Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for MILFORD

MILFORD, a town, a chapelry, and a sub-district, in Haverfordwest district, Pembroke. The town stands on the N side of Milford-Haven, between two small creeks, at the terminus of the Milford railway, and in connexion with the Milford-Haven railway, 5½ miles ENE of the entrance of Milford-Haven, and 7 SSW of Haverfordwest. It originated with Sir William Hamilton, the British envoy at the court of Naples, who owned its site, and obtained an act of parliament to construct quays, form docks, make streets, and establish a market; and it was commenced in 1790 by the Hon.F. Greville, who inherited Sir William's property. It was designed on a regular plan, with streets running parallel to the harbour, and with other streets crossing these at right angles; it became a royal dock-yard and a packet station to Ireland, and appeared for a time to be rapidly prospering; it suffered a severe check in 1 814, by the removal of the dock-yard establishment to Paterchurch, now called Pembroke dock, on the opposite side of the haven; it had been pronounced by Lord Nelson one of the finest stations possible for a British fleet, with command of safe and capacious anchorage for the entire British navy, but had been found, or was thought to have been found, incapable of acquiring sufficient defences against hostile attacks; it stood for many years, after 1814, in a halfdeserted state, dull and desolate, with many houses shut up and many let at little more than a nominal rent; it eventually re-acquired repute as an eminently eligible entrepot, became once more a place for trade, and was constituted a head-port with jurisdiction over all the great sweep of coast from the neighbourhood of Laugharne in Carmarthenshire to St. David's Head; and now, in connexion with new harbour works, and with a great chain of railway communication eastward into all Central and Southern England, and northward through all Wales to the great seats of manufacture in Lancashire and Yorkshire, it promises to rise speedily into very high commercial importance. The Milford railway to it is a line of 3½ miles south-south-westward from a junction with the Neyland extension of the South Wales line at Johnston; was authorized in 1856, on a capital of £60,000 in shares, and £20,000 in loans; was opened in Sept., 1863; and is worked by the Great Western. The MilfordHaven railway was authorized in 1860, for a railway 1¼ mile long, and for docks and other works, on a capital of £140,000 in shares, and £46,000 in loans; and was completed in 1866.

The town comprises-has comprised since 1811-three parallel streets, ranged along a hill-side, and commanding fine views of the harbour; and it has a head post office† of the name of Milford-Haven, a railway station, a market-house, a custom-house, a spacious hotel called the "Lord Nelson," an observatory, a church, Independent and Baptist chapels, and a quondam chapel of ease now used as a powder-magazine. The church stands on a spot designed to be the centre of the town; was erected and endowed in 1808, by the Hon.FGreville; is a handsome edifice; and contains a vase of Egyptian red porphyry, brought to England by Dr. Pococke, and inscribed to the memory of Nelson. The whale fishery was formerly carried on, but has entirely ceased. An oyster fishery has always been prominent; suffered serious injury by the deplenishing of its grounds to supply foreign beds; and was recently placed under such protection as is likely to render it one of the most productive fisheries in the kingdom. The vessels belonging to the port, at the beginning of 1864, were 73 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2,010 tons; 57 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 7,252 tons; and 1 steam-vessel, of 28 tons. The vessels which entered, in 1863, were 7 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2,928 tons, from British colonies; 4 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1,796 tons, from British colonies; 15 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2,164 tons, from foreign. countries; 19 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 3,165 tons, from foreign countries; 640 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 24,024 tons, coastwise; and 522 steam-vessels, of aggregately 167,967 tons, coastwise. The vessels which cleared, in 1863, were 1 British sailing-vessel, of 629 tons, to British colonies; 1 foreign sailing-vessel, of 525 tons, to British colonies; 2 British sailing-vessels, of jointly 413 tons, to foreign countries; 4 foreign sailingvessels, of aggregately 1,375 tons, to foreign countries; 1,012 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 37,525 tons, coastwise; and 371 steam-vessels, of aggregately 104,826 tons,coastwise. The amount of customs in 1862 was £902. The town was made a parliamentary borough by the reform act; and it unites with Pembroke, Tenby, and Wiston in sending a member to parliament. Its area, as a borough, is three-fifths of a square mile; and lies chiefly within Steynton parish, and partly within Hubberston. Pop. in 1851,2,837; in 1861,3,007. Houses, 605. Pop. of the Steynton portion, 2,171. Houses, 443.—The chapelry has no specific limits, and bears the name of Milford-Haven. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of St. David's. Value, £80. Patron, the Hon. F. R. Greville.—The sub-district contains all Steynton. and Hubberston parishes, thirteen other parishes, and an extra-parochial island. Acres, 36,186. Pop., 9,971Houses, 1,887. See MILFORD HAVEN.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a chapelry, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Milford CP/Tn       Haverfordwest PLU/RegD       Pembrokeshire AncC
Place: Milford Haven

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.