Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HAVERFORDWEST

HAVERFORDWEST, a town, three parishes, a subdistrict, and a district, in Pembroke. The town stands on the river Cleddau, at the top of a creek of Milford haven, on the South Wales railway, 7 miles NNE of Milford, and 31 W by S of Carmarthen. It was anciently called Hwllfordd; and it still bears that name among the Welsh. It was settled, in the time of Henry I., by the Flemings, under Gilbert de Clare, first Earl of Pembroke; it figured for ages as the capital of the Welsh Flemings; and it was protected by a strong castle, supposed to have been erected by Gilbert de Clare. It was besieged, with some injury, in 1220, by Llewelyn-ap-Jorwerth; it made a gallant resistance to a French force which came to the aid of Owen Glendower; and it was garrisoned for the Crown, in the wars of Charles I., and suffered the dismantlement of its castle by the parliamentarians. The lordship of it was given, by Gilbert de Clare, to Robert de Hwllfordd, son of Richard Fitz Tancred; passed soon to the Crown; continued, for several centuries, to be held by the kings of England or by members of their family; was given, by Edward IV., to Jasper, Earl of Pembroke; and, at Jasper's death, reverted to the Crown. The town occupies a steep eminence, presents a picturesque appearance, and commands fine views. It includes narrow, steep, and zig zag streets; but it has undergone much improvement; and it is now well built, clean, pleasant, and lively. Little of the castle now remains, except the keep; and this is occupied by the county jail, and has, on the S side, a singular echo. The jail has capacity for 56 male and 16 female prisoners. The guildhall is a handsome modern edifice. The oldtown jail was converted into an asylum for pauper and criminal lunatics. St. Mary's church, at the end of High street, is one of the finest in South Wales; presents a cathedral like appearance, with a heavy tower, formerly surmounted by a lofty spire; has a lofty arch between the nave and the chancel, and a beautifully carved roof; was admirably restored in 1844, and further improved in 1861; and contains monuments of the Picton family, and one of Sir John Pryce. St. Thomas' church, on the summit of the hill, stands in the midst of a spacious churchyard, which formerly was the playground of a public school, but is now enclosed. St. Martin's church appears to have been an appendage to the castle; and, after having been closed for three years, and thoroughly restored, was reopened in Sept. 1865. A priory of black canons, on an elevation over the river, was founded by Robert de Hwllfordd; and appears, from remains of it which still exist, to have been very large, with a cruciform church about 160 feet long, surmounted by a central tower. A monastery of black friars also stood near a lane to which it has bequeathed the name of ' ' the Friars;'' and, together with the priory, was given, at the dissolution, to the Barlows; but it has entirely disappeared. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Moravians, Calvinistic Methodists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists; a grammar school, with an endowed income of £141, and an exhibition at Brasennose college, Oxford; another endowed school with £132; national schools and schools of industry; a literary institute; a circulating library and reading room; alms houses, an hospital, and a workhouse; and two charities of £250 and £160, the one for improving the town, the other for maintaining decayed burgesses. The old grammar school adjoined St. Thomas' church, and, previous to the institution of Lampeter college, trained candidates for the church; and the new grammar school stands in another part of the town, and is a handsome recent edifice. Some fragments exist, near Prendergast suburb, of Prendergast Place, an old moated mansion, the residence of the Stepney family from the time of Elizabeth till that of Charles II. The town has a head post office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, and two chief inns; is a seat of assizes and sessions, and a polling place; and publishes three weekly newspapers. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs on 20 March, 14 April, 12 May, 12 June, 18 July, 9 Aug., 4 and 23 Sept., 5 and 18 Oct., and 10 Dec. Cotton and woollen manufactures were once carried on, but are extinct. The chief industry now is connected with a paper mill, with handicraft employments, with a coasting trade, with the markets, and with business arising from the residence of annuitants. Vessels of 150 tons come up to quays at the town; and carry imports of timber and groceries, and exports of cattle, oats, and coal. The town was chartered by Richard II.; is now governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; and, together with Fishguard and Narberth, sends one member to parliament. The municipal and parliamentary boundaries are co-extensive; and include the parish of St. Mary, the extra-parochial tract of Furzy-Park and Portfield, and parts of the parishes of St. Thomas, St. Martin, Prendergast, and Uzmaston. Borough income in 1861, £920. Constituency of the three boroughs in 1868, 812. Pop. of H. in 1851, 6, 580; in 1861, 7, 019. Houses, 1, 396. The three parishes are St. Mary, St. Thomas, and St. Martin. Acres of St. Mary, 30. Real property, £4, 127; of which £421 are in gas works. Pop., 1, 525. Houses, 299. Acres of St. Thomas, 1, 016. Real property, £5, 674. Pop., 2, 033. Houses, 381. Pop. of the part within the borough, 1,876. Houses, 347. Acres of St. Martin, 1, 955. Real property, £7, 957. Pop., 2, 120. Houses, 433. Pop. of the part within the borough, 1,823. Houses, 381. The living of St. Mary is a vicarage, that of St. Thomas a rectory, and that of St. Martin a vicarage, in the diocese of St. Davids. Value of St. Mary, £121; of St. Thomas, £319; of St. Martin, £80. Patron of the first, the Rev. J. H. A. Philipps; of the second, the Lord Chancellor; of the third, E. J. Henry, Esq.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of Harroldston-ST. Issells, Prendergast, Uzmaston, Boulston, Wiston, Rudbaxton, Camrose, Lambston, West Harroldston, Nolton, Roch, and Treffgarne, and the extra-parochial tract of Furzy-Park and Portfield. Acres, 40, 059. Pop., 12, 330. Houses, 2, 515.—The district comprehends also the sub-district of Milford, containing the parishes of Steynton, Hubberston, Herbrandston, St. Ishmaels, Dale, Marloes, St. Brides, Hasguard, Talbenny, West Walton, Walwins-Castle, West Robeston, Johnston, Llangwm, and Freystrop, and the extra-parochial tract of Shokham Island; the sub-district of St. Davids, containing the parishes of St. Davids, St. Lawrence, Hayscastle, St. Edrins, Llanrithan, Llandeloy, Brawdy, St. Elvis, Whitchurch, Llanhowell, Llanrian, Mathry, and Granston, and the extra-parochial tract of St. Davids' Cathedral Close; and the sub-district of Fishguard, containing the parishes of Fishguard, Llanwnda, Manorowen, St. Nicholas, Llanllawer, Llanychaer, Llanstinan, Jordanston, Llanfairnantygof, Letterston, Little Newcastle, St. Dogwells, Ambleston, Spittal, East Walton, Henry's Moat, Castlebythe, Puncheston, Morvil, and Pontfaen. Acres, 170, 861. Poor rates in 1863, £17, 424. Pop. in 1851, 39, 382; in 1861, 37, 343. Houses, 7, 841. Marriages in 1862, 282; births, 1, 181, -of which 136 were illegitimate; deaths, 769, -of which 189 were at ages under 5 years, and 53 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2, 669; births, 11, 313; deaths, 8, 109. The places of worship, in 1851, were 67 of the Church of England, with 10, 356 sittings; 26 of Independents, with 6, 062 s.; 26 of Baptists, with 6, 634 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 60 s.; 14 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 3, 381 s.; 17 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 3, 917 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 100 s.; 1 of Brethren, with 200 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 50 s.; 1 of Roman Catholics, with 84 s.; and 1 undefined, with 89 attendants. The schools were 31 public day schools, with 2, 081 scholars; 50 private day schools, with 1, 296 s.; 84 Sunday schools, with 6, 593 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 24 s.


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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, three parishes, a subdistrict, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Haverfordwest CP/AP       Haverfordwest SubD       Haverfordwest PLU/RegD       Pembrokeshire AncC
Place names: HAVERFORDWEST     |     HWLLFORDD
Place: Haverfordwest

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