Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for PEMBROKESHIRE, or Pembroke

PEMBROKESHIRE, or Pembroke, a maritime county of South Wales; bounded on the N E by Cardigan; on the E by Carmarthen; on the S E and the S by Bristolchannel; on the W and the N W by St. George's channel. Its outline is very irregular; and its N E boundary is traced by the river Teifi. Its greatest length, from N Eto S W, is 36 miles; its greatest breadth is 29 miles; itscircuit is about 145 miles, of which about 100 are coast; and its area is 401, 691 acres. The coast, in general, isstern and precipitous; but embraces, in the S, the longsweep and the numerous creeks of Milford haven; includes, in the S W, the wide and long incurvature of St. Bride's bay; and is flanked by the Caldy, Skokam, Skomar, and Ramsey islands, and by various skerries. The interior, for the most part, is undulating, or presentsa series of hills intermixed with pastoral vales; and rises, in the N, into the range of the Precelly mountains, culminating at an altitude of 1, 754 feet. The chief riversbesides the Teifi, are the East Cleddau, the West Cleddau, the Nevern, the Gwayne, the Solva, and the Rud ford. Lower silurian rocks occupy most of the area, from the N boundary all onward to a line a little S of Narberth and Haverfordwest; old red sandstone forms a belt, from the E boundary to a point about 4½ miles W S W of Narberth, and three other belts around Milford haven; mill-stone grit forms two narrow belts between the first and the second of the old red sandstone belts; the coal measures, chiefly with anthracite in seams of 3 feet and under, form a considerable belt between the millstone gritbelts, and onward to St. Brides bay, and partly round it; carboniferous limestone dips below the millstone grit, and forms a girdle round it in the E; and trap rocks protrude in many places, particularly throughout the silurianregion. Poor slate is quarried in the Precelly mountains; hard building stone is plentiful; lime is worked formanure; anthracite is worked to the extent of employingabout 1,000 hands; and clunch and ironstone are foundnear the anthracite. Mineral springs are at Treruffyd.

The soils on the silurian and coal rocks are generallypoor; those on the old red sandstone and the limestoneare fertile; and those elsewhere are very various. About8,000 acres are waste; and about 200,000 are pasture and meadow. Wheat and barley are grown on the best soils; and oats and potatoes are the chief crops. Much agricultural improvement has been effected by the wealthierlandlords; and much also by Farmers' clubs, and Agricultural societies. Farms commonly run from 100 to200 acres; and are let either on lease or from year toyear. Many cattle are of a fine local breed, called Castle-martins, black, soft-haired, and apt to fatten. Nativesheep with coarse wool, but yielding fine mutton, aboundin the N; and sheep of various breeds are kept in the S. Hogs and good small horses are reared. Wood is scarce; and the aspect of many of the landscapes is bleak. Manufactures, in cotton, woollen, and linen, have been triedat various, periods but without success. Fisheries areextensive and productive; and, together with the mines and the farms, yield the chief articles of export. The railways are the Pembroke and Tenby systems, from Pembroke-Dock into Carmarthenshire, and the South Wales, round by Clarbeston-Road and Haverfordwest, down to New Milford and to Milford-Haven. The roadshave an aggregate of about 1,020 miles.

The county contains 143 parishes, parts of 5 others, and 4 extra-parochial tracts; and is divided into the boroughs of Pembroke, Haverfordwest, and Tenby, a small part of the borough of Cardigan, and the hundreds of Castlemartin, Dewsland, Dungleddy, Kemes, Kilgerran, Narberth, and Roose. The registration county takesin eight parishes and parts of four others from Carmarthenshire; gives off twenty-one parishes and part of another to Cardiganshire; comprises 366,040 acres; and is divided into the districts of Narberth, Pembroke, and Haverfordwest. The chief towns are the city of St. David's, and the boroughs of Milford, Pembroke, Tenby, Wiston, Haverfordwest, Fishguard, and Narberth; and there are about 175 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets. The chief seats are Stackpole, Johnston, Picton, Orielton, Orlandon, Slebech, Clareston, Amroth Castle, Begelly, Brownslade, Boulston, Creselly, Ffyonen, Glyn-Amnel, Hen-Castell, Hill, Lawrenny, Llamphey, Llanstinnan, Merrixton, Plas-Newydd, Poyston, Priskilly, Pentre, Sealyham, and Talybout. The county is governed by alord lieutenant, a high sheriff, and about 65 magistrates; and is in the Home military district, the South Walesjudicial circuit, and the diocese of St. David's. The assizes and the quarter sessions are held at Haverford-west; and the county jail also is there. The police force, in 1864, comprised 54 men, at a cost of £3, 534; thecrimes committed were 124; the persons apprehended, 99; the known depredators and suspected persons at large, 779; the houses of bad character, 172. Two membersare sent to parliament by the boroughs; and one by therest of the county. Electors, exclusive of the boroughs, in 1865, 3, 797; of whom 2, 719 were freeholders, 29 werecopyholders, and 866 were occupying tenants. Pop. in 1801, 56, 280; in 1821, 73, 788; in 1841, 88,044; in 1861, 96, 278. Inhabited houses, 19, 418; uninhabited, 815; building, 210.

The territory now forming Pembrokeshire belonged to the Demetæ or Dyfed; was included in the Roman Britannia Secunda; was ravaged by the Danes in 987-8;was conquered by the Normans, under William de Tours, in 1069; received a large colony of Flemings in 1106-13; experienced improvement in arts and agriculture fromthat colony and from other Flemings who afterwardsjoined it; and was the scene of the landing of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., and of his beingjoined by Sir Rhys ap Thomas. Cromlechs and Druidical stones are at Llanstinnan, Trefine, Treslanog, Tre-howel, Llechydrybed, and Pentre-Evan; and remains ofancient British and other camps are at Rudbaxton, Summerton, Castell-Coning, Poyntz, Gawnfawr, and Castell-Hafod. The Roman station Ad Vicesimum wasat Castell-Flemish; the maritime Julian way came infrom Carmarthenshire, and went westward to Menapia, near St. Davids; and the Sarn Helen way went north-ward from Menapia. Old castles, or remains of them, are at Pembroke, Manorbier, Kilgerran, Carew, Narberth, Haverfordwest, Newport, Roche, Tenby, Wiston, Benton, and Llanhyfer; monastic houses were at St. Dogmells, Pill, and Haverfordwest; an ancient cathedral is at St. David's; and notable old churches are at Flimston, Nevern, and St. Govan's Head.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a maritime county"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")
Administrative units: Pembrokeshire AncC
Place: Pembrokeshire

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