Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Fishguard, Pembrokeshire. In Welsh called Abergwaun, Fishguard is a scattered township looking out over the wide Fishguard Bay, with the slopes of the Mynydd Prescli behind. The place seems to turn its back on the rest of Britain and gaze constantly westward. This is not surprising, for Fishguard has become the terminus for the Irish boats to Rosslare and Cork. Irish money circulates here. The great breakwater, built in 1907. shelters the modern harbour with the railway station and quay. This expensive work was undertaken in the expectation that the Atlantic liners would make Fish-guard their first port of call, and thus allow passengers to be whisked up to London by fast trains. The Atlantic trade faded with the outbreak of the First World War. Fishguard is now exclusively an Irish ferry terminal.
The place is really divided into three. The quay and terminal are placed near Goodwick, under the steep headland of Carncoed. Goodwick itself was a small fishing village until the harbour was built, it looks out across a sandy beach to the line of the breakwater and the fine headland of Dinas on the other side of Fishguard Bay.
Upper Fishguard stands back a little from the sea about l½ miles from Goodwick. The houses are mainly grouped round the small square, where the Royal Oak Hotel has historical associations. From the square the road drops steeply down to the winding creek that shelters Lower Town, in Welsh “Y Cwrn”. Here the River Gwaun enters the sea. The place has the air of a Cornish or Breton fishing village, with one narrow street that is a terror for summer tourists with caravans, and a picturesque quay. Lower Town is now the headquarters of the flourishing Fishguard Bay Yacht Club. The pier was originally built by Samuel Fenton, to service the then flourishing pilchard fishing. The pilchards (adult sardines) have now ceased to visit Welsh waters in shoals, and the fishery has died out.
During the American War of Independence, the celebrated privateer Paul Jones appeared off Fishguard and seized one of Samuel Fenton's ships. He then landed a party and under threat of bombardment demanded 500 guineas from the lower and upper town in return for release of the ship. The ransoms were paid, but warning shots damaged the town and lamed Mary, the sister of Richard Fenton, Samuel's neighbour.
Richard Fenton was an attractive character. He built the charming house of Glynamel that still stands at the mouth of the Gwaun valley. Here he lived with his French wife, to whom he had been introduced by Oliver Goldsmith. in 1811 he published his vivid Historical Tour Through Pembrokeshire, from which later writers have delighted to quote, although modern historians treat it with caution.
The big event in the history of Fishguard, inspiring from the inhabitants a response in which they still take legitimate pride, was the French Invasion of 1797, This was the last time any hostile foreign force landed on British soil, and one local heroine, Jemima Nicholas. is said to have rounded up several Frenchmen with a pitchfork.
Nearby towns: Haverfordwest, Narberth, Newport, St Davids
Nearby villages: Abercastle, Cilgwm, Dinas, Goodwick, Granston, Granstone, Hayscastle, Hayscastle Cross, Henrys Moat, Jordanston, Letterston, Little Newcastle, Llandeloy, Llanreithan, Llanwnda, Llanychaer, Manorowen, Mathry, Morfa, Morvil, Moylgrove, New Moat, Pontfaen, Puncheston, Roch, Rosebush, Saint Dogwells, Saint Nicholas, Trecwn, Trefin
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation