Fishguard  Pembrokeshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Fishguard like this:

FISHGUARD, a town, a parish, and a sub-district in Haverfordwest district, Pembroke. The town stands at the mouth of the river Gwayne, at the head of Fishguard bay, 12 miles NNW of Clarbeston-Road r. station, and 14½ N of Haverfordwest; and is sometimes called Abergwayne. Martin de Tours landed at it after the Conquest; a body of French troops, about 1, 400 in number, landed in its neighbourhood in 1797, and surrendered to Earl Cawdor; and Dyfrigor St. ...

Dubricius, the first bishop of Llandaff, is said to have been a native. Some curious remains of antiquity, indicative of settlements by the Britons and the Romans, including ruins, tumuli, Roman coins, and other relics, either exist or have been found in the vicinity. The town consists of two parts, upper and lower; presents a picturesque appearance; and forms a good centre for tourists in search of striking scenery. The upper part stands on a cliff: is irregularly built; has very steep streets; and contains the market-place, the parish church, the principal inns, and many tolerable shops. The lower part is adjacent to the quay, and exhibits considerable bustle of industry and trade. A five-arched bridge spans the river; chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Calvinistic Methodists are in the town; and the sands and cottages of Goodwick, on the W side of the bay, about a mile distant, offer attractions for sea-bathing. The town was originally designed to be the terminus of the South Wales railway; and it is a sub-port to Cardigan, a contributary borough to Haverfordwest, and a polling-place. A weekly market is held on Thursday; and fairs are held on 5 Feb., Whit-Monday, 25 June, 16 Sept., 8 Oct., and 17 Nov. An extensive fishery is carried on, in salmon and herring, by the natives, and in turbot and John Dory by small craft from Liverpool. Ship-building and ship-repairing also are carried on. About 100 vessels belong to the port, and are employed as coasters. A bar lies across the mouth of the river. A plan for a breakwater, a pier, an inner basin, and lighthouses, at a cost of £250, 000, was projected in 1837, and a plan for a harbour and other works, and for a railway 15¼ miles long from the S. Wales line at Pembroke, also at a cost of £250, 000, was authorised in 1865. The bay measures 3 miles by 2; is the chief, or almost only, refuge on the coast between Milford haven and Cardigan bay; and affords anchorage, with perfect shelter, in from 2 to 6 fathoms. The town has a post office‡ under Haverfordwest, and three chief inns. Pop., 1, 593. Houses, 428. --The parish comprises 4, 163 acres of land and 45 of water. Real property, £5, 958. Pop., 2, 084. Houses, 535. The property is much divided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St. David's. Value, £111.* Patron, the Lord Chancellor.—The sub-district contains twenty parishes. Acres, 50, 092. Pop., 7, 895. Houses, 1, 792.

Fishguard through time

Fishguard is now part of Pembrokeshire district. Click here for graphs and data of how Pembrokeshire has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Fishguard itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 20th April 2024

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