B4329 road

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brown moorland and forestry with distant views
View south from Bwlch-Gwynt (March 2010)
refer to caption
Stone beam bridge at Brynberian
single carriageway road heading downhill through farmland
Looking north from the moorland to Tafarn-y-Bwlch
sheep pasture with distant mountainous brown moorland
View east from near Brynberian
a reservoir surrounded by forest
Rosebush Reservoir

The B4329 is a scenic route and a former turnpike in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. It links Eglwyswrw in the north of the county to Haverfordwest, the county town in the south, in an approximately southwesterly direction, crossing the Preseli Mountains.

Before the 20th century, it was the main road linking Cardigan and Haverfordwest, and featured a number of inns to sustain travellers. The road is 19 miles (31 km) long and varies in elevation from 100–404 metres (328–1,325 ft) above sea level. Much of the route is through farmland with scattered settlements, while the central section is through high moorland grazing with extensive views.[1]

History[edit]

The road was the main link between Cardigan and Haverfordwest in mediaeval times; the future Henry VII of England would have used it to march from Haverfordwest to Cardigan between 2 and 4 August 1485 on his way to the Battle of Bosworth.[2] In the 18th century, on the grounds that the road was badly in need of repair, it was turnpiked[3] with a toll of six pence per cart by the 1790 Haverfordwest Roads Bill, though not without protests from parishes from Stephen's Ford, near Haverfordwest, to Cornel Fach (a.k.a "Morris the Bailiffs") in Castlebythe parish, on account of the hardship tolls would bring to local people.[4] In Samuel Lewis's 1833 A Topographical Dictionary of Wales it is described as the "great road" from Cardigan to Haverfordwest.[5]

While the A487 (Cardigan to Fishguard) and the A40 (Fishguard to Haverfordwest) sections were later upgraded to trunk routes, the direct route was not, and was designated in the early 20th century road classification scheme as the B4329. From the 1920s to 1935, the B4329 was a multiplex with the A487 and an unclassified road from Boncath but reverted to the original start point in Eglwyswrw. The unclassified road became the B4332.[6][7] Before that, when most journeys were made on foot, horseback or horse-drawn vehicle, travellers were provided for by inns along the route, such as those at Crosswell, Tufton, Greenway and Crundale.

Extensive views[edit]

From the high moorland, there are extensive views across much of Pembrokeshire with the Bristol Channel, St George's Channel and the Irish Sea beyond. On clear days there are views as far as the Gower Peninsula in the southeast, much of mid-Wales to the north as far as Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula as well as across much of the Preseli range. It is also possible, atmospheric conditions permitting, to see the tops of mountains in Ireland over 100 miles away. The Preselis are noted for their many prehistoric sites,[8][9] some of which are close to the B4329.

Because of the steep inclines in the mountains, few heavy goods vehicles use the route, which is popular with tourists and bikers.[10] In winter, the highest parts of the road can occasionally be closed when ice or snow make driving conditions dangerous.[11]

Route[edit]

Northern section[edit]

From its northern end, branching from the A487, 12 mile (0.80 km) southwest of Eglwyswrw, the road drops down to cross the River Nevern by a single-lane stone bridge (Pont Gynon) just north of the hamlet of Crosswell, where a former inn, now Crosswell House, still stands.[12] The road enters the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park,[6] crossing another narrow bridge, Pont Saeson, then climbs steadily through farmland, passing a Grade II-listed 19th century circular stone structure for impounding livestock that had strayed from the mountains.[13] Crossing a 400-year-old bridge (mentioned as Pont llin birian in c.1600) crossing Afon Brynberian,[14] the road passes close by the hamlet of Brynberian.

Mountain section[edit]

From Brynberian, the gradient increases until the road reaches 284 metres (932 ft) at Tafarn-y-Bwlch (approximate English: Tavern at the Pass), an inn which existed at least as early as 1729.[15] On an 1888 map, the inn was called Salutation Inn.[16] The road crosses a cattle grid marking a boundary between enclosed agricultural land and unenclosed moorland and continues to climb to 404 metres (1,325 ft) between Cerrig Lladron and Mynydd-du Commin.[17]

Landsker Line, 1901

After the summit, Bwlch-Gwynt (translation: windy gap), the road drops steeply to another cattle grid and the intersection with the B4313 at Greenway, also known as New Inn, which, according to Richard Fenton in the 19th century, sustained northbound travellers before "the arduous task of winding up the painful ascent of Bwlch Gwynt".[18] In this locale the route crosses the imaginary Landsker Line marking the change from the largely Welsh place names of north Pembrokeshire to the largely English place names in the south of the county.[19]

Southern section[edit]

After the Greenway crossroads, the road slopes more gently downwards past Rosebush reservoir and Henry's Moat, leaving the National Park just before passing through the hamlet of Tufton, where the Tufton Arms, now a pub, stands. In the 19th century, this was the only inn in the parish, but a much older hostelry (possibly dating back to the 13th century), known as Poll-tax Inn or Paltockes Inne still stands, now a private house bypassed by road-straightening[20] (the old road forded a stream, shown on modern maps as Portrux Ford).[21] The road passes close by Llys y Fran Country Park, through the village of Woodstock[22] and past Scolton Manor, bridges the Carmarthen to Fishguard railway line, then passes through the hamlets of Bethlehem and Poyston Cross and Crundale in Rudbaxton parish. The inn in Crundale was the Boot and Shoe Inn.[23] The section between Greenway and Woodstock is on the 345 bus route.[24]

South of Crundale, the road crosses the bridge at Stephen's Ford, then crosses the A40 Haverfordwest bypass on a roundabout at Withybush, and ends at another roundabout at Prendergast in the centre of Haverfordwest, connecting with the A40 spur (Cartlet Road) and the A487.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Driving directions to Prendergast/B4329". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  2. ^ Laws, Edward (March 2011) [1888]. The History of Little England Beyond Wales, and the Non-Kymric Colony settled in Pembrokeshire. British Library, Historical Print Editions. p. 223. ISBN 978-1-241-43497-7.
  3. ^ Turnpike and pre-Turnpike Roads (PDF). Dyfed Archaeological Trust/CADW. p. 26. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  4. ^ Journals of the House of Commons, Volume 45. H. M. Stationery Office. 1803. p. 265. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  5. ^ "GENUKI: Meline". Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Sabre Roader's Digest: B4329". Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Dyfed Archaeological Trust - Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  8. ^ "The Golden Road". Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Pembrokeshire County Council: Visit Pembrokeshire: Preseli Mountains". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Best Biking Roads - Eglwyswrw to Haverforwest". Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  11. ^ "B4329 road open". Western Telegraph. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  12. ^ Cadw. "Crosswell House  (Grade II) (19164)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  13. ^ Cadw. "Pound at Newfoundland  (Grade II) (19163)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Dyfed Archaeological Trust: Preseli Area". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Dyfed Archaeological Trust: Mynydd Preseli". Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Royal Commission: Tafarn-y-Bwlch". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  17. ^ "GENUKI Parish Map 22 (Nevern)". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  18. ^ Fenton, Richard (1811). A historical tour through Pembrokeshire. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme &Co. p. 348. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  19. ^ Awbery, Gwenllian M, The Term 'Landsker' in Pembrokeshire in Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society, 4, 1990-91, pp 32-41.
  20. ^ Smith, P. (1988). Houses of the Welsh Countryside: A Study in Historical Geography. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. p. 352. ISBN 9780113000128. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  21. ^ "GENUKI: Parish map (No.48)". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  22. ^ Ordnance Survey Landranger Map 145: Cardigan & Mynydd Preseli, 2007
  23. ^ "Pembrokeshire County Council: Boot & Shoe, Crundale". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Traveline-Cymru" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  25. ^ Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL36: South Pembrokeshire, 2009

External links[edit]