DALE, a parish in the hundred of RHÔS, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 13 miles (S.W. by W.) from Haverfordwest, containing 335 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name from a contraction of De Vale, the name of one of its ancient lords, in whose time it was dignified with the title of a borough, and appears to have enjoyed certain privileges. It still preserves the right of depasturing cattle on a plot of ground, called Dale Meadow, after the lord of the manor has cleared off the hay, which privilege was granted to the holders of burgage tenements by Henry VII., who, while Earl of Richmond, landed at this place, on his expedition to wrest the crown of England from Richard III. Here he was met by Rhys ab Thomas, who advanced from Carew castle with a well-disciplined and well-appointed band of followers, to join the standard of the earl, with whom he was present at Bosworth Field, and to whose success he materially contributed, not only by his influence in adding to the number of his partisans, but by his valour and discretion in the field. This place is situated on a small bay, forming one side of the entrance into Milford Haven, and affording, in Dale Roads, good anchorage for small vessels, which may ride in safety in two or three fathoms at low water. Block-houses were built here in the reign of Elizabeth, and a chain is said to have been drawn across the mouth of the haven, from St. Anne's to Nangle Point on the opposite side, to obstruct the passage of the Spanish Armada. St. Anne's lighthouses were originally erected here, in 1712, by William Allen, Esq,, to whom a lease was granted by the crown for ninety-nine years, which term expired in 1813: they were rebuilt and again opened in 1800. The lantern of one of them contains eleven lights, and has an elevation of one hundred and sixty feet; and that of the other has sixteen lights, at an elevation of one hundred and ninety-five feet. Copper-ore was formerly worked in the parish, but the operations have been discontinued. A small fishery is carried on, employing six boats, which are chiefly engaged in taking lobsters, oysters, and herrings, during their respective seasons: there is a small trade in the importation of coal and culm from the interior of the county. The parishioners at large have the right of depasturing their cattle on Pickleridge common. The surrounding scenery is of a bold and striking character; and from the higher grounds are obtained some extensive and pleasing views over St. George's channel to the south and east, and of the surrounding country to the north. Dale Castle, formerly the family mansion of the Allens, passed by marriage with the heiress to John Lloyd, Esq., of Mabus, in the county of Cardigan, and is now the property of his grandson, John P. Allen Lloyd Philipps, Esq.: it is an embattled structure, and has been modernized and greatly improved, by the addition of two spacious wings, communicating with the centre by two circular projecting towers; it now forms one of the finest castellated mansions in the county and, from its situation, is a prominent and interesting object in the scenery of the place. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St.David's, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of J.P.A. Lloyd Philipps, Esq., who is the lay impropriator. The church, dedicated to St. James, and rebuilt in 1761, at the sole expense of John Allen, Esq., is a neat edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, and contains an elegant font of marble, presented to the parish by the same beneficent individual. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A small portion of land has been bequeathed by an unknown benefactor, the rent of which is annually given to the poor of the parish. Along the cliffs by which this part of the coast is bounded are several remains of ancient encampments, apparently of Danish construction. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £110. 15.
Gareth Hicks, 23 Dec 1999