Spittal - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
SPITTAL, a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5 miles (N. by E.) from Haverfordwest; containing 429 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the east by Walton, south by Rudbaxton, west by Camrhôs and part of Trevgarn, and north by Ambleston. It is situated on the Western Cleddy, which forms its boundary on the west; and is intersected by the turnpike-roads leading from Haverfordwest to Cardigan and Fishguard, respectively. It contains by admeasurement 2674 acres, all of it arable or pasture, except from 10 to 20 acres of woodland. The surface is generally flat, and the scenery therefore not very attractive: the soil is of an excellent quality, producing grass, and wheat, barley, and oats; the prevailing timber is oak and ash. There are three modern mansions, named Scotton, Froy Hall, and Haver Hill. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £79; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes, which are appropriate, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £152, and there is an appropriate glebe of 32 acres, valued at £20 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is not distinguished by any architectural details of importance, consisting only of a nave and chancel, separated by a low and unornamented circular arch; the length is 78 feet, and the breadth 24. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, and Independents; and two Sunday schools.
About 100 yards south-east of the church is an ancient ruin, covering nearly an acre of land, and said to have been an hospitium, or hospital, from which the word Spittal is supposed to be derived. It must have been a place of considerable importance, as the walls, still visible in some parts, are of great solidity, being about five feet in thickness; and under these, immense vaults have been discovered. Tradition reports the erection to have been by the monks of St. David's, at an early period, for the accommodation of pilgrims to the shrine of St. David's; which is slightly corroborated by the circumstance of the tithes of the parish still belonging to the dignitaries of the cathedral. In the parish are also several remains of ancient encampments, here called "rhâths:" of these, one occupies the summit of a conical hill which rises abruptly in the vale; the area, about two acres, is nearly circular, and is inclosed by a single rampart. Near it was a chapel, dedicated to St. Leonard, which, together with the church at Rudbaxton, was granted by Alexander Rudebac to the commandery of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, at Slebech; and on the site of this chapel, and on that of another a mile west of the church (the two being called East Chapel Park, and West Chapel Park), stone coffins and a great quantity of human bones have been dug up. Not far from the road leading from Haverfordwest to Cardigan is a place named "Scotton Gallows," where tradition says the heir of the family suffered in consequence of slaying the heir of the family of Heythog on that spot in a duel. West of the same road, at Scotton, is an elegant mansion, erected by Jas. Higgon, Esq., being one of the three mansions above mentioned: it commands an extensive western view.