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Title: Nooks and Corners of Pembrokeshire
Author: Timmins, H. Thornhill
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Book Cover]



NOOKS AND CORNERS OF PEMBROKESHIRE.



[Illustration]



[Illustration: THE ROOD SCREEN ST. DAVIDS CATHEDRAL]



[Illustration: NOOKS & CORNERS OF PEMBROKESHIRE.

DRAWN & DESCRIBED BY
H. THORNHILL TIMMINS, F.R.C.S.

AUTHOR of
NOOKS & CORNERS OF HEREFORDSHIRE

LONDON:
ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
1895.]



PREFACE.


The kindly reception accorded to my 'Nooks and Corners of Herefordshire,'
both by the public and the press, has encouraged me (where, indeed,
encouragement was little needed) to set forth anew upon my sketching
rambles, and explore the Nooks and Corners of Pembrokeshire.

In chronicling the results of these peregrinations, I feel that I owe
some apology to those whose knowledge of the Shire of Pembroke is far
more thorough and intimate than my own, and upon whose preserves I may
fairly be accused of poaching. I venture to plead, in extenuation, an
inveterate love for exploring these unfrequented byways of my native
land, and for searching out and sketching those picturesque old
buildings that lend such a unique interest to its sequestered nooks and
corners.

Pembrokeshire is rich in these relics of a bygone time, but for one
reason or another they do not appear to have received the attention they
certainly deserve. Few counties can boast anything finer of their kind
than the mediæval castles of Pembroke, Manorbere and Carew; while St.
Davids Cathedral and the ruined Palace of its bishops, nestling in their
secluded western vale, form a scene that alone is worth a visit to
behold. No less remarkable in their way are the wonderful old crosses,
circles and cromlechs, which remind the traveller of a vanished race as
he tramps the broad fern-clad uplands of the Precelly Hills. It is a
notable fact that 'he who runs may read,' in the diversified character
of its place-names, an important and interesting chapter of
Pembrokeshire history. The south-western portion of the county, with the
Saxon 'tons' of its Teutonic settlers, is as English as Oxfordshire, and
hence has acquired the title of 'Little England beyond Wales.' On the
other hand, the northern and eastern districts are as Welsh as the heart
of Wales; and there, as the wayfarer soon discovers for himself, the
mother-tongue of the Principality is the only one 'understanded of the
people.'

Although Pembrokeshire cannot pretend to lay claim to such striking
scenery as the North Wallian counties display, yet its wind-swept
uplands and deep, secluded dingles have a character all their own; while
the loftier regions of the Precelly Hills, and the broken and varied
nature of the seaboard, afford many a picturesque prospect as the
traveller fares on his way.

In compiling the following notes I have availed myself of Fenton's
well-known work on Pembrokeshire, and of the writings of George Owen of
Hênllys; I have consulted the records of that prolific chronicler,
Gerald de Barri; Bevan's 'History of the Diocese of St. Davids; and
Jones and Freeman's exhaustive work on St. Davids Cathedral; besides
various minor sources of local information which need not be specified
here.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to tender my sincere thanks to
those friends and acquaintances whose ready help and advice so greatly
facilitated my task, while at the same time enhancing the pleasure of
these sketching rambles amidst the Nooks and Corners of Pembrokeshire.

  H. THORNHILL TIMMINS.
  _Harrow_, 1895.



CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
  A GENERAL SURVEY. THE KING'S TOWN OF TENBY                           1
  ROUND ABOUT THE RIDGEWAY                                            23
  MANORBERE CASTLE, AND GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS                           41
  PEMBROKE TOWN AND CASTLE. STACKPOLE AND THE SOUTHERN COAST          54
  TO ANGLE, RHÔSCROWTHER, AND THE CASTLE MARTIN COUNTRY               76
  CAREW, WITH ITS CROSS, CASTLE AND CHURCH. UPTON CASTLE AND
      CHAPEL. PEMBROKE DOCK AND HAVERFORDWEST                         93
  TO ST. BRIDES, MARLOES AND THE DALE COUNTRY                        114
  WESTWARD HO! TO ST. DAVIDS. THE CITY AND ENVIRONS                  126
  TO FISHGUARD, NEWPORT, GOODWIC AND PENCAER                         142
  NEWPORT, NEVERN AND TEIVYSIDE                                      149
  A RAMBLE OVER PRECELLY HILLS, TO THE SOURCES OF THE CLEDDAU        167
  ON AND OFF THE NARBERTH ROAD. LANGWM AND DAUGLEDDAU                178



INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                                    PAGE
  THE ROOD SCREEN, ST. DAVIDS CATHEDRAL                   _Frontispiece_
  BECALMED OFF TENBY                                                   8
  TENBY                                                                9
  MACES PRESENTED TO TENBY BY CHARLES II.                             11
  THE CHANCEL OF ST. MARY'S CHURCH, TENBY                             12
  A BIT OF OLD TENBY                                                  14
  RUINS OF ST. MARY'S PRIORY AT TENBY                                 15
  OLD HOUSES AT TENBY                                                 16
  THE WALLS OF TENBY TOWN                                             17
  ST. GEORGE'S GATE, TENBY                                            18
  THE PRIORY, CALDEY ISLAND                                           20
  THE ANCIENT TREASURY OF TENBY                                       22
  WEATHERCOCK ON TENBY STEEPLE                                        23
  GUMFRESTON CHURCH                                                   25
  CHURCH PLATE AT GUMFRESTON                                          26
  PENALLY HOUSE                                                       32
  AT LAMPHEY PALACE                                                   36
  THE CHANCEL, HODGESTON CHURCH                                       38
  ANCIENT QUERN OR HAND MILL                                          40
  KEYS OF MANORBERE CASTLE                                            41
  MANORBERE CASTLE, FROM THE EAST                                     42
  THE COURTYARD, MANORBERE CASTLE                                     42
  GATE-TOWER, MANORBERE CASTLE                                        43
  MANORBERE CASTLE, FROM THE SOUTH                                    44
  DE BARRI TOMB, MANORBERE                                            47
  THE CHURCH PATH, MANORBERE                                          49
  MANORBERE CHURCH                                                    50
  ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON                                           54
  PEMBROKE                                                            55
  PEMBROKE CASTLE                                                     56
  THE OLD WEST GATE, PEMBROKE                                         61
  THE PRIOR'S DWELLING, MONKTON                                       62
  SIR ELIDUR DE STACKPOLE                                             64
  STACKPOLE                                                           66
  THE HIRLAS HORN                                                     67
  ST. GOVAN'S CHAPEL                                                  69
  ORIELTON                                                            74
  AT RHÔSCROWTHER                                                     75
  SEA-POPPY                                                           76
  SEAMEN'S CHAPEL AT ANGLE                                            81
  RUINED CASTLE AT ANGLE                                              82
  JESTYNTON                                                           85
  AT RHÔSCROWTHER                                                     88
  CASTLE MARTIN CHURCH                                                90
  A WAYSIDE WELL                                                      92
  CASTLE MARTIN FONT                                                  92
  CAREW CROSS                                                         93
  THE CROSS OF THE SON OF ILTEUT, THE SON OF ECETT                    94
  A CORNER OF CAREW CASTLE                                            97
  CAREW CASTLE                                                        98
  BOY-BISHOP, CAREW                                                   99
  OLD RECTORY HOUSE AT CAREW                                         100
  UPTON CASTLE                                                       101
  OLD CHAPEL AT UPTON, NEAR PEMBROKE                                 103
  FROM UPTON CHAPEL                                                  106
  LUCY WALTERS                                                       107
  JOHNSTONE CHURCH                                                   108
  A VIEW OF HAVERFORDWEST                                            109
  BROTHER RICHARD'S TOMB, HAVERFORDWEST                              110
  ST. MARY'S, HAVERFORDWEST                                          111
  ARMS OF HAVERFORDWEST                                              113
  CHALICE AT DALE                                                    114
  WALTON-WEST CHURCH                                                 115
  WALWYN'S CASTLE                                                    115
  SUMMER SHOWERS, LITTLE HAVEN                                       116
  LITTLE HAVEN                                                       117
  LOW TIDE AT LITTLE HAVEN                                           117
  ST. BRIDES                                                         118
  ORLANDON                                                           119
  MULLOCK BRIDGE                                                     120
  MARLOES                                                            121
  MARLOES SANDS                                                      122
  DALE CASTLE, AND MILFORD HAVEN                                     123
  'THIS IS BRUNT'                                                    124
  A RELIC OF THE SPANISH ARMADA                                      125
  THE ST. DAVIDS COACH                                               126
  ROCH CASTLE                                                        127
  SOLVA HARBOUR, FROM AN OLD PRINT                                   128
  ST. DAVIDS CATHEDRAL                                               129
  THE GATE-TOWER, ST. DAVIDS                                         129
  THE BONE OF CONTENTION                                             130
  SEAFARING PILGRIMS                                                 131
  THE BOATBUILDERS                                                   132
  ST. DAVID'S SHRINE                                                 133
  SYMBOL OF THE TRINITY, ST. DAVIDS                                  135
  BISHOP GOWER'S PALACE, ST. DAVIDS                                  136
  THE PALACE, ST. DAVIDS, FROM THE MEADOWS                           137
  OLD COTTAGE NEAR ST. DAVIDS                                        140
  THE PRIEST AND THE LAYMAN                                          141
  THE ROYAL OAK, FISHGUARD                                           142
  CLOCK AT BRESTGARN                                                 144
  LLANWNDA CHURCH                                                    145
  THE CHALICE AT LLANWNDA                                            146
  A DERELICT                                                         148
  SALMON FISHER WITH CORACLE                                         149
  TREWERN CHAPEL AND BYRNACH'S CROSS, NEVERN                         153
  PILGRIMS' CROSS AT NEVERN                                          155
  THE TOAD OF TRELLYFAN                                              156
  CROMLECH AT PENTRE EVAN                                            158
  A TEIVYSIDE CORACLE                                                161
  KILGERRAN FERRY                                                    162
  KILGERRAN CASTLE, FROM THE TEIFY                                   163
  LLECHRHYD BRIDGE                                                   164
  CASTLE MALGWYN                                                     164
  CROMLECH AT NEWPORT                                                166
  OLD WELSHWOMAN                                                     167
  THE SKIRTS OF PRECELLY                                             168
  THE HOWARD MONUMENT, AT RUDBAXTON                                  176
  AT HAVERFORDWEST                                                   177
  CARVED BENCH-END, HAVERFORDWEST                                    178
  OLD STAIRCASE AT HAVERFORDWEST                                     178
  UZMASTON                                                           179
  LANGWM FISHWIVES                                                   181
  LAWRENNY CASTLE                                                    182
  BENTON CASTLE                                                      183
  PICTON CASTLE                                                      185
  SLEBECH OLD CHURCH                                                 188
  LLAWHADEN CASTLE AND BRIDGE                                        191
  EGLWYSFAIR GLAN TÂF                                                197
  REDBERTH FONT                                                      198
  MAP OF PEMBROKESHIRE                                    _at beginning_
  SPEED'S MAP OF THE COUNTY                                     _at end_



[Illustration: Map of Pembrokeshire]



CHAPTER I.

A GENERAL SURVEY. THE KING'S TOWN OF TENBY.


Far away beyond the many-folding hills of Brecon and Glamorgan, whose
hollow 'cwms' are seamed with smoke from many a pit and furnace: far
away beyond the broad uplands and fertile straths where Towey and Teivy
seek the sea; the ancient shire of Pembroke thrusts forth, against the
western main, its bold and rugged coast-line. From Strumble Head to
Caldey, the grim primæval rocks that guard these storm-beaten shores
bear the full brunt of the Atlantic gales upon their craggy bastions;
which, under the ceaseless influence of time and tempest, have assumed
endless varieties of wild, fantastic outline and rich harmonious
colouring.

A weather-beaten land is this, where every tree and hedgerow tells, in
horizontal leeward sweep, of the prevalent 'sou'-wester.' Few hills
worthy the name break these wide-expanded landscapes, above whose 'meane
hills and dales' one graceful mountain range rises in solitary
pre-eminence. Stretching athwart the northern portion of the county, the
shapely peaks of the Precelly Mountains dominate every local prospect,
attaining in Moel Cwm Cerwyn a height of 1,760 feet, and throwing out
westwards the picturesque heights of Carn Englyn; whence the range
finally plunges seawards in the bold buttress of Dinas Head, and the
wild and rugged hills of Pencaer.

The inferior heights of Treffgarn and Plumstone 'mountain,' whose
singular crags recall the tors of Cornwall, form a quaint feature in the
prospect during the otherwise tedious drive to St. Davids. Perched upon
the westernmost spur of these hills, the lonely peel-tower of Roch
Castle looks out across the wind-swept plains of old Dewisland to the
fantastic peaks of Carn Llidi and Pen-beri, whose ancient rocks rise
abruptly from the ocean.

Down from the broad, fern-clad shoulders of Precelly flow the few
Pembrokeshire streams that approach the dignity of rivers. Hence the
twin floods of Eastern and Western Cleddau, rising far asunder at
opposite ends of the range, meander southwards in widely-deviating
courses through the heart of the county, to unite beneath the walls of
Picton Castle, and merge at last into the tidal waters of Milford Haven.

Westwards flows the little river Gwaen, circling through a picturesque
vale beneath the shadow of Carn Englyn, and emerging from its secluded
inland course upon the narrow, land-locked harbour of Fishguard. Towards
the north a group of streamlets unite to form the Nevern River, which
flows, amidst some of the most charming scenery in the county, through
the village of that ilk. After passing beneath the luxuriant groves of
Llwyngwair, the Nevern stream enters a sandy bay and bears the modest
commerce of Newport to the waterside hamlet of Parrog.

The Newgale Brook sweeps around Roch Castle, and enters St. Bride's Bay
through a broad rampart of shingle and sand. This latter stream has from
very early times formed the boundary between the ancient provinces of
Dewisland and Rhôs; and to this day the Newgale Brook draws a line of
demarcation between an English and a Welsh speaking people. Upon its
left bank lies Rhôs, a portion of the district known as 'Little England
beyond Wales,' with its Saxon speech and Norman fortress of Roch; while
all to westward stretches venerable Dewisland, Welsh now as ever in
tongue and in title.

The Solva River, emerging from a deep and narrow 'cwm,' forms one of
the most picturesque harbours upon the coast--a tempting nook for the
artist. Lastly, the little Allan Water, rising amidst those curious
hills which overlook St. Davids, meanders past open, gorse-clad commons
and marshlands abloom with the golden flag. Thenceforth the Allan winds
around the ruins of the Bishop's palace, and finally loses itself in a
tiny haven frequented by a few trading craft and small coastwise
colliers.

Deep into the bluff outline of this sea-girt land, old Ocean encroaches
by two important inlets of widely different character. As the wayfarer
bound to St. Davids approaches his destination, the tedium of the long
coach-drive is at last relieved by the welcome outlook across a broad
expanse of sea. This is St. Bride's Bay, whose waters sweep inland past
the ancient city for a distance of ten miles or so, having the large
islands of Ramsey and Skomer lying upon either horn of the bay.

Tradition tells that, 'once upon a time,' a fair country studded with
villages and farmsteads flourished where now the ocean rolls; and traces
of submerged forests about Newgale, and elsewhere within the compass of
the bay, suggest a possible grain of truth in the local fable.

A few miles farther down the coast the famous estuary of Milford Haven
opens seaward between the sheltering heights of St. Anne's Head, and the
long, crooked peninsula of Angle. Wonderful are the ramifications of
this magnificent waterway, within whose spacious roadstead the whole
British navy might with ease find anchorage; while its land-locked tidal
reaches bear a modest local traffic to many a remote inland district,
calling up memories of savours nautical beside the grass-grown quays of
Pembroke and 'Ha'rfordwest.'

Well might Imogen marvel why Nature should have singled out 'this same
blessed Milford' for such a priceless endowment, exclaiming:

  'Tell me how Wales was made so happy as
  To inherit such a Haven.'

The quaint author of 'Polyolbion' no less enthusiastically remarks:

  'So highly Milford is in every mouth renown'd,
  Noe Haven hath aught good, that in her is not found;'

while lastly, not to be outdone, George Owen, the old Pembrokeshire
chronicler, declares his beloved 'Myllford Havon' to be the 'most
famouse Porte of Christendome.'

Ever since those legendary days when St. Patrick sailed for the Emerald
Isle upon the traditional millstone, this incomparable haven has
continued to be a favourite point of departure for the opposite shores
of Ireland; and several historical personages appear at intervals in the
annals of local events. Hence, for example, Henry II. sailed away upon
his conquest of old Erin; while in the Fourth Henry's reign a large body
of French troops disembarked upon these shores, to co-operate in the
wars of 'the irregular and wild Glendower.' Yet another famous
individual, ycleped Henry ap Edmund ap Owain ap Meredydd ap Tydwr,
better known as Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, landed at Milford Haven
in the year of grace 1485, to set forth upon the historical campaign
which won for him a crown on Bosworth field. Here, again, the ubiquitous
Oliver Cromwell embarked with an army of some 15,000 men, to carry his
victorious arms against the rebellious Irish; and hence, in these piping
times of peace, the mail-boats sail at frequent intervals to the
seaports of the Emerald Isle.

Penetrating thus deeply into the country, one crooked arm of the great
estuary 'creketh in' beneath the stately ruins of Carew Castle, in such
wise as to partially 'peninsulate' a remote but interesting portion of
South Pembrokeshire, which is still further isolated by the low range of
the Ridgeway, between Pembroke and Tenby. This little district contains
within its limited compass a wonderful variety of ruined castles,
ancient priories, quaint old parish churches and curious, fortified
dwelling-houses of the English settlers.

Nestling in the more sheltered hollows, or clinging limpet-like to the
storm-swept uplands, these characteristic structures arouse the
wayfarer's interest as he paces the short, crisp turf rendered sweet by
the driven sea-spray. Occasionally he will set his course by some
prominent church steeple, which at the same time affords a landmark to
the passing mariner as he sails around the wild and iron-bound headlands
of the southern coast.

Throughout the length and breadth of Pembrokeshire, the constant
recurrence of camps, cromlechs, hut-circles and other prehistoric
remains, points to the existence of an extremely ancient people, whose
origin is involved in the mists of unrecorded antiquity. These primæval
monuments, seemingly old as the bleak hills they crown, suggest many an
insoluble conundrum to the curious visitor, who, gazing in wonder upon
their weather-beaten yet indestructible masses, disposes of the archaic
enigma as best he may by exclaiming: 'There were giants in those days!'

Coming down to the comparative _terra-firma_ of historic times, we find,
at the period of the Roman invasion, a Celtic race called the Demetæ
dwelling in the district of which our county forms a portion. The
masters of the world appear to have pushed their way to the western
seaboard, where, according to tradition, they established their colony
of Menapia beneath the shelter of the headland known to Ptolemy as
Octopitarum; connecting it, according to their custom, by the roadway of
Via Julia with their base at Muridunum, or Carmarthen; while the
probably still older road, called Via Flandrica, or Fordd Fleming,
afforded a route across the mountains to the north.

Taking another lengthy stride across the intervening centuries, we may
trace the footsteps of the Norman invaders. Under the leadership of
Arnulph de Montgomery, they overran these newly-conquered lands, and
established themselves in those great strongholds of Pembroke,
Manorbere, Carew, Haverfordwest and Roch, whose dismantled walls still
dominate the surrounding country.

The wild Welsh proving inconveniently restive, that astute monarch Henry
I. imported a colony of sturdy Flemings to assist in keeping order upon
these distant march-lands; an event which exerted a marked influence
upon the course of local history. These thrifty settlers received
further aid from the Second Henry, and settled down to cultivate the
land wrested from the Celtic peasantry.

The natives, however, still continued to behave in a very unneighbourly
fashion, 'making,' as we are told, 'verie sharpe warres upon the
Flemings, sometimes with gaine, sometimes with losse;' so that they
were obliged to build for themselves those strong, fortified
dwelling-houses whose massive remains are so frequently met with
throughout the southern parts of the county.

In course of time the language of the immigrants superseded the ancient
tongue of Celtic Dyfed, and thus that portion of the district comprised
within the hundreds of Castlemartin and Rhôs acquired the title of
'Little England beyond Wales,' whose Saxon place-names, such as
Johnston, Williamston, Hodgeston and the like, contrast so strikingly
with the universal Llan-this, that and the other, still common
throughout the upper country.

We have already had occasion to refer to Henry of Richmond's famous
visit to Milford, and to recall the expeditions of Cromwell and other
prominent personages from that noble haven to Ireland. The French
'invasion' of Wales in 1797 will be referred to in dealing with the
scenes of that notorious exploit: and in the course of our narrative we
shall touch upon various other historical incidents connected with the
nooks and corners of this fascinating county.

Owing to the prevalence of westerly breezes from the open Atlantic,
tempered by the beneficent influence of the Gulf Stream, Pembrokeshire
is blessed with a mild and remarkably equable climate. Hence the air is
at the same time both dry and bracing, particularly in the southern
portion of the county, where, in sheltered situations, the myrtle,
fuchsia and syringa flourish _al fresco_ all the year round.

Nothing can exceed the luxuriance of the vegetation in the spacious
demesne of Stackpole Court, where, sheltered from the strong winter
gales that sweep across these gorse-clad uplands, the oak, ash, beech,
ilex, sycamore and other forest trees, 'crowd into a shade' beside the
lily-strewn meres whose placid waters mirror their spreading branches.
This favoured region boasts, we believe, an average temperature of about
50° Fahr., and it has been shown by careful analysis that, taking one
season with another, there is little to choose between the average
climates of Madeira and of Tenby.

These favourable conditions do not, of course, obtain to the same degree
in the north; where rough winds occasionally sweep down from the
Precelly Mountains, driving keenly across the open country and retarding
the vegetation. Nevertheless there are sheltered nooks around Newport
and Fishguard where the eucalyptus, mulberry and fig-tree attain a
goodly stature.

Sun-warmed spots such as these form, however, mere oases of verdure
amidst the rolling, wind-swept uplands of the interior; where the
hardier trees alone rear their stunted forms above the rough stone walls
which serve in place of hedgerows, or cluster around a group of solid,
one-storied cottages, whose low walls, deep roofs and vast, bulging
chimneys are overspread with one universal coating of dazzling
whitewash; 'to keep out the weather,' as the country-folk will tell
you--very clean, no doubt, but the reverse of picturesque in appearance.

The native style of building is well exhibited in the ancient parish
churches, more especially in those towards the southern seaboard of the
county, which are distinguished by a rugged simplicity entirely in
keeping with the stern and sombre character of the surrounding
landscape. Of architecture there is but little; such beauty as the
edifice can boast having to be sought in the picturesque grouping of its
rambling gables beneath the tall, square, fortress-like tower; and the
quaint, unlooked-for character of the cavernous interior.

The nave is frequently covered with a rude stone barrel vault, from
which low vaulted transepts open out like cells on either hand, whence
vast 'squints,' forming narrow passages, branch diagonally into the
chancel. Low arches, sometimes pointed, sometimes of a curious flat
shape and almost invariably devoid of mouldings, open into the aisles,
which are lighted by lancet windows of simple but good design; while
sometimes a roomy porch or handsome sedilia adds a touch of distinction
to an otherwise homely interior.

We may instance, as typical examples of these sacred edifices, the
churches of Gumfreston, St. Florence, Castlemartin and, _par
excellence_, of Manorbere. A handsomer development may be studied in the
parish churches of Tenby, Carew and Hodgeston, and the fine old priory
church of Monkton. The graceful thirteenth-century pillars and arches of
St. Mary's, Haverfordwest, are unusually ornate for this locality, and
are only excelled by the varied and beautiful architecture of St. Davids
Cathedral itself. There can be little doubt that the hard, intractable
nature of the local limestone is in some degree responsible for the
primitive characteristics of many of these churches; for, despite their
archaic appearance, they are rarely older than early thirteenth-century
times.

Beautiful in their decay are the time-honoured ruins of the episcopal
palaces of Lamphey and St. Davids; whose mellow-toned walls with their
singularly graceful arcades mark the constructive genius of Bishop
Gower, the Wykeham of the West.

The numerous mediæval castles, whose ruined walls and ivy-mantled towers
so frequently meet the eye, form a striking feature in many a
picturesque scene; from the rugged bastions which cluster beneath the
mighty keep of Pembroke, and the many-windowed front of lordly Carew, to
the lonely peel-tower of Roch and the remote and isolated block-houses
which keep ward around the coast.

Having thus obtained a general _coup d'oeil_ of our field of action,
we will proceed to explore at our leisure the nooks and corners of this
pleasant countryside; so, with this purpose in view, we now make our way
to that highly-favoured watering-place, the 'King's town of Tenby.'

[Illustration: BECALMED OFF TENBY.]

One clear, calm evening in May of this drouthy year of grace 1893, we
emerge dusty and sun-baked from the tropical recesses of the 'tunnel
express,' alight at Tenby Station, and wend our way through the streets
of that clean little town to seaside quarters overlooking a
picturesque bay, where some fishing-craft lie quietly at anchor off the
harbour mouth. Towards sundown a miniature fleet of trawlers sweeps
gracefully landwards around the Castle Hill, looking for all the world
like a flight of brilliant butterflies; their russet sails glowing in
the warm light of the sun's declining rays with every hue from gold to
ruddy purple, recalling memories of gorgeous scenes on far-away Venetian
lagoons. Hailing from many a haven between Milford and strong-savoured
Brixham, these handy little vessels ply their calling around our
south-western shores; pushing their ventures, when opportunity serves,
to the North Sea fishing-grounds, and even to the remoter shores of
Scotland. The visitor curious in such matters soon learns to distinguish
between the well-found Brixham trawler and the handy sloop from Milford,
certain cabalistic letters painted upon the parti-coloured sails
denoting the port where, according to custom, each boat is respectively
registered.

[Illustration: TENBY.]

Tenby town is in many respects happy in what a local historian quaintly
terms its 'approximation.' Turning its back upon the quarter whence blow
the strongest gales, and sheltered by the high ground of the Ridgeway,
that part of the town most frequented by visitors faces south by east
across the land-locked waters of Carmarthen Bay.

Hence a pleasant view is obtained of the opposite coast of Gower and the
more distant highlands of North Devon; while Caldey Island lies like a
breakwater against the waves of the open Channel. As shrewd old Leland
observes: 'Tinbigh Town standith on a main Rokke, but not very by; and
the Severn Se so gulfith in about hit that, at the ful Se, almost the
third part of the Toun is inclosid with water.'

Tenby can boast a fair sprinkling of good hotels and lodging-houses. The
town is made further attractive as a place of residence by a
well-appointed club, a circulating library, excellent public baths and a
small museum of local interest. Last, but by no means least amongst its
attractions, Nature has provided a broad expanse of firm, dry sands,
much appreciated by children and bathers at holiday times.

With a fair train-service upon the railway, good carriages and boats for
hire, and steamboats calling at intervals, Tenby affords a convenient
centre whence to explore the remoter recesses of South Pembrokeshire,
for few and far between are the resting-places for the wayfarer in that
rather inaccessible region.

Dynbych-y-Pysgod--the Little Town of Fish--appears to have been a place
of some importance from very early times. By the middle of the twelfth
century we find the town in the hands of the Flemish soldiery; and
subsequently disasters came thick and threefold upon the devoted
inhabitants. During the reign of Henry II., Maelgwyn ap Rhys, a person
who is euphemistically described as 'of civil behaviour and honesty in
all his actions,' ascertaining that many of the townsfolk were absent at
the foreign wars, made a sudden onslaught, set fire to the ill-fated
town, and burnt it to the ground. Less than a century later the place
was again taken and destroyed by Llewelyn ap Grufydd: and after a
further respite of about 200 years, the notorious Owain Glyndwr appeared
before the walls, laid siege to, and made himself master of the little
Western seaport.

Notwithstanding these misfortunes, 'the King's town of Tenby' henceforth
grew and prospered unmolested. In 1402 Tenby was made a corporate town;
and by the middle of the fifteenth century it had already become a
centre of considerable trade and enterprise, encompassed by strong stone
walls and towers built by Earl William de Valentia, Lord of Pembroke.
The town walls are said to have been rebuilt by one Thomas White, the
scion of a famous burgher family, who was Mayor of this ancient borough
in 1457.

When Leland passed this way in the reign of bluff King Hal, he found the
'Toun strongeli waullid and well gatid, everi Gate having hys Port
collis _ex solide ferro_.' 'But,' says Fenton, writing in the early part
of the present century, 'it was left for Queen Elizabeth, who was a
great benefactress of the town in general, and whose initials are still
extant over parts of the town walls, to contribute that strength and
perfection to them which the present remains are a striking proof of.'
Earl William (who appears to have been a generous patron of the town)
granted the first charter of liberties, which was afterwards renewed and
confirmed by successive reigning sovereigns. Several of these
interesting documents are still in the possession of the Corporation,
including an illuminated charter of Richard III.'s reign, and another
granted by Edward VI., which is enriched with a quaint, archaic portrait
of that youthful monarch.

[Illustration: Maces Presented to Tenby by Charles II.]

Tenby also boasts a handsome pair of silver maces, presented to the town
by Charles II. They are about 2 feet in length, and are emblazoned with
the royal arms, the arms of Tenby, and other appropriate devices, with
the inscription 'Rice Borrow Maior, 1660.' The upper portion of the head
is formed as a moveable lid, so that the mace could be used upon festive
occasions as a loving-cup.

Since those turbulent days of its earlier career, Tenby has played the
modest _rôle_ of a town without a history, and has happily combined the
avocations of a fishery town with the seductions of a modern
watering-place.

[Illustration: The Chancel of St. Mary's Church, Tenby]

Turning out into the steadfast sunshine, we now thread our way amid the
intricacies of the older byways to the 'faire Paroche chirche,' whose
steeple, soaring high aloft, appears a landmark to mariners far out at
sea. Dedicated to St. Mary, this church is one of the largest and
handsomest in the county, and is unrivalled in the beauty and interest
of its monuments.

Foremost amongst these are the twin marble monuments in St. Anne's
Chapel, which figure in the foreground of our sketch. Here lie buried
several distinguished members of that famous family, the Whites of
Tenby, which has given many worthy citizens to the town.

Beneath the right-hand tomb rests Thomas White, merchant and sometime
Alderman of Tenby; whose recumbent effigy, habited in the distinctive
costume of his calling, adorns the monument. He it was who enabled
Henry, Earl of Richmond, to escape after the battle of Tewkesbury, by
concealing him in his house at Tenby until such time as he could ship
him safely off in one of his own vessels to France. In gratitude for
this yeoman service the Earl, upon his accession to the throne,
presented his trusty friend with the lease of all the Crown lands around
the town.

The adjacent monument, which closely resembles its neighbour, records
another member of the White family. Both these tombs are enriched with
figures, in panels of bold relief, with a running inscription in
mediæval character carved upon the margin.

Our attention is next attracted by the gaily-tinted effigy of William
Risam, who, clad in aldermanic robes, kneels beneath a canopy built
into the chapel wall. The figure is coloured in such a life-like manner
that, as the story goes, a Parliamentarian soldier fired at the supposed
enemy; in witness whereof a bullet-hole may be discerned above the head
of the effigy.

Near at hand lies the last of that ancient family the Vaughans, of
Dunraven in South Wales; a man who, having run through his patrimony at
breakneck pace, allowed the ancestral mansion to fall into ruin, and
betook himself to a lonely turret upon the seaward cliffs. Here he is
said to have spent his time in showing false lights along the coast, in
order to lure passing vessels ashore and enrich himself by the plunder
of their cargoes. One stormy night, during one of these sinister
exploits, the body of his only son was washed ashore at his feet; when,
overcome by this ominous catastrophe, he quitted the neighbourhood,
withdrew from all intercourse with his fellow-creatures, and ended his
days in seclusion at Tenby.

Standing upon the chapel floor hard by, we espy a fine old
fifteenth-century church bell bearing in black-letter characters the
words SANCTA ANNA, with the initials R. T. This is the ancient
sanctus-bell of this same chapel of St. Anne, which has descended to its
present lowly position from the exterior of the tower, having been hung
there, as is supposed, long years ago by Thomas ap Rhys, of
Scotsborough, a descendant of the famous Rhys ap Thomas who played so
important a part in the establishment of Henry VII. upon the throne. The
memory of this worthy knight is kept evergreen by the gaudy and rather
pretentious-looking monument seen on the farther wall. There he kneels,
with folded hands, arrayed in ruffles and trunk-hose; his 'better half,'
who is represented as of gigantic proportions, reposing uncomfortably
upon her side; while in panels beneath appear the sons and daughters,
arranged in symmetrical gradation. A glance at the sketch will show the
pretty contrast afforded by the diversified forms of the arches; while
the lofty flight of steps ascending to the chancel, and the dark timbers
of the roof supported by well-carved angels upon massive brackets,
enhance the effect of the handsome interior.

[Illustration: RUINS OF ST. MARYS PRIORY AT TENBY.]

Quitting the church by its massive south porch, we pause beneath the
spreading elms that adorn the churchyard to admire a singular group of
arches, set in a crumbling fragment of ruined wall, whose gray,
time-worn stones are abloom with bright tufts of pink valerian. These
appear to be the sole remains of a house of Carmelite nuns, established
A.D. 1399 by one John de Swynemore; and so graceful are these
richly-moulded arches that we can but regret that more of the structure
has not been spared to us. It is probable that these ruins are of coëval
date with the adjacent western doorway of the church, which has a
peculiar ogee arch surmounted with the following inscription in Gothic
characters: BENEDICTUS DEUS IN DONIS SUIS.

Rambling haphazard around the little town, such names as Frog Street,
Crackwell Street and the like, tickle our fancy as a quaint relief to
modern street nomenclature, which, usually devoid of originality, too
often supplants local names racy of the soil.

[Illustration: A BIT OF OLD TENBY]

A sudden turn down a narrow lane, hanging, as it were, upon the steep
hillside, reveals glimpses of old-world Tenby which beguile our
wandering steps from the hard highway.

At a secluded corner of these by-lanes a gray and weather-beaten old
house stands, forsaken and neglected, amid the meaner dwellings that
encompass it. The well-proportioned windows and pointed doorway which
adorn the massive front lend a certain air of faded dignity, as though
the old place had once 'seen better days'; while above the high-pitched
roof peers one of those curious, rounded erections called hereabouts
'Flemish' chimneys.

In conjunction with the ancient gables at the rear of the adjacent
saddler's shop, this interesting old structure forms one of the most
picturesque relics yet remaining of the Tenby of 'auld lang syne.'

Following hence the groups of stalwart fisher-folk as, with large air of
leisure, they stroll adown the hill, we soon find ourselves upon the
'Peere made for Shyppes' which encloses the little harbour. Here stood
in olden times the seamen's chapel of St. Julian, which was subsequently
converted into a bath-house: thus 'cleanliness comes next to godliness';
and a pretty modern chapel now stands beside the quay.

Close at hand, in a sheltered cove, the lifeboat lies in wait beside a
rudimentary iron 'peere,' which threatens to stretch its spindle shanks
athwart the comely crescent of the bay, beneath the fortress-crowned
islet of St. Catherine.

The adjacent Castle Hill is crowned by a lofty watch-tower, some ruined
outworks of the ancient city walls, and a handsome marble statue of the
late Prince Consort, of heroic size: lower down stands a small but
well-arranged museum, which contains a representative collection of
local natural history, besides valuable cases of shells, coins, etc.

[Illustration: OLD HOUSES AT TENBY.]

Archæologists will notice with interest the small alabaster group of St.
George and the Dragon, rescued from a cottage in course of demolition
at Tenby; and a fine specimen of a quern, used for grinding corn, found
near Popton. The exterior is fashioned into the form of a human face,
and as it is known that only the earlier examples were ornamented, this
quern is considered to be of very high antiquity.

The seaward face of the hill is laid out in winding walks, with
sheltered seats at intervals, where visitors and townsfolk congregate
upon the sunny slopes to indulge in a spell of _dolce far niente_, or to
enjoy the wide panorama of land and sea that lies outspread around.

[Illustration: THE WALLS OF TENBY TOWN]

The return to the town may be varied by strolling along the broad, firm
sands beneath curiously contorted rocky cliffs, aglow just now with
masses of the white and red valerian. Clambering up a long flight of
steps, we soon find ourselves abreast of the massive walls which in
olden times protected the town upon its landward side, and terminated
upon the precipitous edge of the cliff in the quaint, ivy-clad tower
that rises right here before us.

These ancient walls are still (in spite of hard treatment in bygone
times from vandalistic hands) in a fair state of preservation; and form,
with their boldly-projecting towers and broken battlements, the most
striking and picturesque feature of the town. They are perhaps seen to
the best advantage from near the north-west corner, whence a general
_coup d'oeil_ is gained of their respective sides.

Sauntering under the shady trees on the site of the ancient moat, we
pass beside the south-west front, to which, as by far the most complete,
we now devote our attention. Here we notice how the sturdy round tower
which guards the converging angle spreads boldly out at its base; anon
we observe another tower of similar form, through which the easy-going
authorities of some past time have actually permitted a huge opening to
be hewn to admit the passage of a ropewalk!

[Illustration: ST. GEORGE'S GATE, TENBY.]

A stone's-throw farther on rises the broad bulk of the great St.
George's Bastion, marking the entrance to one of the principal town
gates, and pierced with five archways, in two of which the grooves for
the portcullis may still be discerned. Overhead a gangway ran around the
inner face of the wall, which is provided with lancet-holes for the use
of archers, and is crowned with the usual corbelled battlements.
Altogether this fine old structure presents a most picturesque
appearance; its ancient archways being frequently enlivened by groups of
market folk passing to and fro, while the rough gray stones of its
venerable walls are wreathed with masses of flowering plants. A number
of shabby dwellings which encumbered the approach have recently been
swept away; one dilapidated old building with curious circular chimneys
(said to have been used as a lazar-house) alone being spared.

Beyond St. George's Bastion rises another ivy-mantled tower, near which
we espy a stone panel let into the wall, bearing the superscription 'Ao
1588, E. R.' Being interpreted, this inscription records that Tenby
walls were repaired in the thirtieth year of good Queen Bess's reign.

Farther on the wall is pierced with a wide open archway, and terminates
abruptly upon the precipitous edge of the cliff in a square,
battlemented turret bearing a strong family likeness to the church
towers of this locality. The walls seem to have been pierced with a
double row of lancet-holes for the use of archers, the upper tier being
commanded by a gangway carried upon pointed arches, while the lower row
is accessible from the ground.

The day waxing warm and sunny, we now make for the harbour again, and
charter one of the numerous well-found pleasure-boats which lie in wait
for visitors. An hour's pleasant sail over a sea blue as the
Mediterranean, and we land upon the shores of Caldey Island, like the
Old Man of the Sea, pick-a-back fashion astride the boatman's back.

'This island,' says George Owen, 'is verie fertile and yeldeth plentie
of corne; all their plowes goe with horses, for oxen the inhabitantes
dare not keepe, fearing the purveyors of the pirattes as they themselves
told me, whoe often make their provisions there by theire owne
comission, and comonlie to the good contentment of the inhabitantes,
when conscionable theefes arrive there.'

A grassy track, winding up the sloping bank amidst gorse and bracken,
now leads across a stream and beside a few quarrymen's cottages to a
dejected-looking chapel. In a neglected corner of the interior we
discover the object of our visit--to wit, a recumbent oblong stone
inscribed with certain archaic characters, which have been rendered as
follows: 'In the Name both of the Cross itself and of Him who was fixed
thereon, pray for the soul of Catuoconus.' Certain lines of the
character known as Ogham may also be discerned upon the sides or edges
of this hoary monolith.

[Illustration: THE PRIORY CALDY ISLAND]

Striking across the open fields, with the tall white lighthouse for our
guide, we turn aside to visit an old farmstead that contains the scanty
ruins of Caldey Priory. This venerable foundation owes its origin to
Robert, son of Martin de Turribus, and was annexed as a cell to the
abbey of St. Dogmaels, near Cardigan.

A wise old saw which observes 'There is nothing new but what has been
forgotten,' may find a verification amidst such neglected nooks as
these; whose long-forgotten relics of a bygone age greet the wayfarer
with all the charm of novelty.

Above the adjacent farmyard premises rises the quaint little
weather-beaten tower of the old priory chapel; its slender spire leaning
perilously awry, its stonework fast crumbling to decay. From the summit
of the tower hangs the crazy bell, with rusty chain and silent clapper.
One daintily-fashioned window is roughly blocked with brickwork, another
gives entrance to a pigeon-cot.

Within the adjoining house we are shown a fine old vaulted kitchen, with
deep-browed windows, and rude stone settle along the wall. Thence we
penetrate to a cool, dark chamber exhibiting traces of a gracefully
proportioned window enclosed by a pointed arch, long since blocked up.

Retracing our steps beneath hedges of flowering fuchsia, we return by
breezy, fern-clad commons and well-tilled fields to the landing-place;
where an amphibious-looking individual is laying out lobster-pots among
the weed-strewn rocks.

Caldey has ever been famed for the excellence of its oyster fisheries;
not to speak of the crabs and lobsters caught around its rocky shores,
which are commended by an Elizabethan writer who appears to have been an
authority on such matters. 'The Lapster,' says this enthusiast, 'sett
whole on the table, yieldeth Exercise, Sustenance and Contemplation;
exercise in cracking his legs and Clawes, sustenance by eating the Meate
thereof, and contemplation by beholding the curious Work of his complete
Armour, both in hue and workmanship.'

'And the Crabbe,' continues the same writer, 'doth sensiblye feele the
Course of the Moone; fillinge and emptyeing yt selfe with the encrease
and decrease thereof, and therefore ys saied to be best at the full
Moone.'

Once more afloat, we are speedily wafted past the cave-pierced cliffs of
St. Margaret's Isle, and across the placid waters of Caldey Sound.
Running beneath the fortress-crowned St. Catherine's Rock, we round the
Castle Hill and disembark in Tenby's sheltered haven.

Though our rambles about its old streets have by no means exhausted the
curious nooks of Tenby, yet we have all broad Pembrokeshire lying as it
were at our doors, and waiting only for an 'open sesame' to disclose its
most interesting features. By far the larger number of these lie within
a measurable distance of Tenby, whence access is easily obtained to them
by road, rail, or boat. Moreover, by taking counsel with the local
time-table, the visitor may fare forth upon his way at a conscionable
hour of the morning and be back again at Tenby ere nightfall supervenes.

The curious old chest figured at the foot of this chapter formed the
ancient treasury of Tenby. It is enriched with sixteenth-century German
ironwork of very quaint design--witness the ladies pulling the
elephants' 'noses,'--and has seven bolts and two padlocks. The keys of
these latter were held by the two town bailiffs, while the Mayor was
responsible for those of the main lock and of the tiller inside. After
having been sold as old iron some five-and-thirty years ago, this
interesting relic was rescued by a Tenby resident, through whose
courtesy we are enabled to show the accompanying sketch.

[Illustration: THE ANCIENT TREASURY OF TENBY.]



CHAPTER II.

ROUND ABOUT THE RIDGEWAY.

  'The year's at the spring
    And day's at the dawn;
  Morning's at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
  The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn:
  God's in the heaven--
    All's right with the world!'

  R. B.


One fine May morning, after a night of soft, seasonable rain, we are up
betimes and away into the green borderland that encompasses Tenby town
upon its western side. Low, hazy clouds drift athwart the landscape,
with glints of sunlight touching it into life here and there; a gentle
breeze rustling the trees and bowing the growing crops before it.

A cottager, smoking a morning pipe on the bench before his door, gives
us the _sele_ of the day as we pass, and would fain spin a yarn about
the 'craps' and the drought; but, turning a deaf ear to his
lucubrations, we go our ways rejoicing, and ere long find ourselves
skirting a lush green tract of marshland, whose dark levels are gay with
yellow flags, marsh marigolds and feathery 'ragged Robin.'

Diverging to the right and plunging into a grove of aged ash-trees, we
soon emerge upon an open glade where stand the crumbling walls of an
ancient house called Scotsborough. This was the ancestral home of the
family of Ap Rhys, who repose in Tenby Church beneath the monument we
have already visited; and a ramble amidst the intricate passages and
loopholed chambers of the ruined mansion, with their huge chimneys and
cavernous ovens, shews that it was erected at a time when a man's house
still continued to do duty, at a pinch, as his castle. Having explored
this picturesque old pile, we hark back once more to the road. Trudging
along a hollow, shady lane past a pretty mill, we now strike into a
secluded pathway which drops steeply down beside a prattling rill,
beneath overarching trees whose interlacing branches fret the greensward
with a mantle of shadowy verdure.

Overhead the fleecy clouds are swept by the breeze into graceful forms
suggestive of sea-birds' wings; while the sunny air is musical with the
song of birds and the distant bleating of sheep, and sweet with the
scent of chestnut and elder bloom. A newly-fledged Burnet butterfly
tries his smart speckled wings; whilst a passing 'Blue' out-rivals the
hue of the dainty speedwell in the hedgerow; which peeps from amidst a
tangle of pushing young bracken, hooded 'lords and ladies,' bluebells
and wild geranium.

[Illustration: GUMFRESTON CHURCH.]

Here in this secluded nook, 'the world forgetting, by the world forgot,'
nestles the venerable church of Gumfreston; its ivy-mantled tower scarce
rivalling the lofty trees which screen it from the outer world.
Approached by footpaths only, a rustic wicket gives access to the
churchyard; crossing which we enter the lowly edifice by an arched
doorway that opens into a roomy old porch of primitive construction,
completely overgrown with ivy. This was in all probability the original
church, and is entirely built of stone; the roof, after the manner of
the older churches of the district, being fashioned into a simple kind
of vault. Upon either side is a rude stone bench; and a stoup, or font,
of archaic design is built into the wall.

Passing through the inner door, some slight traces of damaged fresco
which appear upon the whitewashed wall may, by a vigorous exercise of
the imagination, be conjectured to represent the martyrdom of St.
Lawrence, the patron saint of Gumfreston Church. Something roughly
resembling a tennis-racket may pass for the martyr's gridiron; while a
gigantic foot, and certain objects vaguely suggesting a pair of scissors
and a comb, are faintly discernible amidst a number of other
half-obliterated details.

A curious recess which bulges outwards from the same wall contains an
old stone font; and the small adjacent transept is connected with the
chancel by one of those singular 'squint' passages peculiar to this
locality.

An unusual effect is produced by the low, simple arch--scarce more than
5 feet wide--between the chancel and the nave, which has a shallow,
pointed recess on either side of it, doubtless designed to hold figures.

[Illustration: CHURCH PLATE AT GUMFRESTON.]

In one of these latter we observe the primitive-looking pewter flagon
and paten which serve the purpose of church plate. Alongside them stands
a queer little cracked handbell of bronze-green, rust-eaten metal; this
is the Sanctus-bell which, in pre-Reformation days, was rung in the
church upon the elevation of the Host, and was carried at the head of
funeral processions. Anent its present damaged condition the story goes
that, during some solemn rite of exorcism with bell, book and candle, a
certain fallen potentate suddenly appeared in a flash of brimstone
flame, and broke the bell in impotent revenge.

Passing through the chancel, we now enter a quaint little side-chapel
with pretty two-light window and low, groined ceiling whose stony ribs
look strong enough to carry a tower. The latter, however, is on the
other side of the church, and is probably of later date; it is built in
several stages, the one below the bell-chamber having pigeon-holes
around inside the walls; while overhead hangs an ancient bell inscribed
SANCTA MARIA ORA PRO NOBIS.

Hard by the church upon its southern side a flight of worn, stone steps
leads down to three clear springs, which well up side by side in a mossy
dell, and ripple away beneath lush grasses and flowering marsh plants.
These wells, although in such close proximity, have been found to differ
in their medicinal properties; and were resorted to as a cure for 'all
the ills that flesh is heir to' by the simple folk of a bygone
generation.

Near at hand is the site of an old cockpit. In days of yore this
exhilarating sport was very popular with Pembrokeshire men, who usually
chose Easter Monday and such-like 'times of jollitie' to indulge in
their favourite pastime.

At the corner of the churchyard stands an old deserted cottage which,
after many vicissitudes, has fallen upon degenerate days. Originally the
rectory, and then the poor-house of the parish, it is now a neglected
ruin half hidden amidst a tangle of shrubs and climbing plants.

Most visitors to Gumfreston will notice the fine old farmhouse that
rises cheek-by-jowl with the carriage-road from Tenby. If we are to
believe the tradition of the countryside, this is the most ancient abode
in the county. Be that as it may, the place bears traces of no mean
antiquity; and is an excellent specimen of a Pembrokeshire homestead of
the olden times.

Out from the main structure projects a mighty porch, running up the full
height of the house, and pierced with round holes by way of windows
above the main doorway. Penetrating into the interior, we enter a
low-browed kitchen with open raftered ceiling and roomy settle beside
the cavernous fireplace; its solid old timbers worn to a fine polish by
generations of rustic shoulders. A bright wood-fire burns on the open
hearth, and over it a big black kettle swings in the hollow of the
chimney.

The chimney stacks cropping boldly out, haphazard as it were, lean
independently this way or that in the quaintest way imaginable; and the
broad gable ends are pierced with many pigeon-holes. The place is built
as though intended to last for all time, and is enveloped in the
customary coating of weather-stained whitewash.

We now push merrily on beneath a cloudless sky; meeting an exhilarating
sea-breeze as the road mounts upwards. Luxuriant hedgerows (a rare sight
hereabouts) presently give place to open downland, affording
widespreading views across rich, rolling woodlands cropped close by the
strong salt breezes. Upon the broad slopes of the Ridgeway groups of
white farm-buildings sparkle amidst ruddy ploughfields; while far beyond
them are Caldey Island and the pale blue line of the sea.

Once more a pleasant field-path beguiles our errant footsteps. Leading
across an open common, it presently drops into a narrow by-lane, which
winds among hazel copses and undergrowth beside the marshy course of
the Ritec, where cattle are browsing leisurely, half hidden amidst lusty
water-plants.

Anon our lane degenerates into a hollow watercourse fringed with the
greenest of mosses and wineglass ferns; insomuch that, like Agag, we are
compelled to walk delicately across the rough stepping-stones that here
do duty as a footpath; while the hedgerows fairly meet overhead in a
tangle of wild roses, hawthorn and fragrant honeysuckle.

Emerging all too soon upon the dusty highway, we approach the pretty
village of St. Florence. Being by this time not a little 'sharp set,' we
enter a modest wayside inn, and proceed to whet our appetites upon the
rations that the _gute verständige Hausfrau_ soon sets before us. Let us
unfold our simple bill of fare: New-laid eggs galore; a mighty loaf of
likely-looking bread, sweet from the clean wood oven; and a draught of
the 'cup that'--in moderation--'cheers, but not inebriates.'

In one corner of the low-ceiled room, the glass panels of an
old-fashioned cupboard reveal a heterogeneous collection of rustic
crockery-ware. The narrow mantel-board is adorned with a curious
centrepiece, representing Wesley preaching to a sham china clock. This
_chef d'oeuvre_ is supported on either hand by china figures, rather
the worse for wear, riding to market upon a pillion; of which the
rickety mirror behind renders a dull and distorted replica.

From the opposite wall the bucolic face of a former proprietor stares
stonily out upon us, as he grasps his doll-like daughter's arm after the
manner of a pump-handle; this interesting group being flanked by the
inevitable memorial cards to lost ones long since 'buried.'

Meanwhile, as we ply the peaceful calumet, mine hostess tells of quaint
old customs that, until only the other day, survived in this quiet
countryside. 'I mind the time,' says she, 'when I was a girl, when there
used to be a Vanity Fair in the village every Michaelmas tide. It lasted
three whole days, and the men and maids would turn out in their best
then, and all the housen must be smartened up and put in order; and
Squire, he give every working man in the place a bran-new suit of
clothes to his back. Ah, there was fine doings then, and I've a-hard
tell that they'd used to run a keg of spirits, or what not, from the big
cellars down Tenby way. But that was afore my time.'

A stroll around the village reveals some picturesque corners here and
there; a few of the older cottages retaining the vast rounded chimneys,
bulging ovens and pointed doorways of an earlier age. The church, too,
contains attractive features. A peep into the little edifice reveals a
curious vaulted interior, with its queer 'squint' passage set askew, and
flat limestone arches of peculiar form on either side of the chancel.

The honours of the place are done by a garrulous old dame, whose
russet-apple complexion, set amidst well-starched frills above a
homespun 'whittle,' shows how well she has weathered her fourscore
hard-working winters.

Upon the gable wall outside, we notice a memorial slab commemorating a
venerable couple who attained the mellow ages of 102 and 104,
respectively; and a singular epitaph on Archdeacon Rudd: while the
broken shaft of an ancient cross rises amidst the well-tended monuments
of this flowery God's acre.

On our return to Tenby we pass a ruined water-mill, standing in a wooded
dingle beside a reed-grown stream. Lanes and field-paths lead us down
the valley of the Ritec, beside a group of tumbled houses whose massive,
ivy-wreathed walls, with their narrow loopholed windows, may possibly
guard those big cellars of which we have lately 'a-hard tell.'

Thence through a hollow dingle, where golden Fritillary butterflies
float to and fro in the dappled sunlight; and where the
fast-disappearing badger may still at times be met with. Anon we diverge
to Carswall, to examine a group of remarkable stone buildings with
vaulted chambers, huge fireplaces and bulging chimneys--puzzling objects
to the archæologist. From Carswall we strike across upland pastures,
where a farm lad is 'tickling' the ruddy soil with a primitive kind of
harrow, composed of a bundle of brushwood drawn behind a horse.

Erelong we turn aside to explore the recesses of Hoyle's Mouth; a vast
cavern worn deep in the solid limestone of the Ridgeway, and fringed
with fantastic stalactites resembling gigantic icicles. Relics of
remote antiquity, discovered here, prove that the cavern has been a
place of refuge in times beyond tradition; and a local fable affirms
that it is connected with that 'mervellows caverne,' yclept the Wogan,
far away beneath the Castle of Pembroke!

Half a mile hence, in a nook of the hill, stands the old farmhouse of
Trefloyne; erstwhile the abode of a loyal family who, during Civil War
times, paid the penalty of their constancy by being hunted forth by the
Parliamentary soldiers; while their home was delivered over to
destruction.

Another half-hour's walk takes us back to Tenby by way of Windpipe Lane;
where a marble tablet by the roadside marks the site of St. John's Well,
for many generations the sole water supply of the inhabitants. 'One
thinge,' says Leland, 'is to be merveled at; there is no Welle yn the
Towne, yt is said; whereby they be forced to fesh theyre Water from
Saint Johns without ye Towne.' Nowadays, however, they have changed all
that; and have provided a water supply more suited to modern
requirements.

In the early days of the century, considerable ruins of the ancient
Hospital of St. John still existed near this spot; of which, however,
every trace has since been quite obliterated.

Another pleasant excursion from Tenby takes the visitor past the little
secluded creek of Waterwinch; giving him, _en route_, a charming glimpse
of the town, rising above the wooded shores of the north bay. Thence a
steep, narrow lane leads to the village of Saundersfoot, a favourite
seaside resort with a diminutive harbour, an hotel and groups of
lodging-houses.

The whole of this district has been, at some remote geological period,
one vast forest, of which traces still exist upon the adjacent coast;
where submerged trees, and balks of timber encrusted with shells, are
occasionally found. Tall chimney-shafts, rising amidst the woods, attest
the presence of anthracite coal beneath our feet; this is raised from
several mines in the neighbourhood, and sent down by tramway to
Saundersfoot for exportation.

Pursuing a delightfully shady road that winds inland past the grounds
of Hean Castle, we soon find ourselves amidst some of the loveliest
sylvan scenery in all the countryside. Presently we get a peep at the
church of St. Issels, almost lost to view amidst green aisles of
embowering foliage.

As at Gumfreston, by footpaths only can the little edifice be
approached; while the stepping-stones across the rivulet are
supplemented by a rustic foot-bridge, for use in times when the stream
is in flood. This church has lately been restored by some appreciative
hand; it has the characteristic tall gray tower such as we have grown
accustomed to in this locality, and contains a handsome font of
respectable antiquity.

Hence the wayfarer may return to Tenby by way of Bonville's Court, a
fortified manor-house of the Edwardian period, of which but a single
dilapidated tower and stair-turret remain: or by fetching a compass
round, and wandering through quiet lanes draped with hartstongue fern,
ivy and convolvulus, he may explore the country away towards Jeffreyston
or Redberth; returning over high ground beside the finely-timbered
estate of Ivy Tower; and so home by the previously mentioned route
through Gumfreston village.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nestling in a sunny nook where the Ridgeway meets the sea, the little
village of Penally, peeping coyly out from amidst embowering trees,
forms a pretty feature in many a local prospect.

The road, winding inland, leads us by a long causeway across a broad
tract of marshland, now golden with iris and kingcups, through which the
Ritec stream meanders to the sea. It is said that, in ancient times, the
tidal waters extended up this hollow vale as far as the village of St.
Florence; and there is an old map at Tenby in which a vessel in full
sail floats upon the very spot where we now stand.

[Illustration: PENALLY HOUSE.]

Thence up we climb again across the foot-hills of the Ridgeway, until
ere long the first cottages of Penally 'heave in sight,' bowered in
roses, clematis and honeysuckle, and set amidst gardens aglow with
gladiolus, peonies, tulips, geraniums, fuchsias and Japan lilies. Was
it not Washington Irving who remarked that we English had, in our
country gardens, 'caught the coy and furtive graces of Nature, and
spread them, like witchery, around these rural abodes'?

Before us lies a stretch of open greensward, shaded by groups of oak and
hawthorn, whence rises the gray tower of the parish church; a building
which has been restored to a semblance of newness that belies its
venerable traditions.

The interior has a pair of the now familiar 'squint' passages, a few old
tombs and a good stone font: and, _mirabile dictu_, is provided with the
electric light. For this valuable innovation the village is indebted to
Clement Williams, Esq., Mayor of Tenby, whose pretty country residence
stands just above the church. Beneath the overshadowing trees in the
churchyard stands a finely carved early Celtic cross, similar to those
found in Ireland; of which we shall see an even handsomer specimen when
visiting Carew.

In former days Penally was held in high veneration, from a tradition
that the miracle-working bones of St. Teilo, Bishop of Llandaff, rested
here during their progress through the district.

A curious incident occurred here many years ago. During a fox-hunt in
the vicinity, Reynard, being hard pressed by the hounds, sought refuge
upon the roofs of some old farm buildings near the church. Here he led
his pursuers a lively chase, but was eventually brought to earth and
captured after an unusually exciting run.

We now push on for the wild scenery of the rocky coast overlooking
Caldey Sound; pursuing a rough, sandy track amidst stretches of golden
gorse.

The springy turf underfoot is literally tapestried with wild thyme,
herb-Robert and thrift; over which butterflies, brown and azure-blue,
float to and fro in the warm, still air; while from the radiant sky the
lark's bright song falls pleasantly upon our ears. Hereabouts one must
needs keep one's 'weather eye' open, to elude a tumble among the
countless rabbit-holes that form pitfalls on every hand, whence the
startled denizens scamper briskly to cover from beneath our very noses.

Presently we approach the secluded haven of Lydstep, and obtain a
glimpse of the noble headland called Proud Giltar, whose red-brown
cliffs rise sheer from the blue waves, with Caldey Island lying in the
middle distance.

Traversing the pebbly beach, we pass near to Lydstep Point, a
picturesque headland curiously scarped by disused limestone quarries. We
now strike inland beneath a grove of trees growing in a sheltered
corner, and ascend a narrow lane to a lonely cottage at the head of the
glen. Hence we plunge down a deep, rocky ravine, whose seaward face is
honeycombed with the caverns for which the place is famous.

Before us, league upon league, an ocean of purest blue spreads to the
remote horizon; its sunny plain shimmering beneath white summer
cloudlets, and empurpled by a thousand transient shadows. Huge rocks
crop out on every hand from amidst the tangle of luxuriant undergrowth
that conceals the entrance to the Smugglers' Cave, a name we leave to
tell its own wild tale of bygone times. Onward we scramble, down to the
'beached margent' of the shallow bay; whence a scene of rare beauty is
beheld.

From the unsullied strand vast buttresses and pinnacles of lichen-clad
limestone rise sheer and inaccessible; their solid ribs pierced with
shadowy caverns wide as a cathedral vault and dark as Erebus, which
tempt the wanderer to explore their deep, unknown recesses.
Crystal-clear pools, fringed with dainty seaweeds and gemmed with
starfish and sea-anemones, nestle in every hollow of the rocky shore;
while shells of various tints encrust the untrodden sands.

Countless sea-birds wheel to and fro in the shadow of the cliffs, which
echo their discordant cries as they clamour above the heads of the
unwelcome intruders. Dusky cormorants scud with necks outstretched
athwart the sparkling waves, while kittiwakes and guillemots crowd
shoulder to shoulder upon the inaccessible ledges.

An hour is pleasantly spent groping amidst the hollows of a resounding
cavern, or peering into the jewelled depths of some rocky sea-pool; or,
anon, watching the plash of the translucent waves. At length, hungry as
hawks, we beat a retreat to a sheltered nook amongst the rocks, to
discuss _con gusto_ our _al-fresco_ lunch.

Fascinated by these entrancing prospects, we linger in this wonderland
until the advancing tide hints at a speedy departure, when, scrambling
once again to the upper world, we strike away for the solitary hamlet of
Lydstep.

Hard by the road stand two scattered groups of dilapidated buildings,
sometimes called by the imposing titles of the Palace, and the Place of
Arms. In the good old times--so runs the legend--Aircol Llawhir, King of
Dyfed, held his royal Court at this place.

Be that as it may, the existing structures are probably not older than
the fourteenth century, and may be ascribed to those yeomen proprietors,
a 'peg' above the common farmer folk, who erected these stout walls to
safeguard their goods and chattels.

The return journey lies along a pleasant, open road between the Ridgeway
and the cliffs; affording lovely glimpses of the rugged coast-line and
the land-locked sea. At Penally a return train puts in a timely
appearance, and conveys us in a few minutes back to quarters, while the
declining sun sets the world aflame in the glow of its lingering rays.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a spring-like feeling in the crisp morning air as we drive
leisurely along the Ridgeway road, bound westward ho! to 'fresh woods
and pastures new.'

Fairy cobwebs, gemmed with glistening dewdrops, sparkle in every
hedgerow as we mount slowly up the steep, ruddy flank of the Ridgeway.
Bowling merrily along the smooth, well-kept road that traverses its
breezy summit, we are in all probability following the course of some
primitive trackway, used from the earliest times when enemies lurked in
the lowlands.

Ever wider grows the outlook as we jaunt along; the glory of the scene
culminating as we clamber up the last of these steep 'pinches,' and call
a halt, near a farm called the Rising Sun, to scan the summer landscape
spread around.

Close at hand broad meadows, green with the promise of spring, spread
away down a winding valley tufted with shadowy woodlands, whence gray
old steeples peep above the clustering cottage roofs. Far away amidst
the folding hills, the walls and towers of lordly Carew rise near a
silvery sheet of water--an arm of Milford Haven--backed by leagues of
unexplored country, o'ertopped by the faint blue line of the Precelly
Mountains--a glorious scene indeed!

  'Ah! world unknown! how charming is thy view,
  Thy Pleasures many, and each pleasure new!'

Turning across the lane, we lean upon a neighbouring gate, and leisurely
scan the fair prospect over land and sea. Yonder the snow-white cottages
gleam amidst the ruddy ploughlands. Seawards, the gorse-clad downs
plunge in warm red sandstone cliffs to the all-encircling ocean, that
stretches in unbroken span from St. Govan's Head, past Caldey Isle, to
the gray-blue line of distant Devon, with Lundy lying under its lee.

Forward again, betwixt pleasant greenswards tangled with fragrant
gorse, brambles and unfurling bracken, within whose cool retreats the
yellow-hammer lurks in his new spring bravery; while smart little
goldfinches hunt in pairs amidst the thistle-heads under the hedgerow.

Gradually we slant away downwards, passing an ancient tumulus whence, in
the old war times, a beacon fire gave warning against threatened
invasion; and catching glimpses ahead of ruined towers and
curtain-walls, where time-honoured old Pembroke nods over its memories
of 'the days that are no more.' Soon we are clattering through the
diminutive village of Lamphey. Here we dismiss our driver, and, turning
across park-like meadows where cattle are grazing under the broad-limbed
oaks, we soon descry the ivy-mantled ruins of Lamphey Palace.

The graceful character of the architecture, and calm, reposeful
situation in this peaceful dell, combine to enhance the peculiar charm
that hangs around these venerable ruins. Thanks to the timely care of
their present owner, the remaining portions have been preserved from
further desecration, and are freely shown to visitors who pass this way.

[Illustration: AT LAMPHEY PALACE.]

At Lamphey the Bishops of St. Davids possessed an episcopal manor, and
built themselves a palace there; so that, from the middle of the
thirteenth century, they paid frequent visits to the place. Withdrawing
hither from affairs of State, they assumed the _rôle_ of the paternal
country squire; tilling the fat acres spread around their walls, and
stocking their snug granaries, such as may still be traced at the
farmstead called Lamphey Park.

John Leland, travelling this way in his tour through South Wales, tells
how he 'came by meane Hills and Dales to Llanfeith, where the Bishop of
St. Davids hath a place of Stoone, after Castel Fascion.'

Strolling through a ripe old garden, set round with sheltering walls, we
proceed to trace such features of the fine old fabric as the hand of
Time has spared to us. Passing the refectory, a picturesque building
draped in ivy and Virginia-creeper, we are confronted by the tall mass
of the banqueting-hall, with its pointed windows and pretty projecting
chimney.

Hence a winding stair in the thickness of the wall leads to the ruined
parapet. Near the east end of the hall stands the chapel, roofless now,
and wreathed in luxuriant ivy; one graceful traceried window alone
bearing witness to Bishop Vaughan's artistic genius.

Farther away across a verdant meadow, and standing, so to speak, _en
échelon_ to the main fabric, rise the ruins of the domestic apartments;
approached by a dilapidated flight of outside steps, and crowned with an
elegant open arcade such as is usually associated with the work of that
famous builder, Bishop Gower. In a corner of the adjacent field we
observe the vivarium, or fish-pond of the priory.

We now return to the neighbouring gardens, in order to sketch the
picturesque little tower which stands isolated amidst trim walks and
old-fashioned flower-beds.

It is difficult to assign a _raison d'être_ for the existence of this
quaint old structure. By some folks it has been called the gate-tower to
the inner ward; but others, again, have styled it the priests'
dwelling-place; and our investigations seem to point to some such use as
the latter.

A stone stairway, hollowed in the thickness of the wall, leads to an
upper chamber, which contains a niche (suggestive of a piscina), a
fireplace, and several small windows. The peaked roof, which is modern,
is surrounded by open, pointed arches corbelled out from the wall below,
and finished with plain battlements. Thus, with its picturesque medley
of weather-stained brick, stone and timber, touched here and there with
green moss and golden lichens, this curious tower proves an attractive
bit for the sketch-book.

At Lamphey Palace Robert Devereux, the ill-fated Earl of Essex, spent
several years of his youth; and is reputed to have quitted the place
'the most finished gentleman of his time.'

Superstitious folk, when approaching these ruins after nightfall, while
'the moping owl doth to the moon complain,' may (or may not) have their
nerves agreeably thrilled by the apparition of a mysterious white lady,
presumably a Devereux, who is said to haunt these historic shades at
that witching hour!

Lamphey Church, which lies a short half-mile away, has been too much
modernized to detain us long. The tall, plain tower has been preserved,
however, in its original simplicity; and the large square font, of early
type, has a little ornamentation of good character.

Crossing the railway bridge past _the_ shop of the village, with its
alluring display of miscellaneous _olla podrida_ in the window, we
pursue our shadows along a dusty country road; cutting off a circuitous
corner by taking to a pleasant field-path. A bright little country maid
pioneers us hence into Hodgeston, a sleepy hamlet consisting of some
half-dozen whitewashed cottages clustering around the sorry remnants of
a village green, now shrunk to half its old proportions owing to recent
encroachments.

Obtaining the key at one of these cottages, we now make straight for the
parish church, which rises beyond a grove of trees, less than a bowshot
away.

Seen from the outside, this little edifice looks unostentatious enough,
with its slender western tower, chancel, and nave devoid of the usual
excrescences; but upon entering we soon find matter to arouse our
keenest interest.

[Illustration: THE CHANCEL HODGESTON CHURCH]

The nave is simple, though well proportioned; setting off to fullest
advantage the rich and elaborate features that adorn the Decorated
chancel. Good traceried windows rise upon either hand, surmounted by an
open timber roof, with the pretty ball-flower ornament running around
the top of the wall.

Upon the south side of the chancel stands a handsome triple sedilia; its
shapely, richly-moulded arches aflame with elaborate crockets, which
cluster upwards to the large, florid finials. A plain stone bench flanks
the lower part of the wall, whence projects a flight of steps that gave
access to the vanished rood-loft.

We also notice a dainty piscina sunk in the thickness of the wall,
having a beautiful ornamental canopy, closely resembling that of the
sedilia, and a fine old Norman font. One cannot but feel surprise that
such rich design and delicate workmanship should be thus hidden away in
this remote locality; and can only hazard the conjecture that the
influence of Bishop Gower (whose handiwork is seen to such advantage in
his great palace at St. Davids) must have made itself felt even in
outlying parishes such as this. There is reason to suppose, too, that a
religious house existed at Hodgeston in olden times, which would
probably exert a refining influence upon the local craftsmen, for the
monks of old were often goodly builders.

These charming features, then, provide attractive matter for the
sketch-book, which keeps us pegging away until well on towards sundown:
so that, as we wend our way back to Lamphey Station, we lounge over a
stile formed from some broken ship's timbers to enjoy the exquisite
after-glow, which lingers still above the falling dusk as the train
carries us homeward to Tenby.

[Illustration: ANCIENT QUERN OR HAND MILL.]



CHAPTER III.

MANORBERE CASTLE: AND GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS.


Through the courtesy of a hospitable friend, we now shift our moorings
from Tenby's tourist-haunted streets, to the quiet precincts of
Manorbere Castle. Within those time-honoured walls the charm of modern
hospitality is enhanced by contrast with its mediæval background.

Quitting the train at the little wayside station, a quarter of an hour's
pleasant drive through deep lanes fringed with hartstongue fern, and gay
with 'floureis white and blewe, yellow and rede,' gives us our first
glimpse of the stately old pile. Crowning a low, isolated hill, the
castle stands out 'four square to all the winds of heaven' against a
silvery expanse of the distant ocean; for, as old Leland says: 'This
place is not in the Hyeway, but standith neere the shore of the Severn
Se.'

[Illustration: MANORBERE CASTLE FROM THE EAST.]

A country lad opens a gate giving access to a rough meadow, flanked by
the remains of barbican walls and ruined bastions; traversing which we
presently draw rein before the broad, landward front of the castle.
Crossing the grim but inoffensive drawbridge, our friend explains the
ingenious device by which, in the 'good old times,' an intruder must
perforce 'turn turtle' upon a sort of human beetle-trap. Overhead are
seen the openings whence the garrison might pour down 'something
lingering and humorous, with molten lead in it,' by way of warm welcome
to the foe.

Passing beneath the ivy-mantled gate-tower, we emerge upon the spacious
greensward of the inner court, which is enclosed on every hand by hoary
walls and turrets, whose weather-beaten ruins tell of heavy treatment at
the hand of Father Time.

[Illustration: MANORBERE CASTLE.]

For it is a notable fact in the history of Manorbere Castle, and one in
which we are indebted for its relative state of preservation, that,
unlike its great neighbours of Pembroke and Carew, it has never
withstood a siege. Moreover, having ceased to be inhabited at a very
early period, this castle has preserved unaltered the salient features
of its construction. The architecture is very simple and massive, being
indeed almost entirely devoid of ornament. Some of the apartments retain
the plain, pointed stone vault, devoid of ribs, so frequently met with
in South Wallian castles; while several of those circular chimneys,
peculiar to the locality, rise above the crumbling battlements.

Continuing our stroll around the inner court we observe, hard by the
great gateway, the warders' room, with its narrow window commanding the
entrance. Behind it rises the huge, circular 'Bull' Tower; a massive
structure honeycombed with quaint little chambers approached by a
winding stone stair, and connected with the gate-tower by a narrow
passage in the thickness of the walls. Along the eastern side of the
court extends a long range of apartments, which constitute the modern
residence. These were resuscitated by Mr. J. R. Cobb, a former
occupant, who restored the castle in so admirable and conscientious a
manner, that the modern additions in no wise detract from their
venerable surroundings. Farther away in the same direction lie the
ruined kitchens, with their huge projecting chimneys, and ovens of such
capacity that, as tradition avers, the lord of the domain was wont to
regale his guests upon oxen roasted whole!

[Illustration: MANORBERE CASTLE.]

Traversing the sunny castle-garth, we pass a circular receptacle formed
in the ground for melting the lead aforesaid. Close at hand is a deep
draw-well, half full of water. Some twenty feet down this well is a
blocked-up archway which was opened years ago by old 'Billy,' the local
factotum, who discovered dark, subterranean passages running hence
beneath the adjacent ruins. Here he stumbled against casks and kegs left
behind by the smuggler folk, who in former days carried on their illicit
traffic around the neighbouring coast. At the same time, as a 'blind'
for the Excise officers, they carried on a traffic in grain, which was
stored for the purpose in large barns outside the castle.

At the farther end of the courtyard rise the picturesque walls and
arches of a lofty group of buildings, containing the banqueting-hall and
chapel. This appears to have been the handsomest part of the castle; and
the great hall, with its broad flight of stone steps and stately range
of pointed windows overlooking the sea, must indeed have been a noble
apartment. Beneath it, in grim contrast, lurks a series of dark,
windowless dungeons.

Entering the chapel by a flight of ruinous steps fringed with sprays of
spleenwort fern, we explore its dimly-lighted recesses, and discern
traces of half obliterated colour decoration. Clambering by a narrow
stone stairway to the grass-grown roof, we awaken the resentful clamour
of a colony of jackdaws; anon we peer into the tiny chamber for the
priest, and dive into the gloomy crypt, with its low-vaulted roof and
fireplace improvised from a desecrated tomb.

[Illustration: MANORBERE CASTLE.]

Then out once more into the castle garth, to follow the loopholed wall.
This terminates in the many-sided Pembroke Tower, which, bowered in
climbing plants, boasts a certain diminutive chamber wherein, as the
local tradition runs, Giraldus Cambrensis, the famous Welsh historian,
was born. Thence ensues another stretch of lofty wall, backed by a
series of curious flying buttresses: and our peregrination is completed
beneath the hoary, lichen-clad stonework of the great tower beside the
entrance gateway. This is the oldest part of the castle, and (with
apologies to the local tradition) probably the only portion of it that
dates as far back as the days of the worthy Giraldus.

The water-gate, set deep in the seaward wall, is flanked by a huge mass
of stonework which still bears traces of the smugglers' ineffectual
efforts to dislodge it. Following a rough track that winds down the
rocky slope, we stroll onward beside a pretty rill of water
meandering, amidst bullrushes and marsh marigolds, to the moss-grown
wheel of the castle mill. Here we linger upon the rustic foot-bridge to
enjoy a charming retrospect. The gray walls of the grim old castle,
crowning the low, steep hill we have just descended, are reflected in
the placid stream at our feet. A group of low-roofed cottages, and the
mill with its plashing wheel, nestle in the valley beneath; while the
towers and gables of the quaint old parish church peep from a rival hill
that fronts the sea.

The western flank of the castle looks down upon a weed-grown marsh,
occupying the site of a lake that formerly protected it upon that side.
Beside the marsh stands a picturesque old stone pigeon-house, smothered
in ivy and golden lichens; beyond which extends a secluded vale shaded
by oak, ash and holly, that formed part of the ancient park or chase of
Manorbere. The whole scene has a quiet beauty of its own very pleasant
to contemplate.

Meanwhile, after tackling this fascinating bit, we roam across the
wind-blown sandhills, where a derelict boat, lying high and dry above
high-water mark, offers a convenient resting-place for the noontide
_siesta_. Stretching our limbs upon the warm, dry sand, and gazing
dreamily across the deep-blue line of the bay, we call to mind a certain
glowing description of the Manorbere of seven long centuries ago. Gerald
de Barri, the author of this panegyric (better known as Giraldus
Cambrensis), can scarce find words to express his admiration for the
home of his boyhood.

'The castle called Maenor Pyrr,' says Gerald, 'is excellently defended
by towers and outworks, and is situated on the summit of a hill
extending on the western side towards the seaport; having on the
northern and southern sides a fine fish-pond under the walls, as
conspicuous for its grand appearance as for the depth of its water; and
a beautiful orchard on the same side enclosed on one part by a vineyard,
and on the other by a wood remarkable for the projection of its rocks
and the height of its hazel-trees. To the right of the promontory,
between the castle and the church, near the site of a very large lake
and mill, a rivulet of never-failing water flows through a valley
rendered sandy by the violence of the winds.'

The same enthusiastic writer also portrays for us the main features of
the circumjacent country: 'Towards the west the Severn Sea, bending its
course to Ireland, enters a hollow bay at some distance from the castle;
and the southern rocks, if more extended towards the north, would render
it an admirable harbour for shipping. From this point you may see almost
all the ships from greater Britain, which the east wind drives towards
Ireland. The land is well supplied with corn, sea-fish and wines,
purchased abroad; and--what is of more importance--from its
neighbourhood to Ireland it enjoys a mild climate.

'Dimetia therefore, with its seven _cantrefs_, is the most beautiful, as
well as the most powerful district in Wales; Pembroch the finest part of
the province of Dimetia; and the place I have just described the most
beautiful part of Pembroch. It is evident, therefore, that Maenor Pyrr
is the Paradise of all Wales!'

Born at Manorbere Castle in the year 1146, Gerald de Barri was the
youngest son of William de Barri, Lord of Manorbere; grandson of Gerald
de Windsor, Governor of Pembroke Castle; and nephew of David
Fitz-Gerald, Bishop of St. Davids, from whom he received his early
education; while upon the maternal side Gerald was descended from Rhys
ap Tydwr, one of the princes of Wales. The career of one thus born, so
to speak, in the purple, was from the outset pretty well assured. Thus
we find the worthy Gerald promoted from the living of Tenby to a fat
canonry at Hereford Cathedral; and presently the snug archdeaconry of
St. Davids falls to his lot.

About this time, Gerald joined with Archbishop Baldwin to preach the
Crusade throughout South Wales; when he kept a diary of his proceedings
which has proved of no little entertainment to after-comers.

During his long and eventful career Gerald de Barri paid three several
visits to Rome, in order to push his interests at headquarters. He
accompanied Henry II. to France, and was entrusted by that monarch with
the education of his promising son John, of Magna Charta fame. Upon the
death of his uncle the Bishop, Gerald made strenuous efforts to obtain
the coveted appointment of his native see, refusing all other
preferments; but, failing of success, he retired in dudgeon from active
life, and spent the rest of his days in writing those literary 'remains'
that have afforded so much interest to antiquaries.

Gerald de Barri appears to have been a man of studious temperament. He
became, as Lambarde quaintly puts it, 'wel learned and, as tyme served,
eloquent.' He was, moreover, a great writer, and being much given to
disputation, called together the literary _élite_ of Oxford and read his
own works to them. He next proceeded to feast his learned critics into a
satisfactory state of good humour with things in general, and his own
literary effusions in particular; an event which he himself describes as
'a magnificent affair, a return of the Golden Age, an unparalleled
event, in England at all events.'

In person Gerald is portrayed as remarkably tall, his face being
strongly marked by large, shaggy eyebrows; and it has been well said
that, in spite of certain undeniable defects of character, he was
probably inspired with a genuine love for the land of his birth, and a
desire to upraise therein an independent Kymric Church owning
allegiance to the Bishop of St. Davids as its spiritual head.

[Illustration: DE BARRI TOMB, MANORBERE.]

Gerald de Barri was gathered to his fathers, at a ripe old age, in the
year 1220. He is reputed to have been buried in St. Davids Cathedral;
where _at least one_ tomb is pointed out as the last resting-place of
this great ecclesiastic.

Little is recorded of the subsequent history of Manorbere Castle. The
place appears to have been abandoned at an early period; its hanging
woods and vineyards were abandoned to decay, whilst its dismantled walls
and subterranean vaults harboured bands of lawless freebooters, who
haunted these coasts a century ago. Wild work went forward at Manorbere
in those half-forgotten days. It is related how a certain famous
smuggler, notorious for his desperate enterprises, eluded the vigilance
of the revenue men by running his vessel ashore near the headland
ycleped the Priest's Nose; and conveying his illicit cargo, under cover
of night, to the cellars with which the neighbourhood abounded.

Rousing ourselves at length from these cogitations on the sandhills, we
put the best foot foremost and hie away past a spring of pure water
known as the Druid's Well, to the sunny slopes of that selfsame Priest's
Nose. Scrambling warily amidst brakes of prickly furze, we presently
espy a mighty cromlech standing in a nook of the hill, beside the narrow
path. A soft westerly breeze draws in 'gently, very gently from the
sea,' as we perch beside this relic of the immemorial past; wafting the
scent of wild thyme and gorse over warm, crisp turf that shimmers
beneath the lusty summer sunshine. Hence unfolds yet another charming
view of the gray old castle, set amidst a breadth of feathery woodland
that clusters under the lee of the sheltering hill. A turn of the head
reveals the varied line of coast stretching away, league upon league,
past the groves of Stackpole to the bluff, perpendicular landfall of St.
Govan's Head.

Returning to quarters by another route we fetch a wide compass round;
pursuing the path that hugs the shore, which, hereabouts, is indented by
several fissures of very peculiar character. A short distance beyond
the cromlech we encounter the first of these; a chasm so narrow that a
boy might leap across it, yet of imposing depth, with sides as smooth
and perpendicular as any house wall, and floored with the seething
ocean.

[Illustration: The Church Path Manorbere]

A quarter of a mile farther on we strike a little way inland, to
investigate a still more remarkable _lusus naturæ_ of a similar kind.
Here the insidious onslaught of the waves has tunnelled beneath the
intervening cliff, and penetrated far into the land; excavating a dark,
narrow, and profound fissure in the perpendicular strata of the Old Red
sandstone; so that, gazing seaward through the cleft, we can see the
foaming surf sparkling in the sunlight upon the rocks beyond. Thence we
extend our ramble to Castle Head, a rocky point jutting boldly out to
sea, and scarped with the broad, fern-clad furrows of a prehistoric
earthwork. This appears to have been the stronghold of some invader from
over seas; for the protecting banks curve inland, and, sweeping down to
the rocks on either hand, enclose the outer extremity of the headland.
Secured thus against attack upon their landward flank, the occupants
were protected in rear by the broad expanse of the 'inviolate ocean,'
whose restless billows, surging far below, mingle their music in wild
harmony with the harsh cries of countless sea-fowl.

[Illustration: MANORBERE CHURCH.]

Breasting the rough ascent, we now march across the upland meadows of
Parson's Piece; making in a 'bee-line' for Manorbere Church, whose slim
gray tower peers over an intervening bank. Perched high aloft upon a
bleak hillside, across whose treeless heights 'breathes the shrill
spirit of the western wind,' this venerable fabric rises in lonely
isolation, and confronts in peaceful rivalry the towers and battlements
of the grim old fortalice that crowns the opposite hill.

For quaint picturesqueness, and the singular grouping of its various
parts, this curious old church stands unrivalled, even in this land of
remarkable churches, combining as it does almost every feature
characteristic of such buildings throughout the locality. Originally in
all probability a cruciform structure, the church has apparently been
added to at various times in a capricious fashion; so that the exterior
now presents the quaintest imaginable variety of walls, windows and
gables; all jumbled together in seemingly haphazard fashion, and falling
into fantastic groups, as may be seen from the adjoining sketch.

It will be noticed that one of the gables is surmounted by the original
bell-cot, which probably existed prior to the erection of the tower; the
latter rises above a medley of roofs upon the northern side of the
chancel, and contains a bell inscribed with the legend: EXALTEMUS NOMEN
DOMINI, 1639.

Passing around to the south porch, we enter a low nave arched over with
a slightly-pointed, stone-vaulted ceiling. Strange, low,
rudely-fashioned arches, entirely disdaining the support of pillars,
rise sheer from the level of the floor upon either hand, giving access
to the narrow aisles behind. These arches are, unfortunately, so
enveloped in the general coating of whitewash, that it is impossible now
to discover whether they were originally built as arches, proper, or are
merely openings cut through the walls when the aisles were added to the
nave. A little window of early type opens above one of these arches; the
sole survivor of some old windows that existed previous to the building
of the aisles.

Short, tunnel-like transepts open out on either hand, the one towards
the north having a low ceiling, crossed by the curious arched ribs
seen in our sketch above. The gangway that formerly gave access to the
rood-loft now leads, in a queer, tortuous course, from the north aisle
across the adjacent transept to the tower, which is entered by a door
high aloft in the wall.

To the right a 'squint' passage opens skew-wise into the chancel, where,
beneath a plain arched recess, lies the recumbent stone effigy of a
Crusader clad in chain mail, having his legs crossed at the knees and
sword and shield, charged with the arms of De Barri, beside him. This
monument commemorates one of the ancient lords of Manorbere, who 'came
over with the Conqueror,' and shared with Fitz-Hamon and his knights in
the partition of these lands.

The handsome traceried screen that stretches athwart the narrow chancel
arch was erected about five-and-twenty years ago, when a vigorous effort
was made to arrest the deplorable condition of ruin and decay, to which
time and neglect had reduced this interesting church.

A few ivy-mantled fragments of an ancient structure that formerly served
as the parish school, are supposed to be the remains of a chantry
founded by the De Barri who lies buried in the church.

We now stroll leisurely homeward through the gloaming, while the slender
young moon peers over the shoulder of a neighbouring hill. As we
approach the castle, its shadowy front looms darkly silhouetted upon a
daffodil and emerald sky; while the zenith is still suffused with
translucent rosy light, and the pale stars peep one by one as the
daylight slowly wanes. Now the little flittermice awake once more to
life, and flicker to and fro with wavering flight; while a colony of
chattering jackdaws discusses the day's events upon the ruined
battlements. Yonder, like a thief of the night, a great white owl steals
silently by, soft as a drift of thistledown, yet keen as fate to 'spot'
the errant mouse, roaming in search of a meal too far from home.

Thus we recross the drawbridge to the hospitable abode, whose latticed
windows emit a heartsome ray of light that seems a lode-star to the
wayfarers. Pretty tired after our long day's ramble, we clamber up the
corkscrew stair to a certain turret chamber, where, in next to no time,
we lose ourselves in the drowsy arms of Morpheus.

The busy man, hard pressed by the _Sturm und Drang_ of city life, may
find at Manorbere recreation in the truest sense; and should he be
blessed with a congenial hobby, he may entertain himself in this
secluded spot to his heart's content.

To the lover of Nature the place offers many attractions. In the course
of rambles around the varied coast-line, or amidst the hills and dales
of the inland country, the wanderer with a turn that way may study the
mellow lichen-clad rocks of the Old Red sandstone; and will not fail to
notice their well-defined junction at Skrinkle Haven with the limestone
formation, which reappears across the Sound in the cave-worn crags of
Caldey. Or, again, he may note how the salmon-red ploughlands of the
Ridgeway attest the presence of the older rocks, as they rise from the
superincumbent stratum of the mountain limestone.

These conditions afford, within a limited compass, a great diversity of
soil and situation; providing a congenial habitat to many varieties of
ferns and wild-flowers. The botanist will look for prizes amongst the
rich pastures of the Vale of St. Florence, the woodland paths around St.
Issells, and the lush marshlands of Penally; while the sandy burrows of
Tenby, Lydstep and Castle Martin, and even the crumbling ruins of some
castle or ancient priory, will yield their tale of treasure for the
vasculum.

Indeed, wander whither he may, the lover of Nature will find a wealth of
beauty on every hand. Let him clamber amidst the tumbled boulders, where
the samphire thrives on the salt sea spray; and explore the rock-pools
left by the receding tide, whose weed-fringed depths are tenanted by
plump sea-urchins, nestling sociably among zoophytes, sponges, and
delicate 'lady's-fingers.' Or he may choose to wander along the sands of
Saundersfoot and Tenby, where haply he may light upon rare shells of
many a dainty hue; while queer little crabs scuttle hither and thither
amidst the stranded starfish, and other derelict flotsam and jetsam left
behind by the receding tide.

And as the changing seasons cast their ever-varying charm upon land and
sea, the artist in search of 'fresh woods and pastures new' will find,
in this unfrequented country, endless subjects ready to his hand worthy
the brush of a Brett, or an Alfred Parsons. Perchance he will set up his
easel where the ruddy sandstone cliffs, soaring in weather-stained crags
above broad sweeps of untrodden sand, are crowned with a diadem of
golden gorse; while a breadth of sunlit sea stretching away to the
horizon will serve as an excellent background. Or haply he may plant his
white umbrella in some secluded nook, where a picturesque old cottage,
with mighty, bulging chimney and moss-grown roofs, nestles beneath a
group of wind-swept ash trees; the softly folding landscape lines
showing faintly beyond.

Many a beauty-spot such as this gladdens the wayfarer as he roams
through the byways of this pleasant land; and the landscape-painter may
easily 'go farther and fare worse,' than by spending a season in
Pembrokeshire.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV.

PEMBROKE TOWN AND CASTLE. STACKPOLE AND THE SOUTHERN COAST.


In course of time the _Wanderlust_ returns in full force upon us; so
bidding farewell to our hospitable entertainers, we transfer ourselves
bag and baggage to the county-town; in order to explore from that
convenient starting-point the remoter recess of South Pembrokeshire.

The district locally known as the Stackpole Country forms part of the
hundred of Castle Martin, and is the southernmost land of the county.
Lying apart from any town or railway, it is somewhat difficult of
access; but though boasting few striking features to attract the
ordinary tourist, it yet offers no small attractions to the wanderer who
can appreciate 'the pleasures of the quiet eye.'

Threading our way at first amidst rather intricate lanes, we pass once
more through Hodgeston village, whence our route is all plain sailing.
Near Lamphey Church we fall into the main road, which runs in a bee-line
beside softly-swelling hills, until the long street of Pembroke is
entered at its eastern end.

The 'lie' of this town has been not inaptly likened to the shape of a
herring-bone; the castle precincts occupying the head (whereof the great
donjon answers to the eye), while the long main street, with its
branching lanes and gardens, suggests the vertebral bone of the fish
with its radial spines. _Apropos_ of the situation of the town, we refer
to our trusty Leland and read that 'Pembroch standith upon an arme of
Milforde, the which, about a mile beyond the Towne, creketh in so that
it almost peninsulateth the Towne, that standith on a veri main Rokki
ground. The Towne is well waullid and hath iii gates by Est, West and
North; of which the Est gate is fairest and strongest, having afore it a
compasid Tour not rofid in; the entering whereof is a Port colys, _ex
solide ferro_.'

[Illustration: PEMBROKE.]

Neither gate nor 'compasid Tour' now spans the prosaic-looking street;
and the houses in this eastern suburb have small pretensions to beauty.
We catch a hasty glimpse, however, of the 'two paroche chirches'
discovered by our author; and entertain ourselves _en route_ by trying
to pronounce the curious, unfamiliar surnames such as Hopla, Treweeks,
Malefant and Tyzard, emblazoned above the shop-fronts: while an
occasional Godolphin, Pomeroy or Harcourt, attests the strain of
sang-azure that lingers yet among the _bourgeoisie_ of the ancient
borough.

[Illustration: PEMBROKE CASTLE.]

Midway adown the High Street rises a mighty elm, whose spreading
branches quite overshadow the adjacent dwellings. Presently we catch a
glimpse of Pembroke Castle, beyond a pretty vista of old-fashioned
structures whose quaint, irregular outlines stand sharply cut against
the clear sky.

The records of this great historic fortress would alone suffice to fill
a bulky volume; the best account of the earls, earldom and castle of
Pembroke being, perhaps, that by G. T. Clark, Esq.; and there is a
detailed description of the building by the present proprietor, J. R.
Cobb, Esq. We will not attempt, therefore, to give more than a slight
outline of its past history.

Pembroke Castle was originally built by Arnulph de Montgomery, in the
reign of William Rufus; and it was greatly enlarged and strengthened by
Earl Strongbow, the invader of Ireland, who held it in the time of Henry
I.

A romantic story is related of his predecessor, the King's castellan,
Gerald de Windsor, who espoused the beautiful but notorious Nesta. A
certain Welsh chieftain, named Owen ap Cadwgan, beheld the famous beauty
presiding one day with her ladies at a tournament (like the moon amidst
her satellites); when, sighing like Alcestis for the Queen of night, the
enamoured warrior determined to possess himself of his seductive
charmer. Obtaining access to the castle at dead of night, Owen wrested
his victim from the arms of her outraged lord, and carried her off to
his stronghold among the mountains. Though a large reward was offered by
the King to anyone who should capture or slay the outlawed man, it was
eight long years before justice was vindicated, when Gerald, meeting his
adversary, put an end to his career by an avenging arrow.

But to return to history. William, Earl Mareschal of Pembroke, was
honoured with a visit from that sorry monarch, King John. During the
Edwardian period, the castle was enlarged and strengthened by the
addition of the outer ward. In 1457 Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond
(afterwards King Henry VII.), was born at Pembroke Castle.

During the Civil Wars the garrison made a gallant defence against a
large force under Oliver Cromwell. One tragic episode that closed the
eventful days of the siege may be mentioned here. Upon the fall of the
castle the three leaders, Poyer, Mayor of the town, Powell, Governor of
the castle, and Laugharne, the whilom Parliamentary Colonel, were
expressly exempted from the pardon extended to the garrison. These three
men were condemned to death: but Parliament in its clemency resolving to
punish only one of them, they were directed by Cromwell's orders to draw
lots as to who should suffer the penalty. Two papers were inscribed
'Life given by God'; the third was a blank. A child drew the lots, when
the blank fell to the ill-fated Poyer; who was afterwards shot in the
Piazza, Covent Garden, 'dying very penitently,' as we are told. After
the fortress was delivered into Cromwell's hands, it was so effectually
dismantled that, to this day, the results of his destructive work are
only too manifest.

The ruins of Pembroke Castle still present, after the lapse of centuries
of neglect and decay, a truly magnificent appearance. The massive towers
and ivy-curtained walls crown a bold and rocky eminence, that rises
abruptly from the tidal waters of Milford Haven; sweeping around the
landward face of the promontory, and enclosing a broad and spacious
castle garth.

In the centre rises the great donjon tower, which stands as an enduring
memorial of William de la Grace, the great Earl Mareschal, who in all
probability designed the main fabric of the castle as we see it to-day.
An imposing _coup d'oeil_ of the ruins may be obtained by turning down
Dark Lane, crossing the old bridge that spans the stream hard beneath
the castle, and entering a timber-yard close by. Prominent in the view
is a lofty tower, mantled in glossy-green ivy and pierced with graceful
pointed windows, that soars from the river brink, enclosing, deep below
its foundations, that 'mervelous vault called the Hogan,' whence the
garrison in olden times drew their supplies of water.

Beside the tower extends a long stretch of ivy-clad wall, rooted in the
living rock and broken at intervals by shapely turrets; over which peep
the upper works of the central keep. The spars and cordage of some
stranded coasting vessels, and a group of men calking their
weather-beaten timbers, lend an added charm to an exceedingly
picturesque scene.

We are indebted to Leland for the ensuing description of the castle as
it appeared in the days of bluff King Hal: 'The Castel stondeth hard by
the waul on a hard Rokke, and is veri large and stronge, being doble
wardid. In the atter ward I saw the chaumbre wher King Henri the vii was
borne; in knowledge whereof a chymmeney is now made, with the armes and
Badges of King Henri vii. In the botom of the great stronge Towr, in the
inner warde, is a mervelous vault called the Hogan.' Another chronicler
of very different stamp, the late Professor Freeman, thus records his
impressions of this interesting pile: 'Pembroke Castle remarkably
combines elevation and massiveness, so that its effect is one of vast
general bulk. It is another conspicuous instance of the majesty often
accruing to dismantled buildings, which they could never have possessed
when in a perfect state.'

Traversing the outer barbican that protected the deep-set entrance, we
pause to marvel at the elaborate defences of double portcullis and
thick, nail-studded doors, commanded by loopholed guard-chambers, set
within the gloomy arches of the gate-tower. The latter presents a
stately front, flanked by attached round towers, overlooking the inner
court; and contains a number of fine apartments for the accommodation of
distinguished guests.

We next turn our attention to the adjacent barbican tower, whose massive
walls are seamed from top to base by huge, gaping rents, through which
the daylight peers; yet so great is their tenacity they still remain
intact, and support the original stone roof. Each story is pierced with
loopholes, ingeniously constructed to prevent missiles entering from
below. The spacious courtyard enclosed by the outer walls is carpeted
with velvety turf, whereon 'the quality' are wont to foregather from far
and near to wield the tennis-racket, and contest for 'deuce' and 'love'
upon the selfsame spot where, in the brave days of old, the Harcourts
and De Valances, and all the flower of Norman chivalry, flung down the
gauntlet or broke a lance upon the field of honour, while fair
spectators waved encouragement from every arch and balcony.

Beside the great central keep a labyrinth of crumbling walls, towers and
arches, mainly of Edwardian date, cluster together in 'most admired
confusion.' Here are pointed out the remains of the chapel of St.
Nicholas, given by Montgomery to the Norman abbey of Sayes. A chamber is
usually pointed out, in the building called the Exchequer, as that in
which Henry VII. first saw the light; but Mr. Cobb suggests a room in
the tower overlooking Westgate Hill. Unfortunately, the arms and badges
noticed by Leland no longer exist to mark the scene of that interesting
event.

Clambering down a flight of broken steps in an obscure corner of the
North Hall, we enter the vast cavern known as the Wogan; a very curious
and characteristic feature of Pembroke Castle. As we ramble over the
damp and slippery floor, by such light as can struggle in through the
huge sally-port and a narrow, pointed window, we find ourselves in a
spacious, natural vault sunk deep in the living rock; its rugged walls
and roof festooned with hartstongue fern, and stained by oozing
moisture--a weird, fantastic spot, such as the shade of the primæval
cave-dweller might frequent, should he elect to revisit the glimpses of
the moon.

Sheer from the 'main Rokke' upon which the castle is founded, rises the
vast, circular keep or donjon tower, which formed the central stronghold
of the fortress. This is undoubtedly one of the most ancient parts of
the castle, having been erected by William Strongbow the elder, 'Rector
Regis et Regni,' as he proudly styled himself; who was Earl Mareschal of
Pembroke during the reigns of Richard Coeur-de-Lion and John.

This imposing structure impresses every beholder by the vast proportions
and stern simplicity of its mighty bulk. The massive walls rise to a
height of more than 75 feet, and are of amazing thickness and solidity;
a spiral staircase, set deep within the wall, gave access to the several
floors and to the rampart around the summit, which commands a wide sweep
of the circumjacent landscape, with a glimpse of the winding Haven. The
floors have long since fallen away, though the holes for the beams that
supported them may still be seen, and two huge fireplaces with yawning
archways of enormous size. Lancet-windows and loops for the archers open
out here and there; one of the former, high up the wall (which appears
in our sketch), retaining some touches of ornamentation.

'The Toppe of this round Towr,' as Leland quaintly puts it, 'is gatherid
with a Rose of Stone;' and, despite seven centuries of rough weather and
hard usage, the huge fabric appears intrinsically little the worse for
wear, and capable still of making a stand ''gainst the tooth of time and
razure of oblivion,' for many a long year to come.

A stroll around the outer walls, and a peep at the Monkton Tower,
completes our perambulation of Pembroke Castle. With its neighbours of
Manorbere, Tenby and Carew, Pembroke formed a quadrilateral, planted to
guard this exposed district against attack from without: moreover, as
Professor Freeman has pointed out, this time-honoured fortress has a
special interest for the antiquarian student, as affording an unusually
complete example of a mediæval castle protecting a civic settlement.

In the course of a ramble around the town, we turn into old St. Mary's
Church, a handsome edifice containing some curiously sculptured tombs
and a brand-new reredos. A low, massive tower rises at one end of the
church; and hard by it stands the quaint cupola of the old market-house,
which, adorned with a clock, and little figures of boys by way of
pinnacles, makes a pretty show in the view along the High Street. Many
of the older houses have an unpretentious charm about them, with their
antiquated bow-windows and wide oak staircases with twisted balusters.
Not a few of the better sort have old-fashioned gardens to the rear,
abloom in summer days with homely flowers, and redolent of honeysuckle,
lavender and jasmine.

[Illustration: THE OLD WEST GATE. PEMBROKE.]

Of the three town gates described by Leland, a scanty remnant of the
West Gate is all that now survives. Proceeding down the main street,
with the castle walls upon our right hand, we pass a group of cottages
jumbled all together upon a rising bank beside the highway, whence they
are approached by flights of crazy steps. A glance at our sketch of
these picturesque old structures (which have already been partially
'restored' since this view was taken) will show the broken arch of the
demolished West Gate, and the castle walls frowning across the roadway,
which has been widened out since the gate was removed.

At the bottom of the hill we skirt the salt waters of a creek, or
'pill,' to use the local term, that 'gulfith in' beneath the shaggy bank
upon which the castle stands. Traversing the bridge, we mount upwards
again, and turn aside into a hollow way where a cluster of thatched
cottages, half hidden beneath embowering woodbine, stands high above the
roadway; whence time-worn steps clamber to their lowly porches.

But, _vis-à-vis_ across the lane, rises a building whose unfamiliar
aspect at once arrests our attention. This is Monkton Old Hall, whose
massive front of dark-hued stone is pierced with narrow windows, set
beneath a low browed archway. Upon passing to the rear we stumble upon a
real old-world nook, where a crazy old 'Flemish' chimney rears above a
curious medley of weather-stained roofs and gables.

With the courteous assent of the proprietor, we now take a glance round
the interior. Passing through a low, pointed doorway, we thread our way
amidst tortuous passages, and enter a lofty apartment.

A large stone arch in the wall at one end encloses two quaint little
slits of windows (or peepholes, rather), with a similar opening lower
down, overlooking the approach from the outer entrance. A tortuous
stairway gives access to the upper regions, which contain various small
chambers, one of them having a fine old stone chimney-piece.

But the most notable feature of the place is a large, oblong chamber cut
out of the rock, with vaulted roof of Norman date supported by massive
ribs, which occupies the lower part of the house. It has a separate
entrance from the road, and a big fireplace opening to the circular
chimney-shaft above mentioned.

[Illustration: THE PRIORY DWELLING MONKTON.]

Monkton Priory, of which this old hall appears to have been the
hospitium, or Prior's dwelling, was founded in 1098: and was subordinate
to St. Martin's Abbey at Séez, in Normandy.

Resuming our ramble, we turn through a wicket at the top of the road,
and follow a narrow path that leads to the great south porch of Monkton
Priory Church. The venerable edifice has a picturesque appearance; with
the ruined walls and traceried windows of an ancient chapel beside the
chancel, and the Norman porch breaking the line of the nave roof. Upon
passing around to the north side, we are struck by the archaic
simplicity of the long, Norman nave, strengthened with vast rugged
buttresses and lighted by narrow, round-arched windows, set few and far
between. The chapel above mentioned projects upon this side; and the
ground is broken by traces of buildings that formed part of the
precincts of the ancient priory.

The lonely dwelling to the westward was until lately used as the rectory
house; an unpretending edifice, whose weather-stained coating of
rough-cast partially conceals rows of old corbels, and other
half-obliterated features. Looking hence across Monkton Pill we have a
fine view of the castle, with its picturesque array of broken towers and
bastions, and a quaint old stone pigeon-cot down in the valley which
formed an appendage to that lordly _ménage_. While enjoying this goodly
scene, a summer shower sweeps up from the sea, and robs us for a time of
the enchanting prospect: but ere long the old fortress reappears beneath
a brilliant arc of rainbow, glowing in borrowed splendours under the
warm rays of the declining sun.

       *       *       *       *       *

  'Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund Day
  Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain-tops,'

as we fare cheerily forth, on the morrow's morn, to explore the remoter
recesses of that secluded district ycleped the Stackpole Country.

Our footsteps echo loudly as we trudge through Pembroke's deserted
street, where as yet a few half-awakened housemaids, and labouring men
going to their day's work, are the only signs of life.

Nearing the railway-station we turn aside into a narrow, tortuous lane;
cross the stream that fed the old town moat and, passing a water-mill
beside a disused limestone quarry, we strike up the steady ascent of
Windmill Hill; catching _en route_ a glimpse of the time-worn steeple of
St. Daniel's Church, now used merely as a cemetery chapel.

Upon winning the crest of the ridge the country opens out ahead,
showing a cluster of tall church towers clear against the skyline; and
then we drop sharply down one of those short, steep 'pinches' that make
such heavy work for the horses hereabouts.

Groups of country-folk jaunt by to market in carts of primitive build,
propelled by strong, well-cared-for looking donkeys; and thus, _a poco a
poco_ as they say in Italy, we work our passage through quiet,
unfrequented byways startling a shy rabbit here and there, or flushing a
buxom partridge and her brood from beneath our very feet.

Now and again we pause to catch the throstle's mellow song, or to watch
the easy movements of a pair of sparrow-hawks, as they wheel in slow,
graceful gyrations through the air.

By-and-by we come to Cheriton; a tiny hamlet with a comely church, whose
tall, ivy-clad tower rises from a wooded dell. In the churchyard stands
an ancient cross smothered in creepers, and the stepping-block for those
who rode to church in bygone days.

[Illustration: SIR ELIDUR DE STACKPOLE.]

In the north wall of the chancel, beneath a handsome, canopied recess of
somewhat unusual character, lies the effigy of its reputed founder, Sir
Elidur de Stackpole.

The figure has a grave and dignified appearance; it is clad in a suit of
chain-and-plate mail, and has sword, shield and large spurs. The worthy
knight is represented with crossed legs, as having fought in the wars of
the Crusades; at the time, no doubt, when Baldwyn and Gerald of
Manorbere were inciting the people to that famous enterprise.

The base of this monument is divided into six panels, in each of which
is a figure beneath a cusped and crocketed arch. These quaint little
effigies show a curious variety of costume and expression, and are worth
close examination. Upon the opposite, or southern, side of the chancel
is the figure of a lady, apparently of Edwardian date. The head is
covered with a square hood, and is supported by two kneeling angels.
This effigy is very well executed, and in an unusually good state of
preservation.

In the adjacent chantry we notice the early seventeenth-century monument
of 'Roger Lorte, late Lorde of the Mannor of Stackpoole.' This singular
erection is enriched with the painted figures of Sir Roger, his lady,
and their twelve children, and bears a pious inscription in the peculiar
style of the period. Under the window of this chantry lies a disused
altar stone bearing the following inscription, which we respectfully
submit for antiquaries to exercise their wits upon: CAMU ORIS FILI
FANNUC.

Hard beneath the church we plunge into a woodland path, and follow the
meanderings of a prattling brook which hurries along, beneath the cool
shade of overarching trees, to the lake-like river that skirts the broad
demesne of Stackpole Court.

The variety and luxuriance of the forest trees that flourish in this
sheltered locality, are all the more striking in a country where
well-developed timber is, as a rule, conspicuous by its absence; for the
rigorous gales that sweep across the more exposed uplands, give to the
struggling vegetation that leeward slant which is a characteristic of
many a Pembrokeshire landscape.

Pleasant it is, turning from the glare of the dusty roadway, to saunter
beneath these leafy aisles of smooth-stemmed beech and knotty oak,
mountain-ash, ilex and Scotch fir; and to push our way through
intertwining thickets of bramble, wild-rose and ivy, enmeshed by the
clinging woodbine and traveller's joy; while all the time the mercury,
in less-favoured spots, is climbing steadily towards the eighties.

Crossing a rustic bridge that spans the lake, we pause to watch the
slim, brown trout darting in every direction beneath the water-lilies
that adorn its placid surface; when, suddenly, a brace of dusky
waterfowl, alarmed by our intrusion, dart off with an impetuous splash
and trail away in rapid flight to the shelter of the ozier-beds.

[Illustration: STACKPOLE.]

Ere long the broad, gray front of Stackpole Court comes into view beyond
a stretch of velvety greensward; the massive porch being flanked by two
small Spanish field-guns of antiquated pattern, bearing the titles 'La
Destruidora' and 'La Tremenda.' The existing mansion was built by an
ancestor of the present Lord Cawdor, upon the site of the baronial
residence of that same Sir Elidur de Stackpole, whose tomb we have so
lately seen at Cheriton.

The older house had experienced a chequered career. After weathering
many troubles in mediæval times, it was garrisoned by the King's troops
during the Civil Wars: when its stout old walls offered such effective
resistance to the Parliamentary cannon, that they did but little
execution.

Stackpole is now the residence of the noble 'Thane of Cawdor,' whose
ancestor acquired the estate by marriage with Miss Lort, the sole
heiress to all these broad acres.

The mansion contains some interesting works of art and relics of
antiquity, including a portrait by Romney of the famous Lady Hamilton; a
fine painting of Admiral Sir George Campbell, G.C.B., who captured the
French invaders at Fishguard in 1797: and a curious old map of the
county, adorned with shields and armorial devices.

[Illustration: THE HIRLAS HORN.]

That famous drinking-cup the 'Hirlas horn' was formerly to be seen at
Stackpole, but has since been removed to Golden Grove, in
Carmarthenshire. This curious treasure is mounted in silver, and is
supported upon an oval plinth by two silver quadrupeds, as shown in our
sketch. The latter are probably the only remaining portions of the
original horn, presented by Henry of Richmond to his faithful
entertainer, Dafydd ap Ievan, while resting at the castle of Llwyn
Dafydd, in Cardiganshire, on his way to Bosworth Field.

Upon faring forth again, we are struck with admiration of the splendid
groups of evergreen trees that adorn the vicinity of the mansion, and
the trim, well-tended grounds that contrast so pleasantly with the wild
luxuriance of the surrounding woodlands.

At the neighbouring farm we pick up a track diverging to the left, that
leads us over a bridge spanning the lake-like estuary, affording a
pretty peep of the mansion upon its bank. Thence our path winds across
the breezy slopes of Stackpole Park, until we drop suddenly upon a tiny
quay and cluster of cottages, stowed away beside the sea in the oddest
corner imaginable, under the sheltering lee of the cliffs. Ensconced in
this out-of-the-way nook, we snatch a well-earned _siesta_; and upon
resuming our stroll we follow the coast-line, passing near a cavern that
goes by the name of Lort's Cave, and catching a glimpse of the secluded
cove of Barrafundle, backed by a stretch of blue sea and the bold crags
of Stackpole Head.

Retracing our steps to the farm we pass near a spot where, according to
a fading tradition, a certain ghostly party of headless travellers were
wont to arrive, about nightfall, in a spectral coach from Tenby; each
pale shade, as 'tis said, bearing his head stowed snugly away under his
arm!

Another half-hour sees us into Bosheston, the remotest village of this
Ultima Thule. The place has a nautical air all its own; with a row of
trim coastguards' cottages, whose strip of sandy garden ground is
embellished with the figure-head of some 'tall Ammiral' of bygone days.
Atop of the hamlet stands the church, a primitive-looking old edifice,
with a rude stone cross and broken stoup standing amidst the tombstones.
The route is now all plain sailing, for we have merely to 'follow our
noses' along the sandy trackway; while the salt wind deals us many a
lusty buffet as we trudge seawards across the open, shelterless uplands.

Upon reaching the cliff-head, we discover a flight of rough steps,
whereof, as the fable goes, no man can tell the number. Descending the
winding way we find ourselves, a few minutes later, before St. Govan's
Chapel.

[Illustration: ST. GOVAN'S CHAPEL.]

This diminutive structure stands in a narrow chine between wild,
tumbled crags. It is rudely constructed of weather-stained blocks of
limestone, arched over with a primitive kind of vault, and is lighted by
two or three narrow windows. A low doorway in the eastern wall gives
access to a cell-like recess, just big enough for a man to turn round
in. Here, according to a curious old legend, St. Govan sought shelter
from his pagan enemies; whereupon the massy rock closed over him and hid
him from his pursuers, opening again to release the pious anchorite so
soon as the chase was overpassed.

Anent this queer nook, the popular superstition runs that all who can
keep to the selfsame wish, while they turn around therein, will obtain
their desire before the year is out--a belief that, to judge from the
well-worn appearance of the rock face, must be widely entertained.

Upon the western gable rises a small bell-cot, long since bereft of its
solitary bell. For it happened, 'once upon a time,' that a wicked pirate
who chanced to be sailing by became enamoured of its silvery tones, and,
landing with his rascally crew, plundered the sanctuary of its treasure.
His success, however, was short-lived, for a mighty storm arose and
overwhelmed the vessel, so that every soul aboard perished in the raging
waves. Meanwhile the bereaved hermit was compensated for his loss with a
miraculous stone, which, when struck, gave forth the identical tone of
the cherished bell; and credulous folk to this day affirm that the
neighbouring rocks ring, upon being struck, with surprising alacrity.

From the chapel we next scramble down to the 'holy well,' a neglected
spot of no interest save such as tradition can lend. Yet in olden times
folk were wont to gather here from far and wide, in anticipation of an
instant cure for 'those thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.'

Quaint legends and superstitions such as these linger, to this day,
amongst the older peasantry of this remote portion of South
Pembrokeshire. Indeed, the whole locality offers a happy hunting-ground
to anyone curious in the matter of old-time folk-lore.

For behold, is not this Gwlâd yr Hûd, the Christian Kymro's Land of
Phantasy; which, long ere the time that history had dawned, was
enveloped in Llengêl, the Veil of Mystery? Each castle-crowned headland
of this rock-bound coast, and every grass-grown rath and barrow that
furrows the surface of these immemorial hills, has formed the theme of
some half-forgotten legend or lingering tradition, long cherished among
this imaginative people.

A lonesome, sea-girt land where storms and sea-mists, sweeping from the
wide Atlantic, wreath the steadfast hills in unsubstantial vapours,
through which each beetling precipice that frowns across the ocean looms
like some weird vision of a dream. Amidst such scenes as these, the
fantastic creations of the Keltic imagination must readily have found 'a
local habitation and a name.'

Well, _revenons à nos moutons_, after this excursion into legend-land.
Seated on a mossy stone, we contemplate the age-worn cliffs whose ruddy
bastions, carved into a thousand castellated forms, range their
impregnable fronts against old Ocean's impetuous artillery. A steady
south-westerly breeze sends the green, translucent rollers vollying with
thunderous roar against the weed-fringed rocks upon the shore; while
flocks of gulls wheel overhead, drifting on motionless, angular pinions,
or sweeping across the breakers with harsh, discordant cries.

We now seek out a view-point for a sketch of the lonely hermitage, a
matter of no small difficulty owing to the tumbled nature of the ground;
but eventually we select a sheltered spot where the noontide sun,
peering downward from the cloudless vault of heaven, draws out the rich,
sweet odours of sea-pink, wild-thyme and gorse.

Mounting again to the brow of the cliffs, we ramble around the lonely
coast, which hereabouts is indented with a series of 'crankling nookes'
that penetrate, like long fingers, deep into the land.

Here is the wild and perilous abyss yclept the Huntsman's Leap, from the
story of some fabulous rider who, putting his horse to full gallop,
plunged across the unexpected chasm, only to perish from sheer fright
upon regaining his home! The nodding cliffs approach so closely upon
either hand, as to have been not inaptly likened to a pair of leviathan
vessels locked fast in collision.

A bowshot westward lies Bosheston Meer, a similar cavern sunk fathoms
deep in the solid rock. Near it is a funnel-shaped aperture that acts in
stormy weather as a blowhole; whence it is said the waves are driven
high above the land, plunging back again with a roar that can be heard
far inland.

Strange tales were told in bygone times of the freaks of this
tempest-torn abyss. George Owen, an Elizabethan chronicler, observes:
'If Sheepe or other like Cattell be grazing neere the Pitt, offtimes
they are forcibly and violently Drawne and carryed into the pitt; and if
a Cloke, or other garment, bee cast on the grownd neere the Pitt, at
certaine seasones, you shall stande afarre off, and see it sodainely
snatch'd, drawne and swallowed up into the Pitt, and never seene
againe.'

Quitting this wild and fascinating spot, we pass near the grass-grown
mounds of a prehistoric camp; and then, striking a little inland, make
for a sort of green oasis that marks the 'Sunken Wood.'

A vast, shelving pit, sunk some 50 feet below the level of the ground,
and twice as many across, is filled with a grove of vigorous ash-trees.
Their dense foliage entirely covers the top of the chasm; where it is
cut off, smooth as a well-trimmed hedge, by the sea-spray borne upon the
gales from the adjacent ocean.

Many conjectures have been formed as to the origin of this remarkable
freak of Nature; the most plausible being that, the subsoil having been
excavated by the waves through some subterranean fissure, the ground has
fallen in from above and formed this cavity.

We now hark back to the cliffs once more, and coast around the broad
inlet of Bullslaughter Bay, whose rocky walls are pierced with many a
dark, weed-fringed cavern where

  'Old Triton blows his wreathed horn.'

Pacing the springy turf of the open down, we feast our eyes upon the
sparkling waters of the Channel, whose sunlit waves roll in upon the
rocky headlands, 'where the broad ocean leans against the land.' The
flat, featureless character of the landward view enhances by contrast
the attractions of the iron-bound coast; upon whose wild, fantastic
crags and beetling precipices, the traveller gazes in undivided
admiration.

Anon we diverge seawards again, and, traversing the grassy mounds of a
prehistoric camp, we look down into the depths of a profound abyss known
as the Cauldron. The weather-stained precipices of this magnificent
chasm rise sheer from the ocean, inaccessible save to the gulls and
cormorants that haunt their rocky ledges. Huge archways and vaulted
passages, yawning in the limestone rock, afford glimpses of the
foam-flecked waves beleaguering, in unceasing onslaught, these sea-girt
bulwarks of the steadfast land.

Onward we plod, until erelong the incessant clang and clamour of the
myriad sea-fowl that, time out of mind, have made their home amidst
these wild and inaccessible sea-cliffs, tell of our approach to the
far-famed Stack Rocks.

Standing upon a rocky vantage-point, we have the two lofty, isolated
rocks, or 'stacks,' full in view; rising from the surging ocean that
rolls in foaming eddies around their feet. Countless sea-birds wheel
with harsh, discordant cries around their weathered sides; where every
available ledge and cranny of the rocks is peopled with a multitude
of feathered bipeds, huddled together close as herrings in a barrel.
Here, cheek-by-jowl in sociable good-fellowship, cluster clumsy
guillemots (or'eligugs,' as they call them locally), razorbills,
and ridiculous-looking puffins in clerical black and white; while
kittiwakes, sea-pies and dark-green cormorants dart about athwart the
waves, or, perched upon some projecting ledge, pursue their morning
toilette with the utmost _insouciance_.

The eggs of these birds are of rather peculiar form. Very large at one
end and pointed at the other, their sides are curiously flattened; this
nice provision of Nature rendering them less liable to roll off the
narrow ledges of the rocks which are their resting-place.

Inexorable time forbids our rambling farther around the trend of the
sea-cliffs; so we reluctantly quit their breezy summits to hie away
inland past the lonely chapel of Flimston; keeping straight ahead
through sandy lanes glorified with hedges of golden gorse, and 'the
swete bramble floure' of good old Chaucer. Presently we come in sight of
the tall steeple of Warren Church on the rise of the hill before us.

A long mile westward from our present road lies Bullibur, where traces
of an ancient chapel have been brought to light at a spot to this day
known as the 'Church Ways.' Anent the erection of this little edifice,
the story runs that, as fast as ever the builders could raise their
stones from day to day, the Prince of Darkness came along and demolished
their handiwork during the night.

Be that as it may, we now press on to Warren; whose fine old church has
a massive tower and spire, of such lofty height as to form a notable
landmark to pilots far away at sea. The tunnel-vaulted nave and porch,
with a well-preserved cross in the churchyard, complete the tale of
Warren's _notabilia_.

With a final glance around the wide-extended landscape, encircled by a
blue stretch of the distant Channel, we shape our course over some
rising ground at a place called Cold Comfort--a tantalizing misnomer
this torrid afternoon. Our road then winds down the hill to a fresh,
clear stream, running through water-meadows where cattle stand knee-deep
in the cooling shallows; and so, crossing Stem Bridge, we enter the
confines of the ancient Honour of Pembroke.

Breasting the upward slope, we pass through numerous gates athwart the
little-frequented highway, which hereabouts calls for no particular
notice, being chiefly remarkable for the amazing and dazzling whiteness
of its coating of limestone dust, which, under the glare of the
afternoon sun, recalls the parched routes of distant Italy. This brings
into play our dark, smoked glasses and the weather-beaten sketching
umbrella, to the huge delectation of the small fry skylarking around the
wayside cottage gates.

[Illustration: ORIELTON.]

By-and-by the many-windowed front of Orielton appears amidst the rolling
woodlands that cluster around a pretty lakelet lying in the hollow of
the vale. There is an old saying that Orielton possesses as many windows
as the year has days, and as many doors as days in the month; but
finding the fable tally ill with the apparent size of the mansion, we
propound the conundrum to an old road-mender who explains that a large
part of the building was 'throwed down' years ago, when he was 'a bit of
a boy.'

At Hundleton two roads diverge near the village green, and, as 'all
roads lead to Rome,' either will do for Pembroke; so we steer as
straight a course as we can, the lane winding down beneath overarching
trees to a secluded nook where a stream meanders, under deep, ruddy
sandstone banks, to lose itself in a salt-water 'pill' that joins the
Pennar River.

Traversing the long, tedious street of Monkton, our lengthening shadows
point the way as we push on once more into Pembroke town; conjuring up,
after the long day's tramp, rare visions of the good cheer awaiting us
at the modest quarters where we come to anchor for the night.

[Illustration: AT RHÔSCROWTHER.]



CHAPTER V.

TO ANGLE, RHÔSCROWTHER, AND THE CASTLE MARTIN COUNTRY.


To-day we extend our rambles, by a westerly course, through the remote
and little-visited peninsula that encompasses the 'lardg and spatious
Harborough' of Milford Haven, upon its southern flank.

There is an Eastern saying that 'men grow blind in gazing at the sun,
and never see the beauty of the stars.' Throughout the locality in
question we shall not be dazzled by grand or striking scenery; yet we
may happen unawares upon many a nook of pleasant verdure amidst its
rolling sandstone hills; and quiet corners, full of an indescribable
charm, in the world-forgetting villages (undiscovered by the
guide-books) that nestle in its remote, sequestered vales.

Getting away 'bright and early' from Pembroke streets, while the smoke
of newly-kindled fires still hangs softly around the old house-tops of
the town, the keen, crisp air of the half-awakened day sends us spinning
along at a pace that makes short work of the tedious highway.

At a bend of the road we digress into a hollow seductive lane that
meanders, in nonchalant fashion, around the head of a tidal inlet;
thence our by-way beguiles us, by moss-grown stepping-stones, across a
tinkling rill that wantons in rippling eddies amidst big red sandstone
boulders, where ivy and hartstongue fern have made their home. Onwards
we pursue this secluded lane, under the cool shade of an overhanging
coppice; here the deep, ruddy soil is shot with purple hues, from the
blue sky mirrored in each shallow puddle left by last night's rain.

In every shadowy nook wreaths of fairy gossamer glisten, like frosted
silver, amidst the emerald green of the hedgerow. The merry pipe of
linnet and piefinch sounds cheerily forth as we pass along; while that
quaint little fellow, the nuthatch, utters his unmistakeable note
(resembling the ring of skates on the ice), as he flits from tree to
tree. Working his way head-downwards, in his own peculiar fashion, he
searches trunk and branches for his favourite fare; striking with his
long, sturdy beak, and steadying himself by the purchase of his
outspread tail.

Now and again we catch a glimpse of a smart goldfinch, and presently
discover his pretty nest, with eggs lying warm and cosy; while sober
little wrens flit briskly in and out under the bushes. Even the
nightingale, though a _rara avis_ in these parts, has, this phenomenal
season, been heard in the woods near Cresselly. The following tradition
explains how these little songsters came to shun the county of Pembroke.
It appears that St. David, 'being seriously occupyed in the night tyme
in his diverse orizons, was soe troubled with the swete tuninges of the
Nightingall as that he praied unto th' Almightie that, from that tyme
forward, there might never a Nightingall sing within his Dioces; and
this was the cause of confininge of the bird out of this countrey. Thus
much,' remarks the chronicler, 'to recreat the reader's spirettes.'

Presently as we rise the hill a broad, land-locked bay opens out to the
briny Haven at Pennar Mouth. In the words of that quaint chronicler,
George Owen: 'This is the creke that cometh upp to Pembroke towne. It is
the largest and greatest creke of al Milforde, and passeth upp into the
land a three Myle and more; and at the upper End it parteth itself in
two Branches, and compasseth about the Towne and castle of Pembroke;
serving the said Towne for a moate, or strong Ditch, on every side
thereof. A Bark of 40 or 50 Tonnes may enter this Creke att low water,
and ride at Ankher att Crowpoole, but noe further without helpe of ye
Tyde. The Crow is a shallow, or shelf, a pretty way within the entrance
of Pennar; on itt groweth the best Oysters of Milforde. It is a big and
sweete Oyster,' saith he, 'and poore folk gather them without dredging.'

Far away upon the glassy waters of the Haven, a handful of vessels lie
at anchor off Hobb's Point, where the old coach-road runs down to the
ferry. All this is soon lost to view as we descend to a tree-shaded
dingle, aglow with foxgloves, campion and yellow _fleur-de-lys_. Anon
our path winds upwards across an open hillside, amidst acres of glowing
gorse; passing a few lonely thatched cottages, with donkeys browsing
leisurely about their open doors.

At a place called Wallaston Cross five lanes converge, necessitating a
consultation with the trusty Ordnance map. The choice falls upon an
upland road, running along the brow of a hill, that raises us just high
enough to peep across the Haven to Milford town, and the towers of
distant Pembroke; over which we catch a glimpse of the Precelly hills,
lying far away upon the northern horizon.

Down in a sequestered dell, overlooking the estuary, nestles the little
church of Pwllcroghan; its low tower and dumpy spire scarce out-topping
a grove of tempest-torn trees.

Long ago this lowly edifice was restored by Ralph de Beneger, a former
Rector, whose counterfeit presentment reposes in his church beneath a
canopy bearing the inscription: 'Hic jacet Radulphus Beneger, hujus
ecclesiæ Rector.' In 1648 a skirmish took place in Pwllcroghan
churchyard, between the Royalist and Parliamentary troops; when it is
recorded that 'the malignants, as was their custom, displayed on their
hats the legend, "We long to see our King."'

Trudging steadily onwards, we pass near Hênllan House, formerly a
possession of the Whites of Tenby; a place which still keeps its old
Welsh name amidst all its Saxon neighbours. That rascally vagrant the
cuckoo now pipes up from a neighbouring coppice, and 'tells his name to
all the hills' in monotonous iteration; while lovely Silver-washed
Fritillaries and sky-blue butterflies flit to and fro beside the
hedgerow.

At a crook of the lane we turn through a gate, and follow the
'fore-draught' down to Eastington farmhouse, where the good-natured
farmer and his better-half provide bed and board for the coming night; a
vast convenience in this unfrequented district, which offers no
accommodation of a higher type than the ordinary hedge alehouse.

After despatching a modest repast, in which the staff of life forms the
backbone of our fare, we resume our devious ramble. An unmistakeable
footpath leads past the ruins of a deserted water-mill to the shore of
Angle Bay, whose calm blue waters, spreading broadly into the land,
mirror a cloudless sky of unrivalled purity. Skirting an ancient
moss-grown wall which, for some inscrutable reason, encloses a tract of
apparently valueless marshland, we roam across the shingly beach towards
a group of isolated buildings. Pale yellow sea-poppies, taking heart of
grace to brave the lusty breezes, beautify the waste places with their
delicate flowers; and groups of cattle, standing knee-deep in the
shallows, add a touch of life to the pleasant, tranquil scene.

Our route now lies around the rocky shore, an opportune field-path
skirting the low cliffs, and affording lovely ever-changing views over
the sunny landscape and the land-locked Haven. The warm south wind,
sweet from clover fields, is fraught with the roar of the ocean, driving
full into Freshwater Bay a mile away beyond the sandy burrows; but here
under the lee of the hill, scarce a breath of air stirs the ripening
barley. Suddenly a brace of partridges blusters away from the sun-baked
ploughfield, where the ruddy eye of the 'pimpernel' peeps from every
furrow.

Ensconced beneath a gnarled old hawthorn hedge wreathed in fragrant
woodbine, we indulge in a quiet pipe; watching the rabbits as they
scuttle to and fro under the sandy bank, and the dainty blue dragonflies
hovering over the meadowsweet and ragged Robin, that deck the oozy
course of the streamlet at our feet. The deep tones of a steamer's syren
float across the water, followed by the report of a heavy gun from a
fortress guarding the Haven; for the summer manoeuvres are now in full
swing, and we can see the white-peaked tents of the Connaught Rangers
behind Angle Point.

The gracefully curving shore is fringed with a broad stretch of
seaweed, of every hue from golden brown to bottle green, whence the
pungent odour of ozone is borne upon the sun-warmed air.

Glancing back across the bay, we catch a glimpse of the old farmhouse
that is to be our local habitation for to-night; near which the tower of
Rhôscrowther Church rises amidst its solitary grove of trees.

A long mile further we enter the village of Angle (or Nangle, as it is
sometimes called), a place that in ancient deeds is styled 'in Angulo,'
doubtless from its situation in a _corner_ of the land.

The long village street with its one-storied cottages, many of them
coloured yellow, pink or blue, and all embowered in luxuriant climbing
plants, has a pleasant, cheery look; and as we advance a ruined tower
comes into view, rising above some marshy meadows beside the stream.
This is all that remains of the castle of Angle, once the abode of the
Sherbornes, an ancient family in the land, who were formerly lords of
Angle. At no great distance from the church are some remains of a
handsome structure of uncertain antiquity. Nothing is known about the
history of these ruins; but they have supplied a peg whereon to hang a
local legend, somewhat to the following effect: 'Once upon a time,'
three sisters and co-heiresses, finding they could not pull together
under the same roof, agreed to build each of them a dwelling for
herself. The first is said to have erected the castle; the second, the
curious old house above mentioned; and the third, a mansion just without
the village, where a house named Hall now stands.

Turning through a wicket-gate, we pass by an old stone cross and enter
the church, over which, alas! has swept the moloch of modern
restoration, obliterating much of its original character. In one corner,
however, we espy a queer little organ of primitive type, with unenclosed
pipes and keyboard, not unlike the spinet of earlier days. This has been
recently evicted in favour of a brand-new instrument designed by the
present vicar, who is skilled in the art and mystery of organ-building.

Angle Church was one of the numerous benefices held by that famous Welsh
chronicler, Giraldus Cambrensis.

[Illustration: SEAMENS CHAPEL AT ANGLE.]

In a corner of the churchyard, overlooking the tidal inlet, rises a
picturesque little chapel frequented in olden times by the seafaring
folk, when embarking upon or returning from their ventures on the vasty
deep. Externally all is obscured beneath a mantle of glossy green ivy,
save where a traceried window or low-arched doorway peeps from under the
shadowy foliage. Ascending a few steps to the interior, we find
ourselves in a small, oblong chamber covered with a pointed stone vault;
at the east end stands a plain, stone altar, surmounted by an elegant
little traceried window, whose modern painted glass portrays Scriptural
scenes appropriate to the purpose of the chapel.

A small piscina, and the recumbent figure of some unknown ecclesiastic
under an arched recess, adorn this nutshell of a church. Beneath it is a
crypt of similar dimensions, entered through a doorway at the eastern
end, and lighted by small quatrefoil openings pierced through the
thickness of the walls.

[Illustration: Ruined Castle at Angle]

We now turn our attention to the castle ruins, which are reached by
passing the school-house and crossing a small grass-plot, adorned with
a simple monument to some local benefactor. Little else remains besides
a tall, ivy-clad peel-tower, whose massive limestone walls abut upon the
shallow stream that meanders to the bay. These solid walls are
honeycombed with archways and passages; while a good, stone-newel
stairway corkscrews up to the outermost battlements, above which rises a
circular chimney-shaft. Each of the four stories had its own fireplace,
window recesses and other conveniences; and the lower chamber is stoutly
vaulted with stone. Altogether, the place appears to have been built in
such a self-contained fashion as to be capable of resisting attack, or
even sustaining a siege.

Close at hand stands a low, rambling, yellow-washed house, having every
sign of age about it. Many years ago this was the Castle Inn. The
interior shows dark, open-raftered ceilings, where mighty hams and
flitches of bacon ripen the year round; broad-beamed oaken chairs flank
a solid table standing upon the rough, flagged floor; while dogs, cats,
hens and chickens roam sociably everywhere. A carved stone head, peeping
out from amidst the honeysuckle that clambers over the porch, is _said_
to represent Giraldus Cambrensis himself, a statement that must be
accepted with the proverbial 'grain of salt.'

The rough outbuildings at the rear also bear traces of antiquity; and in
an adjacent meadow stands one of those curious old pigeon-houses, which
formed a customary adjunct to the mediæval castle or manor-house. The
thick stone walls of this pigeon-house are built in a circular form,
surmounted by a high conical roof much the worse (except from a
picturesque point of view) for several centuries of neglect and hard
weather; the interior is pierced with many tiers of pigeon-holes, each
with a ledge for the bird to rest upon, while an 'eye' in the crown of
the roof served its feathered inmates as a doorway. The original arched
entrance has been broken away to form a larger opening, and the whole
structure appears to be coëval with the neighbouring castle. This
pigeon-house appears in our sketch of Angle Castle.

Invigorated by a crisp sea-breeze that drives the fleecy clouds before
it, we put our best foot foremost, and stretch away along a rough
cart-lane between banks of prickly furze and stunted hawthorn hedges.
These give place, after passing a solitary farmstead, to the open,
wind-swept down, aglow with amber-tinted gorse, and carpeted with dry,
crisp turf and tussocks of flowering thrift.

Half a mile across this bracing moorland lands us at the old ruined
Blockhouse, built, as George Owen informs us, in the days of Henry VIII.
'for to ympeach the entrance into the Haven.' Hence we look out across
the open seaway, that forms a worthy approach to the noble estuary of
Milford Haven.

From this sea-girt eyrie we command a spacious outlook over land and
sea. Standing beside the gray, lichen-clad ruins of the old
watch-tower, our gaze wanders across a sparkling expanse of open sea
that rolls, in waves of clearest aquamarine and sapphire blue, towards
the land-locked shelter of the Haven; and breaks into crests of snowy
foam where St. Anne's Head stands out and takes the brunt of old Ocean's
fury. The ruddy, sandstone rocks rise in picturesque confusion from the
surging breakers, which eddy around a tiny islet accessible only at low
tide; whose forefront, planted in the ocean, is barbed with a grim array
of jagged ledges and pierced with dark, yawning crevices.

Beyond West Angle Bay the mainland rounds away eastwards, with a
fort-crowned islet protecting the inner reaches of the famous estuary.

It is to be hoped that the unrivalled advantages of Milford Haven will
ere long be turned to better account. With its noble fairway,
untrammelled by shoal or bar, and deep, land-locked reaches where the
whole British Navy might safely ride at anchor, Milford Haven has no
compeer along our western seaboard. Given a better system of railway
communication, and proper facilities in the way of docks and wharves,
Milford should, in days to come, stand _facile princeps_ as a seaport
for the magnificent vessels engaged in the great and ever-increasing
traffic of the Atlantic 'ferry.'

But, meanwhile, time is stealing a march upon us, and the lengthening
shadows warn us to depart; so, casting a last glance across the sunlit
sea, flecked with white 'mares'-tails' and dotted with brown-sailed
trawlers, we retrace our track over the breezy headland. At every step
we inhale the healthful smell of wave-washed seaweed, and tread
underfoot the flowers that gem the rough, uneven ground--thrift,
trefoil, blue sheep's bit and a minute, starlike flower whose name we do
not know.

Pushing on through the quiet street of Angle, we diverge up a steep,
shady lane in search of Bangeston House; which proves to be nothing more
than the gaunt, dismantled walls of a vast group of buildings,
apparently of early eighteenth-century date, mantled in ivy and
overshadowed by sombre trees. The ruins cover a large extent of ground,
and appear to have been regarded by the neighbours as a convenient
quarry for building materials. Bangeston was, as its name implies, the
ancestral home of the Benegers, a family of much consequence in olden
times who possessed broad acres hereabouts, but whose very name has long
since become extinct.

Curious tales of the former occupants of Bangeston still linger amongst
the cottagers. A certain Lord Lyon, the Garter King-at-Arms of his time,
is said to have dwelt here many years ago; and an ancient graybeard whom
we meet volunteers the information that, 'It was a gret plaäce in they
times, and I've a-heared tell as there was quare doings when Lord Lyon
lived in th' ould marnsion. It was him as drove with a coach and horses,
one dirty night, and went right over the clift (they do say), down by
Freshwater way, and was never seed again.'

Much edified by the yarns of Old Mortality, we now retrace our steps to
Eastington Farm; musing meanwhile over these fast-fading fables, and
meeting a few belated peasant-folk trudging home through the gray of the
gloaming.

[Illustration: JESTYNTON.]

Eastington, or more properly Jestynton, is traditionally reputed to have
been, in days long before the Conquest, the abode of Jestyn, grandson of
Howel Ddâ, Prince of South Wales. A descendant of his, whose
unpronounceable name we refrain from recording, was married to Sir
Stephen Perrot, the first Norman of that name to settle in this county;
who by this alliance acquired vast possessions and influence throughout
all the countryside.

This quaint old homestead of Eastington, under whose hospitable roof we
spend the night, is honeycombed with curious nooks and corners, that
lure us on to endless scrambles amidst dark, crooked passages, and
crumbling stairways. The long south front, with its homely porch and
small-paned windows, is flanked at its western end by a massive mediæval
structure whose rough, lichen-clad walls are pierced with narrow,
deep-set windows, and topped by ruinous battlements; all looking so
hoary and ancient, one is disposed to fancy this may be a remnant of the
royal residence of that old Welsh Prince whose name it bears.

By a rude, steep flight of grass-grown steps we mount to a clumsy door,
that swings noisily on its crazy hinges as we push our way into the
interior. We now find ourselves in a large and lofty chamber, whose
solid, concrete floor is prettily marked out with lines traced in simple
geometrical patterns. Rudely-arched windows admit light at either end,
one of them having cusped openings; while a ruined fireplace yawns in
the centre of the opposite wall.

A small vaulted cell opens from one end of this room; and a narrow
stair, winding through the thickness of the wall, ascends to the
battlemented roof, which has a gangway all around and is pierced with
loopholes for defence. The dark, vaulted basement of this ancient fabric
forms a capital cool dairy, where mine hostess shows us with pardonable
pride her clean, earthenware pans brimful of the freshest of fresh milk
and cream.

Anon ensues a quiet chat over the evening pipe; the mellowing flitches
forming a canopy overhead as we lounge in the cavernous chimney-corner.
At last we retire to our lowly chamber, to be serenaded far into the
night by the boom of heavy guns, waging mimic warfare by land and sea;
while the glare of electric search-lights turns night into noontide, in
a highly distracting fashion.

Next morning the heavens are already as brass above our heads when,
turning our backs on Jestynton, we strike into the meadow-path that
leads down to Rhôscrowther village. Ensconced in a secluded dell remote
from the busy haunts of men, this quiet hamlet has a look of rest and
fair contentment; yet the place must have been of no little importance
in bygone times, for there is reason to believe that the Bishop of St.
Davids had one of his seven palaces in this parish.

Down in a hollow beside the stream stands the ancient parish church,
dedicated to St. Decumanus, patron of springs and wells, who in olden
times was held in high esteem for the cures effected at the bubbling
rill hard by.

This venerable church remains pretty much in its original condition, and
presents a picturesque array of roofs and gables, clustering beneath its
tall gray tower. The gable of the nave is crowned by a pretty bell-cot,
which probably did duty prior to the erection of the tower. The latter
is a stout old structure with 'battered' or sloping walls, having both
an inner and an outer roof of stone, and looking as though built with a
view to defence.

The north porch is unusually spacious. Its broad gable end is adorned
with the arms of the Daws of Bangeston, and the badge of the Whites of
Hentland, a notable family in bygone days, whose chapel is in the north
transept. Alongside the arched doorway of the porch is a square-headed
opening, supposed to have been used as an alms window, through which, in
those easy-going times, the priest handed out the dole of bread, money
or what not to his _protégés_.

Our attention is next attracted by a diminutive figure surmounting the
arch of the inner entrance. Upon closer inspection this archaic image
appears to be seated, with the right hand raised in the attitude of
benediction. It was rescued, we understand, many years ago from the
iconoclastic restorers who were then working their will on Angle Church;
and was placed in its present position by the Rector of this parish.

Upon entering into the sacred edifice, its picturesque proportions
excite our admiration. Notwithstanding its modest dimensions the short
transepts, curious angle passages and chancel with its pretty aisle,
give a quaint, varied look to the low interior.

[Illustration: AT RHÔSCROWTHER.]

The north wall of the chancel is adorned with a handsome, crocketed
canopy, which terminates in a triplet of queer, sculptured faces
symbolical of the Holy Trinity. This monument partly hides an ancient
niche or aumbry, where the wafer was probably kept in pre-Reformation
times. The adjacent south aisle has two canopied recesses; under one of
which reposes the handsome, though somewhat damaged, effigy of a lady,
with a wimple over her chin such as is worn to this day in the northern
part of the county. The wall above is pierced with a small piscina arch;
and the chamber is lighted by windows of very good Pembrokeshire type.

This aisle is known as the Jestynton Chapel, from the mansion of that
ilk to which it still appertains; and there is a tradition that Jestyn,
Prince of South Wales, built the church; placing it conveniently near to
his own residence, though remote from the rest of the parish.

Many other interesting features will reward a diligent search; and the
visitor who is curious in such matters will notice that the chancel arch
has evidently been cut through from the earlier nave. The south doorway,
abandoned in favour of the more sheltered north porch, affords a
convenient niche for the font: while odd corners here and there conceal
old tombstones, inscribed with quaint epitaphs or half-obliterated
armorial scutcheons.

In passing through the churchyard, we examine a dilapidated cross,
remarkable for a circular hole in the base supposed to have been used as
a receptacle for contributions to the priest from his flock. Near the
adjacent stile stands an ancient, upright stone inscribed with curious,
illegible characters.

At the little foot-bridge spanning the stream, we halt to enjoy a
pleasant retrospect of the time-honoured church, set amidst embowering
trees, with a handful of lowly cottages scattered prettily around.

Thence we push on by a footpath across the upland meadows; climbing
stone stiles, set in the turfy walls which do duty here as hedgerows.
Gradually we ascend to the wind-swept plateau at Newton; and if the
ascent is easily won, it is none the less worth winning; for it affords
an ample outlook over land and sea, with the village of Castle Martin
upon the rise of the opposite hill.

Our track now becomes somewhat obscure, so we call in to inquire the way
at the neighbouring blacksmith's shop; when a soot-begrimed son of
Vulcan, casting aside his hammer, good-naturedly pioneers us along an
intricate by-way, and points out the bearings for crossing the marshy
valley. A wild enough place is this in winter-time, as our guide can
testify; where the very hayricks have to be lashed secure to weather the
fierce sou'-westers, which, under their steady impact, bend the trees
into strange, distorted forms.

Descending the rough braeside, we now make for a conspicuous old
ash-tree, and thenceforward thread our way amidst the dykes and marshy
levels of Castle Martin Corse.

The tall steeple of Warren church, showing clear against the sky ahead,
makes a serviceable landmark, until we strike the grassy track that
leads across the marsh. Arrayed in sombre hues of russet red, rich
browns and olive greens, the level strath is dotted with groups of
horses and the black cattle for which the locality is famed, grazing
knee-deep amidst waving sedges and lush green water-plants.

As we advance, the lapwings (those lovers of lonely, unfrequented
places), wheel and circle overhead, uttering their peculiarly plaintive
pipe as they scan the unwelcome intruders. And now a hollow lane
receives us, and keeps us company until, after passing a two-three
humble tenements, we turn aside into the well-tended graveyard; and so
to the parish church of St. Michael, which stands in a little elbow of
the hill overlooking the scattered dwellings of the hamlet.

[Illustration: CASTLE MARTIN CHURCH.]

Castle Martin church has made so doughty a stand against the ravages of
time that now, in its green old age, it presents an extremely
picturesque appearance as we approach its weather-beaten portal. Before
passing within, let us pause awhile to scan the features of this
characteristic old Pembrokeshire church.

Prominent in our view rises the gray limestone tower, whose rugged,
time-worn walls rise solidly to the corbelled battlements. These have
louvred windows to the bell-chamber, and a quaint metal weather-vane
atop; to right and left range the lichen-clad roofs and walls of the
main structure; while a lofty and massive porch stands boldly out,
enclosing a rambling stairway that leads to the tower. The foreground
is occupied by crumbling headstones, wreathed in ivy and decked with
flowering creepers; and a shapely churchyard cross rises beside our
pathway.

Nor does the interior of the church prove a whit less interesting. Here
a group of graceful arches, with attached limestone shafts, gives access
from the nave to the north aisle; whence a skew arch, having detached
pillars with capitals, opens into the chancel. The latter is flanked by
similar arches enclosing pretty, traceried windows.

The great south porch has a narrow doorway at some height in the side
wall, giving access to a much-worn, straggling flight of steps.
Scrambling up these we find ourselves in the tower, which, after the
manner of the country, is massively constructed; having grim vaulted
chambers with many openings, like pigeon-holes, pierced in the solid
walls. Here are also the bells, erected by John Rudhale, A.D. 1809. The
font, though plain, is well proportioned and of early date.

This curious old church is the head of the important parish and hundred
of Castle Martin. The district is noted for its breed of black,
long-horned cattle; and in bygone days could boast its own troop of
gallant yeomanry, who shared with the Fishguard Fencibles the
distinction of repelling the notorious French 'invasion' of
Pembrokeshire, a century ago.

Leaving the quiet village to the care of an aged crone and a group of
children playing with a lame magpie, we get under way again, and make
for the crossways on the ridge. At this point the Ordnance map raises
expectations of something of a 'castle,' which proves, however, to be
nothing more than a prehistoric earthwork with mounds of circular form.
Then onward again, passing Moor Farm, where once stood a goodly mansion,
of which scarce a stone has been spared. Now we keep a straight course
towards Warren, with the skylarks making music overhead; while the voice
of that 'interesting scamp,' the cuckoo, echoes from the woods down
Brownslade way.

[Illustration: A WAYSIDE WELL.]

Shortly before reaching Warren village the country lane widens out, with
a corner of sedgy greensward under the hedgerow. Here stands a curious
old wayside well, domed over with a sort of rude canopy, whose mossy
stones, fringed with hartstongue fern, are reflected in the clear water;
indeed, from the frequent recurrence of springs and draw-wells, it would
seem that St. Decumanus, their patron, was held in high esteem in these
parts.

At Warren we call a halt to refresh the 'inner man;' then lounge awhile
in a shady nook, for a chat and a quiet pipe. Towards the cool of
evening we bear away for distant Pembroke, by the road that leads past
Orielton, where we are on familiar ground which has been touched upon in
describing a previous route.

[Illustration: CASTLE MARTIN.]



CHAPTER VI.

CAREW, WITH ITS CROSS, CASTLE AND CHURCH. UPTON CASTLE AND CHAPEL.
PEMBROKE DOCK AND HAVERFORDWEST.


Setting forth by the morning train, we alight at Lamphey Station; whence
we make our way to the grand old ruins of Carew Castle, as our _pièce de
résistance_ for to-day. Once free of Lamphey village, we soon find
ourselves striding across the Ridgeway by Lamphey Park; whence we get a
pretty retrospect, under some weather-beaten trees, of the pleasant vale
we have quitted, with a more distant peep of the towers of Pembroke
Castle. Here, too, we find a few traces of olden times in a group of
gray, weather-stained farm-buildings; remnants, maybe, of Bishop
Vaughan's famous grange.

At Rambler's Folly, on the crest of the ridge, we get the first glimpse
of our destination, down in the valley below; with a background of open
country rolling upward to the distant hills; while, by taking the
trouble to cross over the road, we command the broad plain of the sea.

A shepherd with collie-dog at heel, driving his flock to pasture, now
puts us in the way of a short-cut across the meadows. This woodland path
is enlivened by a bevy of butterflies that, like ourselves, are taking
the morning air. Here floats a stately 'peacock,' while yonder sprightly
Atalanta, perched upon a spray of woodbine, displays her becoming
_toilette_ of scarlet and glossy black, edged with daintiest lace.

Approaching our destination, we skirt around a marshy watercourse
abloom with yellow flags, orchids and gay pink campion. Ere long a
flight of stepping-stones lands us in the village, right abreast of
Carew church, a noble old structure with handsome traceried windows, and
a tower such as one rarely sees in this locality. A picturesque old
building with pointed windows, that was formerly the village school,
adds a pretty feature to the churchyard.

But we must push on to the castle, reserving these minor matters for
future investigation. Half a mile of hard highroad ensues, when, just
before the castle gate is reached, our attention is absorbed by an
object standing upon the steep bank, hard by the road.

[Illustration]

This is Carew Cross, a hoary monument before whose patriarchal antiquity
the ruined castle is little better than a mere _parvenu_. The huge
monolith of lichen-clad stone terminates in a circular head enclosing a
Celtic cross; while each of the four sides is richly overlaid with
deeply-incised patterns, carved in that curious, interlacing fashion
peculiar to these early monuments. The date of its erection is placed as
far back as the ninth century: upon its eastern face is seen a
rudely-fashioned cross, each limb of which is formed by three deeply-cut
lines; while the reverse side is inscribed with certain archaic
characters, which some ingenious antiquary has interpreted thus:

THE CROSS OF THE SON OF ILTEUT THE SON OF ECETT.

Having completed the sketch of Carew Cross, which figures on the
opposite page, we now pass on to view the wonders of the castle.

Carew Castle is located in a district which from very early times formed
a royal appanage of the princes of South Wales. It was presented as a
marriage dower with the fair Nesta, daughter of Rhys ap Tydwr, to Gerald
de Windsor, the King's castellan, in the reign of Henry I. This great
demesne was subsequently mortgaged by Sir Edward de Carew to the gallant
Sir Rhys ap Thomas, by whom the castle appears to have been largely
remodelled. Here it was that this doughty Welshman entertained his liege
the Earl of Richmond, on his way from Milford to victorious Bosworth
field; placing the royal arms, in memory of the event, upon a
chimney-piece in the chamber where 'the hope of England' slept.

In olden times Carew Castle was surrounded by an extensive chase, or
deer park. Here in 1507 Sir Rhys ap Thomas held 'a solemn just and
turnament for the honour of St. George, patrone of that noble Order of
the Garter,' when Henry VII. honoured the revels with his presence. A
full account of this 'princelie fête' has been preserved, setting forth
how 'manie valerouse gentlemen' then made trial of their abilities' in
feates of armes, the men of prime Ranke being lodged within the Castle,
others of good Qualitie in tents and Pavilions, pitched in the Parke.'

This 'Festivall and time of jollytie' commenced on the day dedicated to
'the trustie Patrone and protector of Marshalistes,' and continued for
five whole days; the tournament taking place on the fourth day, when Sir
William Herbert was the challenger, the lord of Carew playing the
judge's part.

To the credit of all concerned it is recorded that, throughout all these
'justes and turnaments, seasoned with a diversitie of musicke for the
honoure of Ladyes,' in spite of 'knockes valerouslie received and
manfullie bestowed, among a thousand people there was not one Quarrell,
crosse worde or unkinde Looke, that happened betweene them.'

Wonderful stories were told of the feats of arms performed by the
doughty Sir Rhys ap Thomas; insomuch that for years after his day the
name of Sir Rhys ap Thomas was 'used about Terwin as a bugg-beare or
fire Abbaas, such as Talbott's was in Henrie the Sixt's time, to
affright the children from doing shrewd Trickes.' It is related how Sir
Rhys, mounted on his veteran charger Grey Fetlocks, contrived to run the
impostor Perkin Warbeck to earth at the monastery of Beaulieu, in
Hampshire; and was rewarded for this gallant service by receiving the
Order of the Garter from his sovereign. At the Battle of the Spurs this
stout-hearted warrior led the light horse and archers against the enemy,
and took the Duke of Longueville prisoner with his own hands.

Shortly after this event, having attained the age of threescore years,
this brave old knight at last hung up his well-worn weapons in his
Castle of Carew. Sir Rhys spent his declining days in extending and
beautifying the stately fabric; calling in to his aid, we may be sure,
the advice of his friend and neighbour the talented Bishop Vaughan, then
dwelling at Lamphey Palace. Finally, after considerably over-passing the
allotted span, Sir Rhys ap Thomas was gathered to his fathers in the
year of grace 1527.

Meanwhile, traversing a broad green meadow, we approach the ivy-wreathed
walls and turrets of the castle. This magnificent edifice is built
around a large central courtyard. It has a huge bastion at each corner
and displays, even in its dismantled condition, a most interesting
combination of military and domestic architecture.

Before us rises the gate-house, probably the oldest portion of the
present building. An adjacent tower contains the chapel, dating from
Edwardian times and retaining its groined ceiling; and in one of the
upper chambers we notice a fireplace bearing what appear to be the arms
of Spain. The fragment of a graceful oriel is seen high aloft in the
wall as we pass under the barbican tower, a massive structure with
vaulted archways, portcullis and machicolated battlements.

We now emerge upon the inner courtyard of the castle, whose broad
expanse of velvety turf is overshadowed on every side by gray old
limestone walls, pierced with pointed doorways and many-mullioned
windows.

The most prominent feature here is the ivy-clad portal of the
banqueting-hall. This picturesque structure rises through two stories,
and is adorned with some crumbling scutcheons, charged with the insignia
of Henry of Richmond and of Sir Rhys ap Thomas; combined with the hoary,
time-worn architecture of the banqueting-hall, the whole forms a
charming subject for the artist's pencil.

[Illustration: A CORNER OF CAREW CASTLE]

The banqueting-hall itself must have been a magnificent apartment. It
still shows traces of rich Gothic ornamentation in the deep recesses of
its arched windows, doorways and huge fireplaces; while the springing of
the open-timbered roof can be readily discerned. In another direction is
seen the incomparable range of lofty, mullioned windows of the broad
north front. This grandiose _façade_ was begun, but never completed, by
Sir John Perrot: it contains a sumptuous state-room, over 100 feet in
length, and numerous smaller apartments.

[Illustration: CAREW CASTLE.]

An hour vanishes in next to no time as we ramble amidst these echoing
chambers, and clamber up and down the broken stairways. Here we pry into
some deep, dark dungeon; yonder, peer through a narrow lancet; and anon
mount to the crumbling battlements, to the no small dismay of a host of
jackdaws that haunt these ruined walls. Meanwhile imagination re-peoples
these deserted halls and desolate chambers with those throngs of faire
ladyes, and gallant knights and squires, those troops of servitors and
men-at-arms, and all the countless on-hangers that went to swell the
princely _ménage_ of its mediæval masters.

Presently we pass out again, to wander around the brave old fortress and
mark the gaping breaches wrought by Cromwell's cannon, what time the
beleaguered garrison fought for King Charles I., holding out long and
valiantly until, Tenby having succumbed, Carew at length fell a prize
to the Parliamentary arms. The accompanying sketch shows that most of
the south front has been demolished, thus giving us a glimpse of the
internal courtyard and a portion of the lofty northern _façade_.

Upon quitting the castle we stroll across the neighbouring bridge,
whence we obtain a noble view of the great north front with its lofty
oriels and vast, mullioned windows reflected in the shallow waters of
the tideway. Our appearance upon the scene disturbs a meditative heron,
who, pulling himself together, spreads his broad wings and stretches
away in leisurely flight to more secluded quarters.

Pausing as we pass for another glance at the ancient Cross, we now
retrace our steps to the village to complete our investigations there.

Arrived at the church, we prowl around that sacred edifice; noting its
lofty Perpendicular tower, fine traceried windows and stair-turret
surmounted by a low spirelet; then we pass within, and proceed to look
about us.

The interior of Carew Church is unusually lofty and spacious, comprising
nave with aisles, chancel and transepts. Lofty, well-proportioned
limestone arches open into the latter, their piers embellished with the
four-leaved flower that marks the artistic influence of Bishop Gower.

[Illustration: CAREW CHURCH THE BOY BISHOP.]

The chancel contains a pretty sedilia and piscina, arched in the wall;
while an adjacent niche is tenanted by a curious little figure carved in
stone, and supposed to commemorate a certain boy-bishop, elected,
according to a quaint old custom, from amongst his fellow-choristers.

Be that as it may, we now turn to the opposite wall where, beneath
plain, pointed recesses repose the figures of an ecclesiastic habited as
a monk, and a knight in armour, sword in hand and shield upon arm, legs
crossed at the knees, and head and feet supported by carven animals. The
latter is a finely-executed piece of sculpture, and withal remarkable
from the disproportionate size of the head, which is twisted in a
strange manner over the right shoulder--perhaps a personal trait
committed to marble.

Whom these figures represent is not precisely known, but we may
reasonably hazard the conjecture that this mail-clad effigy represents
some forgotten scion of the noble family of Carew, erstwhile lords of
this place.

The ancient tiles upon the chancel floor are also worthy of notice,
displaying the emblems of the bishopric with the arms of Sir Rhys ap
Thomas, the Tudor rose, and various other devices.

[Illustration: OLD RECTORY HOUSES AT CAREW]

Having completed our survey of this interesting church, we next make our
way to a curious-looking structure known as the Old Rectory. Though now
a mere farmhouse the place bears traces of considerable antiquity, and
appears, like many of the older dwellings in this locality, to have
been built with an eye to defence. The massive walls are corbelled out
beneath the eaves of the roof, which is pitched at a steep angle, giving
the old structure a picturesque appearance. The house has apparently
been formerly enclosed within a walled precinct; and a fast-fading
tradition tells vaguely of 'the soldiers' having been quartered here in
the turbulent days of old.

But it is high time to be up and away, so pulling ourselves together we
face the slanting sunlight, and put the best foot foremost _en route_
for Upton Castle.

After passing the grounds of Milton House, we follow the Pembroke road
for about a mile and a half, until, just short of the fingerpost, we
strike into a hollow lane that leads direct to Upton. The latter part of
the way goes through a shady avenue, affording glimpses of the winding
Haven and the broad, gray front of Carew Castle.

[Illustration: UPTON CASTLE]

Upton Castle is undoubtedly of very ancient origin, but it has been
restored and rendered habitable of late years, and is now occupied as a
dwelling-house. The original gateway, with its double arch, is flanked
by tall round towers pierced with loopholes for archery, and is crowned
by corbelled battlements. A small old building beside the neighbouring
creek was probably used as a guard-house or watch-tower.

[Illustration: OLD CHAPEL AT UPTON]

Within the castle grounds stands Upton Chapel, a lowly structure of no
architectural pretensions, yet containing several objects well worthy of
notice.

Opposite the entrance is the fine mural monument seen on the left of our
sketch. The figure beneath the canopy is supposed to represent one of
the Malefants, an extinct family that for several centuries made a
considerable figure in this and the adjacent counties. The knight is
clad in a complete suit of mail, having a chain around the neck, with
the hands folded in the attitude of prayer. The upper portion of the
monument bears traces of colour and decoration, while the canted ends
are adorned with carven figures beneath dainty canopies.

[Illustration: FROM UPTON CHAPEL.]

A curious if not unique feature is the candelabrum, in the form of a
clenched fist, that projects from the adjacent wall. This singular
object is fashioned from a piece of yellow limestone, and is pierced
with a hole to contain the candle formerly used at funerals and other
ceremonies. It appears probable that the worthy knight whose effigy lies
near may have left a small pension for the maintenance of this
candelabrum.

The handsome Jacobean pulpit was originally in St. Mary's Church at
Haverfordwest, whence it was acquired by purchase during the restoration
of that edifice.

Upon passing through the small, plain chancel arch, we espy a huge,
dilapidated effigy in a corner by the south wall. Though bereft of half
its lower limbs, the figure still measures fully six feet in length.
This image is clad in a complete suit of chain-mail, and is considered
to be the most ancient of its kind in the county. To its history we have
no clue, but tradition avers that this rude specimen of the sculptor's
art represents a certain 'tall Ammiral' of bygone times, Lord of Upton
Castle, who, returning from distant voyagings, was wrecked and cast
lifeless ashore almost within sight of home.

A stone let into the chancel pavement shows the tonsured head of an
ecclesiastic, with a floreated cross and damaged inscription. Within
the Communion-rails we observe a female figure, draped from head to foot
in flowing robes and lying under an ogee canopy. Though devoid of any
distinctive badge this figure is well executed, and in a very fair state
of preservation.

Upon the south side of the chapel, and close to the entrance-door, rises
the small stone cross figured at the end of this chapter. It is raised
upon a sort of basement constructed of masonry overgrown with
vegetation, and is approached by rough stone steps.

We now retrace our steps to the highroad, and at the fingerpost bear to
the left. Just beyond the old toll-gate we pass near a house called
Holyland, so named from the fact that its stones were drawn from the
ruins of an ancient hospital, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, which
formerly existed at Pembroke.

As we traverse the King's Bridge, at the head of the tidal water, the
clamour of the 'many-wintered crows,' winging their homeward flight to a
neighbouring spinny, falls pleasantly on our ears. Thus we reenter the
quiet street of Pembroke, while the arrowy swifts, wheeling around St.
Mary's time-worn steeple, fill the air with their shrill, piercing
cries.

Finally we round off the day's adventures by climbing the castle walls,
whence the eye traces all the familiar landmarks standing clear-cut
against a glowing sky, with a broad span of the fast-empurpling
landscape, locked in a silvery reach of the winding Haven.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beside the deep, untroubled waters of Milford Haven, there has grown up
within the present century one of the finest and most complete
shipbuilding establishments around our coasts. Here were constructed
those hearts of oak that bore our flag so bravely in days of yore; and
hence are nowadays turned out the leviathan 'battleships' that will bear
the brunt of Britain's future wars upon the vasty deep.

Lord Nelson was, we believe, one of the first to point out the peculiar
advantages offered by Milford as a constructing yard for the British
navy.

In the first years of the present century, the Government rented an
existing yard at Milford for a term of fourteen years; after which,
being unable to come to terms with Lady Mansfield's representatives, the
authorities caused the establishment to be removed to the opposite side
of the Haven. Thus arose the modern town of Pembroke Dock; and from
these modest beginnings the place has continued to increase, both in
size and importance, down to the present day.

In spite of its remoteness from the manufacturing districts, whence most
of the tools, materials, etc., have to be brought, the work is turned
out in a style that would do credit to any establishment, by as steady,
thrifty a set of men as is to be found in any Government yard. The
workmen dwell in rows of neat cottages, forming a small town at the rear
of the slipways. Though unpicturesque enough, these modest dwellings
appear clean and sanitary, although unfortunately still lacking that
prime necessity, a constant supply of pure water.

The adjacent hill is crowned by a heavily-armed redoubt, while many a
vantage-point of the winding waterway is so strongly fortified that,
should an enemy endeavour to force a passage, he would probably
experience a _mauvais quart d'heure_ in the warm welcome prepared for
him.

From Pembroke a short run by train, and a ten minutes' walk through
dull, workaday streets lands us at the dockyard gates. Before passing
through, a constable politely relieves the visitors of such parlous
_impedimenta_ as fusees, lucifer matches and the like inflammables.
Thence we are handed on to a stalwart sergeant, who without more ado
pioneers us around the constructing sheds. Work is now in full swing,
and the ring of riveters' hammers and clang of resonant metal combine,
with a thousand other ear-splitting sounds, to swell an uproar fit to
awaken the Seven Sleepers.

By dint of stentorian shouting, our _cicerone_ explains the various
details of construction; now descanting on the special merits of a swift
'torpedo-catcher,' anon describing the internal economy of a
half-completed gunboat. Meanwhile weird, Rembrandtesque effects of light
and shade are seen on every side, as the men ply their heavy labour in
the gloom of the iron-ribbed hull.

Thence we pass onward to a gigantic shed, lofty as a cathedral, with its
forefoot planted in the sea. Here the rudimentary ribs of a huge
ironclad swell upward from the keel-plate, resembling the skeleton of
some antediluvian monster of the deep.

Farther on we come to long ranges of spacious workshops, crammed with
machinery of the latest types propelled by engines both ancient and
modern. By means of these, thick metal plates and beams are shaped and
fashioned as easily as wood in a carpenter's shop. Here lies a massive
bronze casting weighing many tons, destined to form the ram of H.M.S.
_Renown_; yonder a metal plane shaves off golden spirals, much like the
'corkscrew' curls of other days, from a plate of solid brass. In another
direction a strapping mechanic is bringing a steel plate to the
requisite curve, by means of herculean blows from a heavy sledge.

Pass we now to the iron foundry, where a gang of workmen are about to
draw the glowing metal from the furnace. The scintillating mass is
hitched on to a movable crane, and borne away to be manipulated between
a pair of massive metal rollers. After several successive squeezes, it
emerges in the form of a huge armour plate.

Now, too, the Nasmyth hammer is much _en évidence_, its mighty strokes
shaking the solid ground as we approach; yet so docile is the monster
that the engineer cracks a nut beneath it, to the no small astonishment
of the visitors.

Nor must we omit a peep at the wood-working shops, where the circular
saw sings at its work the live-long day, shearing the roughest logs into
comely planks with wonderful precision, while skilful hands fashion and
frame the various parts required.

All these multifarious handicrafts, carried on in extensive and
inflammable structures, necessitate an efficient fire-extinguishing
apparatus. This is maintained in a separate building, and is kept in
apple-pie order, ever ready to fight the flames in case of an outbreak
of the devouring element.

       *       *       *       *       *

Resuming our peregrinations 'in search of the picturesque,' we now bid
farewell to the county-town of Pembroke. At Hobb's Point a grimy little
steamboat, that years ago plied on the Thames, ferries the traveller
across to the railway pontoon at New Milford, whence we entrain _en
route_ for Haverfordwest.

Rail and river keep company for a time through a pleasant, undulating
country, with copsewood feathering down to the water's edge. Presently
we pass close to Rosemarket, a primitive-looking village where, in the
days of the Stuarts, dwelt a certain fair maid named Lucy Walters.

[Illustration: LUCY WALTERS.]

Here at the age of seventeen 'that browne, beautifull, bold but insipid
creature,' as Evelyn calls her, was discovered by the gay Prince
Charlie, who was so fascinated by the young lady's charms that he bore
her away with him in his cavalcade.

Lucy's grandfather it is said constructed a fine genealogical tree, in
which that gay lady figures as 'married to King Charles ye Seconde of
England.'

The house where Lucy Walters' father lived has long since disappeared,
the only relics of that period being probably the old stone pigeon-house
east of the village, and the parish cockpit!

Our sketch of the famous beauty is copied from a contemporary portrait,
brought from Dale Castle, whither the Walters family removed from their
earlier home. It is now in the possession of a gentleman residing near
Pembroke, who has kindly allowed us to make the accompanying copy.

The next station is Johnston, where we will break our journey and take a
peep at the church, whose steeple we descry as the train approaches the
station. The little structure stands, with a few cottages grouped around
it, at a corner of the lanes; and its gray, time-worn stones make a
pretty picture amidst their setting of fresh green foliage.

At the western end of the church rises a small but ancient tower, with
roof fast falling to decay. The lower part is solid, but towards the top
it is pierced with a quartette of graceful, traceried windows, of which
three have been blocked up; while the only bell the church could boast
lies broken in two on the stone floor.

Small as it is, the church has shallow projecting bays, or chapels,
after the manner of double transepts. Between them rises the chancel
arch, devoid of features save a quaint, square-headed opening on either
side, enclosing two small pointed arches.

[Illustration: JOHNSTON CHURCH.]

The interior, with its two-decker pulpit, simple box-pews and ancient
font, has a quiet, old-world look; and the chancel, raised one step
only above the body of the church, contains a double sedilia, a small
piscina and a few other early features.

Rumour hath it that the 'restorer,' save the mark! already lays his
plans for the undoing of this interesting structure. However, as the
attention of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has
been given to the subject, we may hope that their praiseworthy efforts
to maintain the ancient features of this church, in their unrestored
simplicity, will eventually be crowned with success.

[Illustration: A VIEW OF HAVERFORDWEST]

A long league's trudge still separates us from Haverfordwest; so we
breast the easy slope of Drudgeman's Hill, and presently descend to
Merlin's Bridge, spanning an affluent of the Cleddau. A scattered group
of cottages that overlooks the stream bears some slight traces of the
chapel that formerly stood here. A kind of Vanity Fair was formerly held
in the vicinity, when the country folk foregathered at Cradock's Well, a
wonder-working spring frequented by a hermit who had his cell at
Haroldstone.

The Perrots of Haroldstone were great people in their time. Here dwelt
the gallant Sir John Perrot, Lord Deputy of the Sister Isle in good
Queen Bess's reign; also Sir Herbert of that ilk, the contemporary and
friend of Addison, who is said to have been the original of that pink of
courtesy, the incomparable Sir Roger de Coverley.

We now make a short _détour_ to visit the ruins of Haverfordwest Priory,
which stand in a meadow close beside the Cleddau. Though of considerable
extent, there is not much to detain us here save a mass of crumbling
arches and ivy-mantled walls, apparently of Early English date. This
priory was established about the year 1200 by Robert de Haverford, first
Lord of Haverfordwest, for the Order of Black Canons. It stands in one
of those pleasant, riverside nooks that the monks of old so frequently
selected.

The massive tower of St. Thomas's Church, crowning the brow of an
adjacent hill, forms a conspicuous feature in our general view of the
town. Though much modernized, this church contains one relic of the past
that must on no account be overlooked.

Upon the pavement of the north aisle is preserved an ancient slab of
limestone, whose battered surface is carved in low relief with a
beautiful, foliated cross, terminating in trefoils; beside the cross is
an object resembling a palm branch, and a closer inspection reveals,
incised upon the edge of the stone, the legend: F RICARD LE PAUMER GIT
ICI DEU DE SAALME EIT MERCI AMEN.

[Illustration: BROTHER RICHARD'S TOMB IN THE CHURCH OF ST THOMAS À
BECKET HAVERFORDWEST.]

According to the verdict of the antiquaries, this curious monument
records a certain brother Richard the Palmer, who, in days so remote as
the time of Giraldus Cambrensis, journeyed as a pilgrim to Rome; or it
may be joined as a recruit in the Crusade of Bishop Baldwin.

Up in the tower we discover a brace of fine old bells, the larger one
bearing the motto SANCTUS GABRIEL ORA PRO NOBIS; the smaller, or sanctus
bell, GEVE THANKES TO GOD, T. W. 1585.

This church was formerly a possession of the Perrots of Haroldstone,
until in Queen Elizabeth's reign the Crown became, as it has ever since
remained, the patron of the living.

Let us glance back into the past as we stroll through the clean,
bustling streets of the little Western metropolis.

From the earliest times Haverfordwest held a position second only in
importance to that of Pembroke, as a bulwark of The Little England
beyond Wales.

Its castle, built by Gilbert de Clare, first Earl of Pembroke, stood as
a protection to the English settlement against the incursions of the
hardy mountaineers, who had been driven back by the advancing immigrants
upon the wild hill fastnesses of the interior.

The lofty walls of Gilbert's ruined castle, dominating the town that
clusters around its feet, and the mediæval churches that rise amidst its
steep, paved streets, recall the vanished _prestige_ of Haverfordwest;
while a characteristic vein of local dialect, which lingers yet despite
of Board Schools, attests the foreign ancestry of some of the worthy
townsfolk.

Curiously enough, Haverfordwest forms a county all to itself; and is
further distinguished by the fact that, alone amongst the towns of Great
Britain, the place boasts a Lord-Lieutenant all its own, a privilege
obtained from the Crown by a very early charter, when Pembrokeshire was
a County Palatine.

The town formerly returned its own member to Parliament, but of late the
representation has been merged in the districts of Pembroke, Tenby and
Haverfordwest.

[Illustration: SAINT MARY'S HAVERFORDWEST.]

But it is time to look about us, so we now make our way to St. Mary's
church, in the centre of the town.

Contrasted with the primitive structures we have seen in the country
parishes, this is a noble church indeed, having been in large part
constructed during the best period of Gothic architecture. The lofty
nave is covered with a flat wooden ceiling, relieved by enriched bosses
at the intersections of the beams, and upborne by handsome brackets
against the walls. It is connected with the adjacent aisle by a series
of richly-moulded arches, supported upon tall clustered pillars.

On the north side of the chancel stands a group of thirteenth-century
pillars and arches of still more elaborate character, whose capitals are
encrusted with a variety of grotesque figures intertwined amongst
deeply-cut foliage.

Handsome traceried windows admit a flood of light into the chancel,
whose walls display monuments and epitaphs of no little beauty and
interest.

In a remote untended corner of the church lies the mutilated effigy of
an ecclesiastic, whose sober livery, and wallet embellished with
scallop-shells, mark him as a pilgrim who has crossed the seas to the
shrine of St. James of Compostella, in Spain.

Passing out by the north porch, we observe a pair of tall, carved
bench-ends, on one of which St. George is seen in combat with a
triple-headed dragon. A sketch of this bench-end will be found at the
head of Chapter XII.

After glancing at St. Martin's, the mother church of Haverfordwest,
with its slender, crooked spire, we turn townwards again as dusk creeps
on, and come to anchor at the Mariners Hotel. The old-fashioned
hospitality of this comfortable inn is a welcome relief after a long
day's tramp, so we cannot do better than make it our headquarters while
exploring the surrounding country.

[Illustration: ARMS OF HAVERFORDWEST.]



CHAPTER VII.

TO ST. BRIDES, MARLOES AND THE DALE COUNTRY.


The irregular island-girt peninsula lying between Milford Haven and St.
Bride's Bay presents but few attractions for the ordinary tourist, to
whom, indeed, this portion of Pembrokeshire is practically a _terra
incognita_. Nevertheless, the locality has its own characteristic
features, which the appreciative traveller will probably enjoy none the
less for having to discover them for himself, unaided by the
guide-books.

Availing ourselves of one of the numerous vehicles that ply during
summer-time between Haverfordwest and the sea-coast, we escape a tedious
tramp of some seven miles or more.

About half-way out our attention is called to a plain, rough stone close
by the wayside. This is known as Hang-stone Davey, from the fact that a
noted sheep-stealer of that ilk, halting to rest upon the stone with his
ill-gotten booty slung around his neck, fell asleep and was strangled by
the weight of his burden.

Presently the blue sea opens out ahead, and the lane makes a sudden turn
over against a lonely country church. As we approach it, the little
edifice presents such a curious medley of gables and turrets, as to
tempt us to closer inspection.

[Illustration: WALTON WEST CHURCH.]

Walton-West church has been carefully and wisely restored of recent
years, and not before it was needed, for it is on record that in the
'good old times' two boys were kept at work on rainy Sundays, sweeping
the water that flowed in at the porch into a pit formed in a disused
pew. Eventually matters were brought to a climax by the snow falling
through a rent in the roof, and lodging upon the bald head of an ancient
worshipper! As usual, the tower, which appears never to have been
completed, is the oldest remaining portion of the fabric; indeed, it has
been considered as pre-Norman, a stone having, as we are informed, been
found in the wall bearing the date A.D. 993. A small effigy, apparently
of the Elizabethan period, built into the interior of the tower, is
usually supposed to represent the patron saint of the church. Upon the
north side of the chancel stands a well-proportioned chapel that
formerly appertained to the family of Lort-Philipps.

[Illustration: WALWYN'S CASTLE.]

In an out-of-the-way spot, about a mile to the southward, lies the
secluded hamlet of Walwyn's Castle. The distance is nearly doubled by
the crooked lanes, but a pleasant field-path saves a longer _détour_.
From the brow of the hill we have three churches full in view, in
diminishing perspective--Walwyn's Castle, down in the valley: Robeston,
farther away; and Steynton, conspicuous upon a distant hill.

[Illustration: SUMMER SHOWERS LITTLE HAVEN.]

The church of Walwyn's Castle stands upon a gentle eminence that slopes
to a hollow, wooded dingle overhanging a streamlet, whose waters meander
away to a creek of the ubiquitous Haven.

The salient feature of the edifice is its tall, slender tower, and
narrow stair-turret rising to the embattled roof. Upon the southern side
the land falls away steeply, and the brow of the bank is scored with the
grassy mounds of the ancient camp or castle, whence the place derives
its curious name.

In an old black-letter chronicle of the sixteenth century it is
recorded, 'In the Province of Wales which is callyd Roose, the sepulchre
of Walwyne was found. He reigned in that parte of Britain which is
callyd Walwythia. The Tombe was found in the days of William the
Conqueror, King of England, upon the sea side, and contayned in length
fourteen foote.'

A local variation of this time-honoured fable avers that Walwyn was
buried on the site of the above-mentioned camp, and a sort of arched
aperture, now fallen in and well-nigh obliterated, was formerly pointed
out as the burial-place of this very 'lofty' hero.

[Illustration: LITTLE HAVEN.]

Returning now to Walton, we descend a short but extremely steep bit of
road to the village of Little Haven. A few fishermen's cottages, a
homely inn and a handful of lodging-houses clambering up the rearward
hill, form the sum total of this most diminutive of watering-places.

[Illustration: LOW TIDE AT LITTLE HAVEN.]

Seawards the hamlet is begirt by ruddy sandstone cliffs of moderate
height, the rocky strata being twisted into the most curious
contortions, and pierced with caverns and crannies frequented by bathers
and picnic parties. The firm dry sands, exposed at low tide, afford a
pleasant seaside stroll to the more spacious shores of Broad Haven.

After calling a halt for a sketch of Little Haven, we up sticks and
away, pursuing a south-westerly course by a road that climbs high above
the rock-bound coast. Far below us lies a picturesque cove, with a rude
flight of steps, hewn from the rock, leading to a landing-place used by
the fisher-folk.

[Illustration: ST. BRIDES.]

After passing Talbenny Church, we approach St. Brides, and obtain the
pretty _coup d'oeil_ represented in the accompanying sketch: the
church and old-fashioned rectory-house nestling under the lee of some
wind-tossed trees, while Lord Kensington's fine residence of St. Brides
Hill shows clearly out against the dark woodlands that crest the western
down. To the right is seen a glimpse of the tiny haven, famous in bygone
times for its productive herring fishery. The little structure close
beside the water occupies the site of an old fishermen's chapel, which,
falling into ruins, was put to the degenerate uses of a salt-house. From
that time forth, as the old story runs, the herrings deserted their
accustomed haunts, and the fishing trade dwindled away:

  'When St. Bride's Chapel a salt-house was made,
  St. Bride's lost the herring trade.'

The parish church is interesting, and has a bright, well-cared-for look
that is pleasant to see. Upon the floor of a small north transept lie
four sadly defaced effigies. The largest of these is reputed to
represent St. Bride, the patron saint of the church, a contemporary of
St. David and St. Patrick. According to tradition, St. Bride sailed over
with certain devout women from Ireland, and established a nunnery here.
A short distance south-east from the church rise the ivy-mantled ruins
of some extensive buildings of unknown origin, overshadowed by dark
trees and surrounded by lofty stone walls pierced with loopholes, while
an arched gateway opens towards the west.

[Illustration: ORLANDON.]

Upon leaving St. Brides, we strike directly inland by the Dale road.
This brings us in about a quarter of an hour to Orlandon, where the
skeleton of a large old mansion rises grimly above a group of wayside
cottages. In its palmy days Orlandon was the home of the Laugharnes, a
family of some celebrity in their time, but now extinct in this
locality.

According to a romantic story, the first member of this family who
appeared in this district was shipwrecked and washed up more dead than
alive on the seashore not far away. Here he was found by the daughter
and heiress of Sir John de St. Brides, who caused him to be carried to
her father's house, where he was hospitably entertained.

Laugharne, of course, was soon over head and ears in love with his fair
deliverer, and the lady being in nowise backward in response to his
suit, they married and founded a family whose descendants resided for
generations at Orlandon.

[Illustration: MULLOCK BRIDGE.]

Another mile brings us to Mullock Bridge, where a long causeway
traverses a marshy backwater of the Haven. Anent this same bridge a
quaint story is related concerning Sir Rhys ap Thomas of Carew. Having
registered a vow before the King that Henry of Richmond should not
ascend the throne save _over his body_, the crafty knight fulfilled his
word by crouching beneath the arch of Mullock bridge while Henry rode
across it.

A glance at the map suggests a short _détour_ to obtain a peep at
Marloes. The sandy lane, meandering beside a streamlet, lands us right
abreast of the church at the entrance to the village. The little edifice
makes a pleasant picture, with a handful of low thatched cottages
grouped around. Inside we find the small pointed chancel arch with
projecting wings, characteristic of the churches in this locality.

[Illustration: MARLOES.]

There are some curious features here, notably an old bronze sanctus
bell, and a modern baptistery sunk in a corner of the floor, to meet the
predilections of the Welsh churchman, who does not apparently consider
the ceremony of baptism complete unless he can 'goo throw the watter.'

Dwelling apart from the busier haunts of men, the good folk of this
remote parish have kept pretty much to themselves, and have acquired the
reputation of being a simple-minded, superstitious race--'Marloes
gulls,' as the saying is. In order to save the long Saturday's tramp to
Haverford market, a Marloes man hit upon the ingenious device of walking
_half_ the distance on Friday, then returning home he would complete the
_rest of the walk_ the next day!

In the 'good old times,' if tales be true, these Marloes people were
notorious wreckers. On dark tempestuous nights they would hitch a
lanthorn to a horse's tail, and drive the animal around the seaward
cliffs; then woe betide the hapless mariner who should set his course by
this Fata Morgana! There is a story of the parson who, when the news of
a wreck got abroad in church one Sunday morning, broke off his discourse
and exclaimed, 'Wait a moment, my brethren, and give your pastor a fair
start!'

[Illustration: MARLOES SANDS.]

Another mile of crooked, crankling lanes takes us to the brow of the sea
cliffs, whence we obtain a bird's-eye panorama of the broad sweep of
Marloes sands. Ruddy sandstone rocks pitched at a steep angle encompass
the bay, and peep grimly out from beneath the smooth, firm sands.
Gateholm rises close in shore, an island at low tide only; the broad
mass of Skokholm stretches out to sea, while the horizon line is broken
by the lonely islet of Grassholm, a favourite haunt of sea birds, and
scene of a notorious 'massacre of the innocents' by a party of
yachtsmen, some few years ago.

The frequent recurrence of these _holms_ and other place-names of
Scandinavian origin, points unmistakeably to the presence of those old
sea rovers around the Pembrokeshire coast, in the days of 'auld
langsyne.'

Making our way to the farm called Little Marloes, we push on through
heathy byways, approaching the coast again at West Dale Bay. Now we
catch a glimpse of Dale Castle, with the village of that ilk nestling
under the lee of a dark wood, and harvest-fields crowning the sunny
hillside, while a silvery stretch of the Haven lies in the background.

Dale Castle appears to have been a place of some importance from very
early times, though of its history we have but meagre records. In the
year 1293 Robertus de Vale granted a charter for a weekly market at his
manor-house of Vale, and here Sir Rhys ap Thomas entertained his future
King after his landing at Mill Bay upon the adjacent coast.

This village of Dale is still a comely-looking spot, where the pleasant
country residences of the gentlefolk rub shoulders with a sprinkling of
homely cottages; yet withal the village has a certain air about it as of
a place that has known better days. For Dale, it seems, was once a
nourishing seaport, the abode of substantial sea captains and well-to-do
merchant traders; while, if tales be true, the village folk drove a
flourishing business in the contraband goods run in by the 'free trade'
fraternity. In those days good Welsh ale was brewed at Dale by a family
bearing the singular name of Runawae, who exported it in large
quantities to Liverpool: hence Dale Street in that city is said to
derive its title from this place.

[Illustration: DALE CASTLE AND MILFORD HAVEN.]

We approach the village by a footpath, and pass betwixt the castle and
the church. The fuchsias, hydrangeas, myrtle and laurustinas that
brighten this little God's acre tell of a genial climate; yet some of
the headstones bear grim records of shipwrecked mariners, who lost their
lives upon the iron-bound coast that shelters this favoured spot. Dale
Church has a tall, unrestored tower, and possesses a slender silver
chalice inscribed with the words 'Poculum Ecclesiæ de Dale, 1577.' A
sketch of this cup will be found at the head of the present chapter.

The lane now runs below the luxuriant groves of Dale Hill, and then
skirts the shores of the sheltered inlet called Dale Road. 'Dale Rode,'
says George Owen, 'is a goodlye Baye and a fayre rode of great receipte;
one of the best Rodes and Bayes of al Milforde and best defended from al
windes, the East and South East excepted. In al this Rode there is good
landing at al times.' Close beside the water stands a humble alehouse
called the Brig, which bears evident traces of its smuggler patrons,
being literally honeycombed with cellars and secret cupboards for the
storage of their booty. Even now the walls still reek with moisture,
from the salt stored away in inaccessible corners during those piping
times when that commodity was worth a couple of guineas the
hundredweight.

We now direct our steps towards St. Anne's Head, in order to visit Mill
Bay, the traditional landing-place of Henry of Richmond. 'Here in
Pembrokeshire,' says old George Owen, 'happened his landinge and first
footeinge when he came to enoie the Crowne and to confounde the
parricide and bluddie tyrante Ri:iii. Here founde he the heartes and
hands first of all this lande readye to ayde and assist him.' The saying
goes that as he rushed up the steep bank at the head of his troop Henry,
being scant of breath, exclaimed, 'This is Brunt!' a name that has clung
to the neighbouring farm ever since.

[Illustration: 'THIS IS BRUNT.']

After a flying visit to the lighthouses, we retrace our steps to Dale
village, and, following a track around the head of the tideway, push on
without a halt to Hoaton. Here we find the huge old anchor shown in our
sketch, and the question naturally arises, How did the anchor get there?
A vague tradition still lingers in the locality to the effect that,
centuries ago, a big foreign man-o'-war was driven out of her course and
wrecked upon the shores of St. Bride's Bay. Hence it has been
conjectured that this anchor may be a veritable relic of that 'wonderful
great and strong' Spanish Armada, whose unwieldy galleons were cast
ashore and dashed to pieces upon our western coasts, three hundred years
ago.

Be that as it may, some years back the anchor, which had previously lain
by the wayside, was dragged into the position where it now stands; the
neighbours lending ready aid in response to offers of ale _ad lib_.
Fifty men with a team of horses were hard put-to to move it, for though
much of the metal has rusted and flaked away, the shank is 20 feet long
and nearly 30 inches thick, while the head of the anchor measures some
14 feet around, and the ring is large enough for a man to pass through.
Truly that old Spanish galleon must have been a veritable Leviathan to
require such an anchor as this!

From Hoaton we make our way across country to Haverfordwest, and
traversing a district broken up into 'meane hills and dales,' we
approach the town by way of the Portfield, and proceed to 'outspan' at a
certain snug hostelry not a hundred miles from St. Mary's broad steeple.

[Illustration: A RELIC OF THE SPANISH ARMADA.]



CHAPTER VIII.

WESTWARD HO! TO ST. DAVIDS. THE CITY AND ENVIRONS.


'These high wild hills and rough uneven ways, draw out our miles and
make them wearisome.' Thus, league after league, the sorry team drags
the battered old ramshackle coach up interminable ascents, or plunges in
headlong career down rough, breakneck steeps, _en route_ for that Ultima
Thule of our wanderings, the ancient city of St. Davids. Sixteen miles
and seventeen hills (so the story goes) lie between Haverfordwest and
our destination. The route bears in a north-westerly direction, through
monotonous country relieved by occasional glimpses of the strange,
rugged rocks of Trefgarn, or a peep of more distant Precelly.

[Illustration: ROCH CASTLE.]

About half-way out rises the lofty isolated tower of Roch Castle, a
border stronghold dominating the march-lands that for centuries formed
the frontier of this 'Little England beyond Wales.' Built by Adam de
Rupe in the thirteenth century, the tall, picturesque old tower forms a
conspicuous object for miles around, while at its feet a group of
whitewashed cottages cluster around the lowly parish church of St. Mary
de Rupe.

Crossing the bridge that spans the Newgale Brook, we enter the ancient
Welsh province of Dewisland. Presently our venerable quadrupeds are
crawling at a snail's pace down a slanting hillside not quite so steep
as a house-roof, with the village of Lower Solva squeezed into a crevice
beneath our very feet.

The situation of this pretty hamlet recalls the Devonshire combe that
enfolds with such inimitable grace the village of Clovelly. Groups of
bowery cottages cluster around the head of a land-locked haven, which,
small as it is, bears no inconsiderable traffic in coal, lime and
general produce from the Bristol Channel ports, for distribution
throughout the western parts of Pembrokeshire.

The rocky, weed-strewn shores shelving up to low, grassy hills
overarched by the soft blue sky; a stranded coasting vessel, with
weather-stained canvas and rust-eaten anchor, beside a handful of rough
fishermen's cottages, present all that an artist could desire to compose
a charming picture.

[Illustration: SOLVA HARBOUR. FROM AN OLD PRINT.]

From the crest of the hill near Upper Solva a wide view of the sea opens
out, with a brace of rocky islets off the coast; while far ahead the
high lands of Ramsey Isle, Carn Llidi and Pen Beri, raise their graceful
undulations above remote Octopitarum, and the wind-swept sandhills that
mark the site of legendary Menapia.

Coasting along through a rolling treeless country parallel with the
course of the Via Julia (the Roman road from Carmarthen), which
accompanies us henceforth to the end of our journey, we mount the gentle
ascent that leads to the time-honoured 'city,' of which, however,
little is seen until we are 'right there,' as our Transatlantic cousins
say.

Dismounting at the Grove Hotel, we fare forth for our first view of
time-honoured Ty Dewi, the city of St. Davids. Strolling leisurely along
the quiet grass-grown 'street' of the village-city, we pause now and
again to make way for a herd of cattle, or to watch a flock of geese,
stubbing, with sinewy necks outstretched, in a damp and weed-grown
corner. Presently the roadway widens out, and here stands an ancient
stone cross, which, rising from a flight of time-worn steps, marks the
central point of this most diminutive of cities.

Casting about for some clue to the whereabouts of St. Davids Cathedral,
we soon espy a low, dark object that proves upon closer inspection to be
the topmost story of the central tower. With this as guide, we traverse
an old paved lane ycleped the Popples, _Anglicè_ Pebbles, and passing
beneath the tower gate--sole survivor of the four gate towers of the
ancient city--enter the cathedral precincts. This point affords perhaps
the most characteristic _coup d'oeil_ of the venerable edifice, set
amidst that stern and sombre landscape with which its time-worn
architecture so completely harmonizes.

[Illustration: ST. DAVIDS CATHEDRAL.]

Viewed from our present vantage-point St. Davids Cathedral appears
ensconced within the hollow of the vale, its topmost pinnacles scarce
rising clear of the distant horizon. Grouped around the central mass of
the cathedral stand the crumbling ruins of mediæval structures of
scarcely inferior interest. Away to our left, beyond a grove of
wind-swept trees, rise the arcaded walls of Gower's incomparable palace,
while the slender tower of St. Mary's College peeps over the long
cathedral roof.

[Illustration: THE GATE TOWER. ST. DAVIDS.]

The stone wall that encompasses the cathedral close upon its eastern
side terminates in the massive octagonal tower, with Gothic doorway and
windows, seen in the adjoining sketch. This is flanked again by the old
gateway through which we have just entered.

We now descend the broad flight of steps that, from their number, have
been dubbed the 'Thirty-nine Articles.' Passing through the great south
porch our eyes are greeted by a beautiful Decorated doorway, the work of
Bishop Gower, which is adorned with exquisitely-carved figures and
foliage encrusting arch and pillar. Here enclosed amidst intersecting
branches we discern quaintly sculptured representations of the Root of
Jesse, the Crucifixion, St. David with his harp, and various other
saintly personages; yonder the artist tells the history of Adam and the
birth of Eve; while overhead presides the Holy Trinity, flanked by
angels with swinging censers--a veritable gem of mediæval sculpture.

Proceeding onward we now enter the nave, whose rich yet massive
architecture forms a unique and enduring memorial of the first Norman
bishop, Peter de Leia. The general effect is of breadth rather than
height, the solid cylindrical pillars supporting semicircular arches of
unusual width, wrought with the varied and elaborate ornamentation of
the Transitional Norman period.

Above this rises a series of lofty arches enclosing both clerestory and
triforium--a rather unusual arrangement--while a singular appearance is
produced by the upward slope of the floor, and the outward lean of walls
and nave pillars, the latter being the result of an earthquake that
occurred in the thirteenth century.

The roof which spans the broad nave is one of the most notable features
of the cathedral. It was built of gray Irish oak about the end of the
fifteenth century, and is a veritable masterpiece of construction and
design. The sculptured foliage of the capitals is worthy of close
examination, and one of the nave pillars bears a faded fresco, generally
supposed to represent King Henry IV. Beneath an adjacent arch reposes
the effigy of Bishop Morgan--a goodly figure habited in priestly robes
that are admirably rendered by the sculptor's chisel. The base of this
monument is enriched with an unusually fine Resurrection, carved in
marble.

Fronting the full width of the nave, the beautiful Decorated rood screen
of Bishop Gower now claims our attention. This exquisite structure is
perhaps unrivalled in the picturesque variety of its several parts, and
the charming effects of light and shade that enhance the mellow tones of
its ancient stonework. Panelled buttresses divide the screen into five
bays, the middle compartment forming a wide archway adorned with flowers
and vine-leaves. To the left is the older portion, subdivided by Gothic
arches borne by detached pillars, with grotesque heads and figures clad
in thirteenth-century armour. A narrow stair winds up to the ancient
rood-loft above.

Turning to the southern side of the rood-screen, we are confronted by
the rich and sumptuous fabric erected by Bishop Gower, a view of which
forms the Frontispiece of the present volume. Yonder the noble founder
sleeps his last sleep beneath a richly-groined canopy, whose traceried
arches sparkle with cusps and crockets--a dignified, reposeful figure,
worthy the Wykeham of the West, as Gower has been fitly styled. In
memory of his greatest work Gower's tomb once bore the legend, 'Henricus
Gower, Episcopalis Palatio Constructor.'

After gazing our fill upon this beautiful structure, unquestionably the
_chef d'oeuvre_ of the whole cathedral, we pass through the central
archway beneath a vaulted roof, whose stony ribs, disdaining the
customary support, spring clear of the circumjacent masonry. Here
venerable tombs cluster beneath fretted ceilings that retain much of
their ancient coloured fresco work, depicting figures, foliage, and
fantastic forms which in nowise transgress the Scriptural commandment,
for they bear little or no resemblance to any created thing.

We next enter the choir, which occupies the space beneath the central
tower. Upon either hand extends a range of canopied stalls, with seats
devoted to the use of the dean and chapter of the cathedral.

These old miserere seats were so ingeniously balanced that if an unwary
brother chanced to nod over his breviary, he was quickly brought to his
seven senses by the overturning of his treacherous perch.

[Illustration: SEAFARING PILGRIMS.]

The under-sides of these curious benches have been adorned by the
craftsmen of that bygone time with the quaint conceits of their mediæval
fancy. Here, for instance, a vigorously carved panel portrays in
unmistakeable fashion the woebegone plight of two seafaring pilgrims,
whom a pair of jolly monks are ferrying across the troubled waters of
Ramsey Sound.

[Illustration: THE BONE OF CONTENTION.]

Yonder some subtle humorist has been at work, and given us his version
of the priest under the guise of a fox administering the wafer to a
goose of a layman: and it may be noticed that (after the olden custom)
the priest reserves the wine flagon to himself. This forms the subject
of our sketch at end of Chapter VIII. Two wolfish-looking dogs snarling
over a bone may by some be thought to prove the antiquity of the
familiar couplet,

  'Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief,
  Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef.'

[Illustration: THE BOATBUILDERS.]

Then we have a couple of sturdy boat-builders, one of whom, having laid
aside his adze, drains the contents of a capacious cup, while a mighty
beaker stands ready to his hand.

With such-like quaint original devices have those men of old encrusted
the surface of these ancient stalls. So, having done justice to their
curious details, we pass on through a _second_ screen separating the
chancel from the presbytery, an arrangement peculiar, we believe, to St.
Davids Cathedral. This portion of the fabric was rebuilt with pointed
arches after the fall of the central tower in 1220, and contains some
extremely interesting features.

The place of honour in the centre of the presbytery is occupied by the
tomb of Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII., a massive table monument of
Purbeck marble, enriched with shields and heraldic devices, and bearing
the proud inscription: 'Under this Marble Shrine here enclos'd resteth
the Bones of that noble Lord, Edmund Earl of Richmond, Father and
Brother to Kings, the which departed out of this World in the Year of
our Lord God a thousand four hundred fifty and six, the first Day of the
Month of November, on whose Soul almighty Jesus have Mercy, Amen.'

[Illustration: SAINT DAVID'S SHRINE.]

Upon the north side of the presbytery rises the stone structure that
formed the base of St. David's Shrine. It is the work of Bishop Richard
de Carew, and dates from the latter half of the thirteenth century. The
three arches seen in our sketch were once adorned with figures
representing St. David. St. Patrick and St. Denis, while the quatrefoil
openings beneath were provided with small lockers to receive the
offerings of devotees. In the presbytery we also notice a small circular
piscina of very ancient date pierced with concentric rows of holes--a
rare and curious feature.

After examining the handsome effigy of Bishop Anselm Le Gros, nephew of
Earl William of Pembroke, with its laconic couplet--

  'Petra Precor dic sic
  Anselmus Episcopus jacet hic'

two fine recumbent figures of very ancient date arrest our attention,
none other than those famous South Welsh princes, the Lord Rhys ap
Gruffydd and his son, Rhys Grygg.

Higden, in his quaint 'Polychronicon,' breaks forth into unbounded
panegyrics over the great Lord Rhys: 'O blysse of battayle!' he
exclaims, 'Chylde of Chyvalry! defence of Countrie! worshyppe of Armes!
the noble dyadame of fayrnesse of Wales is now fallen, that is, Rees is
dead. The Enemy is heere, for Rees is not heere; now Wales helpeth not
itself; Rees is dead and taken away, but hys noble Name is not dead, for
it is alwayes new in the wide Worlde. His Prowesse passeth hys manners;
hys Wytte passeth hys Prowesse: hys fayre Speech passeth hys Wytte; hys
good Thews passeth hys fayre Speech!'

Not to prolong the subject _ad nauseam_, we will merely indicate as more
particularly worthy of notice the tomb of Silvester Medicus; a recumbent
effigy _reputed_ to be that of Giraldus Cambrensis, of Manorbere; the
massive shrine of St. Caradoc; and two early Celtic crosses in the south
transept, bearing the device

[Illustration]

with the legend PONTIFICIS ABRAHAM FILII.

We next glance into St. Thomas's Chapel, one of the oldest portions of
the fabric, whose massive groined roof is adorned with sculptured bosses
of unusual size. Here is a piscina enclosed within a group of pointed
arches, whose lovely Early English enrichments form one of the daintiest
features of the cathedral.

We now enter the beautiful chapel erected by Edward Vaughan, the last of
the great building prelates of St. Davids. It boasts a handsome
fan-vaulted ceiling, and a peculiar hagioscope fashioned like a cross
within a circle.

[Illustration: SYMBOL OF THE TRINITY ST. DAVID'S.]

Some curious details attract our notice as we wander amongst the
unrestored chapels. In one of these, a trio of sculptured quadrupeds
suggests the idea of the Trinity, while another contains the effigy of a
knight in chain-mail, shorn of half its length by a clumsy buttress--a
legacy from the days of churchwarden misrule.

Outside the Lady Chapel stood St. Mary's Well, which according to
tradition arose at the prayer of St. David to supply the neighbouring
monastery. Giraldus tells us that this accommodating spring would
sometimes flow with wine, at other times with milk, and that it was the
scene of many edifying miracles.

Sauntering around the mellow-tinted walls of the old cathedral, we
notice the huge flying buttresses built against its northern side to
strengthen the fabric. These rugged bastions, clothed in their luxuriant
mantle of ivy, with the crumbling arches of the ruined cloisters hard
by, group in a picturesque fashion beneath the central tower, whose
broad front, bronzed by the rays of the declining sun, forms a
rallying-point for a host of homing jackdaws.

A bowshot westward of the cathedral stand the beautiful ruins of the
Bishop's Palace, rising from amidst the rich meadows beside the Allan
River. Our route thither lies over the stony way called the Popples, the
ancient approach to St. David's Shrine, and traverses the low-arched
bridge that superseded the Llechllafar, or Speaking Stone, which in
olden times spanned the stream at this point.

Many a curious legend clung around this venerable stone, which Giraldus
tells us was even in his time worn hollow by the feet of wayfarers.
Tradition avers that Llechllafar was wont to cry out in remonstrance if
a corpse was carried across it; and Merlin is said to have foretold that
an English king, returning from the conquest of Ireland, was to meet his
death upon this spot. So when Henry II. chanced this way, a disappointed
suppliant endeavoured to foist this sinister prediction upon him; but
the King, having made a suitable oration to the stone, passed over it
unharmed to make his orisons before the Shrine of St. David.

[Illustration: BISHOP GOWER'S PALACE ST. DAVIDS.]

Turning from the scene of these miraculous events, we pass a group of
lowly cottages and enter the ruined gateway of the palace. Across a
stretch of greensward, close-cropped by flocks of sheep, rise the ruined
walls of Bishop Gower's lordly dwelling; the open-arched parapets
casting a dappled shade athwart the grass-grown courtyard.

Built in the Decorated style that prevailed throughout the fourteenth
century, this interesting structure extends around a quadrangle, of
which two sides remain in fair preservation, the others being either
much in ruins, or entirely razed to the ground. Everything here speaks
of peace and bygone hospitality. A wide ogee archway adorned with
sculptured niches gives access to the banqueting-hall, an apartment of
noble proportions adorned with an exquisite rose window still in good
preservation. Near at hand rises the chapel, with its picturesque
bell-turret and pointed windows; while over all runs a pretty open
arcade, borne upon huge corbels embellished with grotesque heads and
strange fantastic monsters. A pleasant variety has been obtained by
arranging the stonework above the arches in a kind of diaper pattern, as
may be seen in the accompanying sketch taken from the meadows, whence
the rose window forms a very charming feature. With the lapse of time
these venerable ruins have mellowed into all sorts of harmonious hues,
where golden lichens, valerian and climbing plants innumerable, have run
riot over the rough purple sandstone.

[Illustration: THE PALACE ST. DAVID'S FROM THE MEADOWS.]

From the ford across the little stream beneath the palace walls, a
charming view is obtained of the ancient bridge and its rough, ivy-clad
abutments, backed by the massive front of the cathedral and the
picturesque tower and arches of St. Mary's College.

Built by Bishop Adam Houghton towards the close of the fourteenth
century, the college chapel, with its vast Perpendicular windows, must
in former times have presented an imposing appearance. Here the founder
lay at rest under a sumptuous canopy, of which, however, not a vestige
now remains. Beneath the chapel is a low groined crypt, but the various
collegiate offices which lay to the north have long since been swept
away; while the crumbling arcades of the cloisters serve nowadays to
shelter the benches of the masons employed in repairing the cathedral.

St. Non's Chapel, the reputed birthplace of St. David, stands in an open
meadow overlooking the sea, about a mile outside the city. It is a mere
tumbled mass of rude cyclopean masonry, and has no features worthy of
note save a simple cross enclosed within a circle, engraved upon an
upright slab of stone. An ancient well dedicated to St. Non, the mother
of St. David, occupies a corner of the same field.

Some quaint traditions hang around the old chapel called Capel Stinian,
whose scanty ruins overlook Ramsey Sound. St. Justinian, the patron
saint, was treacherously slain by his own followers on Ramsey Island,
whereupon the holy man arose, walked across the straits, and was buried
where his chapel now stands. The assassins, having been smitten with
leprosy, were banished to Gwahan Garreg, the Lepers' Rock. The story
runs that the Puritans stole away the chapel bells, which were famed for
their musical sound; but a great storm arising, the vessel in which they
endeavoured to escape with their booty was overwhelmed, and the bells
cast into the sea. So on stormy nights when the deep, strong tide is
troubling the waters, the dwellers near Ramsey Sound still hear the
chimes of those long-lost bells, above all the strife of the elements.

Across the straits rises the broad bulk of Ramsey Island: smooth and
tame enough on this side, but presenting to the western ocean a grim
array of tall inaccessible cliffs and gloomy caverns, the haunt of seals
and sea-fowl innumerable. Farther out to sea lies the group of rocky
islets known as the Bishop and his Clerks, 'who,' as George Owen has it,
'are not withoute some small Quiristers who shewe not themselves but at
Spring Tydes and calme seas. The Bishop and these his Clerkes preache
deadlie doctrine to their winter audience, such poore seafaring men as
are forcyd thether by Tempest; onelie in one thinge are they to be
commended; they keep residence better than the canons of that see are
wont to doo.'

Setting our course for the sea-girt promontory of St. Davids Head, we
direct our steps towards the curious-looking hill called Carn Llidi. The
bold peak of this monticle rises straight before us as we trudge across
the sandy burrows, which, in the course of ages, have invaded the site
of Roman Menapia, the elder sister of St. Davids.

Thenceforward ensues an exhilarating stretch across the open
boulder-strewn headland. Overhead the sun shines bright and warm, light
fleecy clouds drift landward under a bracing sea-breeze, casting their
purple shadows athwart the azure plain of ocean, which breaks in white
foam upon the 'grisly, fiendy Rockys blake' that fringe the broad sweep
of Whitesand Bay.

We now push on to the outermost crags of the headland. Stretching
seawards like a long, crooked finger, this remote peninsula forms the
most westerly landfall of Pembrokeshire, and the southernmost horn of
that great Welsh gulf known as Cardigan Bay. Making our way over rough,
rocky ground, we pass a huge half-fallen cromlech; and, as the headland
narrows, a crumbling rampart flanked by a half-obliterated fosse appears
to bar all further progress. This ancient structure, called Clawdd y
Millwyr, or the Warriors' Dyke, is constructed of smallish granite
stones, compacted with soil and turf; it runs in a slightly-curved line,
which is convex upon the landward face, from sea to sea across the
narrow peninsula.

Just within the shelter of the bank, upon a stretch of comparatively
level greensward, lies one of those _cityau_, or groups of hut-circles,
occasionally to be met with throughout Wales. Six at least of these
primitive dwellings are here discernible, all within a few feet of one
another, and each of considerable size; many of the stones have sharp,
square edges, and some appear to have been rudely shaped to the
requisite curve of the circle.

Tradition itself is dumb regarding the origin of these mysterious
structures; but there can be little doubt they were erected at a very
remote period.

Once again under way, we shape our course for the rocky peak of Carn
Llidi. Although barely 600 feet in height, this isolated monticle is in
its upper parts abrupt and precipitous. At first our path leads away up
the ferny slope to a sort of saddle-backed ridge, over whose bare jagged
ledges we clamber onwards until a short, sharp pull up a kind of stony
_couloir_ lands us upon the topmost crag.

Here we seem to have mounted (like Jack on his Beanstalk) into a new and
undiscovered world, for this isolated perch affords a bird's-eye view
over land and sea that rolls away to the distant horizon. Far beyond the
broad expanse of Cardigan Bay the highlands of Snowdonia loom faint but
clear; a wrinkled, treeless country, chequered by countless fields and
dotted with white farmhouses, trends away league upon league to the
foot-hills of Precelly, and the smoke-begirt heights of Glamorgan. Roch
Castle, upon its lonely hillock, looks out across a silver stretch of
St. Bride's Bay to the islands of Ramsey and Skomer. The village-city is
hidden by an intervening rise, but its situation is marked by the
conspicuous windmill; and westwards St. Davids Head thrusts out like a
crooked finger into the open sunlit ocean.

[Illustration: OLD COTTAGE NEAR ST DAVIDS.]

Descending the hill, we work our way along winding sandy lanes, and
return to St. Davids by the coast road coming from Fishguard. At an
out-of-the-way place called Gwryd-Bach we stumble across a curious old
farmstead, and being invited to enter, we proceed to make ourselves at
home in a large low chamber, half living-room, half kitchen. At one end
of this picturesque apartment is a low-browed, vaulted recess, pierced
with a deep-set window, while upon the rough flagged floor beneath
stands a mighty oak table of extremely primitive build. The ample
dresser beside the wall displays such an array of curious old painted
plates, and mugs of antiquated pattern, as might make a connoisseur's
fingers itch. One retired corner is partitioned off as a kind of homely
parlour; on another side a rough open stairway gives access to the
garret, while old guns, lanthorns, baskets and such-like articles of a
rustic _ménage_, garnish every available corner of walls and open-rafted
ceiling.

We return to St. Davids by way of Dowrog Common, the 'Pilgrims' land' of
earlier days, with its huge upright _maenhir_, called St. David's Stone.
Before turning in for the night we overhaul Ordnance maps and
guide-book, in view of an early start upon the morrow in search of
'fresh woods and pastures new.'

[Illustration: THE PRIEST & THE LAYMAN.]



CHAPTER IX.

TO FISHGUARD, NEWPORT, GOODWIC AND PENCAER.


Full five tedious leagues of monotonous cross-country road lie before us
to-day, as we leave St. Davids city northward bound for Fishguard. A
sturdy pedestrian may strike out a more interesting route by following
the coast road--the ancient Fordd Fleming--and diverging at convenient
points to explore the grand cliff scenery below Pen-beri, and the
microscopic havens of Trevine and Abercastell. At Longhouse, close to
the latter place, stands a remarkably fine cromlech, inferior only to
its more famous rival at Pentre Evan, near Newport.

[Illustration]

About half-way along the main road we cross a country lane that follows
the course of the old Fleming's Way; and half a mile farther on our
attention is called to an object not unlike a milestone, upon which is
rudely traced a cross within a circle: the irregular disc being about a
foot in diameter. This is known as Mesur-y-Dorth--the Measure of the
Loaf--from a tradition that St. David caused these figures to be made in
order to regulate the size of the loaf of bread in times of scarcity.

Presently we approach the village of Jordanston; and here it behoves the
belated traveller to 'keep his weather eye open,' for if tales be true,
the ghost of a headless horseman that haunts this locality may be
expected to put in an appearance.

A couple of miles or so to the northward rises the parish church of
Mathry, conspicuous upon its high hill-top. This church of the Holy
Martyrs once had a lofty steeple, that served as a useful guide to
mariners until blown down one stormy night, many a year ago. Mathry was
a place of some local importance in olden times, receiving a patent for
a market and fair from Edward III., while the greater tithes of this
extensive parish sufficed to endow the 'golden prebend' of St. Davids
Cathedral.

As we near our destination, the rugged hills of Pencaer rise
picturesquely beyond the sands of Goodwic, while Dinas head rears its
bold front above Cardigan Bay, with the delicate outline of the
Carnarvonshire mountains serrating the distant horizon.

The town of Fishguard hangs, as it were, upon the slope of a precipitous
hill overlooking the vale of the Gwaen, which here, as George Owen puts
it, 'falleth into the sea, making a faire Haven and goode Harborow for
shipps and Barks.' Its waterside suburb of Abergwaen, approached by one
of the steepest bits of coach road in the Principality, is mainly
frequented by fisher-folk and seafaring men engaged in the coasting
trade.

Encompassed by sheltering uplands, the narrow vale of the Gwaen has a
singularly mild and equable climate, which fosters a wealth of luxuriant
vegetation. In the course of a stroll through the beautiful grounds of
Glyn-y-Mel, we notice the eucalyptus and bamboo evidently making
themselves quite at home in this sunny nook, while heliotrope and
dracæna, camellia and laurestinus flourish out-of-doors the winter
through.

Usually the most easy-going of Sleepy Hollows, Fishguard town awoke one
fine morning towards the close of the last century to find itself become
suddenly famous. On February 21, 1797, three French frigates were
sighted off the Pembrokeshire coast bearing up towards Fishguard Bay,
where they presently came to anchor near Carreg Gwastad Point.

During the ensuing night the enemy came ashore to the number of about
1,500 men, regular troops and gaol-birds, under the leadership of one
Tate, a renegade Irish-American. Tate, with the chief of his
satellites, established himself at the neighbouring farmhouse of
Trehowel, while the main body of the 'invaders' encamped atop of an
isolated hill overlooking the village of Llanwnda. Thence the Frenchmen
dispersed about the countryside, scaring the inhabitants out of their
wits, and rummaging the farmhouses in search of potheen and plunder.

[Illustration: CLOCK AT BRESTGARN.]

In one of these exploits a drunken fellow entered a cottage at
Brestgarn, where a 'grandfather' clock happened to be standing in a
corner. Dismayed by the sounds issuing from the mysterious object, the
simpleton fired his gun at a venture, concluding the devil must be
lurking within. This clock is still to be seen at Brestgarn, with the
bullet-hole through the panel as may be noticed in our sketch.

Meanwhile the authorities bestirred themselves. Under the command of
Lord Cawdor, the Fishguard Fencibles and Castle Martin Yeomanry marched
out to Goodwic Sands, where the enemy, finding the game was up, laid
down their arms and surrendered _à discrétion_. Thus these doughty
regiments achieved the unique distinction of facing a foreign foe on the
soil of Britain itself. It is said that the goodwives of Pembrokeshire,
arrayed in their red woollen 'whittles,' countermarched and deployed
around a neighbouring hill, thus leading the invaders to suppose that a
regiment of gallant redcoats was preparing to oppose their advance.

The French prisoners were subsequently lodged in durance vile at a place
near Pembroke, whence some of them effected their escape in Lord
Cawdor's yacht, with the connivance of two Pembroke lasses--the old
story of _cherchez la femme_ once more. One of the French vessels having
been afterwards captured was re-christened the _Fisguard_, a name that
has only recently disappeared from the files of the Navy List.
Incredible as it may seem in these days, the news of this famous event
took a whole week to travel to the Metropolis, and it is said that the
anniversary of the French landing is still held in remembrance amongst
the old folk in the locality.

It is a pleasant stroll from Fishguard to the scene of these historic
events. Our way lies past the church, where, in a corner of the
graveyard, we notice a curiously-incised stone cross. The lane now winds
downhill, and we soon find ourselves pacing the smooth firm expanse of
Goodwic Sands, with the hamlet of that ilk clinging to a wooded hillside
before us.

Goodwic is picturesquely situated, overlooking a tiny haven and pier in
an elbow of the rock close under the hill. Its genial climate and safe
bathing shore make the place deservedly popular, and cause the handful
of lodging-houses to fill up rapidly during 'the season.'

Pushing on again, we now enter the district of Pencaer, and, guided by
the trusty Ordnance sheet, thread our way through narrow crooked lanes,
rounding the base of Carn Wnda, where the Frenchmen pitched their camp,
and passing on to the little out-of-the-way village of Llanwnda.

[Illustration: Llanwnda Church.]

The church stands in an isolated position overlooking a piece of rough
ground that does duty as village 'green,' a place scattered over with
gray tumbled stones that seem to group themselves into the lines of rude
hut-circles. Two or three low thatched cottages, that might pass for
Irish cabins, appear to have been 'dumped' down haphazard, and look old
enough to have seen Giraldus Cambrensis when he held the benefice here.

Built in a strong, simple manner well-suited to its exposed situation,
Llanwnda Church has some characteristic features. Above the western
gable rises a low double bell-cot, while a similar but smaller erection
for the sanctus bell divides nave from chancel roof. As we enter the
low-browed porch, we espy a cross of archaic type carved upon a stone
slab in the outer wall; and two similar crosses are to be seen upon the
exterior of the chancel gable.

The nave retains its dark, oaken timbered roof, having a rudely carved
head upon the eastern side of one of its ancient beams. The openings to
the rood-loft are now blocked up, but at the time of the French
incursion these apertures afforded a hiding-place to a servant-maid and
child, who peeped out in trepidation whilst a gang of ruffians played
havoc in the sacred edifice, setting fire to everything inflammable they
could lay hands upon.

[Illustration: THE CHALICE AT LLANWNDA.]

After some little persuasion Mary Reece, the sprightly nonagenarian
caretaker, is prevailed upon to produce the communion chalice for our
inspection. This little vessel has a history of its own, having been
stolen by a Frenchman, who endeavoured to dispose of it at Carmarthen,
trying to pass off the word Llanwnda engraved upon the cup as La Vendée,
a name of France. The chalice, which is much cracked and dented from the
rough handling it has undergone, bears upon the exterior the
inscription: POCULUM ECLESIE DE LLANWNDA.

Pushing on across country, we win our way after half an hour's rough
scrambling to Carreg Gwastad Point, a low, rocky, furze-clad headland
sloping down to a secluded creek, where the would-be French invaders
effected a landing.

A more out-of-the-way spot, or one more suited to embark on such an
enterprise, they could not well have chosen. The wild and
little-frequented coast-line of Pencaer stretches away on either hand
with scarce a vestige of a landing-place; while the scattered
peasant-folk, dwelling in isolated cottages and lone farmhouses, could
offer but an ineffectual resistance to the enemy.

We now extend our route to Trehowel, a large, rambling old farmstead
shaded by trees, where the French commander took up his unwelcome
billet. Thence we strike up the slope of Garn-vawr to the huge British
camp that crowns the summit, a wide prospect over land and sea rewarding
our exertions. Following the crest of the ridge, we enjoy a breezy tramp
across country, sundry fallen cromlechs and such-like relics lending an
old-world interest to the locality.

Anent the country of Pencaer there is a venerable tradition which runs
somewhat to the following effect: 'Once upon a time' there was a town in
Pencaer called Trêf Cwlhwc, or Cwlhwc's Town. This Cwlhwc appears to
have been a sort of Celtic Hercules, who roamed about his native country
in search of adventures. When grown to man's estate, Cwlhwc began to
entertain ideas of marrying and settling down; whereupon he was informed
by an oracle that no maid save the fair Olwen might become his wife.
Nothing daunted, the giant set forth in quest of his future bride, and
after searching for a year and a day found the beautiful Olwen seated
alone in her bower.

'She was arrayed,' says the old Welsh Mabinogion, 'in a vesture of
flame-coloured silk, a wreath of ruddy gold was about the damsel's neck,
set with pearl and coral. More yellow was her head than the blossoms of
the broom; her skin was whiter than the foam of the wave; her fingers
fairer than the opening buds of the water-lily, amid the small ripplings
of the fountain of the waters. No brighter eyes than hers were seen;
whiter was her bosom than the breast of the swan, more red her cheeks
than the rose of the mountain. Whoever saw her was filled with love,
and in her every footstep four white trefoils sprang wherever she trod,
and therefore she was named Olwen.'

The Royal Oak inn at Fishguard (see head of present chapter) formed the
British headquarters in the affair of '97. Trundling out of the town by
the Newport coach, we skirt the slopes of Carn Enoch, across whose
western flank extend the lines of prehistoric _maenhirs_ known as Parc y
Marw, the Field of the Dead. Away to our left rises the big bluff
headland that shelters the village of Dinas, whose pretty cottages peep
out from amidst bowery orchards upon a little secluded cove. A new
church has supplanted the old one, of which the western wall alone
remains, all else having been swept away by inroads of the sea.

Our route now leads around the rocky shores of Newport Bay, the rough
country lane affording some refreshing glimpses of narrow inlets, with
woodlands feathering down to the water's edge. As we advance, the dark
brow of Carn Englyn swings into view, with the houses of Newport
clustering about its lower slopes. Arrived at that pleasant country town
we beat up quarters for the night, intending to make it our head centre
while exploring that portion of the shire stretching from the foot-hills
of Precelly to the shores of Cardigan Bay.

[Illustration: A DERELICT.]



CHAPTER X.

NEWPORT, NEVERN, AND TEIVYSIDE.


We now enter upon that portion of Pembrokeshire distinguished from
earliest times by the name of Kemaes, a district that was constituted a
Lordship Marcher by the Norman invaders of Wales.

The first conqueror established himself in a strong castle at Newport,
which formed the _Caput Baroniæ_, or chief place of the district. Here
the Lord Marcher of Kemaes held his court in almost regal state,
exercising practically unlimited control over the lives and property of
his newly-conquered vassals. After the manner of the times, the Lord of
Kemaes was empowered to deal summarily with felons, for whom a gaol was
provided within the castle precincts, where a gibbet stood on a mound
called by the natives Cnwc y Crogwydd, or Gallows Tump.

Amongst the privileges peculiar to this lordship was the patronage of
the British Bards, and the disposal of a much-prized silver harp, which
was treasured in the ancient abbey of St. Dogmaels, near Cardigan.

Standing upon a gentle declivity overlooking the town and bay, Newport
Castle owes its origin to William, son of Martin de Turribus, the
conqueror of Kemaes. The date of its erection appears to have been about
the close of the eleventh century, but the castle was probably altered
or enlarged by subsequent rulers.

In Queen Elizabeth's time that curious antiquary George Owen paid a
visit to Newport Castle, in which he noticed 'faire and lardg Roomes';
moreover, he tells us the place 'was moatid with a clear Springe of
swete running Water, out of whiche, after it had pleasured the Eye in
that capacitie, by a sluice it was let foorth to drive the myll, called
the Castle myll, adjoininge the sayd moate.'

Of this lordly structure the entrance archway, flanked by two noble
crenellated towers, are the best preserved features; but extensive ruins
of walls and circular bastions, encompassed by the half-obliterated
moat, may still be traced upon its western side.

Nestling beneath the castle, on the outskirts of the town, stands the
handsome parish church of St. Byrnach. The original edifice is said to
have been erected by the builder of Newport Castle, but the present
Decorated structure has superseded a building of later date that was the
very epitome of ugliness. Within the church stands a very early font,
probably the original one of Norman times. Of the finely wrought and
gilded rood-screen it is said once to have possessed, not a vestige has
been preserved.

St. Byrnach, the patron saint of Newport Church, was an Irishman by
birth, and a contemporary of St. David. He appears to have been held in
high esteem throughout all this district, where many of the parish
churches are dedicated to his name. This holy man is supposed to have
led the life of a hermit, dividing his time between Buarth Byrnach, or
Byrnach's Fold, on the singular mountain called Carnedd Meibion Owen,
and the rocky recesses of Carn Englyn, the Angel's Peak, above Newport
town, a hill that derives its name from a tradition that St. Byrnach was
nourished by angels during his lonely sojourn there.

But _revenons à nos moutons_. Newport was anciently a borough town,
having obtained its charter of incorporation as early as A.D. 1215. The
town also received the grant of a market from Sir Nicholas FitzMartin,
Lord of Kemaes, in the year 1278. This ancient document is still extant.
Henceforth Newport continued to grow and prosper, and in the sixteenth
century carried on extensive woollen manufactures. Upon the outbreak of
the 'sweating sickness,' the place suffered severely; its market was
discontinued, and many of the inhabitants fled to the more salubrious
air of Fishguard.

Though its privileges have been much curtailed in modern times, the town
has still _nominally_ a municipal body, though the latter has neither
revenues to dispose of, nor functions to perform. Of recent years,
however, Newport has shown signs of re-awakening prosperity: and when
the long-talked-of railway line becomes a _fait accompli_, this pleasant
little market town will doubtless enter upon a new lease of life and
activity.

At Parrog, where the Nevern stream embouches upon Newport Bay, we find a
watering-place in its infancy. Parrog is an attractive spot in a quiet
sort of way, and draws a fair sprinkling of holiday-makers from up the
country during the long days of summer. A few comfortable if
unpretentious lodging-houses offer decent accommodation, and cater in a
manner that leaves little to be desired where criticism is disarmed by
lusty appetites, bred of long hours spent in the brine-laden air. The
neighbourhood, too, is pleasantly diversified, and contains many
secluded nooks affording charming rural rambles.

But to return to Newport. At the farther end of the town, after passing
the Llwyngwair Arms, we turn down a lane in the direction of the river,
and in a couple of hundred paces descry a cromlech standing amidst an
adjacent meadow. Though smaller than many others in the county, this
cromlech is in a good state of preservation, and, as may be seen in the
sketch at the end of the chapter, possesses an uncommonly massive
capstone.

Retracing our steps to the highroad, we then jog pleasantly along
beneath the welcome shade of an avenue of trees. Just beyond Pont
Clydach, we enter the grounds of Llwyngwair by a meadow path that winds
amidst delightful groves, where oak, beech, and ash shelter a wealth of
tangled undergrowth.

Crossing a couple of fat grazing meadows, decked with hemlock and
fragrant meadowsweet, we find ourselves on the brink of the Nevern
Brook, a genuine Welsh streamlet that rushes briskly onward in deep
brown pools and broken, shingly reaches--

  'With here and there a lusty trout.
  And here and there a grayling.'

This Nevern stream rises far away on the slopes of Fryn-y-Fawr, whence,
after pursuing a picturesque course below Pencelly forest, it finds its
way by many a 'crankling nook' to Nevern, where it is spanned by a
graceful old stone bridge, whose buttresses are shrouded in luxuriant
ivy.

Over this same bridge we presently take our way, passing the lowly
village school-house, whence the sing-song iteration of young voices
salutes our ears through wide-open windows. In another minute we find
ourselves at the churchyard wicket, where we pause awhile to look about
us and take our bearings.

The village of Nevern is situated in the richly-wooded glen of the Dûad,
or Nevern Brook, and is surrounded by some of the most charming scenery
in the county. The luxuriant groves of Llwyngwair afford shelter from
the strong sea winds, while the purple shoulders of Precelly sweep
upward in graceful folds to the lofty southern horizon. The picturesque
peak of Carn Englyn forms a prominent feature in the landscape; and,
separated from it by the deep, narrow vale of the Clydach, rises Carnedd
Meibion Owen, a rocky monticle that reminds one strongly of the Dartmoor
Tors.

Time was, 'tis said, when this village of Nevern took precedence of its
rival neighbour Newport. In those early days Nevern was a borough town,
having its own portreeve with courts of government, and eighteen
'burgages' to manage its affairs. Above the townlet rose the protecting
walls of Llanhyvor Castle, a fortalice long regarded, so to speak, as a
precious gem in the diadem of every South Wallian prince. A steep grassy
knoll alone marks the site where this important castle stood.

But it is time to look at Nevern Church. Dedicated to St. Byrnach, this
ancient structure presents, with its gray walls peeping amidst masses of
dark foliage, a picturesque and venerable appearance. The western tower,
though of no great height, is of vast breadth and substance, extending
to the full width of the church, and having a projecting stair-turret
upon its northern side. In this tower hangs a peal of six very musical
bells.

[Illustration: TREWERN CHAPEL & BYRNACHS CROSS. NEVERN.]

Approaching the south porch, we pass beneath a dense avenue of ancient
yews, which even at noontide cast a gloomy shade around. Though lacking
aisles, the church has shallow transepts, that on the north being called
the Glasdwr Chapel, while the south transept is appropriated to the use
of Trewern, an old mansion in the vicinity. This Trewern Chapel has a
solidly groined stone ceiling and elegantly proportioned windows, with a
projecting turret for the stairway, leading to an upper chamber, as
depicted in the adjoining sketch.

Upon either side the chancel is a sort of shallow bay, lighted by a
narrow pointed window, a characteristic feature of Pembrokeshire
churches. The sacred edifice is provided with a pair of silver chalices
dated respectively 1696 and 1733, the gifts of former parishioners.

Near the south-east angle of the Trewern Chapel rises the ancient Celtic
cross that figures conspicuously in our sketch. This curious monument
goes by the name of St. Byrnach's Stone. It stands upwards of 10 feet in
height, and is overlaid with the interlacing ornament peculiar to these
structures. So boldly and deeply are the patterns incised, as to be
little the worse for ten centuries of wind and weather, the hoary
lichens that cling to the rugged surface of the monolith serving but to
enhance its venerable aspect.

Anent this ancient stone, there is a quaint tradition which tells how,
in olden times, the cuckoo was wont to first sound his note in this
locality on the day of the patron saint, April 7.

'I might well here omit,' says George Owen, 'an old report as yet fresh
of this odious bird, that in the old world the parish priest of this
church would not begin Mass until the bird--called the citizen's
ambassador--had first appeared, and began her note on a stone called St.
Byrnach's Stone, being curiously wrought with sundry sort of knots,
standing upright in the churchyard of this parish; and one year staying
very long, and the priest and the people expecting her accustomed coming
(for I account this bird of the feminine gender), came at last, lighting
on the said stone--her accustomed preaching-place--and being scarce able
once to sound the note, presently fell dead.'

It is somewhat reassuring to be told by the same authority that 'this
vulgar tale, although it concerns in some sort church matters, you may
either believe or not without peril of damnation.'

Quitting the pleasant precincts of the church, we pursue a crooked lane
that skirts the green mounds of the 'castell,' and, turning thence past
a solitary thatched cottage, make our way along a hollow tree-shaded
pathway. Keeping a sharp look-out upon every side, we presently espy the
object of our search, the form of a cross, half obliterated by ivy
sprays and tufts of rushy grass, being seen rudely graven upon the high
sandstone bank by the lane side; while a sort of hollow kneeling-place
can be distinguished in the rock at the bottom of the cross.

[Illustration: PILGRIM'S CROSS AT NEVERN.]

For we are now upon the line of an ancient pilgrims' way, whose course
is marked by well-worn tracks in the soft red sandy rock; and this
solitary cross calls up visions of the mediæval wayfarer pausing upon
his journey to St. David's Shrine, to invoke before Croes Byrnach the
benediction of that influential saint. We are at some pains (owing to
the exuberant undergrowth) to obtain a sketch of this interesting
object, for, so far as we are aware, no other cross like this is to be
found throughout the length and breadth of Wales.

In an out-of-the-way locality about two miles north of Nevern stands a
farmhouse called Trellyfan, _anglicè_ Toadstown. The origin of this
singular name is explained by the following story, narrated by no less
an authority than the famous Giraldus Cambrensis.

One day in the course of his travels Giraldus fell in with an
exceedingly tall young man, who, owing to the length of his limbs, was
known as Sitsyllt of the Long Legs. The career of this ill-starred
individual was cut short in a strange and tragic manner, the unhappy
Sitsyllt being worried to death by _toads_, in spite of the fact that
his friends had very considerately hung him up in a sack, to save him
from the molestations of these malignant reptiles!

[Illustration: THE TOAD OF TRELLYFAN.]

As a memento of this incident, the marble effigy of a toad was built
into a chimney-piece at Trellyfan, where it was treasured for many
generations. The toad was afterwards cut away and removed from its place
in the farmhouse, but eventually came into the possession of its present
owner, a resident at Haverfordwest, by whose courtesy we are enabled to
give a sketch of this venerable relic. The toad in question is carved in
a dark-green veined marble, about as large as the palm of a woman's
hand, and is reputed to be the work of an Italian artist.

Retracing our steps to Nevern, we call a halt at the Trewern Arms, a
modest hostelry so near the stream that its waters play a pleasant
accompaniment during the course of our homely meal. Then, with energies
recruited, we plunge into a shadowy woodland path that leads to
Pont-y-Baldwyn, a bridge that spans the rippling stream at a point
where, according to tradition, Archbishop Baldwyn preached the crusade
in company with Giraldus Cambrensis. From Pont-y-Baldwyn we follow a
farm road that leads us to Hênllys, a place memorable in Pembrokeshire
annals as the birthplace of that industrious chronicler and local
antiquary, George Owen of Hênllys. Of his curious and fascinating work
entitled 'The Description of Penbrokshire,' we have largely availed
ourselves throughout these present pages. George Owen appears to have
come of a stout old country stock. His father is said to have died a
centenarian, after begetting a family of some twenty children. Both
George Owen and his father before him held the ancient and honourable
office of Lord of Kemaes.

Taking leave of this historical spot, we now drop into a hollow bowery
lane that hugs the course of the Dûad Stream, and passes through the
rough intricate country known as Pencelly Forest, where in olden times
the lord of the manor claimed right of pannage for hogs, with the wild
honey and sparhawks found in the forest. Our route now leads near
Court, where Martin de Turribus, the conqueror of Kemaes, had a lordly
dwelling, which, according to George Owen, 'seemeth to have been a house
both of account and strengthe.'

A short half-hour later we find ourselves pacing the single 'street' of
Eglwys-Erw, a picturesque village said to derive its name from the
church having been built upon a plot of land measuring an acre. Fenton,
on the other hand, attributes the origin of the name to a certain St.
Erw, whose chapel, containing the tomb of the patron saint, used to
stand in a corner of the churchyard. In olden times the peasant folk
were averse to being buried in this chapel, owing to the prevalent
superstition that their bodies were liable to be mysteriously ejected at
dead of night, because, forsooth, St. Erw would brook no bedfellow!

Passing on between the neat, whitewashed cottages, we come to Sergeants'
Inn, whose bow-windowed front stands near the upper end of the village.
The somewhat unusual title of this hostelry is derived from the fact
that, in earlier days, it was customary for the gentlemen of the Bar
when 'on circuit' to foregather here; and the building next the inn is
still called the Sessions House. At Sergeants' Inn is to be seen a small
chest-lid, incised with the rather enigmatical legend: I.H.S, PRESTAT
EZZE PROMETHEVS QUAM EPIMETHEUM, 1603.

Eglwys-Erw Church is soon disposed of; for it has been completely
modernized, and bereft of any noteworthy features it may formerly have
contained.

We now approach the confines of the parish of Eglwys-wen, or
Whitechurch; a parish where adders are commonly reputed to be, like
snakes in Iceland, absolutely unknown.

There is a curious tradition anent the yokels of Whitechurch parish.
Says our trusty friend George Owen, 'In ancient times in this parish the
Meanest and simplest Sort of people, yea the plain ploughmen, were
Skillful at chess play; they never being dwelling out of their Parish,
but unlitterate, and brought up at the plough and Harrow altogether.'
One would be curious to learn how it came to pass that these simple
folk, dwelling in this remote Welsh parish, acquired such an
unlooked-for reputation.

But the day is waxing old, and it is still a far cry to our night's
bivouac at Newport. So, putting the best foot foremost, we speed along
the highroad for a couple of miles or so, until, near a huge old
earthwork ycleped Castell Mawr, we diverge to the left, cross a pretty
streamlet, and get a direction from a passer-by to the famous cromlech
at Pentre-Evan.

[Illustration: PENTRE EVAN.]

Standing in an open field, on the northern slope of the strange-looking
hill called Carnedd Meibion Owen, this wonderful structure is
undoubtedly the finest cromlech to be found in the Principality.

The gigantic capstone that forms the roof measures some 16 feet in
length, by half as much across; its longer axis lying, roughly speaking,
north and south. Beneath it stand four upright stones, tall enough to
permit of a horseman passing beneath the cromlech. A closer inspection
shows that two only of these standing stones support the weight of the
capstone; and their upper ends, being shaped like a narrow wedge, appear
pointed when seen from the position whence our sketch was taken.

This noble relic of the prehistoric past has, under the Ancient
Monuments Protection Act, been enclosed within a tall iron fence, which,
if not exactly a pleasing feature in itself, will doubtless preserve the
cromlech from further abuse and injury.

Soft white mists are stealing athwart the vale of Nevern, and clinging
around the skirts of the lower foot-hills, as we wend our way back to
quarters at Newport town. Glancing in the direction whence we have come,
the cloud-wreaths gathered around the shoulders of Precelly glow crimson
under the rays of the declining sun, as he sinks into the pallid sea
away beyond Dinas Head; and by the time we arrive at our _rendezvous_,
Darkness has spread her wings o'er the dusky landscape.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning sees us early under way, and well on the road to
Kilgerran, ere the sun has climbed high enough to make matters
unpleasantly warm for the wayfarer. Beyond Nevern we pass near the
lonely deserted chapel of Bayvil, and, after a long spell of steady
collar-work, get some fine vistas of varied landscape near the old
grass-grown barrows called Crugau Kemaes.

At the crossways farther on we are a matter of 500 feet above the sea,
with Monington village on our left, and the church and ruined castle of
Llantood away to the right. Then, as we near Kilgerran, we notice an old
boundary-stone under the hedgerow, bearing a few half-obliterated lines
anathematizing him who should venture to remove this landmark, the
original purpose of which has probably long since been forgotten.

Passing under a railway arch, we soon descry Kilgerran Church, standing
on the brink of a narrow ravine that opens towards the Teivy. St.
Llawddog, from whom this church inherits its euphonious patronymic,
appears to have been a saint of some local celebrity, for his name crops
up at more than one place in the immediate neighbourhood.

With the exception of its gray old tower, Kilgerran Church has been
entirely rebuilt, and calls for no particular notice. In the graveyard
stands a venerable monolith, much older than the church itself. The
weathered surface of the stone is scored with those Ogham characters,
so fascinating to the antiquarian mind; these hieroglyphics have been
deciphered as follows: TRENGUSSI FILI HIC JACIT. Unfortunately, a large
portion of the _maenhir_ is sunk below the level of the ground, thus
rendering a thorough examination of its surface impracticable.

To eyes fresh from the beauties of Nevern, the long, rambling street of
Kilgerran offers anything but an inviting appearance, being flanked by
meagre unkempt dwellings, with but one or two cottages of more antique
mould in the older portion of the village.

Despite the humble, not to say squalid, aspect of the place, there was a
time when Kilgerran held a position of no small consequence. A borough
town, governed by portreeve, aldermen and burgesses, its 'court-leet'
and 'view of frankpledge' held their annual meetings at Kilgerran; while
many another time-honoured privilege bore witness to a state of things
that has long since passed away.

In those piping times, it was customary for each newly-elected burgess
to prove his fitness for office by draining _at one draught_ a horn of
strong Welsh ale; the Corporation horn used on such occasions holding
fully a pint and a half of liquor!

We now make our way to the castle ruins, which occupy the brow of a
lofty cliff overhanging the deep gorge of the Teivy. The existing
remains of Kilgerran Castle consist of two massive round towers,
separating the outer from the inner bailey, with considerable fragments
of the gate-house.

The entire fabric is plain, and very massively constructed, showing
little or no trace of ornamentation; the few doorways and windows that
remain being arched in a primitive fashion, without the use of the
customary keystone. A rough stone wall encircles the precipitous scarp
next the river, a portion of which fell down suddenly many years ago,
having been undermined by the excavations of the quarry-men.

Kilgerran Castle appears to have been founded at a very remote period,
though the existing structure is probably not older than the beginning
of the thirteenth century. In Powell's 'History of Cambria,' we read
how, Henry I. having granted to Strongbow the lands of Cadwgan ap
Blethyn, the great Earl' builded a faire castel at a place callyd
Dyngeraint, where Roger Montgomerie had begonne a castel before tyme.'
Its subsequent history is unimportant, and Kilgerran Castle has at last
succumbed to the shocks of time and the more devastating hand of man,
who appears to have regarded its ancient walls in the light of a
convenient quarry.

Looking out across the deep vale of Teivy, we can see the mansion of
Coedmore amidst its ensheltering woodlands. It is said that, in olden
times, a fishing-net was stretched athwart the river just below the
mansion, a line being attached to the net and connected to a bell, which
rang in the house to give notice to the inmates when a catch of salmon
had been effected.

The clear, unsullied waters of the Teivy, have ever been a favourite
haunt of the king of fishes. Giraldus Cambrensis asserts that 'The noble
river Teivy abounds, more than any river of Wales, with the finest
Salmons; and it has a productive fishery near Kilgerran.'

[Illustration: A TEIVYSIDE CORACLE.]

That curious craft the ancient British coracle is a familiar object to
all dwellers on Teivyside, where from days immemorial it has been
employed by the fisher folk in the pursuit of their time-honoured
calling.

The coracle, or _corwg_ as it is called in Wales, is somewhat of an oval
shape, but is raised high and flattened at the bows. The framework
consists of split rods forming a sort of basket-work, over which tarred
canvas is stretched, though in olden times cowhide was used for this
purpose; hence the ancient coracle weighed considerably more than the
modern one, and this explains the old Welsh adage, _Llwyth gwr ci Gorwg_
(A man's load is his coracle). The seat is a stout ash-plank, and
through it a loop or sling is twisted by which the owner carries his
coracle upon his back, the wooden rails with which the seat is provided
acting as a basket to carry the fish. The method of carrying the little
craft is shown in the sketch at head of the present chapter.

Notwithstanding its great breadth of beam, it is by no means easy for a
novice to propel the coracle by means of its single paddle; indeed, his
efforts are likely to be brought to an untimely end by a plunge in the
cold, clear depths of the Teivy.

[Illustration: KILGERRAN FERRY.]

After this digression, we will now take a stroll by Teivyside;
descending from the village by a steep pathway beside some humble
cottages and heaps of quarry refuse. As a result of certain ancient
privileges, the townsfolk have gradually converted this portion of the
left bank of the Teivy into a succession of slate quarries, whose ragged
talus of _débris_ encumbers the water's edge; a sorry substitute for the
luxuriant groves that greet the eye wherever Nature has been allowed
fair play.

Pursuing this rough track for about a furlong, we turn to the
right-about, and obtain a fine view of the castle lording it above a
pretty reach of the river; and thence pursue a path that hugs the brink
of the stream. After passing the last and deepest of the slate-mines,
which has been carried far below the river-bed, we enjoy a still more
charming glimpse of the grand old ruins enfolded amongst richly wooded
hills, all mirrored in an unruffled sheet of water at a point where the
ferry-boat lies moored, beside the grassy bank.

[Illustration: KILGERRAN CASTLE FROM THE TEIVY.]

Thenceforward our footpath meanders amidst the magnificent groves of
oak, beech and ash, that adorn the estate of Castle Malgwyn; their
graceful forms reflected in the still, dark reaches of the placid Teivy,
which hereabouts affords some of the finest river scenery to be found in
all wild Wales.

[Illustration: LLECHRHYD BRIDGE.]

Onwards to Llechrhyd Bridge, whose ivy-mantled arches, backed by the
lodge and woodlands of the park, form a 'likely' subject for the
artist's pencil.

[Illustration: CASTLE MALGWYN.]

The village, with its snug waterside inn beloved of anglers, has a very
seductive air about it; but we must not linger here, for these
transpontine lands lie without the bounds of Pembrokeshire, and are
therefore _taboo_ to us. So, striking away in the direction of the
south, we traverse the spacious demesne of Castle Malgwyn, getting a
peep of the mansion set amidst dark, umbrageous woodlands; our approach
causing the startled bunnies to skirmish away helter-skelter into the
bracken coverts as we pass.

The return route to Kilgerran lies through a pleasant vale, with young
oak-coppices upon the one hand, and a marshy reed-grown watercourse upon
the other.

       *       *       *       *       *

Setting forth by a different route upon the morrow's morn, a row
downstream from Kilgerran introduces us to some charmingly diversified
reaches of the swift-flowing Teivy. After passing below the wooded
slopes of Coedmore, our little craft threads the rocky channel as it
twists, now this way, now that, through the broken undulating country,
affording ever some fresh variation of the lovely changing landscape, to
which the castle ruins form an imposing centre.

Presently we emerge upon broad tidal flats, where groups of cattle are
browsing amidst the lush sedgy herbage. Shooting under Cardigan Bridge,
we open out that final reach of the river where, in the words of George
Owen, 'Teivy saluteth St. Dogmells, as it passeth to the sea.'

About a mile distant from the county-town of Cardigan, but on the
Pembrokeshire side of the river, stands the before-mentioned village of
St. Dogmaels. The little place is perched upon a rather steep declivity,
its comely dwellings clambering up the slope, so that, from the top of
the village, one's eye follows the course of the Teivy to the
foam-fringed shores of Cardigan Bay, and the headland called Pen-Kemaes.

Here the cottage gardens are gay with heliotrope, fuchsias and
hydrangea, which brave the winter out in the more sheltered corners;
while the full-rigged flagstaffs that rise amidst the garden plots
bespeak the nautical proclivities of the residents.

This village derives its name from the ancient Welsh monastery of St.
Dogmaels, which stood about a mile away at a place still bearing the
name of Yr Hên Mynachlog (the Old Monastery). Of this venerable
structure, founded by Robert de Turribus, but scanty traces now remain,
in the shape of a few ivy-mantled walls pierced with Gothic arches,
whose crumbling stones retain the ball-flower ornamentation of the
Decorated period. The neighbouring parish church has, alas! been swept
and garnished by iconoclastic hands, which have ruthlessly bereft the
fabric of every feature of interest.

Our investigations completed, we betake ourselves to the Cardigan
terminus, and travel thence over the branch line of the Great Western
Railway as far as Crymmych-Arms Station. Beyond Kilgerran the line
traverses some pretty furze-clad dingles, and, as we approach our
destination, mounts in short, sharp curves towards the high ground that
forms the watershed of northern Pembrokeshire.

From the summit level, some 700 feet above the sea, we command a noble
prospect of the Precelly range, and the more remote hills about Newport
Bay and Fishguard; the effect being heightened by the sunset glow, while
a brilliant rainbow spans the purple clouds that brood over the loftier
crests of the distant mountains.

At Crymmych we avail ourselves of such accommodation as the wayside inn
affords, intending to start away bright and early upon the morrow's
explorations.

[Illustration: CROMLECH AT NEWPORT.]



CHAPTER XI.

A RAMBLE OVER PRECELLY HILLS, TO THE SOURCES OF THE CLEDDAU.


The broad grassy slopes of Fryn-y-Fawr, (or Vrenny Vawr, as they
pronounce it), a big isolated hill to the east of Crymmych-Arms, afford
a pleasant morning's stroll, with a widespreading outlook at the end of
it. The mountain road by which we approach the monticle follows the
course of the ancient trackway called Fordd-Fleming, which we presently
exchange for the open, heathery hillside; going as we please for the
tall green tumulus that marks the summit.

Save towards the west, where the higher Precelly range intercepts the
view, the prospect is wide and unrestricted, comprising nearly the whole
of Pembrokeshire, with its setting of silvery sea, and a vast stretch of
South Wales, including the peninsula of Gower; while the northern
horizon is bounded by the remote Northwallian hills, amongst which, if
the day be clear, the peak of Snowdon may possibly be distinguished.

Descending by the opposite end of the hill, we pass a small homestead,
whose name indicates that the source of the Nevern River is near at
hand.

Somewhere within the flanks of Fryn-y-Fawr, there lies hid (according to
the tradition of the countryside) a leaden casket packed full with
untold gold. The _genius loci_ that guards this mysterious treasure
takes the form of a violent tempest, which bursts, in thunder and
lightning, around the head of the man who is foolhardy enough to seek to
possess himself of the forbidden prize.

Returning to Crymmych-Arms, we settle up accounts with mine hostess--a
simple process in these parts, often arranged without the formality of a
'bill,'--and set forth anew upon our wanderings. The old trackway again
forms our route, leading us past the site of a rude monument called
Croes Mihangel, and thence across the heather-clad shoulders of Foel
Trigarn, the easternmost spur of Precelly, which, as its name implies,
is crowned with three cairns, surrounded by the stony ramparts of an
ancient British stronghold.

[Illustration: THE SKIRTS OF PRECELLY.]

The mountain vale opening out upon our left holds the springs of the
eastern Cleddau, a stream that, after forming for some miles the
county-boundary, passes below picturesque Llawhaden, and flows onwards
amidst the rich woodlands of Slebech and Picton Castle, to merge in the
broad, tidal waters of Milford Haven.

For the next few miles we enjoy a breezy tramp athwart the wild,
uncultivated shoulders of Precelly--'Parcilly the Proud,' to use old
Drayton's phrase. In his own quaint fashion, George Owen thus describes
these famous hills: 'The chiefest and principall mountaine of this shire
is Percellye, which is a long ridge or rancke of mountaines runninge
East and West; beginninge above Penkellyvore, where the first mounte of
highe land thereof is called Moel Eryr, and so passinge Eastward to
Comkerwyn (being the highest parte of yt), runneth East to Moel Trygarn
and to Llanvirnach.'

So far George Owen. Meanwhile we trudge onward across the springy turf,
avoiding here a stretch of dusky bogland feathered with white tufts of
cotton-grass, yonder a huge pile of weather-stained boulders, riven and
tossed asunder by the tempests of ten thousand winters. One of these
rugged cairns is known as King Arthur's Grave; another bears a Welsh
name signifying the 'rocks of the horsemen': indeed, every feature of
the landscape has its story or legend for the imaginative Cymro.

Rounding the head of a lonely glen, a rough but sufficiently easy ascent
lands us beside the cairn that marks the summit of Foel Cwm Cerwyn, the
loftiest peak of Precelly, and the highest ground in all broad
Pembrokeshire. 'This mountaine,' says George Owen, 'is so highe and
farre mountid into the ayre that, when the countrey about is faire and
cleere, the toppe thereof wilbe hidden in a cloude, which of the
inhabitantes is taken a sure signe of raigne to follow shortelie,
whereof grewe this proverbe:

  '"When Percellye weareth a hatte,
  All Penbrokeshire shall weete of that."'

Standing well apart, and removed from the mass of loftier South Welsh
hills, the view from Precelly top is both extensive and interesting.
Near hand, one's gaze wanders across a vast expanse of rather
monotonous, treeless landscape, until the attention is arrested by the
lake-like reaches of Milford Haven, spreading like crooked fingers far
into the heart of the land.

South and west the sea encompasses all, with Gower lying far away upon
the Bristol Channel, and perhaps a faint outline of the cliffs of Devon
verging the remote horizon. The isolated hills overlooking St. Davids
are easily identified, flanked by a broad stretch of St. Bride's Bay,
and its group of guardian islets. Strumble Head thrusts its tempest-torn
crags seawards into Cardigan Bay, whose coast-line trends away league
upon league with infinite gradation to where, softened by the humid,
brine-laden atmosphere,

  'The gray, cloud-cradled mountains spread afar.'

Newport Bay, lying under the lee of Dinas Head, looks as though one
might cast a stone into its calm waters; and upon turning our gaze
inland, the eye loses itself amidst the many-folding hills, as they rise
in soft undulations to the dusky highlands of Glamorganshire.

We now push on along the crest of the moorland, striking once more into
the course of the so-called Flemings' Way. After the manner of most
early roads, this ancient trackway runs athwart the open highlands,
avoiding the hollow places; and although much of it has been obliterated
by the ploughshare, and the gradual advance of cultivation, its course
may still be traced in the less-frequented localities, as it wends its
way up country from the site of old Menapia towards the county-town of
Carmarthen.

An ancient warrant of Sir Nicholas Martin, referring to the use of this
old mountain road by the Flemish colony, observes: 'And well they might
make this unusual waie for their passage, for that, passinge alonge the
toppe of the highest hill, they might the better descrie the pryvie
ambushes of the Countrye people, which might in streightes and woodds
annoy them.'

At a place appropriately called the Pass of the Winds, we fall in with
the main road as it crosses the hills from Haverfordwest to Cardigan.
This we descend for a matter of half a mile, passing across a heathery
upland ycleped the Hill of the Unstrung-Bows, until we come to Tafarn
Bwlch, a humble wayside alehouse some thousand feet or so above
sea-level.

Looking out across a broad brown reach of moorland, the eye detects a
sort of rude stone causeway, curving amidst rush-grass and scattered
peat-hags. This is known as Bedd-yr-Avangc, or the Beaver's Grave; _à
propos_ of which it is worthy of note that Giraldus Cambrensis mentions
the beaver as abounding in his day on Teivyside, while more than one
venerable legend locates this amphibious quadruped in the _llyns_ and
streams throughout wild Wales.

Arrived at Tafarn Bwlch, we call for such cheer as the lowly inn can
supply; but the bill of fare proves somewhat scanty, for, in the words
of the great lexicographer, 'of provisions its negative catalogue is
very copious.' The goodwife, however, rises to the occasion, and regales
us with a repast such as appetites sharpened by lusty mountain air make
short enough work of. Then we burn incense to the drowsy god in a nook
of the chimney-place, where a peat-fire glows untended upon the ample
hearth.

Starting forth again like giants refreshed, we breast the stony ascent
that leads to the pass amidst a sharp squall of wind and rain, which
drags in a darkening veil athwart the lonesome landscape, blotting now
this, now that familiar landmark from the view.

From the head of the pass we descend into the vale of the infant
Syvynvy, rounding the broad green slopes of the Eagles' Hill, the
westernmost buttress of the Precelly range. At the crossways we bear to
the left, with the disused windmill of the slate quarries showing
conspicuously upon a neighbouring hill.

Pushing on towards Maenclochog, we pass near the defunct Rosebush
Station, on the line of the Maenclochog railway, which at present is
undergoing in leisurely fashion a process of reconstruction. Indeed, in
the matter of slowness, the builders of this line may fairly claim to
have 'broken the record,' for 'tis whispered that seventeen years' work
has added little more than four miles to the length of the railway!

Be that as it may, we now make our entry into the village of
Maenclochog, a bleak-looking place enough, where the storm-rent trees
beside the roadway attest the violence of the winter gales that sweep
across these bare, lofty uplands.

Towards the farther end of the village, at a widening of the ways,
stands the parish church, a structure of no great antiquity, dedicated
to St. Mary. The clergyman, who has ministered here for upwards of
thirty years, now courteously introduces us to the well-tended interior,
the most noteworthy feature of which is a plain old font, with a
singular cup-shaped recess upon its eastern face, the purpose of which
we are quite at a loss to conjecture.

St. Mary's Church has no tower, but at the western end rises a low
turret containing a musical peal of bells. It is a remarkable fact,
indeed, that throughout this mountain district church towers are
conspicuous by their absence; whereas, in the English country farther
south, the tall slender bell-tower usually forms one of the most
noticeable features of the parish church.

A marble cross used, we are informed, to adorn the chancel gable; but
this has long since been removed to the limbo of things forgotten.

In olden times, it was customary at Maenclochog to draw the water for
baptism from St. Mary's Well, a natural spring that rises just without
the village. Near to this well are some tumbled stones, that once
supported a large horizontal slab. Tradition tells that this stone, when
struck, gave forth a loud ringing sound, which did not cease until the
water from the holy well had been brought into the church. Hence the
name of Maenclochog, which, being interpreted, signifies the village of
the 'ringing rock.' It is much to be regretted that this curious object
was destroyed many years ago, because, forsooth, the sound thereof was
supposed to frighten passing horses!

At the foot of the village stands a large, rambling inn, backed by the
singularly artificial-looking rocks known as 'the Castle,' whence the
house takes its title. In a country where lodgings of any sort are so
few and far between, the wayfarer may do worse than pitch his camp for a
night in these unassuming quarters.

The way to Llandilo leads us through a hollow dingle, where a brawling
trout-stream rushes along beneath cool, shadowy beech woods: while every
here and there a glimpse of the purple hills adds variety to the scene.

Passing by Temple-Druid, the site of a now destroyed cromlech, we arrive
at Llandilo, where we search in vain for the church: for this
sparsely-peopled parish has been merged into that of Maenclochog, in
consequence of which the sacred edifice has been allowed to fall into
disrepair, and is now represented by a few crumbling walls smothered in
rank, untended ivy.

Crossing the stone stile that gives access to the churchyard, we espy
upon its southern side a slab of greenstone bearing, in rudely-chased
letters, the inscription: COIMAGNI FILI CAVETI. A similar stone near the
east end of the ruined chancel has also its superscription, which reads:
ANDAGELLI IACIT; with a fainter line, possibly FILI CNOI, below; and
over all a cross with tridented terminations.

But the pride of the place is 'St. Teilo's skull,' which is treasured at
the adjacent farmhouse. This curious relic was formerly held in high
esteem as a cure for all manner of sickness, water being drawn from the
saint's well, and drunk out of the skull. The virtue of the draught was
supposed to consist in its being administered by the eldest son of the
house of Melchior, then, as now, the hereditary custodian of St. Teilo's
skull. Onwards to Llangolman, the country is crumpled up into a
succession of hills and narrow, rocky dingles, whereby the numerous
streamlets that enliven this locality find an outlet from the foot-hills
of Precelly. In one of these dingles is St. Teilo's Well, a wayside
spring frequented by that saint in days of yore.

Llangolman Church, perched on its isolated monticle, presents a sorry
spectacle of desecration and decay; its windows battered and broken, its
roof open to the vault of heaven, while the rusty bell hangs cracked and
useless in the dilapidated turret.

As we approach Monachlogddu, the landscape assumes a thoroughly Welsh
appearance. A clear trout-stream, that comes rippling and dancing down
the glen from the dark brown ridge of the moorlands, is here put to turn
the wheel of a little flannel-mill. In response to our request, the
goodman describes in broken English the simple processes of manufacture,
and explains the movements of his archaic machinery. Then, after a
glance at the lowly parish church, dedicated to St. Dogmael, we bid
adieu to the village of the Black Monastery, and take to the road again.

The neighbouring village of Llanvirnach is said to derive its name from
the following circumstance. When the good St. Byrnach was making his
pilgrimage through this portion of the country, he could at first obtain
no better quarters than a cowshed; thus, as the story goes, arose the
name of Llanbeudy, the Church of the Cowhouse. The next day the saint
fared even worse, for, coming to Cilmaenllwyd, he was obliged, for lack
of better accommodation, to repose beneath the gray cromlech that gives
the place its name. The third night, however, St. Byrnach came to a
place where he was accorded a kindly welcome, and provided with a
comfortable night's lodging. Overcome with gratitude for this hospitable
reception, St. Byrnach declared the place should ever after bear his own
name; and hence it is called to this day Llanvirnach, or the Church of
St. Byrnach.

But to return to Maenclochog. Retracing our steps through the village,
we bear away to the left, and presently come to a roadside spring called
St. Byrnach's Well, a resort of that ubiquitous saint.

Our route now leads past Poll-tax Inn, and follows the course of the Via
Julia, that ancient highway by which the Roman legions traversed this
wild, uncivilized territory, from Maridunum, the present town of
Carmarthen, to their remotest settlement at Menapia, on the shores of
Whitesand Bay.

Diverging from the mountain road that marks the route of the Roman
highway, we turn aside into a cross-country lane, pass several cairns
and cromlechs, and presently come to Little Newcastle, a mean, unkempt
village, presenting few attractions for the wayfarer.

At Little Newcastle was born a certain Bartholomew Roberts, who, about a
century ago, made some noise in the world as a successful filibuster. In
company with his fellow-countryman Howel Davies, (as big a rascal as
himself), this notorious freebooter sailed the high seas arrayed in
priceless silks and jewels galore--as pretty a pair of desperadoes as
ever hoisted the skull-and-crossbones flag, or graced the yardarm of a
man-o'-war.

From Little Newcastle we make the best of our way to St. Dogwells, a
mite of a place tucked into an elbow of the stream, and overlooked upon
the north by a rock-strewn eminence called Castell Conyn. Through the
woods of Sealyham we pass on to Letterston; noting a curious piscina in
the church, and an effigy which long passed muster as that of St.
Leotard, its founder.

Beyond the old chapel at Ford, where the Roman highway crossed the
river, the road winds through the heart of the gorge amidst a wealth of
bracken and purple heather; the huge form of Trefgarn Rock towering high
aloft on our right. With the brawling Cleddau, half hidden by
copsewoods, tumbling along through the hollow of the glen, the whole
forms as romantic a bit of scenery as any to be found in the county.

At the adjacent village of Trefgarn, that great Welsh patriot and
freelance, the famous Owen Glyndwr, is said to have first seen the
light; an event that took place about the middle of the fourteenth
century. Certain strange phenomena that were observed at the time of his
birth, were turned to full account by this enterprising adventurer;
hence Shakespeare, in his play of Henry IV.,' puts into the mouth of
Glyndwr the proud words:

                                          'At my birth
  The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes:
  The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
  Were strangely clamorous in the frighted fields:
  These signs have marked me extraordinary,
  And all the courses of my life do show
  I am not in the roll of common men.'

Alighting at Rudbaxton village, we step aside in order to visit the
parish church. Upon the south side of the chancel, a pair of flat
limestone arches open into what is known as the Howard Chapel, the
eastern wall of which supports a large, seventeenth-century monument,
commemorating various members of that honourable family.

[Illustration: THE HOWARD MONUMENT AT RUDBAXTON.]

The male and female figures beneath the arched recesses are represented
as nearly the full size of life, habited in the costume of the period,
and painted in a somewhat crude and barbaric manner. As may be seen in
our sketch, every figure save one bears a human skull in its hand, thus
recording in a suggestive way the decease of that individual. One
effigy alone is _minus_ this grim feature, as it represents the lady in
whose lifetime the monument was erected.

The panel beneath the central group bears the inscription, 'To the
memory of James Howard of this Parish, Esq. who lyeth before this
monument, and departed this life the 29th day of November Ano 1668, Aged
35 years. Also the memory of Joanna, the Wife of James Howard, who
erected this monument for her Deare friends and children, with the
intent to Joyne partner to this Monument, and left this life....'

The figure to the left represents George Howard, who died in 1665; those
upon the right being Thomas and Mary, son and daughter of the central
figures, who died, respectively, in 1682 and 1685. A sundial upon the
outer south wall of the Howard Chapel bears the initials J. H. and the
date 1665.

Descending a hollow lane, we cross a stream and pass near the scanty
ruins of Flether Hill, the ancient abode of the Haywards, whose
tombstones we have seen in the church. Then, leaving the pleasant
grounds of Withybush away upon our left, we presently strike the main
road again at a place called Crowsnest, and thus approach the town of
Haverfordwest by its long, transpontine suburb of Prendergast.

[Illustration: AT HAVERFORDWEST.]



CHAPTER XII.

ON AND OFF THE NARBERTH ROAD. LANGWM AND DAUGLEDDAU.


It is market day in Haverfordwest. The big travel-stained waggons of the
wholesale traders, drawn by sturdy large-limbed horses, trundle slowly
through the crowded streets of the old town; while the distinctive tones
of the 'broad Harfat talk' greet the ear upon every side.

Wending our way down the steep High Street, we bear away to the right at
the bottom of the hill, and traverse one of the oldest quarters of the
town. Presently we descry a low-browed entrance opening upon the
footpath, the massive nail-studded door, with its quaint lion-head
knocker, being enframed by liberally-moulded jambs. Passing beneath this
ancient portal, we are admitted to an interior beautified by the rare
old oaken stairway shown in our sketch; this stairway gives access to
nicely panelled chambers, whose fireplaces retain their original blue
Dutch tiles, painted with scenes from Biblical history.

[Illustration: OLD STAIRCASE AT HAVERFORDWEST.]

To the rear of the dwelling-house stands a flour-mill of antiquated
type; yet driving, withal, a brisk trade in its green old age. A
well-trained old horse, the mainstay of the establishment, jogs round in
the mill and supplies the motive power.

Stepping out to the rear, we find ourselves upon the riverside quay,
along which we now take our way. Groups of bulky stone warehouses flank
the grass-grown wharf, which presently opening out, reveals the Bristol
Trader, a little semi-nautical inn, with its trim bit of garden-ground
abloom with hollyhocks and nasturtiums; an old-time spot frequented by
waterside gossips, and fraught with vague echoes from that wide outer
world where men 'go down to the sea in ships.'

Hence we push on past the ruined priory to the diminutive village of
Haroldstone, where some traces still exist of the ancient mansion that,
for three successive centuries, was the ancestral home of the Perrots,
one of the most notable old families of Pembrokeshire.

[Illustration: UZMASTON.]

_Vis-à-vis_ across the river Cleddau rises the parish church of
Uzmaston; a picturesque assemblage of roofs and gables, clustering
around a quaint old saddle-backed tower. Uzmaston Church has, within the
last few years, been rescued from decay, and conscientiously restored by
Mr. Lingen Barker, architect, of Hereford.

Skirting a bend of the river, we trudge through the woods to Freystrop,
and enter upon a district pitted here and there with old mine-shafts.
Over the water lies Boulston, where hard by the brink of the stream
(perhaps a bowshot east from the desecrated church) rises a jumble of
ivy-clad ruins, backed by a tangled thicket of old forest trees. Here
lived the Wogans, a well-known family in days of yore, who adopted a
wyvern as their crest from the following tradition.

Amidst the broad-woodlands that formerly extended around the ancestral
mansion, wild beasts of various kinds were supposed to roam at large.
In the remotest depths of the forest lurked the dreaded basilisk, a
formidable monster whose glance caused instant death to the ill-starred
wight upon whom its gaze might rest, but which perished itself if first
perceived by a man.

At last a certain bold fellow determined to rid the countryside of this
objectionable beast. Causing himself to be shut up in a cask and rolled
into the forest, he peeped through the bung-hole, and presently spied
the basilisk without himself being seen. Thereupon the dreaded monster,
giving vent to an unearthly yell that could be heard for miles around,
fell down and perished upon the spot, so that the country-folk were no
longer troubled by the molestations of the basilisk. A dragon legend,
very similar to the above, is connected with the village of Mordiford in
Herefordshire.

By-and-by, as we descend from the uplands, a broad reach of the tideway
opens out right before us, where the twin streams of Cleddau merge into
the widening Haven. Thus we enter the village of Langwm at its upper
end, escorted by a rabble of noisy, unkempt urchins who cumber the
narrow roadway.

Here, in the very heart of southern Pembrokeshire, stranded like a human
jetsam upon one of the inmost recesses of Milford Haven, we find an
isolated community, whose speech and physiognomy alike proclaim their
Teutonic origin. Imagination conjures up those far-away times, when the
sturdy immigrants from over seas--ancestors of these hardy
fisher-folk--pushed their advance up the winding waterway, despite the
desperate onslaughts of the Britons, who, fighting for hearth and home,
'rolled on like the billows of a retiring tide with noise, fury, and
devastation, but on each retreat yielded ground to the invaders.'

In their own thoroughgoing fashion, the newcomers set to work to
construct a chain of castles to guard their hard-won territory; and
thus, protected from the restless foe, grew up those peaceful villages
and smiling homesteads, surrounded by orchards, fields, and pasture
lands, that have earned for this portion of the county its title of the
Little England beyond Wales.

But _revenons à nos moutons_, for it is time to look about us.

A curious place is Langwm, and a singular race are the people that dwell
therein. Small 'butt-and-ben' cottages, some thatched, some slated,
others roofed with hideous corrugated iron, compose the major portion of
the village; which straggles down a narrow combe, whose lower reaches
open upon an oozy elbow of the river.

[Illustration: LANGWM FISHWIVES.]

The women, as a rule, are conspicuous by their absence; for they are for
the most part abroad, hawking fish and oysters up and down the country.
Clad in stout pea-jackets and warm blue homespun skirts, worn short for
travelling the rough country roads, these hard-working women seem to
belong to some alien race, as they elbow their way through the crowded
streets of Tenby or Haverfordwest.

The Langwm people have, indeed, always kept very much to themselves,
discouraging alliances with outsiders; nor until recent years would they
even permit their girls to go out as domestic servants. In the old
unregenerate days, courtship and marriage were attended with certain
curious, primitive customs--customs which, to say the least, were 'more
honoured in the breach than the observance.' One way and another, this
singular people forms an interesting little community, which appears to
have preserved intact to the present day much of the manners and customs
of the early Flemish colonists.

Langwm Church is dedicated to St. Hierom. The little edifice stands, as
its name implies, in a hollow combe near Milford Haven. To reach it we
cross a bit of rough unenclosed greensward, littered over with
oyster-shells, upon which, according to the local story, the village
itself is built.

The interior of this church is enriched with some interesting Decorated
features; notably a canopied niche and piscina of unusual type, upon the
eastern wall of the north chapel, or transept.

Under an ogee canopy, in the gable wall of the same chapel, lies the
effigy of a De la Roche (or Dolly Rotch in the vernacular), to whose
family this chapel formerly belonged. The figure is that of a Crusader,
clad in full armour and sword in hand; the face is both handsome and
expressive, and the head reposes upon a plumed helmet. The thong of the
boot, twisted around the leg, bears some resemblance to a serpent; and
hence this monument is pointed out as that of the founder of Roch
Castle, who, as an old story avers, met his death through the bite of a
'loathlie worme.'

Near Langwm the twin Cleddaus merge into the broad bosom of the tideway;
becoming, as old George Owen says, 'both a salt sea of a myle broade and
xvi myles longue before they forsake their native Countrie, ... and then
by Curse of nature yeald themselves to the sea, the endinge of all
Rivers.'

We now cross the ferry, and, after passing through Marteltewi, bear
away in a southerly direction _en route_ for Lawrenny. The latter is a
pleasant-looking village, with comely cottages concentrated around the
parish church of St. Caradoc, whose tall, ivy-mantled tower rises close
at hand, overshadowed by a grove of stately elms where the rooks are
making merry.

To the rear of the church the ground slopes up to a boss of open land,
fringed with a thick growth of copsewood, and almost cut off from the
circumjacent country by two converging 'pills,' or tidal creeks.

[Illustration: LAWRENNY CASTLE.]

Pursuing a field-path that skirts the stream at the base of the
monticle, we stroll through the park-like demesne of Lawrenny Castle, a
handsome modern edifice, whose soaring turrets and battlements make a
brave show amidst the silvan scenery.

[Illustration: BENTON CASTLE.]

Making our way to a handful of cottages beside a neglected quay, we now
select a likely-looking craft, and pull across the Western Cleddau to
the ruins of Benton Castle; whose ivy-clad battlements scarcely overtop
the redundant oak woods, that come feathering down to the very brink of
the stream.

Little remains of the fabric save the principal tower, the base of which
is circular in form, the upper works being corbelled out and fashioned
into an octagon. With the arched gateway, flanked by a portion of a
second drum-tower, these crumbling ruins form a picturesque group, whose
features are almost lost amidst the luxuriant foliage that runs riot
over all.

Benton Castle appears never to have been more than a mere outpost,
planted to guard the passage of the Western Cleddau, and forming a link
in the chain of strongholds to guard this remote English settlement.
History has little to tell about its past, but the castle is reputed to
have been originally built by Bishop Beck. It was at one time surrounded
by an extensive deer park, a portion of the ancient estate of
Williamstown, which, as George Owen tells us, was sequestrated to the
Crown upon the attainder of Sir John Perrot.

After groping about for some time, in vain endeavour to obtain a
satisfactory view, we at last secure a sketch of Benton Castle; and
then, recrossing the water, make the best of our way back again to
Lawrenny.

Inns, good, bad or indifferent, appear to be an 'unknown quantity' in
this highly-respectable village; but an enterprising grocer rises to the
occasion, and plays the _rôle_ of Boniface as one to the manner born.

Upon resuming our peregrinations, we set our course for Landshipping
Ferry; while the gathering clouds, brooding over the darkening
landscape, warn us to make ready against the 'useful trouble of the
rain.' With a sudden swirl the gale descends upon us, sweeping through
the straining tree-tops, and lashing up the waters of the creek into the
semblance of a miniature _Maelström_.

Scudding for shelter to a rustic alehouse, we soon make ourselves at
home in the deep, oaken settle beside the chimney-corner; discussing the
day's adventures over a mug of home-brewed ale, while the fumes of the
'noxious weed' float upwards to the ripening flitches, that hang from
the smoke-begrimed rafters overhead.

Half an hour later finds us once more underway, with the sunshine
blinking out again through the tail of the retreating storm, and the
raindrops glistening like diamonds on every bush and hedgerow:

  'Sweet is sunshine through the rain,
  All the moist leaves laugh amain;
  Birds sing in the wood and lane
  To see the storm go by, O!

  'Overhead the lift grows blue,
  Hill and valley smile anew;
  Rainbows fill each drop of dew,
  And a rainbow spans the sky, O!'

Running us ashore near some cottages, at a picturesque nook of the
Haven, the ferryman now puts us in the way for Picton; which is reached
after a brisk twenty minutes' tramp through the leafy glades of a deep,
sequestered dingle.

[Illustration: PICTON CASTLE.]

It would be difficult to image anything more attractive than the
situation of Picton Castle. Crowning the brow of a gentle declivity, the
stately pile is sheltered from the north and east by groves of forest
trees, and mighty banks of rhododendrons; while upon its southern side a
beautiful expanse of the home-park rolls away, 'in emerald slopes of
sunny sward,' to a broad, land-locked reach of Milford Haven.

In conjunction with the neighbouring estate of Slebech, Picton Park
comprises a vast extent of open, park-like land, the haunt of game and
wild-fowl; while the river front affords miles of woodland strolls, with
a charming variety of ever-changing prospects. What with boating and
fishing galore, not to mention an occasional meet of fox and otter
hounds, he must indeed be a fastidious sportsman who cannot find
recreation in this favoured locality.

Picton Castle can boast a record unmatched in the annals of any other
Southwallian fortalice; for the place has never once been deserted, but
has always been occupied by those who can claim direct descent from the
original founder.

It was in the days of William Rufus (when Arnulph the Norman handed over
the whole of the surrounding district to his trusty follower) that Sir
William de Picton erected the first castle, and gave his own name to his
newly-acquired possession. To his descendant, the good Sir John
Philipps, the town of Haverfordwest is indebted for its fine old
sandstone bridge, which he caused to be built at his own expense, and
presented as a free gift to the borough. John Wesley and Sir Isaac
Newton were numbered amongst his friends; and a monument, erected to his
memory by the grateful townsfolk, is to be seen in St. Mary's Church,
Haverfordwest.

General Picton, of Peninsular War renown, was a famous scion of the same
good stock. It is said that, owing to his influence abroad, large
quantities of the best wine of Oporto found their way into many a
Pembrokeshire cellar, where such a vintage had hitherto been a luxury
unknown.

During the Civil Wars, Picton Castle was garrisoned and held for King
Charles by Sir Richard Philipps, second baronet; but was eventually
surrendered (as the story goes) under the following circumstances.

One day during the course of the siege, a servant-maid was standing at
an open casement in the eastern bastion with Sir Erasmus, the infant
heir, upon her arm; when a Parliamentary trooper rode up with a flag of
truce, and presented a letter at the window. No sooner had the maid
reached forward to take the missive, than, raising himself in the
saddle, the soldier snatched the child from the nurse's arms, drew his
sword, and threatened to slay the hope of Picton upon the spot, unless
the castle were instantly surrendered.

Though much altered and extended in comparatively modern times, Picton
Castle still presents an imposing and dignified appearance; especially
when viewed from the south-east side, whence our sketch is taken.

The entrance front (which is by far the oldest portion of the
structure) retains the deeply-recessed portal, the rounded arches,
quaint, archaic corbel-heads and narrow windows, that mark the enduring
handiwork of the original Norman builders. Above the massive entrance
porch rise the deep-set windows of the chapel; the handsome painted
glass with which they are adorned, forming an appropriate memorial to a
member of the family of Sir Charles and Lady Philipps, whose tragic
death, in 1893, aroused the deep sympathy of the entire county.

Rounded bastions project at intervals from the main structure, which is
of an oblong form, with a lofty wing flanking its western end. The moat,
having no purpose to serve in these piping times of peace, has long
since been filled up; and its place is now occupied by pleasant walks
and _parterres_, varied by luxuriant shrubberies.

The interior of the castle contains numerous suites of apartments,
disposed around a handsome and spacious hall, from whose lofty walls
historic family portraits of various styles and periods look down upon
the beholder.

At one end of the hall is a gallery communicating with the private
chapel above mentioned; and several quaint, old-fashioned chambers,
whose solid circular walls are of enormous thickness. The panelled
floors and ceilings of these apartments are worthy of notice, as are
their white marble chimney-pieces, delicately wrought in the Italian
manner. From the recesses of the deep-set windows, we command a lovely
prospect over the rich rolling woodlands of the park, encircled by a
silvery reach of the Cleddau towards Landshipping Ferry.

Passing along the green alleys of the home-wood, we presently emerge
upon a stretch of breezy downland, and forge ahead through whispering
bracken and heather; while the sound of a woodcutter's axe and the
distant bleating of sheep float lazily hitherward upon the calm, clear
air.

Thence we plunge into a shadowy belt of greenwood that fringes the
waterside; nor until we are nearing Slebech do these woodland glades
roll back, and give place to the more open scenery of Baron de Rutzen's
beautiful demesne.

[Illustration: SLEBECH CHURCH.]

The mansion and ruined church of Slebech occupy the site of a Commandery
of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who early in the twelfth
century established a small community here, to collect funds for the
purposes of that ancient fraternity. The creation of this Commandery
appears to have been an event of considerable importance; and we find
such names as Maurice de Prendergast, the invader of Ireland, and
Fitzgerald, the notorious Bishop of St. Davids, enrolled amongst its
earliest benefactors.

Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the old ruined church of the
Knights-Templars stands in a low, sheltered situation, half surrounded
by the waters of the Cleddau; just one of those secluded spots that seem
to have been congenial to the mediæval temperament. The main walls and
arches of the fabric still remain fairly intact, and, like the western
tower, are smothered in masses of rank, untended ivy.

A doorway in the northern face of the tower gives access, beneath a
low-pitched, Gothic archway, to the interior of the church. This archway
is surmounted by a decayed stone escutcheon, charged with certain
armorial bearings which Fenton deciphered as 'arms quarterly, first and
fourth a fesse dauncette, second and third a lion rampant.' A similar
shield, at the apex of an upper window, displays the simple cross of the
Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

The dismantled interior, carpeted with rank herbage and vaulted with the
dome of heaven, looks picturesque in its decay. From the spot whence our
sketch was taken, the old font is seen near at hand, overtopped by an
arch giving access to a pretty side-chapel with traceried window, and a
small piscina formed in the flank of the pillar. Through the open
archway upon the right we gain a glimpse of the roofless, desecrated
chancel. When Fenton was here, about the beginning of the present
century, the latter was still covered with its wooden ceiling, fashioned
into square compartments and ornamented at the crossings of the beams
with floreated enrichments, conspicuous amidst which appeared the arms
of the Barlow family.

At that time the Barlow monument occupied a prominent position against
the south wall of the chancel, which may be easily identified by the
ragged stonework whence the structure has been torn away. This act of
vandalism is much to be deplored, for the monument appears to have been
an unusually handsome one, the effigies of Barlow and his lady reposing
beneath a sumptuous canopy, surmounted by a blank escutcheon.

By some lucky chance these figures have escaped destruction, and are now
safely stowed away in the vaults of Slebech new church. They are
excellently carved in alabaster, that of the knight being of great size;
his head with its long curling locks rests upon a helmet, while the
collar and order of the Golden Fleece is suspended around his shoulders.
Hence it is supposed that this figure represents a certain Roger Barlow,
who in the reign of Henry VIII. travelled into Spain, and was employed
by the Spanish monarch in his South American ventures.

The lady, whose effigy is apparently of somewhat earlier date than that
of the male figure, is arrayed in a handsome robe, over which is drawn a
gracefully flowing mantle; while her long, smooth hair, bound with a
chaplet around the brows, falls upon either side about her sloping
shoulders.

Foundations of ancient buildings are said to have been traced in the
grounds, between the church and the neighbouring mansion; but nothing
worthy of note has as yet seen the light of day.

Slebech House appears to have been erected at a period when architecture
had fallen to about its lowest ebb; its yellow plastered walls being
pierced with rows of featureless windows, and surmounted by meagre,
meaningless battlements. Nevertheless, the spacious chambers command
such charming vistas of woodland and shimmering waters, as to go far
towards making amends for architectural shortcomings. The mansion has
superseded a structure of no mean antiquity, but of its history, which
was presumably quiet and uneventful, few records have survived to our
times.

Some three miles to the northward of Slebech lies the obscure hamlet of
Wiston; a place so small and insignificant, that it is by no means easy
to picture it as the erstwhile head of the barony of Daugleddau, a
borough town, and the home of the powerful Wogans.

Wiston, we are told, derives its name from a certain Wiz, or Wyzo, a
Flemish immigrant of considerable influence, who built a castle here to
protect the infant settlement; of this castle a portion of the keep or
donjon-tower, and a ruined gateway, still remain in tolerable repair.
After having been more than once beleaguered and destroyed, the place
was dismantled and deserted at an early period; so that Wiston Castle
plays but a minor part in the records of border warfare.

Of the Wogan family, who for many generations made Wiston their home,
the most famous scion was Sir John of that ilk, who was Lord Chief
Justice of England in the reign of Edward I. This Sir John, it may be
noted _en passant_, took to himself the style and title of 'Lord of
Pyketown.'

So much, then, for Wiston. We now set forth from Slebech, and jaunt
along beside the Eastern Cleddau, with the broad umbrageous woods of
Minwear combing down to the water's edge, upon the farther bank of the
stream. Ere long the Vale of Cleddau begins to widen out, forming a
comely, verdant strath, through which the highroad winds like a narrow
ribbon as it takes its way towards Narberth. For the present, however,
we give this road the go-by, and turn near Canaston bridge into a ruddy
lane, which climbs by a gentle ascent to the crest of the ridgeway.

Down in the vale below, at a place bearing the name of St. Kennox, lived
good Rees Pritchard, the famous Welsh divine, sometime Chancellor of St.
Davids Cathedral, and author of a celebrated book entitled 'Canwyll y
Cymro,' or the Welshman's Candle. Such was the fame of Pritchard's
oratory, that the vast congregations who flocked to hear him preach
overflowed the limits of the cathedral walls, and clustered thick as
hiving bees in the great south porch, and around the precincts of the
sacred building.

In about another mile, our lane suddenly debouches upon the broad,
triangular grass-plot, that forms the village-green of time-honoured
Llawhaden. Grouped around the green rise a number of old substantial
homesteads--true 'homes of ancient peace'--whose low-browed
lattice-windows look out upon a vasty duck-pond, overshadowed by clumps
of gnarled and weather-beaten firs.

[Illustration: LLAWHADEN CASTLE AND BRIDGE.]

Turning to the right at the foot of the green, we fare along the village
street until it terminates abruptly in a sort of _cul-de-sac_, where the
majestic ruins of Llawhaden Castle seem to forbid our further progress.

The great Gatehouse, with its lofty drum towers flanking the
boldly-arched portcullis, indicates the noble scale upon which the
fortress was conceived. The eastern tower is still in a fair state of
preservation, retaining the strong stone floors of its successive
stages, though its fellow has been shorn of more than half its bulk.
These towers are pierced with small but well-proportioned
lancet-windows, apparently of Edwardian date, and the corbelled
battlements are carried forward above the gateway, to form a _couloir_
for pouring down molten lead upon the foe.

On passing beneath the lofty entrance archway, we are confronted by a
well-proportioned Gothic doorway, with one small pointed window, little
more than a loophole, in the wall beside it; these are the sole relics
of the northern front, of which all else has fallen to decay. Near at
hand rises a slender square tower, whose trefoil-headed windows and
finely-worked mouldings point to a later period than that of the main
structure. From its position and certain accessories, there is reason to
suppose this tower contained the chapel of the castle, erected by Bishop
Vaughan, who enlarged and beautified St. Davids Cathedral.

A group of flourishing ash-trees, which have sprung up wheresoever they
listed, cast their chequered shade athwart the neglected courtyard;
whilst pigs and poultry, from the adjacent farmstead, roam untended
amidst the masses of fallen masonry, that cumber the ground in every
direction.

Although perched on the brink of a steep declivity, the castle was
protected by a moat which still remains intact, though sadly choked with
tangled undergrowth and _débris_. This moat was supplied with water from
a stream, which forms the large pond at the foot of the village.

Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. Davids, is said to have erected Llawhaden
Castle, towards the close of the thirteenth century; but it is more than
probable his building merely superseded a structure of earlier date.

This worthy prelate also founded, 'in his Villa de Llewhadyn, a little
_Hospitium_, which he dedicated to the poor and needy;' devoting to its
maintenance the revenues derived from his own lands. Thus Bishop Beck
became the first Welsh patron of pilgrims, and supporter of the aged and
infirm.

Of this very interesting foundation, all that has survived is a small
building with vaulted roof, doorway, windows and a piscina, situated in
a field on the outskirts of the village. This little edifice was in all
probability the chapel of Beck's _hospitium_. A certain Friar William
was entrusted with the charge of the establishment, both he and his
brethren wearing a habit distinctive of their calling.

By the time of Owen Glyndwr, the castle appears already to have fallen
into disrepair; as we read that the King gave orders for Llawhaden to be
put into a state of defence, victualled, and furnished with a garrison.

Under the disastrous _régime_ of Bishop Barlow, that rapacious prelate
caused the lead to be stripped from off the castle roofs, even as he had
done at the beautiful old palace of St. Davids. Thenceforth the stately
fabric, exposed to the disintegrating forces of Nature, gradually
succumbed to its misfortunes, and sank into the condition of an
uninhabitable ruin.

At their castle of Llawhaden, the Bishops of St. Davids lived in true
baronial style; the fortress constituting the _Caput Baroniæ_, by virtue
of which they were entitled to representation in the Parliament of the
realm.

Before taking leave of Llawhaden Castle, we secure the accompanying
sketch of the great Gatehouse, whose hoary lichen-clad masonry, wreathed
in clinging ivy, rises with bold and striking effect against the dark
foliage of a neighbouring coppice.

Descending by a steep, hollow lane to the banks of Cleddau, we linger
long about the old bridge and castle-mill to enjoy the placid beauty of
the landscape, whose rich, subdued tints are enhanced by the radiance of
a mellow autumn afternoon.

Looking upstream, the church forms the central feature of a pleasant,
restful prospect; its picturesque tower reflected in the clear waters of
the Cleddau, which rushes onward to tumble with refreshing roar over a
weir close at hand. Amidst the hanging woodlands which clothe the castle
hill, we catch a glimpse of that ancient fortalice; while the lowing of
kine comes pleasantly to the ear from the deep water-meadows down the
vale.

We now bend our steps towards the parish church, noticing a simple
wooden cross beside the wicket-gate, whereon is hung a lantern to guide
the footsteps of the benighted flock, during the long, dark evenings of
winter.

Llawhaden Church stands somewhat remote from the village, in a
sequestered nook where the castle hill and the Cleddau leave scarce
sufficient room for the little church to stand; insomuch that its
chancel gable well-nigh overhangs the stream. Dedicated to St. Hugo, the
sacred edifice contains the mutilated effigy of an ecclesiastic,
commonly supposed to represent the patron saint, but more probably
intended for Adam Houghton, Bishop of St. Davids, and co-founder with
John o' Gaunt of St. Mary's College in that 'city.'

Houghton distinguished himself by enacting a statute to regulate the
scale of wages, and the price of beer, on behalf of his faithful
'subjects;' while tradition avers that, having been excommunicated by
the Pope for some misdemeanour or other, this intrepid prelate
retaliated by excommunicating the Holy Father himself!

Inside the church we notice several curiously-sculptured corbels;
besides a two-three quaint epitaphs reciting, in rather questionable
English, the virtues and graces of certain local worthies.

The semi-detached tower presents a picturesque appearance, having,
attached to its southern face, a square-shaped turret which, curiously
enough, looks older than the tower itself. The internal construction of
this tower is somewhat peculiar, and its belfry contains a triplet of
sweet-toned bells.

It is, perhaps, worthy of note that Llawhaden is supposed to derive its
name from St. Aeddan, a Pembrokeshire man by birth, and a disciple of
St. David himself.

Having inspected an ancient cross, built into the eastern gable of the
church, we now retrace our footsteps to the bridge, where, after
searching for some time in vain owing to intervening foliage, we at last
pitch upon a suitable spot for a sketch of that time-worn structure.

This done, we reluctantly turn our backs upon pretty Llawhaden, and fare
away in the direction of Narberth, playing hide-and-seek with our
shadows as they lengthen under the westering sun. Groups of lads and
little lasses, homeward bound from school, linger in twos and threes by
the rough laneside, where the bramble brakes are thickest; purple lips
and stained pocket-handkerchiefs showing the blackberry season is now in
full swing.

Anon we clamber over a tall step-stile, near a widespreading ash-tree
whose singular form at once arrests the eye. After growing for some feet
in a horizontal direction, the massive Bole turns abruptly at a sharp
right angle, and shooting skywards, straight as an arrow, branches out
into a head of symmetrical foliage, like the trees in a Dutchman's
garden.

Pushing on by a footpath that winds down towards a stream in the hollow
of the vale, we presently stumble hot-foot upon a covey of partridges,
who are up in a twinkling, and blustering away to the shelter of a
neighbouring stubble-field; while the voice of an unseen
threshing-machine, 'a-bummin' away like a buzzard clock,' palpitates
through the drowsy air of the still, September afternoon.

Leaving St. Kennox away to our right, we now make for the village of
Robeston Wathen; the choice lying between breasting the hill by a steep
green field-path, or approaching in more leisurely fashion by way of the
lane. The voting goes all in favour of the shorter route, which brings
us out at a point near Robeston Church, whose tall, isolated tower is
conspicuous for a long distance around. At the cross-roads near the
village stands a group of wayside cottages, whose deep thatched roofs,
and low porches embowered in honeysuckle and climbing plants, make a
very charming picture.

Past the disestablished toll-gate, the road slants away down the bank to
a bridge over a narrow streamlet. Thence ensues the long, steady ascent
of Cock's Hill, which lands us eventually at a considerable altitude on
the outskirts of Narberth; a place that, with the exception of its
ruined castle, has little to commend it to wayfarers who, like
ourselves, are 'in search of the picturesque.'

A town of some importance in bygone times, when its markets were
resorted to by half the countryside, Narberth appears of late to have
fallen upon degenerate days; the mail-coaches having deserted its
grass-grown streets for ever, while the railway trains that have usurped
their place give the unfortunate town the go-by, in favour of other and
more enterprising communities.

Wending our way adown the long, featureless High Street, we pass on our
left the broad front of the De Rutzen Arms, a large wayside
posting-house, around whose weed-grown courtyard hang memories of the
old coaching days. Then, leaving the parish church away to the right,
and navigating some intricate lanes, we approach the outskirts of the
town, and make the best of our way to the castle ruins.

Crowning the southward slope of the hill upon which the town is located,
Narberth Castle occupies a position of considerable importance. The
ruins of the fortress, though small, and devoid of striking features,
are not without a certain picturesque appearance when seen from the
Tenby road. It must, however, be confessed that 'distance lends
enchantment to the view;' for the existing remains are of a very
fragmentary nature, consisting of a few broken bastions, with some odds
and ends of more or less dilapidated masonry.

At the time of the Norman Conquest, Narberth fell to the share of Sir
Stephen Perrot, a follower of the redoubtable Arnulph de Montgomery.
Although there is record of a castle here as long ago as the eleventh
century, the present structure is certainly not of earlier date than the
days of Sir Andrew Perrot, or, say, about the middle of the thirteenth
century; indeed, the character of the existing work seems to point to
its erection at an even later period.

In the reign of Edward III., Narberth Castle came into the possession of
Roger Mortimer, the great Earl Marcher, and sometime favourite of Queen
Isabella; passing subsequently under the direct control of the Crown.
Eventually bluff King Hal presented the estate in his own freehanded way
to our old acquaintance, Sir Rhys ap Thomas; and so when John Leland,
the famous antiquary, travelled into South Wales upon his 'Laborious
Journey, and Searche for England's Antiquities,' he duly described
Narberth Castle as a 'praty pile of old Sir Rees.'

To the south of the town lies a broken, hilly district called Narberth
Forest; whence were procured, in bygone days, large quantities of oak
and other timber, for building the famous 'wooden walls' of the British
navy. In olden times, this locality formed a favourite hunting-ground of
the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, whose custom it was to ride out
from their headquarters at Slebech, and chase the wild deer that
frequented its woodland glades.

The village of Templeton, (which doubtless derives its name from that
martial fraternity), is now a mere rambling, skeleton of a place, with a
few dwelling-houses of the better sort amongst the cottages that flank
the highway. Once upon a time, it is said, Templeton could boast its
village-cross and ancient wayside chapel; but of these not a solitary
vestige has survived to give colour to the story.

[Illustration: EGLWYSFAIR GLAN TAP.]

We now approach the eastern confines of the County, and thus enter upon
the beginning of the end of our Pembrokeshire peregrinations. From
Templeton we set our faces towards the hamlet of Eglwysfair-glan-Tâf,
better known, probably, to the _Saesneg_ traveller as Whitland railway
junction.

Laying our course adown the vale of the pretty Afon Marlas, we traverse
the long village street of Lampeter Velfrey; and so, keeping rail and
river upon our left flank, we presently strike the course of the infant
Tâf near the old disused toll-gate at Pen-y-bont. At the little bridge
that connects our County with its big neighbour of Carmarthen, we call a
halt to lounge beside the low parapet, and transfer to the sketch-book
an impression of St. Mary's Church, with the time-worn stonework of the
old arches and cutwaters spanning the trout stream in the foreground.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here, then, we bid farewell to quaint old Pembrokeshire, and conclude
our sketching rambles amidst its secluded byways.

Not many localities, we take it, can boast, within so comparatively
limited a compass, such varied attractions for the lover of old-world
associations and time-worn architecture; attractions, withal, that to
some minds are enhanced by a sense of remoteness and isolation from the
ceaseless _Sturm und Drang_ of modern city life.

Although far from exhausting the scope of such a many-sided subject, we
venture to hope that these pages may enable our readers to participate
in the unalloyed pleasure and interest we have ourselves derived, from
these pen-and-pencil peregrinations amidst the Nooks and Corners of
Pembrokeshire.

[Illustration: REDBERTH FONT.]



INDEX.


  A.

  Abercastell, 142
  Abergwaen, 143
  Afon Dûad, 152, 156
  Afon Gwaen, 2, 143
  Afon Marlas, 196
  Afon Nevern, 152-154, 166
  Afon Syvynvy, 171
  Allan River, 3
  Anchor at Hoaton, 194
  Angle, 80, 81, 84
  Angle Bay, 79
  Angle Castle, 82
  Anne's Head, St., 84, 123


  B.

  Bangeston House, 84
  Barker, E. H. Lingen-, Esq., 179
  Barlows of Slebech, 188, 189
  Barri, Gerald de, 46
  Bartholomew Roberts, 174
  Bayvil, 159
  Beavers in Wales, 171
  Bedd-yr-Avangc, 170
  Benton Castle, 184
  Bishop-and-Clerks Islets, 138
  Bishop's Palace, St. Davids, 135-137
  Blockhouse at Angle, 83
  Bonville's Court, 31
  Bosheston, 68
  Bosheston Meer, 71
  Boulston, 179
  Brestgarn, 144
  Brides, St., 118
  Brunt, 124
  Bullibur, 73
  Bullslaughter Bay, 72
  Byrnach, St., 150, 174


  C.

  Caldey Island, 19-21
  Campbell, Admiral Sir G., 67
  Capel Stinian, 138
  Carew Castle, 95-98
  Carew Church, 94, 99, 100
  Carew Cross, 94
  Carmelite Nunnery, Tenby, 14
  Carnedd Meibion Owen, 150, 152, 158
  Carn Englyn, 1, 148, 150, 152
  Carn Llidi, 2, 140
  Carreg Gwastad Point, 147
  Carswall, 29
  Castell Conyn, 175
  Castle Hill, Tenby, 15
  Castle Malgwyn, 163, 164
  Castle Martin, 89-91
  Cathedral, St. Davids, 130-134
  Cawdor, Lord, 66, 144
  Cheriton, 64, 65
  Church Plate, Gumfreston, 25
  Cilmaenllwyd, 174
  Clark, G. T., Esq., 56
  Clawdd-y-Millwyr, 139
  Cleddau River, 2, 168, 175, 182, 190
  Cobb, J. R., Esq., 42, 56, 59
  Coedmore, 161
  Coracle, 161
  Court, 157
  Croes Mihangel, 168
  Cromlechs, 48, 142, 151, 158
  Crosses, 32, 94, 154, 155
  Crowpoole, 77
  Crugau Kemaes, 159
  Crymmych Arms, 166, 168
  Cwm Cerwyn, Foel, 169


  D.

  Dale, 122, 123
  Dale Roads, 123
  Daniels, St., 63
  Davids, St., 128, 129
  De Barri, Gerald, 46
  De Barri Monument, Manorbere, 51
  De la Roche Monument, 182
  De Rutzen, Baron, 187
  Dewisland, 2, 126
  Dinas, 148
  Dinas Head, 2, 143
  Dogmaels, St., 165
  Dogwell, St., 174
  Dowrog Common, 141
  Drudgeman's Hill, 109
  Dûad Stream, 152, 156


  E.

  East Blockhouse, 83
  Eastern Cleddau, 2, 168, 190
  Eastington, 79, 85, 86
  Eglwys Erw, 157
  Eglwysfair Glan Tâf, 196
  Eglwys Wen, 157


  F.

  Fishguard, 143, 145, 148
  Fissures in Rock, Manorbere, 49
  Flemings in Pembrokeshire, 181
  Flether Hill, 177
  Flimston, 73
  Florence, St., 28, 29
  Foel Cwm Cerwyn, 1, 169
  Foel Trigarn, 168
  Ford, 175
  Fordd Fleming, 5, 142, 167, 170
  French in Pembrokeshire, 143
  Freshwater Bay, 79
  Freystrop, 179
  Fryn-y-Fawr, 167


  G.

  Garn Vawr, 147
  Gateholm, 121
  Giraldus Cambrensis, 46, 47
  Glyndwr, Owen, 175
  Glyn-y Mel, 143
  Goodwic, 145
  Govan's Chapel, St., 68
  Gower, Bishop, 131
  Grassholm, 121
  Gulf Stream, 6
  Gumfreston, 24, 25
  Gwaen River, 2, 143
  Gwahan Garreg, 138
  Gwryd-bach, 141


  H.

  Haroldstone, 109, 179
  Haverfordwest, 109-111, 178
  Hayward Family, 177
  Hean Castle, 31
  Hênllan House, 78
  Hênllys, 156
  Hirlas Horn, 67
  Hoaton, 124
  Hobb's Point, 78, 106
  Hodgeston, 39
  Holyland, 104
  Houghton, Bishop, 193
  Howards of Rudbaxton, 175, 176
  Howel Davies, 174
  Hoyle's Mouth, 29
  Hundleton, 74
  Huntsman's Leap, 71


  I.

  Issells, St., 31
  Ivy Tower, 31


  J.

  Jestynton, 85
  Johnston, 108
  Jordanston, 142


  K.

  Kemaes, 149
  Kennox, St., 190
  Kensington, Lord, 118
  Kilgerran, 159, 160
  King's Bridge, 104


  L.

  Lampeter Velfrey, 196
  Lamphey, 36-38
  Lamphey Park, 93
  Landshipping, 184
  Langwm, 180, 181
  Laugharne Family, 119
  Lawrenny, 183, 184
  Letterston, 175
  Little England beyond Wales, 6, 180
  Little Haven, 117
  Little Newcastle, 174
  Llanbeudy, 174
  Llandilo, 172, 173
  Llangolman, 173
  Llanhyvor Castle, 152
  Llantood, 159
  Llanvirnach, 173, 174
  Llanwnda, 145, 146
  Llawhaden, 190-193
  Llechllafar, 135
  Llechrhyd Bridge, 163
  Llwyngwair, 2, 151
  Longhouse, 142
  Lord Kensington, 118
  Lower Solva, 126
  Lucy Walters, 107
  Lydstep, 33


  M.

  Maenclochog, 171, 172
  Malgwyn Castle, 163, 164
  Manorbere, 48, 49
  Manorbere Castle, 41-45
  Manorbere Church, 50, 51
  Marloes, 120, 121
  Marteltewi, 182
  Mathry, 142
  Melchior Family, 173
  Menapia, 5, 127, 139
  Merlin's Bridge, 109
  Mesur-y-Dorth, 142
  Milford Haven, 3, 84, 104
  Mill Bay, 123
  Monachlogddu, 173
  Monkton, 61-63
  Moor Farm, 91
  Mullock Bridge, 119


  N.

  Narberth, 195
  Narberth Forest, 196
  Nevern, 152-154
  Nevern River, 2, 151, 166
  Newgale Brook, 2, 126
  New Milford, 106
  Newport, 149-151
  Newton, 89
  Nightingales in Pembrokeshire, 77
  Non's Chapel, 138
  Normans in Pembrokeshire, 5, 149


  O.

  Octopitarum, 127
  Ogham Stones, 20, 159
  Old Hall, Monkton, 61
  Old Rectory, Carew, 100
  Orielton, 74
  Orlandon, 119
  Owen Glyndwr, 175
  Owen of Hênllys, 156


  P.

  Parc-y-Marw, 148
  Parrog, 2, 151
  Pembroke, 54, 55, 60, 61
  Pembroke Castle, 56-60
  Pembroke Dock, 104-106
  Penally, 31
  Pen-beri, 2, 142
  Pencaer, 147
  Pennar River, 77
  Pentre-Evan Cromlech, 158
  Pen-y-Bont, 197
  Philipps of Picton, 186, 187
  Picton, 185-187
  Picton Family, 186
  Pilgrims' Cross at Nevern, 155
  Plumstone Mountain, 2
  Poll-tax Inn, 174
  Pont-y-Baldwyn, 156
  Precelly Hills, 1, 168, 169
  Prendergast, 177
  Pwllcroghan, 78


  R.

  Rambler's Folly, 93
  Ramsey Island, 3, 138
  Rees Pritchard, 190
  Rhôs, 2
  Rhôscrowther, 87
  Rhys Monument, 13
  Ridgeway, 35
  Risam Monument, 12
  Ritec Stream, 31
  Robeston Wathen, 194
  Roch Castle, 2, 126
  Roman Roads, 5, 127, 174
  Romans in Pembrokeshire, 5
  Rosebush, 171
  Rosemarket, 107
  Rudbaxton, 175, 176
  Rutzen, Baron de, 187


  S.

  Saundersfoot, 30
  Scotsborough, 24
  Sealyham, 175
  Sergeant's Inn, 157
  Skokholm, 121
  Skomer, 3
  Slebech, 188, 189
  Solva, 126, 127
  Solva River, 2
  Stackpole, 6, 54, 65, 68
  Stackpole Court, 66, 67
  Stack Rocks, 72
  St. Anne's Head, 84
  St. Brides, 118
  St. Bride's Bay, 3
  St. Byrnach, 150, 174
  St. Daniels, 63
  St. Davids, 128, 129
  St. Davids Cathedral, 130-134
  St. David's Head, 139
  St. Dogmaels, 165
  St. Dogwells, 174
  St. Florence, 28, 29
  St. George's Bastion, Tenby, 18
  St. Govan's Chapel, 68, 69
  St. Issells, 31
  St. Kennox, 190
  St. Mary's College, 137
  St. Non's Chapel, 138
  St. Teilo, 33, 173
  Sunken Wood, 71
  Syvynvy River, 171


  T.

  Tafarn-Bwlch, 170, 171
  Talbenny, 118
  Teilo, St., 33, 173
  Teivy River, 162
  Temple-Druid, 172
  Templeton, 196
  Tenby, 8-11, 21
  Tenby Church, 11, 12
  Toad of Trellyfan, 156
  Trefgarn, 2, 175
  Trefloyne, 30
  Trehowel, 147
  Trellyfan, 155
  Trevine, 142


  U.

  Upper Solva, 127
  Upton Castle, 101
  Upton Chapel, 102, 103
  Uzmaston, 179


  V.

  Vaughan, Bishop, 134, 191
  Vaughans of Dunraven, 13
  Via Julia, 5, 127, 174
  View from Foel Cwm-Cerwyn, 169, 170
  Vrenny-Vawr, 167


  W.

  Wallaston Cross, 78
  Walls of Tenby, 17-19
  Walters, Lucy, 107
  Walton-West, 114
  Walwyn's Castle, 115
  Warren, 73, 89, 92
  Waterwinch, 30
  Wells, 26, 30, 48, 69, 91, 138, 172, 173
  West Angle Bay, 84
  Western Cleddau, 2, 175
  West Gate, Pembroke, 61
  White's Monument, 11, 12
  Whitland, 196
  Williams, Clement, Esq., 32
  Williamstown, 184
  Wiston, 189, 190
  Withybush, 177
  Wogan Cavern, Pembroke, 59
  Wogan Family, 179, 190

[Illustration]



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS' NAMES.


                                                                 Copies.
  Allen, Very Rev. Dean, St. Davids                                    1
  Arnett, J. E., Tenby                                                 3
  Baker, Rev. S. O., Somerset                                          1
  Ballinger, J., Cardiff                                               1
  Bellamy, C. H., Heaton Chapel                                        1
  Beloe, E. M., King's Lynn                                            1
  Berensberg, Count Victor de, Haverfordwest                           1
  Bethell, W., Malton                                                  1
                                                          and one large.
  Blanc, H. S., Edinburgh                                              1
  Bowen, J. B., Llwyngwair, Crymmych                                   1
  Bowen, Rev. D., Pembroke                                             1
  Bridgman, Rev. Canon, Wigan                                          1
  Brigstocke, Ll., Haverfordwest                                      12
  Bromley, Rev. W., Manorbere Vicarage                                 1
  Bumpus, J. and E., Limited, Holborn                                  1
  Bute, Lord, Cardiff Castle                                           1
  Carroway, J., Blackheath                                             1
  Chance, R. L., Edgbaston                                             2
  Cherwood-Aiken, J. C., Stoke Bishop                                  1
  Codner, D. J. D., Pembrokeshire                                      1
  Daltry, Rev. T. W., Newcastle                                        1
  Davies, D. J., Knightsbridge                                         1
  Davies, G., Pembroke                                                 1
  Davies, Rev. G., St. Brides, Pembroke                                1
  Davies, Rev. W., Morlais. Fishguard                                  1
  Davies-Burlton, T., Leominster                                       1
  Davis, Mrs. Warren, Milford Haven                                    1
  Dixon, W. H., 1, Arthur Road, Edgbaston                              1
  Dodd, Mead, and Co., New York                                        3
                                                          and one large.
  Downing, Wm., Birmingham                                             1
  Duncan, John, F.J.I., J.P., Cardiff                                  1
  Elkington, G., Edgbaston                                             1
  Evans, T. W., Fellowes Road, London                                  1
  Feeney, John, Birmingham                                             1
  Field, H. H., Beds                                                   1
  Gilpin, Captain N., Hove                                             1
  Gray, Henry, Leicester Square                                       12
  Greenish, R., Manorbere                                              1
  Gwyther, F., Haverfordwest                                           1
  Hanbury, Rev. T., Market Harborough                                  1
  Hand, T. W., Oldham                                                  1
  Harries, Cecilia J., London                                          1
  Hartwright, H., Harporley                                            1
  Haslam, W. F., Edgbaston                                             1
  Haslewood, Rev. F. G., Canterbury                                    1
  Haynes, G. B., Brynhir, near Swansea                                 1
  Haynes, H, Harrow, Middlesex                                         1
  Henman, William, F.R.I.B.A., Birmingham                              2
  Hill, T. Rowley, Worcester                                           1
  Hilbers, the Ven. Archdeacon, G. C., Haverfordwest                   1
  Hooke, Rev. D. Burford, High Barnet                                  1
  Horncastle, H., Woking                                               1
  Howell, George Owen, Plumstead                                       1
  Idris, T. B. W., Camden Town                                         1
  Jakeman and Carver, Hereford                                         1
  John, E., Middlesborough                                             1
  Jolly, F., Bath                                                      1
  Jones, M. T., Wrexham                                                1
  Layton, C. Miller, Folkestone                                        1
  Lester, E., Rochester                                                1
  Lewis, Rev. David, St. Davids                                        1
  Lillington, Mrs. E., Penzance                                        1
  Lingard-Monk, R. B. M., Wilmslow                                     1
  Llewellyn, R. W., Briton Ferry                                       1
  Lloyd, E. O. V., Corwen                                              2
  Lloyd, H. Meuric, South Wales                                        1
  Lloyd-Philips, F. L., Pembrokeshire                                  1
  Maillard, Mrs., Pembroke                                             1
  Marrs, Kingsmill, Saxonville, U.S.A.                                 1
  Marychurch, Wm., Cardiff                                             1
  Mathias, H., Haverfordwest                                           1
  Mayler, J. E., Wexford                                               1
  Meynell, Edgar J., Durham                                            1
  Middlemass, Major J. C., Monkton                                     1
  Morgan, Rev. C., Pembroke                                            1
  Morgan, Lieut.-Col. W. L., Swansea                                   1
  Morrison, Dr., Portclew, Pembroke                                    1
  Nevin, J., Mirfield                                                  1
  Nield, W., Bristol                                                   1
  Oldham Central Free Library                                          1
  Owen, Honourable Mrs., Treffgarn                                     1
  Owen, Rev. Elias, M.A., F.S.A., Oswestry                             1
  Parker, F. Rowley, Harrow Weald                                      1
  Parkinson, Captain F. R., President, Garrison Library, Pembroke Dock 1
  Pashley, R., Rotherham                                               1
  Pears, Andrew, Isleworth                                             1
  Penney, J. W., Pembroke                                              1
  Perrott, E., West Brighton                                           1
  Phelps, Rev. C. M., Haverfordwest                                    1
  Phillips. Rev. J., Haverfordwest                                     1
  Philipps, Sir Charles E. G., Bart., Lord Lieutenant, Haverfordwest   1
  Pierce, Ellis, Dolyddelen                                            1
  Pollen, G. A. J., Seaton Carew                                       1
  Powell, Mrs., Hereford                                               1
  Price, Rees, Glasgow                                                 1
  Prickett, T. A., Tottenham Court Road, W.                            1
  Protheroe, E. S., Dolwilym                                           1
  Randall, J., Sheffield                                               1
  Reece, Mrs., Carpenter Road, Edgbaston                               1
  Rees, Griffith, Birkenhead                                           1
  Rees, Howell, J.P., South Wales                                      1
  Rees, J. Rogers, Penarth                                             1
  Richards, D., Cardiff                                                1
  Richards, D. M., Aberdare                                            1
  Roberts, O. M., Portmadoc                                            1
  Roberton, J. D., Glasgow                                             1
  Rock, T. Dennis, South Wales                                         1
  Roughsedge, Miss, Birkenhead                                         1
  Rowntree, Wm., Scarborough                                           1
  Samson, Louis, Haverfordwest                                         1
  Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. Myles, M.P., Ulverston                           1
                                                          and one large.
  Seward, E., Cardiff                                                  1
  Skrine, H. D., Bath                                                  1
  Small, Evan W., Newport                                              1
  Society of Antiquaries                                               1
  Sparrow, A., Shrewsbury                                              1
  Spurrell, W., and Son, Carmarthen                                    4
  St. Davids, The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of                        1
  Stewart, J., Llandyssil                                              1
  Stone, Rev. D., Wallingford                                          1
  Studholme, Paul, Parsonstown                                         1
  Sturge, R. L., Bristol                                               1
  Swansea, The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of                           1
  Swinburne, Mrs. W. A., Dulais Hay                                    1
  Thomas, J., J.P., Haverfordwest                                      1
  Thomas, T. Lynn, Cardiff                                             1
  Thomas, Rev. F. O., Narberth                                         1
  Thomas, Rev. W. Meyler, Milford Haven                                1
  Thomason, Yeoville, F.R.I.B.A., Kensington                           1
  Timmins, F. H., Westfield Road, Edgbaston                            1
  Timmins, Miss, Edgbaston                                             1
  Tredegar, Lord, Tredegar Park                                        1
  Trevaldwyn, Rev. B. W. J., Looe                                      1
  Treweeks, R. H.                                                      3
                                                          and one large.
  Troutbeck, Miss, Congleton                                           1
  Turbervill, Colonel J. P., Bridgend                                  1
  Turner, W. H., Maidstone                                             1
  Walker, W., Finsbury Park                                            1
  Walters, Rev. T., Maenclochog                                        1
  Warburton, S., Balham                                                1
  Wharton, Rev. G., Abingdon                                           1
  Williams, G., Finsbury Pavement                                      1
  Williams, J., Brook Street, W.                                       1
  Williams, Wm, Aberystwyth                                            2
  Williamson, G. C., Guildford                                         1
  Wills, W. Leonard, Worcestershire                                    1
  Wright, A. J., Milford Haven                                         1


LARGE PAPER.

                                                                  Copies
  Bethell, W., Malton                                                  1
                                                          and one small.
  Brigstocke, Ll., Haverfordwest                                       1
  Brimmer, Mrs. Martin, Boston, U.S.A.                                 1
  Dodd, Mead, and Co., New York                                        1
  Gray, H., London                                                     3
  Ford, J. W., Enfield Old Park                                        1
  Jones, J., 19, Cheapside, E.C.                                       1
  Kensington, Lady, Pembrokeshire                                      1
  Lambton, Lt.-Col. F. W., Pembroke                                    1
  Owen, Henry, 44, Oxford Terrace, W.                                  1
  Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. Myles, M.P., Ulverston                           1
                                                          and one small.
  Saunders, E. A., Pembroke Dock                                       1
  Smith, R. V. Vassar, Cheltenham                                      1
  Treweeks, R. H.                                                      1
                                                        and three small.



[Illustration: PENBROKSHYRE]





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+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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