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"FISHGUARD (ABER-GWAIN), a market town and parish, in two divisions, the Upper and Lower, in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 16 miles (N.) from Haverfordwest, 26 1/2 (N.) from Pembroke, and 249 (W. by N.) from London, containing 1990 inhabitants. . . In the year 1797, a French force of about eleven hundred men, under the conduct of General Tate, effected a landing on this coast, within a few miles of the town; but after committing some ravages in the neighbourhood, they were made prisoners by the troops under Lord Cawdor. This event, though generally referred to Fishguard, took place in the adjoining parish of Llanwnda. The town is beautifully situated on the river Gwayn, near its influx into St. George's channel, and is divided into the Upper and Lower town, the former crowning the summit of a hill commanding an extensive and beautiful marine view, and the latter occupying the banks of the river, over which there is a neat stone bridge of five arches. The Upper Town includes the principal portion, containing the church, market-place, and principal shops, and consists chiefly of three streets, diverging from a common centre, partially paved, and consisting of houses irregularly built and of indifferent appearance. . . The surrounding scenery is finely diversified, assuming in some parts a striking boldness of character, and in others a pleasing combination of picturesque features and romantic beauty. The situation of the town upon a small bay in St. George's channel, to which it gives name, and the shores of which are distinguished for the beauty of their scenery; the salubrity of its atmosphere; the abundance and cheapness of the commodities brought to its markets; and the facility for sea-bathing, contribute to render Fishguard desirable as a place of residence, and attract to it numerous visitors during the summer. . . Some of the largest vessels belonging to the port are engaged in the general carrying trade from Bristol, Liverpool, Milford, and London, to Ireland, &c. The Irish packets often put in here, when driven by stress of weather. The herring fishery, which formerly afforded employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants, became latterly unproductive . . . The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is pleasantly situated in the Upper Town: it has recently been repaired, and is a neat small edifice, but not distinguished by any peculiarity of architecture. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]


Llyfryddiaeth Abergwaun = Bibliography of Fishguard .Dyfed Cultural Services Department. 1980?,20p

Business and Commerce Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;


Indexes to the 1841 and to the 1851 census for this parish are available from the Dyfed Family History Society.  

Census Returns for this parish have the following LDS Call Numbers:

Church History

FISHGUARD, St. Mary   1853-1856      -o n the Church plans online site

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants


Parish entry for Fishguard with Llanstinan and Llanychaer from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

Church Records

Diocesan records suggest that c1790 this parish had a register going back to 1761

Parish registers; Christenings (1799-1949 but may start at 1787), Marriages (1785-1964) Banns (1902-40), Burials (1799-1854, 1934-95) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

Copy ms PR C (1783-1854) M (1785-1837) B (1799-1854) at NLW

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1685, 1799-1829, 1831-47, 1863-4) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Bishops Transcripts for this parish have the LDS Call Number: 0105140.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

Dyfed FHS have published a series of indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials from Pembrokeshire hundreds for various periods.

Description and Travel

Places, villages, farms etc within Fishguard as shown on the online parish map from the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Tony Morris)


A pictorial and descriptive guide to South Wales: including Brecon, Newport, Cardiff, Vale of Neath, Swansea, Gower, Carmarthen, Llandovery, Tenby, Pembroke, Fishguard, Cardigan, New Quay, Aberystwyth, etc. (4th ed.), London, Ward, Lock & co., Ltd. (1925) 192, 80 p., front., ill., maps, plans, plates.

Fishguard, Goodwick, St. David's & Newport area guide. Edition Eisteddfod 86 edition. Fishguard : Preseli Printers, [1983?] Description 64p

Fishguard and Goodwick in old picture postcards. Zaltbommel : European Library, 1989.78p

John B S. The Fishguard and Pembroke Area, British Landscapes through Maps, no 16. Sheffield, 1972.

Lewis, Martin. Newport Pem and Fishguard .Chalford ,1996. 128p The archive photographs series

Morgan, G. Fishguard in old photographs, Swansea, Christopher Davies (1986) 55 p.

Morris, J P. The North Pembroke and Fishguard Railway. Lingfield, 1969.


Transcript of complete entry in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1833.

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830. Here are Extracts for Fishguard

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are Extracts for Fishguard


Pembrokeshire Families

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

Held at the NLW ;


Hughes, Clive. Focus on Fishguard and district : a selection of documents of interest to the family historian and available at the Pembrokeshire Record Office . In   Dyfed Family History Journal 2/4 (1986), p. 90-92

Phillips, Nan. The diary of the Reverend John Phillips, Trefasser, near Fishguard, 1885. In Dyfed Family History Journal 3/6 (1990), p. 148-53


The Last Invasion of Britain 1797 on Fishguard online

There are historical snippets about this parish on Not everyone knows this..

Carradice, P. The Last Invasion: The story of the French landing in Wales, Pontypool Torfaen, Village Publishing (1997). [A very readable and well-illustrated detailed account - complete with extensive references to primary sources and bibliography.]

Horn, P. The last invasion of Britain: Fishguard, 1797, Fishguard, Preseli (1980) 24 p

Horn, Pamela. The building of Fishguard Fort. Fishguard : Preseli Printers, 1982. 12p

Kinross, J S. Fishguard Fiasco. Tenby, 1974

Knox, Thomas. Some account of the proceedings that took place on the landing of the French near Fishguard, in Pembrokeshire, on the 22d February 1797, and of the inquiry afterwards had into Lieut.-Col. Knox's conduct on that occasion ... : together with the official correspondance and other documents . Publisher London : Printed by A. Wilson, 1800

Phillips, W D. The French Invasion of Fishguard as told me by 'Grannie'. Dyfed FHS journal, Vol 5/9 Apr 1997.

Stuart Jones, E.H. The Last Invasion of Britain, Cardiff, Univ. of Wales Press (1950) 324 p.

Land and Property

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;


Merchant Marine

Fishguard Lifeboat Station

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

Scott, Richard S. L. The port of Fishguard .           The Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society, No.2, 1986-7   Welsh Journals Online

Spence, Graeme. Some account of the bay and harbour of Fishguard, in Pembrokeshire, and of the proposed pier to be constructed there for the safety of vessels navigating the Irish Channel. [1790?-Signed on p. 31: Graeme Spence. Fishguard Harbour, May 6, 1790] 36p

Military History

Fishguard War Memorial - on the Roll of Honour site

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;


Fishguard Today - County Echo


Bennett, Tom. Fishguard lifeboats : a short history .Fishguard and Goodwick Ladies' Lifeboat Guild, 1984.28p

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

Held at Pem.RO

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[Gareth Hicks: 15 April 2015]

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