Dyfrffordd Aberdaugleddau - The Estuary - by W Bro John Prior

A ria of distinction

Even Nelson said it so

The eustatic flooding of a valley

From an ice age long ago


A dendritic tree like formation

An unglaciated river gorge

Forming a natural harbour

Maintaining its outlet to the sea


Beneath the littoral zone

Settlements and life submerged forever

Global warming on a massive scale

Creating the Estuary as we see it today


Stone Age man transported Bluestones

Extracted from the Preseli Hills

Out and around the coast of Britain

On route to that famous Henge


To the Norsemen ‘ Melr Fyord ‘

Who appreciated the safety of its shores

So much so that Hubba the Viking Chieftain

Overwintered here in 854


Beneath the Great Hall of Pembroke Castle 1093

Watergates seal the entrance to Wolgan’s Cavern

Used by Neolithic, Bronze Age man and Romans alike

Now home to the Common Pipistrelle Bat


Haverfordwest Castle 1120 – 1290

The town restored to County Status 1543

Once a thriving port dominating the Western Cleddau

Confirmed by the ‘Medieval Lymphad ‘seal.


Strategically located for invasions of Ireland

Strongbow – Earl of Pembroke 1170

The Plantagenet – Henry 2nd 1171

Richard 2nd 1399 & Oliver Cromwell 1649


Viking settlements at Dale, Hakin, Hubberston and Pill


Confirm the visits of that North Germanic ethnolinguistic group

1170 Hubberston Priory founded and Dissolved by Henry 8th

1180 St Thomas a Beckett Chapel – A Beacon Church for sailors


Upriver on the banks of the Haven

Castle strongholds created within the Palatine

Pembroke, Haverfordwest, Picton, Benton, Upton, Carew & Manorbier

Structures designed and built for defence


1457 Henry Tudor born in Pembroke Castle

Spirited away to safety on the continent

Returning to Mill Bay in 1485

On route to Bosworth and the title of Henry 7th


Guarding the vulnerable mouth of the Haven

Cross fire Blockhouses East and West

Initial defensive measures instigated by Cromwell 1580

A natural reaction to the fear of a French Incursion


Milford Town – William Hamilton’s vision

Approved by Parliament 1790

Nantucket Quakers arrival 1792

Sperm whale – The advent of the first oil age


The ménage a trois of the Hamilton’s and Nelson

Culminating in their visit to Milford in 1802

The Admirals opinion “The finest natural harbour in the world “

The “New Inn “ renamed “ The Lord Nelson” in his honour


1814 Pembroke Dock Town founded

1816 Royal Naval Dockyard Established

1836 Irish Packet Service relocated to the Town

Strategic Naval Assets requiring protection


The trauma of the failed 1797 Fishguard invasion

Resulting by 1858 in a harbour bristling with fortifications

Dale, Thorn Island, Chapel Bay, Stack Rock, South Hook, Popton,

Pater, Martello Towers, Scoveston & Defensible Barracks


1863 The Golden Age of Rail reaches Milford Haven

1874 Foundation stone laid for Milford Docks

1888 “The Sybil” heralds the birth of the Fishing Industry

Steam trawlers replacing sailing Smacks


1935 Royal Naval Armament Depo construction commenced

Tunnels deep beneath Castle Pill

Ensuring extensive mine production WW2

Made redundant by technological advances


Pembroke Dock home to Sunderland Flying Boats

Squadron 210 Motto – “To watch the West from the air “

Capable of a myriad of tasks

Active through WW2 though disbanded in 1957


1960 The Birth of the Petrochemical Industry

Esso the first of a proliferation of refineries

Economic viability causing the demise of the King of Liquids

In the wings LNG ready to take its Crown


The future – Leisure and Green Energy

Marinas, Sports Activities and Power Generation

The never-ending storey of a beautiful Estuary

Shakespeare opinion “Blessed Milford” Cymbeline 1611

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