New Quay shown within Ceredigion
|– Cardiff||90 mi (140 km) SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||New Quay|
|Fire||Mid and West Wales|
New Quay (Welsh: Cei Newydd) is a seaside town in Ceredigion, Wales with a resident population of around 1,200 people, reducing to 1,082 at the 2011 census. Located on Cardigan Bay with a harbour and large sandy beaches, it lies on the Ceredigion Coast Path, and remains a popular seaside resort and traditional fishing town.
Until the early 19th century, New Quay consisted of a few thatched cottages surrounded by agricultural land, the natural harbour providing a safe mooring for fishing boats and a few small trading vessels. The New Quay Harbour Act was passed in 1835 and a stone pier was constructed at a cost of £7,000. Trading activity increased and new houses were built as economic migrants arrived. Shipbuilding began to take place and the town increased in size with the construction of terraced housing up the slopes of the sheltered bay.
By the 1840s, more than three hundred workmen were being employed in shipbuilding in three centres, New Quay itself, Traethgwyn, a bay just to the north, and Cei-bach, a pebble beach further north below a wooded cliff. Here were constructed not only smacks and schooners for sailing along the coast, but also larger vessels for sailing to the Americas and Australia. At that time, as well as shipwrights, New Quay had half a dozen blacksmith shops, three sail makers, three rope walks and a foundry. Most of the male inhabitants of the town were mariners or employed in occupations linked with the sea.
By 1870, shipbuilding had ceased at New Quay but most of the men living there still went to sea. There were navigation schools in the town and many of the last square riggers that sailed the world were captained by New Quay men. The observant tourist can still see the old warehouses, now put to new uses, lengths of chain, metal rings and capstans, and a list of tolls for exports and imports can still be seen outside the harbourmaster's office.
New Quay Golf Club (now defunct) first appeared in 1909. The club and course closed in the mid 1920s.
Tourism and attractions
Key attractions for holidaymakers include the picturesque harbour and expansive sandy beach, as well as the ability to see the population of bottlenose dolphins that lives in Cardigan Bay. The town has a heritage centre and marine wildlife centre, as well as the usual collection of shops and restaurants. Nearby New Quay Honey Farm, the largest bee farm in Wales, has a live bee exhibition and sells honey, mead and beeswax. The outskirts of the town feature many large holiday parks and caravan sites.
In addition to the hospitality industry, there is still significant employment in sea fishing and fish processing.
New Quay Lifeboat Station, operated by the RNLI, houses two lifeboats: a Mersey class and a D class. In 2014 the station celebrated 150 years of service, during which period it made 940 callouts.
Public transport is provided by regular bus services to Aberaeron, Cardigan and Aberystwyth. The town has never had a train service, as schemes to open routes to Cardigan or Newcastle Emlyn were abandoned in the 1860s, and that from the Aberaeron to Lampeter branch line (the Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway) was never completed due to the First World War.
A few miles outside New Quay is a honey farm. There is a public park at the top of New Quay next to a tennis court.
Links with Dylan Thomas
New Quay is one of several places in Wales to claim a link with writer Dylan Thomas, who lived in the area from September 1944 until May 1945. Accordingly, the town is often cited as partial inspiration for the fictitious village of Llareggub in Under Milk Wood.
Dylan Thomas' principal patron in the area was Thomas Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, whose summer residence was Plas Llanina, an historic manor house perched atop the cliffs at Cei Bach next to the tiny church dedicated to St Ina. His lordship allowed Thomas to use the old apple house at the bottom of the house's walled garden as a quiet place in which to write. Plas Llanina has quite a chequered history including some interesting owners and various stories associated with them. By the end of the 18th century it had passed into the ownership of the Jones family, the last of whom was Edward Warren Jones. When he died he left the Llanina Estate to his two godchildren, Mrs Charlotte Lloyd (of Coedmore) and her younger brother, Charles Richard Longcroft. Charlotte and Charles had lived with Edward Warren Jones as children after the deaths of their parents, Capt. Edward Longcroft (d. 1812) and his wife Elizabeth (d. 1809). Indeed, Charles had been born at Plas Llanina while Captain and Mrs Longcroft were living with Mr Jones; there were local rumours that Charlotte and Charles were actually fathered not by Edward Longcroft but by Edward Warren Jones, but this is unsubstantiated.
- "Town and ward population 2011". Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Jenkins, J. Geraint. Ceredigion: Interpreting an Ancient County. Gwasg Careg Gwalch (2005) pg. 63.
- Jenkins, J. Geraint. Ceredigion: Interpreting an Ancient County. Gwasg Careg Gwalch (2005) pg. 64.
- “New Quay Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
- "Cardigan Bay Regatta in its 126th year". New Quay Yacht Club. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- "New Quay Fleet". RNLI.
- "New Quay RNLI mark 150 years of service". Wales Online. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- BBC Wales - Arts - Dylan Thomas - New Quay
- See pp285-313 in D N Thomas (2004)Dylan Remembered 1935-53, vol 2, Seren, as well as published articles collected at http://undermilkwood.webs.com
- The Edge of Love (2008) - Filming locations
- D N Thomas (2002) The Dylan Thomas Trail, Y Lolfa
- Holidays - New Quay Tourist Information
- Phillips-Evans, J. The Longcrofts: 500 Years of a British Family (Amazon, 2012)
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