Newport, Pembrokeshire

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Newport
Welsh: Trefdraeth
Newport and Nevern estuary
Newport is located in Pembrokeshire
Newport
Newport
 Newport shown within Pembrokeshire
Population 1,122 (2001 census[1])
OS grid reference SN055395
Principal area Pembrokeshire
Ceremonial county Dyfed
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWPORT
Postcode district SA42
Dialling code 01239
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Preseli Pembrokeshire
List of places
UK
Wales
Pembrokeshire

Coordinates: 52°01′11″N 4°50′10″W / 52.01975°N 4.83607°W / 52.01975; -4.83607

Newport (Welsh: Trefdraeth, meaning: "town by the beach") is a community, town and ancient port (Parrog) on the Pembrokeshire coast in south-west Wales, at the mouth of the River Nevern (Welsh: Afon Nyfer) in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

A popular tourist destination, Newport town straddles the A487 Fishguard to Cardigan road, while the old port area hosts many beach, water and other activities.

Newport is twinned with the village of Plouguin in Finistère, Brittany and Annapolis, Maryland, USA.

History[edit]

The town was founded by the Norman William FitzMartin (c.1155-1209) in about 1197. He was a son-in-law of the Lord Rhys, who nevertheless expelled him from his former base at nearby Nevern, which had been established by his father Robert fitz Martin. William founded Newport as the new capital of the Marcher Lordship of Cemais and it was a busy port founded primarily on the growing medieval wool trade. Despite seizure from the native Welsh, it remained within the FitzMartin family until the death of William, the 2nd Lord Martin, who died without male heir in 1326.

Newport is a marcher borough. George Owen of Henllys, in 1603, described it as one of five Pembrokeshire boroughs overseen by a portreeve.[2] It retains some of the borough customs such as electing a mayor, who beats the bounds on horseback every August.

View of castle and attached house from foot of Castle Street

The castle built by FitzMartin is situated on a spur of Carn Ingli which overlooks Newport and much of the surrounding countryside. Though in ruins since at least the 17th century, it is impressive due to its site, and a converted house incorporating the castle walls which faces west over the town, the bay and the Irish Sea is still inhabited.

In the 1880s the castle was associated with John Brett, who rented it for his large family while he spent summers cruising the south and west coasts of Wales painting, sketching and photographing. He moored his 210 ton schooner, Viking (which had a crew of twelve) at Parrog. A lifeboat station (now a private residence) was operated from a beach known as The Cwm to the west of Parrog in the early 20th century.[3]

Amenities[edit]

Town[edit]

Newport town has a compact but varied shopping centre with most facilities including bank, post office, a wide range of retail premises and ancient buildings including the castle, not presently (2014) open to the public, which is undergoing restoration work.

Parrog[edit]

Old lifeboat station, The Cwm

The old port area contains much of historic interest, including some of the old quay walls and two former lime kilns. As well other activities there are moorings for small craft and a number of holiday lets and eating places. It is possible, with caution, to cross the river on foot at low tide.[4][5]

Parrog has two beaches, a golf course, a windsurfing and dinghy sailing club, pubs, hotels and camping grounds.

Worship[edit]

The tower of St Mary's Church

The church of St Mary's, situated below the castle though within the town, dates from the FitzMartin era, and the outside east apse bears their arms ("Argent, two bars gules").

Other religious buildings include Bethlehem Chapel and the Tabernacle Chapel.

Hostelries[edit]

Llwyngwair Arms

The town's hostelries include Llwyngwair Arms in the centre of town and Cnapan Hotel, a Georgian hotel and restaurant.

Sailing[edit]

Newport Sailing Club is housed in an old warehouse. As well as facilities for members, it has a non-members' bar.

Walking[edit]

Newport is situated on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, part of the Wales Coast Path, has a youth hostel and is popular for walks in the Preseli Hills. Carn Ingli hill, an Iron Age hillfort with Bronze Age hut circles, lies just outside the town. Nearby are the Carreg Coetan Arthur burial chamber and the West Wales Eco Centre.

Notable people[edit]

Newport Bay across Traeth y Bettws and Afon Nyfer - viewed from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
  • James Bevan Bowen (MP), of Llwyngwair, Newport, was High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1862
  • William Edward Cheverton, Saloon Steward on the Titanic.
  • John Grono, (c.1767- 4 May 1847), settler, sailor, ship builder, ship captain, sealer, whaler and farmer, born in Newport, died in Australia.
  • Robert FitzMartin, (c. 10??-c. 1159), Norman knight and first Lord of Cemais, founded the Newport Castle.
  • Dillwyn Miles (1915-2007), writer and teacher, was born in Newport.
  • John Seymour, (12 June 1914 – 14 September 2004), author, lived at a farm near Newport between 1963 and 1980.
  • The Incredible String Band, psychedelic folk band, formed in 1966, lived communally at a farmhouse near Newport 1969 - 1970.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office for National Statistics Parish Headcounts: Newport, Pembrokeshire
  2. ^ Owen, George (1892). The Description of Pembrokeshire by George Owen of Henllys Lord of Kemes (Henry Owen, Ed.). London. 
  3. ^ "The Cwm". Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Visit Pembrokeshire: Newport Parrog Beach". Retrieved 5 Apr 2014. 
  5. ^ "Newport Parrog". Retrieved 5 Apr 2014. 

Other sources[edit]

  • The Lords of Cemais, Dillwyn Miles, Haverfordwest, 1996.
  • Cemais, Dillwyn Miles, Haverfordwest, 1998.
Panoramic image from Carn Ingli with Newport bay in the far right distance

External links[edit]