl. Richard II., however, retained the earldom in his own hands for nearly eight years, and then conferred it on his queen Isabella, the government of the earldom being committed to Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester. On the deposition of this monarch, his successor, Henry IV., seized the earldom of Pembroke, and granted it to his son John, Duke of Bedford, who dying without issue, it passed to his brother, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. During the spirited revolt of the Welsh under Owain Glyndwr, the French force of 12,000 men, which was sent to their assistance, landed in Milford Haven, whence it marched to the capture of Carmarthen Castle.
After the death of the Duke of Gloucester, the earldom and palatinate of Pembroke were next given to William de la Pole, Earl and afterwards Duke of Suffolk. Reverting again to the crown, on the death of this latter nobleman, it was given by Henry VI. to his half-brother, Jasper Tudor, by whom it was held until the accession of Edward IV., who raised William Herbert, Lord of Raglan, to the dignity of Earl of Pembroke, in reward for the services rendered by that nobleman to his family. Herbert was beheaded by the Lancastrians at Banbury, in 1469, and was succeeded in the palatinate of Pembroke by his son William. The new lord, however, enjoyed possession of it only a very short time; for, during the brief reverse of fortune experienced by Edward IV., and the triumph of the opposite party on the liberation of Henry VI., Jasper Tudor was reinstated in his honours and possessions; and, after the defeats of the Lancastrians at Barnet and Tewkesbury, he retired to Pembroke Castle, in which were his nephew, Henry, Earl of Richmond, and the countess, the young earl's mother. This fortress was soon invested by a Welsh chieftain named Morgan ab Thomas, brother to Sir Rhŷs ab Thomas, in order to prevent their escape out of the country. But Morgan's brother David, who had warmly espoused the cause of the Lancastrians, hastily collected about 2000 men, armed with whatever weapons they could immediately procure, and, falling on the besieging army by surprise, compelled it to retire; thus giving the Earl of Pembroke, with his young charge, and the Countess of Richmond, an opportunity to escape to Tenby, whence they immediately sailed for Britanny. The lastmentioned William Herbert resigned the palatinate of Pembroke into the hands of Edward IV., on this monarch's expressing a wish to confer it on his son, the young Prince Edward. After the death of Edward V., the palatinate of Pembroke was held by his uncle Richard, the usurper.
Rhŷs ab Thomas, at this time the most powerful subject in South Wales, notwithstanding his protestations of fidelity to Richard, was a secret supporter of the claims of the young Earl of Richmond; and accordingly, when it was announced that the French fleet, convoying that nobleman, was within sight of the Welsh coast, Rhŷs, who was then at his castle of Carew, in this county, marched with a chosen band of followers, well armed and mounted, to meet Richmond at Dale, near the mouth of Milford Haven, where it had been agreed that he should land. The earl, who was attended only by a small French force, ill disciplined and ill provided, was highly gratified and encouraged by the number and martial appearance of the troops which Rhŷs and his other friends in this quarter had brought to his support, and at once resolved to take the field, despatching orders to his friends in other parts to join him with their forces at Shrewsbury. Every thing being arranged, the little army already collected commenced its march towards that town, in two divisions, one of which, under the command of the earl himself, passed through Cardiganshire; while the other, led by Rhŷs ab Thomas, took a different route, through Carmarthenshire; the ranks of both rapidly swelling by the accession of numerous volunteers from every side. On the successful issue of this expedition, the palatinate of Pembroke was finally restored to Jasper Tudor, the proscribed earl, who was also created Duke of Bedford. Upon his death, Henry VII. granted the earldom to his son Henry, Duke of York, afterwards Henry VIII., from whom, on the death of his elder brother Arthur, it reverted to the king, who retained it until his death.
Henry VIII., after his accession, kept the earldom in his own hands, and created Anna Boleyn Marchioness of Pembroke. The act 27th of Henry VIII., c. 26. (in the year 1535), "for laws and justice to be administered in Wales in like form as it is in England," while it entirely abolished the palatine jurisdiction of this county, increased its extent, settling its boundaries and divisions as they now exist, and enabling it to send one knight of the shire and two burgesses to the English parliament. Since that enactment the earldom of Pembroke has been merely a title of honour. The first Earl of Pembroke created after this alteration was William Herbert, lord steward in the reign of Edward VI., with whose descendants the title still remains.
In the reign of Elizabeth, when the Spanish invasion was threatened, the position of the noble harbour of Milford Haven, with the facilities which it offered to an invading force, became a subject of deep consideration; and an engineer was sent down by the government to survey the Haven, and report concerning the best means of defending it. This person's proceedings, however, were far from being satisfactory to the principal gentry of the county; and a spirited memorial, signed by Dr. Anthony Rudd, Bishop of St. David's, and four magistrates of the county, was severally addressed to four of the leading members of the privy council, viz., the lord keeper, the lord treasurer, the Earl of Essex, and the Lord Buckhurst, and a copy of it sent to the Earl of Pembroke; expressing their great dissatisfaction with the engineer's conduct. The only step actually taken by the government in this matter was to order the erection of two forts, one on each side of the mouth of the Haven, which were begun but never finished: the remains are still called, from their respective situations, the Angle Block-house and the Dale Blockhouse.
In the reign of King Charles I., although it was not the scene of any important action, Pembrokeshire experienced its share of the evils of civil war, and several of its numerous castles sustained arduous sieges. Pembroke Castle, garrisoned for the king, for a time resisted the attacks of the parliamentarian forces, as also did the castle of Picton, garrisoned in the same cause by Sir Richard Philipps; Roche Castle, defended by Captain Francis Edwards, of Summerhill; and a castellated mansion, which occupied the site of the modern Stackpool Court, the splendid mansion of Earl Cawdor. On the defection of Major-General Laugharne from the side of the parliament, he and his companions in arms, Cols. Powell and Poyer, seized on the castle of Pembroke, previously subject to the parliament, and made it their head-quarters and the rendezvous of their partisans. It was to this fortress, also, that these leaders retired after their overthrow at the battle of St. Fagan's, in Glamorganshire, on the 8th day of May, 1648; and Cromwell himself, who closely followed them, arrived under its walls on the 21st of the same month, and immediately commenced operations for its reduction, which he effected after encountering a vigorous resistance. Since this period, no events of historical importance have occurred in connexion with the county. In February 1797, it was thrown into great alarm by the landing of a French force of about 1500 men at Abervelen, in the parish of Llanwnda, about three miles to the west of Fishguard. These troops, however, being left by the ships that brought them thither, became disorderly, and, in about two days from their debarkation, surrendered, on Goodwick Sands, nearly a mile north-west of Fishguard, to such force, commanded by the late Lord Cawdor, as on the urgency of the occasion could be assembled. Indeed the smallness of the invading force, its want of discipline, and the unaccountable departure of the vessels which had landed it, gave strong reason to believe that the men who composed it were criminals of the lowest description, of whom the French government had taken this method of ridding itself.
Pembrokeshire is in the diocese of St. David's, and province of Canterbury, and is for the most part comprised in the archdeaconry of St. David's, though partly in that of Cardigan, while a few parishes are included in that of Carmarthen. The portion in the first-named archdeaconry is comprised in the several deaneries of Castlemartin or Narberth, Dewisland or Pebidiawg, Dungleddy, and Rhôs; that in the second, in those of Kemmes and Emlyn; and the parishes in the last, in that of Carmarthen. The total number of parishes is 138, of which 58 are rectories, 51 vicarages, and the rest perpetual curacies. For purposes of civil government it is divided into the seven hundreds of Castlemartin, Kemmes, Dewisland, Dungleddy, Cîl Garon or Cîl Geraint (commonly called Kîlgerran), Narberth, and Rhôs. It contains the decayed city of St. David's; the borough, market, and sea-port towns of Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford, Pembroke, and Tenby; the borough and market-town of Narberth; the borough of Wiston; the incorporated market and sea-port town of Newport; the little sea-port town of Solva, and the rising sea-port of Saundersfoot. One knight is returned to parliament for the shire; one representative for the borough of Haverfordwest and its newly-created contributory boroughs of Fishguard and Narberth; and one for Pembroke, Tenby, Wiston, and Milford, conjointly, the last-named town having been constituted a borough by the act of 1832, for "Amending the Representation." The county member is elected at Haverfordwest, where also the election of a representative for that borough and its contributories takes place; the member for Pembroke and its contributory boroughs is chosen at Pembroke. In the election of a knight for the shire the polling-places are Haverfordwest, Pembroke, Narberth, Fishguard, Newport, Tenby, and Mathry. The county is included in the Carmarthen or South Wales circuit; and the assizes and the quarter-sessions are held at Haverfordwest, where stand the county gaol, and the county house of correction, or bridewell. It comprises the entire poor-law unions of Pembroke and Haverfordwest, the greater part of those of Cardigan and Narberth, and a small portion of the union of Newcastle-Emlyn.
This is the most western county of South Wales, forming the extremity of the central of the three great western projections of South Britain, owing to which geographical position its extent of sea-coast is double that of its land boundary. Its form, too, is rendered extremely irregular by the many deep bays and creeks that indent its shores, and by the great deviousness of the arbitrary line that separates it from Carmarthenshire. The surface of the whole county is greatly diversified with alternate hills and dales, decorated with rich meadows and corn-fields, and in most parts forms a fine champaign country, admirably adapted for hunting, which circumstance has caused the establishment of the "Pembrokeshire Hunt," noticed in the article on Haverfordwest. None of the hills attain a mountainous elevation, except a chain on the northern side of the county, extending from east to west a distance of eight or ten miles, under the general name of the Percelly or Preselè Mountains. These are a continuation of the range which, further eastward, separates the vales of the Towy and the Teivy. Several of the summits of the Percelly chain bear distinct appellations. One of the most remarkable is at its western extremity, and is called Moel Eryr: the next, proceeding eastward, is Cwm Cerwyn Hill, which is the highest land in the county, and is visible to a great distance in every direction: the easternmost of the remarkable summits is Vrenni-Vawr, which is likewise a conspicuous object from the country around. The height of Preselè Top, according to the Ordnance Survey, is 1754 feet above the level of the sea: it serves as a landmark for mariners, and from some parts of this range of hills may in clear weather be seen the whole county of Pembroke, together with portions of nine others, also vast expanses of the Irish Sea and the Bristol Channel; the small island of Lundy, and the Irish hills about Wexford. When the atmosphere elsewhere is clear, the tops of these mountains are frequently wrapped in clouds, a circumstance which is regarded by the inhabitants of the surrounding district as a certain prognostic of approaching rain. In the northern parts of the county, more particularly at a place called Trêvgarn, commonly Traugarn, in the hundred of Rhôs, approaching the western side of it, rise huge masses of rock, which, when viewed from a distance, present the appearance of ruined castles, or other large buildings. The most singular feature among these immense masses, is a group of rocks on the right-hand side of the high road from Fishguard to Haverfordwest, about 300 yards beyond the point where the road has been cut through the rock, presenting the appearance of several lions, but of two more especially, couchant, looking each other in the face; and, what is still more worthy of notice, these rocks preserve the same appearance, and that as distinct, though approached within a few hundred yards, as well as when viewed from the other side. The whole of Castlemartin hundred, forming the southernmost part of the county, is distinguished for its gently undulating horizontal surface. The broad expanses of Milford Haven and its numerous creeks and branches, form objects of the highest interest, from the picturesque and delightful scenery which in so many places decorates their shores. Some of the most remarkable heights whose elevation has been ascertained, besides Preselè Top, are, Vrenni-Vawr, situated in the northern part of the county, and which is 1285 feet above the level of the sea; Plumstone Mountain, rising 573 feet; Newton Down, rising 322 feet; Highgate Down, rising 294 feet; and St. Anne's Heights, at the mouth of Milford Haven, 235 feet.
The shores of Pembrokeshire are in general high, and the cliffs perpendicular: some of the coast scenes are remarkable for their sublimity and grandeur. The most prominent headlands, on the north-west, are Stumble Head and St. David's Head: the latter bounds St. Bride's bay on the north. This bay, which derives its name from a neighbouring village, is succeeded, as we advance southward, by the deep inlet of Milford Haven, beyond which the coast continues rocky, and full of caverns worn by the action of the waves, quite round to Carmarthen bay, where, on the confines of the county of Carmarthen, it gradually sinks into a marshy flat. Pembrokeshire has its coast studded with a greater number of small islands than the coast of any other county in the principality. The first that occurs on the east is Caldey Island, lying off Tenby, about two miles from the main land, and in the parish of Penalley; it is about a mile long, half a mile broad, and contains 600 acres, of which a third is cultivated: between it and Tenby are various insulated rocks of wild and grotesque appearance, some of which may be approached from the main land at low water. The two next islands, proceeding westward, occur between Milford Haven and St. Bride's bay. One of these, called Skokham, or Skokholm, which is extra-parochial, is situated at a distance of rather less than three miles from the main land, and about five miles west-by-north from St. Anne's Point, at the mouth of Milford Haven, and comprises about 251 acres; it is depastured by sheep, abounds with rabbits, and contains plenty of fresh-water springs. Skomar isle lies somewhat nearer to the main land, and due north of Skokham, from which it is separated by a strait about a mile and a half wide, called Broad Sound. It contains about 700 acres, a considerable portion of it under tillage, and is in the occupation of a resident farmer; it has an abundance of fresh water, and contains so great a number of rabbits, that 2000 are said to be killed in it annually. Anciently it formed part of the lordship of Haverfordwest, and the isle now constitutes part of the parish of St. Martin, in that town. At a considerable distance from these is the smaller island of Gresholm, and several detached rocks are to be seen in the vicinity. But the largest island on the coast of Pembrokeshire, and of South Wales, is Ramsey, which forms part of St. David's parish, and occupies a prominent geographical position to the west of the great promontory on which that city stands; being the westernmost extremity of Wales. It is about three miles long and one broad, and was formerly under tillage, but is now depastured by sheep and horses. This island, and seven rocks to the south and west of it, have received the vulgar name of "the Bishop and his Clerks," probably from their vicinity to the ancient metropolitan see of St. David's.
From the circumstance of the county lying more fully exposed to the south-westerly winds of the Atlantic than any other Welsh county, its climate is more humid, its winters are considerably milder, and the heat of its summers more moderate. Severe frosts are seldom experienced, and snow never lies long on the ground, generally dissolving within two or three days after its fall. The mountains towards the northern border of the county collect around their lofty summits the watery vapours brought by the prevailing north-westerly wind, which thence descend in frequent showers of drizzling rain, and often in heavy torrents, surprising the farmers in the more southern and less elevated districts, towards which the streams from the mountains take their course, with sudden and unexpected floods. The myrtle, arbutus, and other tender exotics, which require to be taken under cover in winter in most parts of Britain, bear the open air throughout the whole year, in the southern parts of Pembroke, as on the opposite English coasts of Devon and Cornwall; and fruits ripen earlier and more perfectly in the warm humid air of this county than in most of the interior parts of the island. This mildness and humidity render the warm limestone soils so productive of natural grasses, that all the efforts of the farmer to prevent the arable crops from being materially injured by their rank luxuriance, are frequently unavailing. As the climate of the southern maritime district is remarkably favourable to vegetation, so also is it distinguished for salubrity, and instances of great longevity are numerous. The north-western parts of the county, where the substrata are of argillaceous rocks, are somewhat colder than the maritime limestone tracts, and are more exposed to western storms immediately from the sea; while the climate of the mountains, from their superior elevation and peculiar situation, is distinguished for its coldness and storms. The wheat harvest, except in a few peculiarly favoured spots, seldom commences before the third week in August.
The soils are extremely various, but are generally characterised by great natural fertility. To the north of a line drawn from St. David's, east-southeastward by the town of Haverfordwest, to the eastern boundary of the county, the prevailing soil is an argillaceous loam, from six to twelve inches deep, resting upon argillaceous substrata of slate or rab, and in colour of a greyish brown, inclining in some places to yellow: the natural grasses on this loam are of a sweet kind, being chiefly sheep's fescue and white clover. These soils, approaching the seashore, are of an excellent light texture, and have for ages been famous for the production of barley, with little, and in some places without any, alternation of crops. In most places they contain a greater or less quantity of grey porous stones, which, as imbibing the salts and moisture wafted from the sea by westerly winds, are known to be highly favourable to vegetation, affording in dry summers a perpetual moisture to the roots of the corn, while their surfaces reflect a regular warmth to its blades. The barley of this maritime district is deemed of fine quality, and some level patches near the shore are remarkable for their early harvests, the adjoining hills acting as reflectors to forward the ripening of the grain; its produce of wheat is neither great in quantity, nor of very good quality. In the valleys, the hollows, and the gentle declivities having a southern aspect, the soils of the northern parts of the county are deepest and most fruitful, while on the uplands they are more meagre in proportion as their substrata of slate and shale are blue: the grey mountain rocks described below, and the pale grey shale, have in these situations by far the most grateful soils. A light peat generally occupies the hollows of the mountains, and the low flat places in the northern parts of the county. This peat, in its natural state, is very barren, but is rendered productive by manuring with lime; its substratum is generally an unfertile clay, which is found near the surface in some other places, where it is always covered with the poorest kind of herbage.
Southward of the line above described extends, in the same direction, a narrow tract of fertile red soils, of excellent quality either for tillage or pasture, with a substratum of red sandstone. Beyond a very narrow tract of limestone soils, succeed the poor wet soils of the coal tract of this county, which have so frequently a clayey substratum and peaty surface: the substratum is of a yellowish, blueish, or light brown colour, and from one to four or more feet deep; the peaty surface is a mixture of sand and black peaty earth, to the depth of from four to eight inches. This soil and subsoil, however, are capable of great improvement, by being compounded with each other in judicious systems of tillage, and from their less elevation and other natural advantages, are here much more productive than in the more eastern counties. The southern boundary extends from west-north-west to east-south-east, from St. Bride's bay, by Walwyn's Castle, to Carmarthen bay, northward of Tenby. The rest of the county southward is occupied by an excellent brownish marly loam of good tenacity, and on the declivities by light and somewhat sandy soils, the crops on which are sometimes damaged by the larvæ of the cockchafer. Of these latter soils the substratum is every where limestone; they bear a natural sward of the sweetest grasses, and under good tillage produce abundant crops of all kinds of grain. Wherever the limestone soils are deepest, as in the valleys, their fertility is astonishing; and even on the more elevated sheep downs, where they are shallow, they produce the finest pasturage. Inclosed in this limestone district is a singular tract of remarkably fertile red soils of a good consistence, with a substratum of rab, or friable stone of the same colour: it extends in length from Freshwater, westward through St. Petrox, to the Isle of Sheppey, near the entrance of Milford Haven; its greatest breadth is from this latter spot northward to Angle Castle, a distance of about a mile and a half; and hence, proceeding eastward, its breadth gradually diminishes. While all the other islets on the southern and south-western coasts have only the ordinary limestone soils, that of Skokham has its southern part occupied by the red loams; the general depth of these is from six to fourteen inches, the average being about ten, and for meadow lands they are preferred to the limestone soils: for corn, however, the latter are superior. A narrow slip of a similar red rab soil forms a boundary between the limestone and the coal tract.
The mildness and humidity of the climate rendering the fertile soils, as noticed above, uncommonly productive of grass, many agriculturists devote their land more to grazing than to the production of corn. The distinguished superiority of the soils, and their remoteness from the mountains of the northern parts of the county, which collect the vapours, have caused tillage to be most extensively and successfully practised in the hundred of Castlemartin, which forms the southern maritime part of it, from the town of Tenby, on the east, to Milford Haven, on the west; and in the neighbouring parts of the more northern hundreds of Narberth and Rhôs. Here is produced the finest wheat in the county, and the greater part of that which is consumed within it; some of the red Lammas wheat of Castlemartin, indeed, has a deg; of transparency seldom equalled. The farms are of a mixed kind; corn is cultivated on all of them, while a varying portion of each is applied to the dairy and the rearing of stock. All the ordinary kinds of grain are cultivated. The produce of wheat in the northern and western parts of the county averages from fifteen to twenty-two bushels per acre, but there are frequent instances of much greater crops; on the best parts of the coal tract, and southward from it, about thirty-seven bushels per acre is esteemed a good crop. The produce of barley varies in different situations and under different circumstances, from crops of the poorest class to crops of sixty bushels per acre; it is smallest in the north-western part of the county, where this grain is frequently sown in unvaried succession. Oats are very extensively cultivated, chiefly in the northern and north-western parts of the county; the produce is various, but usually small on the uplands, where the natural disadvantages of soil and climate are aggravated by a constant succession of this crop only. Rye is no where grown on a large scale, except on Flimstone Downs, in Castlemartin hundred. Peas are sometimes sown, but the climate is too humid for them to produce much seed. Beans are occasionally cultivated on the stronger soils; vetches and buck-wheat are likewise only occasional crops. Potatoes are a common agricultural crop; turnips, also, are sometimes grown, but they frequently suffer from being overrun by natural grasses. Cole-seed has been cultivated in a few places, more particularly on the reclaimed waste of Castlemartin Corse.
The artificial grasses are of the ordinary kinds; burnet grows wild on the downs of Castlemartin, intermingled with an abundance of yarrow. Nearly one-half of the county is in meadow and pasture. The limestone and red soil tracts of the southern parts of it possess the finest meadows possible, the herbage being naturally of the sweetest kind, and many old pastures being entirely covered with white clover in the greatest abundance; but the dry porous nature of the limestone renders those which have this rock for a substratum, of but a secondary quality for grazing. The principal fattening pastures, however, are in the hundred of Castlemartin. It is a common practice in the county to fog the grass lands, that is, to keep them without stock from June until March, which the mildness of the winter admits of being done without detriment to the grass, and which is found greatly to increase the quantity, and ameliorate the quality, of the spring pasturage.
Irrigation is practised by some farmers in the valleys of the limestone, sandstone, and slate tracts; but in the coal districts, in addition to the natural wetness of the soils, the water rising there carries with it mineral particles very hurtful to vegetation: the want of brooks and springs is much felt in the limestone districts of Castlemartin, &c. The manures employed, besides the ordinary manures of the farm-yard, are various. Lime is the principal, and is used in great quantities, more particularly in the southern parts of the county, where the limestone is burned with the culm, or refuse of the stone-coal, of the adjacent measures. Sea-weed, variously called seawrack, sea-thong or tang, sea-ore, and, by the Welsh, gwymmon, is found in great abundance after gales in the bays and creeks, more particularly of the western coast. It is extensively used as a manure on the adjacent lands, sometimes in its natural state, at others not until it has been putrefied by lying in heaps for two or three weeks, and sometimes, again, in composts with other manures: the fertility which it imparts, however, is wholly exhausted by the first crop. Shelly sea-sand is abundantly applied to the lands bordering on the western and north-western coasts, being deposited by the tides in inexhaustible quantities in the various creeks, bays, and mouths of rivers, on that side of the county; it is highly calcareous, and utterly destructive of weeds, but its fertilizing effects continue only for two years. Ashes of all kinds are also used. Paring and burning is practised only on some of the peaty lands. The folding of sheep has been customary from time immemorial. Many of the ploughs in use are still of the large, awkward, old-fashioned Welsh kind; the share is blunt, and almost like a large wedge, the coulter equally awkward, and the mould-board nothing more than a round stake, fastened from the right side of the heel of the share to the hind part of the plough: this last is intended to turn the furrow, which, however, it frequently does not perform, but leaves the ground in the most rugged and unsightly state. Some smaller modern improved kinds have been introduced, especially the Rotherham swing-plough. The agricultural vehicles in common use are carts, which were formerly drawn by two oxen yoked abreast, with a long pole between them, which answered the purpose of shafts, preceded by a pair of horses, also abreast; but the use of a horse in a cart having shafts is becoming general.
The OXEN are as active as the horses, and the expedition which the teams use in conveying coal and culm to certain of the creeks, where the vessels must always be laden during one tide, strikes a stranger with wonder, alarm, and compassion: the usual seat of the carter is, like that of the driver of a chaise, in front of the carriage, where, standing on the wings of the pole, he manages his whip and sometimes his reins with great vigour. With few exceptions, the cattle are coal-black; they are of a very superior kind, and in great request for the English markets, where they find a ready sale. The parent stock appears to have been the small broad native runts of the Welsh mountains, from which, owing to the effects of a milder climate, more nutritious pasturage, and greater care, has sprung the present superior breed of Pembrokeshire cattle, closely resembling that of Anglesey. They are often finch-backed, and white on the belly, legs, &c., and sometimes white-faced, but the latter are far from being preferred by the drovers. In their proportions they are in general handsome: their legs are shorter than those of the Glamorganshire breed, but longer than those of the Montgomeryshire; their horns are of a middle size, those of the oxen being generally strong and curving upwards; and their heads, necks, and breasts, are of a finer form than those of the Anglesey cattle, but not so fine as those of the Glamorgan breed. Their disposition is rather intractable, but they are distinguished for their aptness to fatten; the average weight of the oxen is from nine to ten score lb. per quarter, though sometimes much more in Castlemartin hundred. The hair of these cattle has a peculiarly rich waving silkiness. The Castlemartin bull is universally admired.
The SHEEP are of different kinds. The Preselè range of mountains, and other walks in the northern and north-western parts of the county, are depastured by the small, wild, hardy, mountain breed which occupy the greater part of the rest of the principality, but which, in the inclosures of this county, are regarded as of little value, it being impossible to confine them by any ordinary fences. Their wool is like their fare, very coarse; but the mutton they afford is delicious, being little inferior to the finest venison. In the lower parts of the county the sheep are of mixed breeds, between the mountaineers and the Cotswold, Dorset, South Down, and other English races, generally without horns, and weighing from fourteen to eighteen lb. per quarter; the fleece weighs from three to four lb. The Ryeland and South Down breeds are also found here in their native purity, and in thriving condition. An endless variety of mixtures is seen in the grounds of different gentlemen and farmers fond of making experiments. Ewes are milked for the dairy in several parts of the county; and cheese made with a proportion of their milk, which gives it a peculiar tartness, is preferred by the peasantry to the milder sort.
Great numbers of hogs are reared, chiefly for exportation to Bristol: in a store condition they are called, by the Flemish race of inhabitants of the county, tiggies. The rearing of these animals is a chief object of the farmer's attention; they are fed chiefly upon refuse potatoes and whey, and are sold to drovers. The native horses are from fourteen to fourteen and a half hands high, short-jointed, strong, and active; the handsomest of these are broken in for the saddle, being in much demand at the fairs, among the dealers who resort thither from the interior of England. They are frequently crossed with bloodhorses, thus producing a handsome and serviceable horse for the chase, the road, or the carriage. The Suffolk punches, and cart-horses from Herefordshire, have also been introduced; and the greatest attention is paid to the improvement of the breed of horses for every purpose.
The southern parts of the county are particularly adapted for horticulture; and flowers, vegetables, and fruits are here produced as early, and in as great perfection, as in any other part of Britain. Orchards, however, are not numerous; they are most commonly attached only to the mansions of the gentry, though there are a few about Pembroke, and many at the pretty village of St. Dogmael's near Cardigan. It is also much to be regretted that no attempt is made towards improving the species of apples and pears at present met with in the common orchard, which are of a very inferior quality, by introducing new trees and grafts of the best sorts of both. The woods are few and of small extent. Considerable quantities of timber-trees on the Picton Castle and Lawrenny estates, with a few surviving groves about Slebech, on the shores of the upper part of Milford Haven, form the bulk of the present stock of timber in that part of the county termed "below the mountains," that is, southward of the Preselè range. Northward of it are various large tracts of woodland, among which may be specified the numerous groves of Dyfryn Gwain, of the Orlandon and other estates, Preselè woods, and those of Fynonè, or Finnònau. The most extensive woods remain on the coal tract; a circumstance which is somewhat remarkable, as the high price that is given for poles for the collieries has been one chief cause of the present comparative destitution of wood observable in the county. The prevailing kind of timber is oak, besides which are seen ash, alder, sometimes beech on the drier soils of the coal tract, and a great number of the less common varieties. In the parks of the larger proprietors in the southern limestone districts are groves of very fine timber-trees, and some of its ravines and slopes are beautifully tufted with trees. The vast woods that covered Narberth Forest have disappeared, except Canaston wood, which is very extensive and thriving, and a few small coppices; they are now succeeded by cultivated inclosures. Some of the principal proprietors of land have made plantations of various extent and of different kinds of trees, which in some of the more exposed situations suffer severely from sea gales.
The waste lands of the county are estimated, in the view of its agriculture by Mr. Hassall, published in 1794, at 22,220 acres, of which 14,220 are capable of being inclosed and cultivated at a reasonable expense; while in the lordships of Llanvyrnach, Mynachlogdû, Maenclochog, and Kemmes, were 8000 acres on the mountains in the northern parts of the county, which were too elevated, too much encumbered with rocks and stones, and too frequently precipitous, to be susceptible of profitable cultivation. Of the waste lands capable of improvement a large proportion has since been inclosed, the principal of those yet lying in their original state being in Kemmes, containing about 5000 acres; Maenclochog, about 2500; and Mynachlogdû, about 1500; all in the northern part of the county, and exclusively of the more mountainous parts of the same lordships, and of Llanvyrnach above-mentioned. These wastes are at present depastured without stint by the occupiers at large in the several manors to which they belong, and they are consequently so overstocked as to be rendered of little value to any one but the lesser sheep-farmers upon the skirts of them. Besides sheep, the chief stock by which they are depastured is young cattle. The most common fuel of Pembrokeshire is the stone-coal of its own mines, or rather the decomposition of the stone-coal, usually called culm, which is prepared for the fire by being made into a compost with clay, and formed by the hand into oblong balls; peat, however, is occasionally used in the northern mountainous parts of it, where it is abundant, while coal can only be procured from a very considerable distance. The Farmers' Club, or Sheep-Shearing, the meetings of which were annually held for many years at Narberth, was at length superseded by the present Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture and Internal Improvement in the county of Pembroke.
The geological features of the county are peculiarly interesting, as in it are found all the various classes of strata contained in South Wales. Its mineral productions, too, are of considerable importance, consisting for the most part of coal, limestone, slates, and different kinds of building-stones. All the northern part, as far south as St. David's, Haverfordwest, and beyond Narberth, is included in the great slate and shale tract of South Wales, which forms the basis of all the more southern strata of the county. The prevailing strata are argillaceous slates, adapted for roofing, of different shades, from grey to blue; with which is sometimes interstratified shale, rab, or roch, as it is variously called, being argillaceous strata of a more fragile texture, which soon decompose under the action of the atmosphere. A great part of the Preselè mountains consist, however, of hard grey mountain rock of a primitive kind, in many places affording excellent building-stones; and primitive trap rocks occur near St. David's Head, the vicinity of which is chiefly composed of masses of this description. In the northernmost part of the county the strata nearest the surface are of argillaceous marl, the southern boundary of which extends from the sea-coast, near Dinas, eastward towards Penboyr in Carmarthenshire. From this line, which runs along the northern side of the Preselè mountains, the stratum of marl stretches northward across the Teivy into Cardiganshire, its thickness varying from six to twenty feet and upwards. Beneath it are found the ordinary strata of argillaceous schistus.
Southward of the slate district, and resting upon it in geological position, is an extremely narrow tract of inferior limestone, whereon rests a somewhat broader line of red sandstone, a continuation of that which extends over so great a tract of country in the eastern parts of Carmarthenshire, and in Brecknockshire, but which here exhibits much less regularity in the three successive classes of strata that compose it: its last appearance, proceeding westward, is in some quarries near the city of St. David's. This again is succeeded by the mountain limestone which forms the northern edge of the great mineral basin of South Wales, but which is reduced in this western part of it to a tract of extremely small breadth, frequently not more than a stone's-throw, a circumstance perhaps owing to its more sudden dip under the coal measures. Entering from Pendine in the southern part of Carmarthenshire, it passes by Ludchurch, Mounton, across the Eastern Cleddy to Slebech, Picton, and Boulston, and across the Western Cleddy to Harroldston Cliff, south of Haverfordwest, and to the cliffs of Galtop in St. Bride's bay.
On this limestone rest the coal measures which traverse the county throughout, from the inner part of Carmarthen bay, northward of Tenby, across the higher parts of Milford Haven, to the central shores of St. Bride's bay. Their total breadth is only from three to five miles: their northern boundary, commencing from about the centre of the shores of St. Bride's bay, passes east-south-eastward to the northwestern extremity of Carmarthen bay; while their southern limits run in a nearly parallel direction by Ivy Tower. The strata dip southward, and generally form a much greater angle with the horizon than those of the larger coal-fields of the more eastern counties of South Wales, being in some places nearly vertical, and frequently at an angle of seventy, sixty, fifty, or forty-five deg. Several faults, or dislocations of the strata, occur in the county. The beds of coal are accompanied by strata of iron-ore. The measures are a continuation of those in the counties of Glamorgan, Brecknock, and Carmarthen, which lie nearest to, and run parallel with, the northern edge of the mineral basin, as all the mineral strata rising southward in the first and last of those counties, and the more central of those rising northward, are lost between the place where they pass under water, on the eastern side of Carmarthen bay, and the commencement of the Pembrokeshire coal tract on the west of it. This is owing to a contraction of the sides of the basin, and to its becoming shallower, for in Pembrokeshire none of the strata of coal or iron-ore lie at a depth of more than eighty or one hundred fathoms from the surface, so that it is only the lowest strata of the formation that extend so far westward as this county, where the basin is too shallow to contain the higher strata also, and too narrow to contain any of the strata rising southward.
The coal is of the kind called stone-coal or anthracite, or, by the Welsh, glo caled, "hard coal," which neither soils the fingers nor flames when ignited, consisting for the most part of pure carbon, having neither asphalt to cause smoke, nor maltha to kindle into flame: its great excellence is for culinary and other purposes requiring a strong expansive heat without smoke; and latterly, stone-coal has been very extensively used in Glamorganshire, &c., for the smelting of iron-ore. The decomposition of it, called culm, is mixed with clay, as above-mentioned, and a fire made of this compost in the morning will often last for a whole day without being renewed or stirred: the fires are covered over at night with a stumming of the same material, on which they feed, and in the morning require only to be stirred for instant service. In Pembrokeshire, the surface of the coal tract not being sufficiently elevated and furrowed with deep valleys for its mineral stores to be obtained by levels or horizontal shafts, as in the northern parts of it further eastward, it is necessary to sink pits, which are numerous. The bed of siliceous sandstone which, resting upon the limestone range above-mentioned, forms the immediate basis of the coal measures on the north, and is called in Monmouthshire and Brecknockshire the "Farewell Rock," continues in the same direction through this county, where it is called the "Doon Rock," and is seen cropping out in stupendous masses in conjunction with the adjacent calcareous strata. The substances which accompany the coal strata, besides freestone and iron-ore, are cleft or clunch, and fireclay: the beds of ironstone and clunch that lie in the closest contact with the coal are generally marked with vegetable impressions; the clunch contains also vitriol of iron, and in some mines the water is so much vitriolated that it excoriates the hands and faces of the workmen. The quantity of sulphur contained in the coal of this western part of the mineral basin of South Wales is extremely small.
Southward of the southern boundary of the coal tract, nearly the whole county, for about twenty-four miles in length and nine in breadth, is composed of numberless beds of white limestone, so called, not from its natural colour, which is various, but from the superior whiteness of the lime that it produces. The strata generally undulate with the surface, like those of the shale in the northern part of the county, and are distinguished from those of older formation, to the north of the coal tract, by their bearing numerous impressions of marine exuviæ, petrified shellfish, vertebræ, &c., which bespeak their alluvial origin. This stone yields lime of the best quality for manure, for whitewashing buildings, and some other purposes; but as a cement for building it is far inferior to that of the lias limestone of Glamorganshire, which rests in nearly the same geological position. Some of the rising grounds of this limestone district have an anomalous deposition of huge beds of fine white sandstone. But the most striking anomaly observable in the white limestone of the county, is the intrusion of the tract of red soils on the southern side of the lower reaches of Milford Haven, as above described; the substratum of which, instead of limestone, is a red stone, provincially called rab, more argillaceous than the red sandstone substratum of the red soils adjoining the slate tract, and having some of its strata of a greyish colour. This substratum, when brought to the surface and exposed to the action of the atmosphere, becomes friable, and crumbles into a saponaceous substance, not unlike the slate marl found about Sutton, in Warwickshire, though inferior to it in fertilizing qualities. A narrow slip of similar red rab-stone forms the boundary between the coal measures and this great southern limestone district. All the islets and insulated rocks on the southern and south-western coasts are composed of limestone, except that of Skokham, the substrata of the southern part of which are of red rabstone: this island has also a turbary of five or six acres, affording excellent peat for fuel. In the southern part of Ramsey are indications of coal, while the rest of the island consists of the strata above described as supporting the coal measures on the north.
This variety of mineral strata is turned to great advantage in numerous instances; but the metalline productions of the county are of small importance. A fanciful etymology applied to the name of Mynwere, on the eastern shore of Milford Haven, nearly opposite to Slebech, led some adventurers to search for gold at that place, but without success. Silver has been sought for on a small promontory in St. Bride's bay, but the attempt to procure it there, which has been several times repeated since the reign of Elizabeth, has been as often abandoned with loss. A rich vein of lead in a matrix of argillaceous schistus was wrought for some years on the banks of the Tâf, in the parish of Llanvyrnach; but the works were abandoned, having been flooded with water, which can only be drawn off by means of an expensive level: the ore is said to be of superior quality.
Coal and limestone are the chief mineral products, being raised in vast quantities in the respective districts above described, more especially in the vicinity of Milford Haven, St. Bride's bay, and Saundersfoot, whence they are exported to a considerable extent. There are likewise several furnaces for the manufacture of the iron-ore, of which abundant layers are found interstratified with the coal and its other accompanying substances. From the mouth of the Gwain at Fishguard, proceeding northward, several quarries of blue argillaceous roofing-slate are worked in the cliffs on the sea-coast. Of this material the interior of the county also possesses abundance, but it is not there extensively worked, except at the Glôg quarries near Llanvyrnach, situated between the Preselè mountains and the border of Carmarthenshire, which are very valuable; and at Pantè Philip, about two miles distant from Fishguard. There are likewise several quarries of slate of the best quality at Sealyham, and much slate is quarried at Kîlgerran, and shipped down the Teivy. But the quality of all that is obtained in this county is inferior to that of Carnarvonshire.
Stone for building is procured as follows: from quarries in the hard grey mountain rock of the northern parts of the county, at Newport, and other places on the sea-coast, and at Coed-Cadw, in the parish of Nevern; from the argillaceous freestone strata of the coal measure; from the siliceous rocks of the red sandstone tract that separates the coal from the slate tract, which are quarried to the greatest extent at Nolton, on the shore of St. Bride's bay, the stone there obtained being of a dark grey colour, and reputed to resist the action of fire and of a maritime atmosphere in a superior deg; from the various limestone strata, the fracture of which is, however, very irregular and splintery, so that uniform courses of masonry can hardly be worked with them; and from the quarries of blue slate. A range of hills, entering this county from Cardiganshire, and terminating in it in the Plumstone mountain, besides grey mountain rocks or whinstone, affords indurated schistus, porphyroids, &c. Firestones for ovens, &c., are obtained on the boundary between the limestone and red rab in Castlemartin hundred, in some parts of the red sandstone tract, and in the whinstone ranges of the slate tract. Black marble, variegated with white, is obtained near Tenby. A soft black stone, or black chalk, is found in the parish of Meliney, in a rill descending from the Preselè mountains. The peasantry mark their sheep with it, and call it nôd glâs, or "blue raddle," from the colour of the strokes which it makes: this, without any oily mixture, preserves its strong azure colour on the wool through the whole winter. By some it is considered equal, for the purposes of drawing, to that imported from Switzerland. A vein of excellent potters'-clay occurs in the limestone near Flimston, in Castlemartin hundred.
Pembrokeshire has no important manufacture. In different parts of the county, domestic manufactures of various coarse woollen articles of clothing are carried on, which in some instances are facilitated by scattered carding-machines. Considerable quantities of hides and skins are dressed for the Bristol and other English markets. There is a manufactory of brown paper near Haverfordwest; and ship-building is pursued in several of the harbours, particularly at Pembroke, where an extensive dock-yard has been established for the royal navy. Iron-works were conducted at Black Pool, near Narberth, for many years; and recently, the Pembrokeshire Iron and Coal Company have erected some blast furnaces near Saundersfoot.
The fisheries on the coast are very valuable; but for want of a regular demand, the fishermen until lately paid little attention to any but those of herrings, salmon, and shell-fish. One of the principal stations for the herring-fishery is St. Dogmael's, on the river Teivy, where the boats engaged in it are commonly of from eight to twenty tons' burthen, with masts and sails, but mostly open, without decks, and manned by six or eight men. The herrings generally make their first appearance on the neighbouring coasts between the middle and the end of September, which is considered the best period of the season, as they will then bear carriage to distant markets, and, the harvest being commonly over, the fishermen can be better spared from agricultural labours. The fish usually taken on the northern coasts of the county, besides herrings, are cod, haddock, whitings, skate, rays, turbot, bret, plaice, flounders, soles, mullets, gurnards, mackerel, dories, sewin, and a few other kinds. The fishing-banks of Fishguard bay are more particularly distinguished for their abundance of turbot, dories, &c., of the most excellent quality; here are also large beds of oysters, which, however, for want of enterprise, are left untouched. About seventeen boats are engaged in the herring-fishery; it continues until Christmas, and the produce is wholly devoted to home consumption, forming, with potatoes, a principal article of food among the poorer class.
The chief salmon fisheries are in the lower, navigable part of the river Teivy, where some of this fish are said always to be in season; at the mouth of the Gwain at Fishguard, and that of the Nevern at Newport; and in both the rivers Cleddy: on the Eastern Cleddy, at Blackpool, is one more particularly extensive, where also are caught great quantities of the peculiar fish called sewin. Below the weir at Llêchrhŷd, on the Teivy, this fishery is carried on by means of the curious little boats called coracles, a hundred of which may sometimes be seen within the space of two miles. Salmon and sewin frequently ascend many of the more narrow and shallow streams in the spawning season. Extensive fisheries are also pursued, off the coast of this county, in the Bristol Channel, where the main bed of fish extends from the vicinity of Tenby (called in Welsh Dinbych y Pyscod, or "the fishy Denbigh," to distinguish it from Denbigh in North Wales) eastward to Worms Head in Gower, and southward several leagues around Lundy Island; the kinds caught are for the most part flat-fish, such as turbot, bret, soles, maidenrays, and flukes, with a smaller quantity of cod, basse, mullet, and whiting. In the beautiful bay of St. Bride's, abounding with turbot, soles, and dories, different gentlemen have their private yachts, by which both an ample supply for their own tables, and a surplus for public sale, are procured.
Shell-fish are most abundant on the southern and south-western coasts of the limestone tract. In various parts of Milford Haven are beds of oysters of superior excellence, and in such abundance as to render them a cheap article of luxury. The village of Llangwm is more particularly famous for its oyster fishery, which is almost the only means of support possessed by its inhabitants, who are thus employed at a season of the year when their labour is least wanted in the fields; the oysters are, however, small, and the least esteemed of the different sorts produced in this magnificent estuary: many are taken fresh to the market of Haverfordwest, and vast quantities are pickled in barrels and jars for Bristol and the interior. The "Crow oysters," found in inexhaustible quantities in that branch of Milford Haven which extends up to the town of Pembroke, and is called Crow Pool, are of very superior flavour. The oysters of Tenby, Caldey Island, Stackpool, &c., are remarkably large, but are deemed of inferior quality to those of Milford Haven. Samphire, termed in Welsh corn carw'r môr, "sea buck-horn," grows on the sea-shore, on the rocks and cliffs not overflowed by the tide: it is gathered, and preserved as a pickle. Laver, or sea liverwort, is found growing on the rocks and stones in creeks overflowed by the tide, and is frequently gathered, well boiled, and put into jars with a little salt, in which state it is occasionally exported; in this county it is designated llawvan, and by the English "black butter:" its flavour is agreeably spicy.
Notwithstanding the extent of its coasts, the excellence and number of its harbours, and its favourable geographical situation, the commerce of Pembrokeshire is comparatively inconsiderable, being confined to the coasting-trade. The exports are nevertheless various: the principal are, coal, chiefly from Saundersfoot, Milford Haven, and St. Bride's bay, for the supply of steam-engines, lime-kilns, malt-houses, and hop-kilns, and as fuel for domestic uses, to the West of England, the western coasts of Wales, the coast of Ireland, &c.; lime and limestone in great quantities, and chiefly to the same parts; cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses, to England; wool, for the manufactures of the North of England; leather, to Bristol, &c.; and slates, which, in the vicinity of Newport, are lowered from the cliffs where they are quarried, into the vessels below. Not only does Pembrokeshire produce sufficient corn for the supply of its own inhabitants, but also a considerable surplus of wheat in the southern, and of oats in the northern, parts of it, which is exported to Liverpool, Bristol, and the counties of Dorset and Sussex. From its coasts, as is described above, are also sent samphire and laver, oysters, turbot, salmon, and various other kinds of fish, to Bristol and the interior of South Britain.
Saundersfoot, in the inner part of Carmarthen bay, is a noted place for the export of stone-coal and culm. Proceeding westward along the coast, the next port is Tenby, celebrated as a place of great and fashionable resort for the purpose of sea-bathing, and which, with that of Saundersfoot, is subject, according to the regulations of the custom-house, to the port of Milford, on Milford Haven. On the southern side of the Haven is Pembroke-Dock, and higher up, on a branch of it, the port of Haverfordwest; both which are also subject to the port of Milford. Haverfordwest, being very favourably situated near the centre of the county, engrosses most of its commerce.
The magnificent harbour of milford, the finest in Great Britain, opens south-westward into the wide expanse of the lower part of the Bristol Channel, while inland it stretches for many miles directly eastward, and afterwards, in its highest reaches, northward, through the coal tract. The navigable length of the Haven, from its mouth, up the Western Cleddy, to Haverfordwest, is about twenty-one miles; and from its mouth, up the Eastern Cleddy, to Canaston Bridge, about twenty miles. Its breadth, at the mouth, between the Dale and Angle block-houses, is 2580 yards; and from Picton Point to Thorn Island, 2300 yards. Exclusively of the various roads, bays, and creeks, it has the following main pills, or branches, all on the southern side of it; viz., Pennar Mouth, Cosheston, Carew, and Creswell. Pennar Mouth Pill extends up to the town of Pembroke: its mouth from rock to rock is only 200 yards wide at high water, and 112 at low water, with from nine to twelve feet depth of water; but within it expands into a fine spacious basin, called Crow Pool. Various reports have been made concerning the capaciousness of Milford Haven: one states that it would contain with ease more than all the navies of Europe; and another, by a naval officer, computes that it would contain 1000 ships of the line, 1000 fifty-gun ships, 1000 frigates, 1000 sloops of war, and 1000 transports to supply them, without in the least deg incommoding each other; while 100 sail of the line might be brought to act simultaneously on any ship or number of ships that might attempt the Haven. Several plans have at various times been proposed for increasing its natural conveniences for trade, and the execution of some of them has much augmented its commerce, and given rise to the town of Milford, the custom-house at which place extends its jurisdiction round the coast of St. Bride's bay, to St. David's.
In the spacious bay of St. Bride's are several creeks, which afford shelter to numerous small vessels employed in the coal, culm, and limestone trades; and in the western curve of this bay, to the north of the coal tract, is situated the thriving little sea-port of Solva, which carries on a coasting-trade with the neighbouring ports, particularly Milford, and with Bristol. Beyond the promontory of the eight rocks called "the Bishop and his Clerks," and situated on a bay to the east of Strumble Head, is the port of Fishguard, the harbour of which is the only one free from obstructions and bars between Milford Haven and Aberystwith; this harbour is of an irregular form, about 2400 feet long, by 1160 feet wide, and often affords shelter to the Irish packets driven hither by stress of weather. Newport, a few miles further north-eastward, has a bar harbour for a few coastingvessels and fishing-boats. The ports of Newport and Fishguard are subject to that of Cardigan.
The principal rivers are, the Western Cleddy, the Eastern Cleddy, the Gwaun or Gwain, the Nevern, and the Teivy. The Western Cleddy river, called Cleddy Gwyn, or "the fair," rises at Llygad Cleddy, or "the eye of Cleddy," in the parish of Llanvair-Nantgwyn, near Fishguard, and flows at first south-eastward by the church and bridge of Llanstinan, then westward towards Llangwaren, and afterwards southward, receiving numerous smaller brooks, until, at the distance of about thirteen miles from its source, it reaches the town of Haverfordwest, where it becomes navigable for ships of small burthen. Continuing its southern course for a few miles, until its waters become perfectly salt, the river, at last inclining a little south-eastward between Hookwood and Boulston, is joined by the broad stream of the Eastern Cleddy at Picton Point, about five miles below Haverfordwest. The Eastern Cleddy river, or Cleddy Dû, "the black, or swarthy," rises among the Percelly mountains, at a place named Blaen-y-Gors, in the parish of Mynachlogdû, and, receiving numerous smaller streams from the same elevated region, takes a course nearly southward, forming the boundary between the counties of Pembroke and Carmarthen, until near Llandissilio. Below Egremont it is joined by the powerful stream of the Syvynney, which flows into it by Longbridge from Walton. Above Slebech it becomes navigable for small vessels, and having gradually assumed a western direction, a little below that place, between Picton and Mynwere, it joins the Western Cleddy, as above described. The united waters of these rivers immediately form a salt-water estuary about a mile in breadth, constituting the upper extremity of the great harbour of Milford Haven. This harbour is called by the Welsh Aber Dau Gleddy, "the mouth or estuary of the two Cleddys:" its length, from the junction of the two rivers to the open sea, is about sixteen miles; while its breadth, owing to the irregularity of its rocky shores, varies from one to two miles.
The Gwaun, or Gwain, has its source in the Percelly mountains, whence it pursues a romantic course of about twenty miles westward to the Irish Channel at Fishguard, where it forms the best harbour in the county, next to that of Milford. The Nevern, which has a similar origin, near the mountain of Vrenni Vawr in the Percelly range, enters the same sea at Newport, after a course of about fifteen miles, forming at its mouth a harbour for vessels of about one hundred tons' burthen. The Newgall, the first stream that occurs to the north of Milford Haven, flows westward along the boundary between the slate and coal tracts, and discharges its waters into St. Bride's bay, at the Newgall Sands, after forming, in the latter part of its course, the boundary between the hundreds of Rhôs and Dewisland. A little further northward is the Solva, or Solvach, which, at the small town of Solva, forms a harbour for coasting-vessels of from 100 to 150 tons' burthen, and immediately below falls into St. Bride's bay. On the north-eastern side of the county, the river Cych, which has its source in the Percelly range, flowing northward, forms the boundary between this county and that of Carmarthen, until it falls into the Teivy a little below Kenarth. It is at this point that the latter river first touches Pembrokeshire, of which it henceforward forms the northern boundary, becoming navigable for barges at Llêchrhŷd bridge, and for vessels of 200 tons at Cardigan bridge. Pembrokeshire is wholly indebted to nature for its valuable inland navigation, having no canal whatever.
The construction of the great South Wales railway, lately commenced, if carried out, will prove of incalculable benefit to the county. Its main line, according to the plan, will enter from Carmarthenshire near Lampeter-Velvrey, to the north of the Pembroke mail-road, and proceeding westward, pass by Castel-Dauyran, Clarbeston, Spittal, and Trêvgarn; then turning northward, will run by St. Lawrence and Letterson to the sea-coast. The terminus was originally proposed to be at Fishguard; but in 1847, Capt. Claxton was employed to survey the Irish Channel minutely, for the purpose of ascertaining the best route across to Ireland, and the elaborate survey then made appears to have led to the abandonment of Fishguard, and the substitution of Abermawr, a few miles distant from it in a western direction. The distance to Abermawr does not differ materially from that to Fishguard, the line in this part running northward. There will be two branches of the railway in the county; one to Pembroke-Dock, nineteen miles and a half in length; and the other to Haverfordwest, rather more than five miles in length. The former commences near where the main line enters the county; and passes in a south-western direction, by Crinow, the town of Narberth, Reynoldston, and Carew Castle, to its terminus at Pembroke-Dock, on Milford Haven. The Haverfordwest branch quits the main line between Clarbeston and Spittal, and runs in nearly a south-western course to the town from which it takes its name. The Tenby and Saundersfoot railway, for which an act was obtained in 1846, will commence in a junction with the Pembroke branch of the South Wales line near Reynoldston, and terminate at Tenby, with a short branch to the harbour of Saundersfoot. It will be altogether seven miles and a half in length, and will pass through a coal and ironstone district.
Pembrokeshire has a greater abundance of excellent materials for making and repairing roads than any other county of South Wales, even its slate district abounding in many places with siliceous rocks, equal in durability to the imported granite pavingstones of London; yet, notwithstanding this advantage, its roads are on the whole among the worst in the principality. The road from London to St. David's by Oxford and Gloucester, joined by that from London to Haverfordwest through Cardiff, enters this county from St. Clear's, in Carmarthenshire, at Tavern 'Spyty, and proceeds through the towns of Narberth and Haverfordwest to St. David's. The road to Milford branches from this at Haverfordwest; that to Tenby, at Cold-blow, two miles from Narberth; and that to Wiston, from the vicinity of Canaston Bridge. The road from London to Cardigan, continued to St. David's, branches from the abovementioned Gloucester road at Llandovery, in Carmarthenshire, and, crossing the Teivy into Pembrokeshire from the town of Cardigan, passes through Newport and Fishguard to St. David's: from Troedyraur, in Cardiganshire, a branch diverges either by Newcastle or Llêchrhŷd bridge, to Kîlgerran. The mail for Ireland was formerly despatched from Milford, but it has been removed to Pembroke, where a good pier has been erected: a line of road has also been formed, by which the route of this mail to the new place of embarkation is much shorter than that to Milford.
The remains of antiquity are various; but the most striking and numerous are those of fortresses erected by the Norman invaders of Pembrokeshire and their immediate descendants, and of castellated mansions of a later period. The earliest remains are those referable to the Druids. The peninsula of Castlemartin contains a few scattered relics of a kind usually considered Druidical, among which are those of a cromlech. Similar remains, but very rude and on a small scale, consisting for the most part of single upright stones, are numerous in the vicinity of St. David's. At Long-house, near the village of Trevine, is a cromlech, the table stone of which measures about seventeen feet long: nearer Fishguard, at Treslanog, is another monument of the same kind, fourteen feet long, and about eight broad; and several are visible at a place called Trêv Culhwch, near the same town. Indeed, the district lying between the vicinity of Trevine and that of Fishguard is remarkable for the number and size of its cromlechs, only part of which are enumerated above. In the vicinity of Newport are also many Druidical remains, the principal of them being a very remarkable cromlech, near Pentre Evan, the covering stone of which is eighteen feet long and nine broad, and rests on supporters a considerable height above the surface of the ground. This is the largest cromlech but one in the whole principality. Another large and perfect monument of the same kind near the town of Newport is designated Llêch-y-Drybedd.
The remains of the Roman station Ad Vigesimum are situated a few miles within the eastern boundary of the county, and north-east of the church of Ambleston. A little westward from this station, near the village of Ford, are some remains of a small camp of Roman construction; and in the same vicinity, in the year 1806, were discovered some relics of a Roman bath. The position of the city or station of Menapia has never been precisely ascertained: it is considered to have been on the coast, and that the encroachments of the sea, or the accumulation of sand, have obliterated all traces of it. Mr. Fenton, the intelligent tourist, was inclined to think Porthmawr, north-west of St. David's, or the sandy burrows in its vicinity, as most likely to be the site of the ancient Menapia; in which opinion his friend Sir R. C. Hoare concurred. Near Llanrian is a military intrenchment called Castell Hâvod, supposed by Mr. Fenton to have been a castrum æstivum, or summer camp, of the Romans, and situated near the course of the Roman road leading from Loventium to Menapia. Near the shores of St. Bride's bay, in the vicinity of Solva, is Poyntz Castle, an artificial mound, conjectured to have been the site of a Roman watch-tower. The great Roman road, the Via Julia Maritima, entering from Carmarthenshire, is thought to have passed in the line of the present mountain road through the centre of the station Ad Vigesimum; and, a little further on, evidence of its course is yet found in the name of a farm termed Streetland. From the latter place the road may be traced by occasional fragments, in a line nearly north-west, towards Menapia, the last station in this direction. The Roman road connecting the station of Loventium, situated at Llanio, in the Vale of Teivy, above Lampeter, in Cardiganshire, with that of Menapia, enters Pembrokeshire from the northern part of Carmarthenshire, in the upper part of the parish of Llanvyrnach, and its course may be clearly traced in several places, more particularly on Cwm Cerwyn mountain, a distinguished summit of the Preselè chain, where it is marked by a range of tumuli. Much of it has been covered by accumulations of peat; but the portions of it yet remaining in this county are considerable, and have received the name of Via Flandrica, or "Flemish way," from an erroneous supposition of its having been formed by the Flemish settlers. Some traces of a paved way have also been discovered near the Newgall sands in St. Bride's bay: they have been thought to be fragments of a Roman road leading along the coast from Menapia to Dale, not far from the entrance of Milford Haven.
Near the village of Rudbaxton, about four miles north of Haverfordwest, is a circular British encampment, on the summit of a steep conical hill, having a single ditch of great depth; this is sometimes called The Rath, and in old maps St. Leonard's Castle. A little further northward is Castell Henry or Hêndrev, a large mound, probably the site of a small fortress. In the neighbourhood of the village of Ford, besides the Roman remains above-mentioned, are various other ancient military earthworks, the most remarkable of which are, a spacious circular encampment on a farm termed Smerton, or Summerton, near the village of Little Newcastle; and a circular intrenchment styled Castell Coning, near the village of St. Dogwell's. Near Llanrian, on an elevated rock designated Garn Vawr, is a large British encampment, having lofty ramparts of loose stones; and in the grounds of Picton Castle, near Slebech, are some remains of an intrenched fortification called Castle Lake. On the shore of the peninsula of Castlemartin are numerous military earthworks, some of considerable strength, thought to have been raised by the Danish and other maritime marauders, who so frequently infested this coast, and which were probably intended to secure their plunder, and cover their retreat to their ships. Near Orielton, in the same peninsula, on a common termed Dry Burrows, is a great number of tumuli; and many similar mounds, supposed to be sepulchral, are scattered near the seacoast between St. David's and Fishguard: of the latter, one of the most remarkable is that at Trêv Ednyved, near Llanrian, which, on being opened, was found to contain a cist-vaen. In the more immediate vicinity of Fishguard are some other very curious remains of remote antiquity, consisting of sepulchral tumuli, and foundations of buildings, in the former of which have been discovered urns and other articles of great antiquarian curiosity.
The religious houses appear to have been more numerous than in any other Welsh county. At the period of the Reformation there were, at St. David's, besides the episcopal establishment, a college of Secular priests; at St. Dogmael's, near Cardigan, a Benedictine monastery, which had a cell in Caldey Island; at Haverfordwest, a priory of Augustine canons; at Lawhaden, a small priory and a hospital; at Newport, a house of Augustine friars; at Pembroke, a Benedictine cell; at Pill, commonly called Hubberston Pill, in the parish of Steynton, a Benedictine priory; at Slebech, a commandery of Knights Hospitallers; and at Tenby, two hospitals. Interesting remains exist of the abbey of St. Dogmael's, near Cardigan; and extensive ruins of the subordinate priory in Caldey Island, including the tower of the conventual church, surmounted by a stone spire. There are likewise ruins of Pill priory, at the upper extremity of Hubberston Creek, a branch of Milford Haven; and of that of Haverfordwest, situated on the banks of the Western Cleddy, a little below that town. Some remains of an old monastic edifice are also to be seen near Marlan's or Mawdlen's bridge, a little westward from Haverfordwest. The most remarkable specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in the county are in the cathedral church of St. David's, for the most part in the Anglo-Saxon, or early Norman style, and in the parochial churches of Carew, St. Mary at Haverfordwest, Milford, Nevern, one of the largest in the county; Slebech, anciently belonging to the commandery of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; and Tenby. The following are also well worthy of notice, viz., the chapel of St. Mary's College, at St. David's; the ruins of the chapels of St. Justinian and St. Non, on the sea-coast in the vicinity of that city; and the chapel or hermitage of St. Govan, romantically situated among the precipices on the sea-coast of Castlemartin.
The ancient mural fortresses of the county, owing to its peculiar political situation during the encroachments upon Wales by the Norman conquerors of England, are particularly numerous; though the only one which is at present inhabited is Picton Castle, situated on the western side of the Eastern Cleddy, a little below the village of Slebech. The ruins of the castle of Benton, on the western shore of Milford Haven, are particularly picturesque; those of Carew, at the head of a southern branch of the Haven, extensive and magnificent; those of Kîlgerran, on the banks of the Teivy, peculiarly striking, the circular arch which so frequently occurs in them bespeaking the early Norman origin of this fortress; those of Manorbeer, near Tenby, extensive and magnificent, and forming perhaps the most perfect model of a Norman baron's residence now remaining in the principality, having never experienced the ravages of enemies, or suffered from modern innovations; those of Narberth Castle, interesting and picturesque; those of Newport, remarkable; those of Pembroke, strikingly grand; those of Roche, near St. Bride's bay, between Haverfordwest and St. David's, distinguished for the singularity of their situation on the summit of a high, abrupt, and isolated rock; those of Tenby, extensive and grand; those of Wiston, also worthy of remark. On the hill above Nevern church are some remains of an ancient fortress, once of great strength, now called Llanhyver Castle. An artificial mound, some distance westward of Milford, indicates the site of the fortress of Walwyn's Castle, or Castell Gwalchmai. The strong and lofty walls of the old town of Tenby are, in some places, nearly entire; and a large portion of the north wall of Pembroke, with some of the bastions, is still in good preservation; as is also the east gate of the ancient city of St. David's. Some remains are yet visible of the block-houses erected at the entrance of Milford Haven in the reign of Elizabeth.
The number of ancient mansions formerly existing was as remarkable as the number of castles. Very few of these are now standing; but the ruins of several yet remain, at Trêvlyne, Scotsborough, &c. The ruins of Lawhaden or Llewhaden Castle, near Narberth, once a magnificent residence of the bishops of St. David's, are very striking, and include a grand entrance gateway and an octagon tower of great height. Those, also, of Llan-Fydd, now Lamphey, another princely residence of the prelates of the same see in former times, situated between Pembroke and Tenby, are remarkably picturesque and curious; as are those of the old episcopal mansion at St. David's. At the village of Dale is a castellated mansion, which has been modernised, and now forms a handsome edifice with wings. Formerly there were also mansions of ancient erection at St. Bride's; at Blaenybylan, or Lybylan, near Kîlgerran; near Slebech; at Llandshipping, on the Eastern Cleddy; at a place lower down on this river; at Prendergast, a suburb of Haverfordwest; at Boulston, in the same vicinity; and at Trêvgarn, near to Fishguard: but very few vestiges of these are now discernible. Among the numerous modern seats of the nobility and gentry, that adorn the county, may more particularly be noticed, Amroath, Berry Hill, St. Botolph's, Boulston, Brownslade, Cîlwendêg, Clareston, Creselly, Cuffern, Dôlhaidd, Fynonè, Glynamel, Glynfew, Lamphey Court, Llandshipping, Llanstinan, Llanunwas, Llwyngwair, Orielton, Pantsaison, Pantyderry, Priskilly Forest, Rhôsygilwen, Ridgeway, Sealyham, Slebech Hall, Stackpool Court, and Whitechurch.
It is a peculiarity observable in this county, that the cottages, and even the farmhouses in the greater part of it, are often built of mud, notwithstanding the abundance of much superior materials; a circumstance which is considered to be owing to a practice perpetuated among the descendants of the Flemish emigrants. Besides their predilection for mud walls, and round wattle and d