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Help and advice for Fishguard

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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;

  • Fishguard and Goodwick Post Office records and Union of Post Office Workers papers    "Papers relating to the Post Office and the Union of Post Office Workers in Fishguard and Goodwick, Pembrokeshire, 1949-1959, including correspondence, 1954-1956; miscellaneous Union papers, 1956-1959; papers relating to personnel in Fishguard, 1950-1959; payslips and receipts, 1956-1959; newspaper cuttings, [1956]; and GPO, Union and Treasury booklets, 1949-1958"


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:

  • 1841 Census - 0464343
  • 1851 Census - 0104238
  • 1861 Census - 0543245
  • 1871 Census - 0850858
  • 1881 Census - 1342306
  • 1891 Census - 6099650

Church History

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

  • St Mary's Parish Church              ".... and 6 large pews are huddled together in the Chancel...The Church is too small..."           Thomas Richardson, Curate
  • Tower Hill    CM         Erected in 1759           David Meyler, Supplying Master
  • Hermon   Particular Baptist         Erected in 1776, rebuilt in 1832         "During the winter when Sailors are at home Congregations are more numerous"                  Richard Owen, Minister, Park St, Fishguard
  • Ebenezer, Kensington St          Baptist           Erected in 1850       James Owen, Deacon, Saddler, High Street
  • Tabernacle Independents or Congregationalists        Erected before 1800             The afternoon service is performed in English              David Bateman, Minister

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

  • St Mary
  • &
  • St Justinian (Llanstinan)
  • &
  • Parish Church (Llanychaer)
  • Incumbent and Curates; D Davies (D J Evans)
  • Rural Deanery of Fishguard
  • Acreage 4,206 & 1,569 & 2,089 ; Population 3,245 & 155

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:

  • Ebenezer , in Fishguard town [Baptists, 1850]                  (Not found on Coflein or Dyfed FHS - unless the mission below)
  • Baptist Mission, Lower Fishguard             SM9637         Coflein
  • Hermon, in High St/Fishguard town [Baptists, 1776]. Records ; See Llangloffan           SM9567436903      Built 1776, rebuilt 1832     Still open 1998    Coflein               On Dyfed FHS
  • Bethel Baptist chapel, Fishguard              SM9560037185     Built 1905   Still open 1998       Coflein              On Dyfed FHS
  • Capel Sion Baptist, Scleddau (within Fishguard parish)             On Dyfed FHS (under Llanstinan)
  • Tower Hill , in Fishguard town [Calvinistic Methodists, 1758/9]. Records ; 1. Birth and baptisms 1811-37, PRO RG4/3606  and have been microfilmed by the LDS Call Number : 813551, IGI.   2. Copy of baptism register 1814-64 NLW 212208.    3. Early society accounts for this chapel transcribed in The Journal of the Historical Society of the Presbyterian Church of Wales Vol 51, 1966                   On Dyfed FHS                Pentowr CM chapel, Abergwaun  - still open in 2006
  • St Nicholas's chapel (Methodist), Fishguard                    On Dyfed FHS
  • Capel-y-cwm, CM chapel, Glyn-y-mel Rd, Lower Fishguard             SM9630137182          Coflein
  • Tabernacle, in Fishguard town  [Independents, 1796] . Records ; See Rhosycaerau.       On Dyfed FHS                 Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for this chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Melanie Stark  (Jan 2009)
  • Chapel, in Fishguard town  [Wesleyan Methodists, c 1815].            Records ; See Wesleyan Chapel, St Davids Parish            The cause died out c 1840 (Rawlins)    (Not found on Coflein or Dyfed FHS)
  • Church of the Holy Name (Roman Catholic), Fishguard            On Dyfed FHS
  • Capel-bach, Cilshafe       No denomination given            SM98893760   Coflein
  • Chapel, Bridge St, Glyn-y-mel Rd, Lower Town    No denomination given           SM96323713      Coflein
  • Jehovah's Witnesses, Kingdom Hall, Fishguard             SM954366         Coflein
  • Masonic Hall, Brodog Terrace, Penyraber, Fishguard                 SM9553737395    Coflein
  • Temperance Hall, West St, Fishguard              SM9557137198              Coflein

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)

  • Fishguard (Abergwaun) (31); Avon Cleddau; Carn Fran; Carn Madog; Carn Stanney; Castell cornwynt; Castell Draenen; Castle Point; Cefn-y-dre; Citsnafe; Criney Brook; Cronllwyn; Cwm Brandy; Efail; Esgyrn; Fishguard; FISHGUARD NORTH; FISHGUARD SOUTH; Llaneast; Lower Town; Old Fort; Penrhyn; Penrhyn Erw-goch; Penrhyn Ychain; Tre-boeth; Tre-groes; Tre-groes Maur; Tre-wrach; Trebover; Ty newydd

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.

You can see pictures of Fishguard which are provided by:


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;

  • Williams, D. J., Abergwaun, papurau (papers)  1793-1969 (gyda bylchau) (crynhowyd 1908-1969)     "Personal, public and literary papers of D. J. Williams, Fishguard, 1810-1969, including a great number of family letters and letters from friends and fellow literary figures; diaries; and college notebooks. ............................. "  
  • Morgan Family of Fishguard, Papers    1871-1969     "The Morgan family were builders, at West Street, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, at the beginning of the 20th century, and they also owned Fishguard Sawmills and Joinery Works, and were builders' merchants and undertakers. John Morgan (d. 1950) was a leading member of Pentour Calvinistic Methodist Church, Fishguard, and of the North Pembrokeshire Presbytery, and .............................."

Held at the NLW ;

  • Papers of David John Williams, Abergwaun (1885-1970), writer, including records of his ancestors in Carmarthenshire, 1793-1882.


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

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Fishguard has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Fishguard to another place.


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;

  • Alderman W. J. Phillips Williams estate papers    "Papers deposited by Alderman W. J. Phillips, 1784-1926, including deeds and papers of the Fishguard estates of Captain William Gwynne Evans, 1786-1883; deeds relating to land in Portfield, Haverfordwest, 1838-1839; deed relating to land in Llandilo and Llangolman, 1799; deeds relating to the Hazelhill estate, Llanstadwell, 1815-1912; deeds relating to Prendergast, 1810; deeds relating to the Bullford estate, Steynton, 1784-1918; records relating to the Fishguard Harbour Improvement Co., 1906-1926; and miscellaneous papers, 1816-1837"  
  • Johns and Pepper, Solicitors, records relating to Fishguard and Goodwick     "Records accumulated by of Johns and Pepper, Solicitors, Fishguard, 1699-1954, including deeds and papers of the Bowen family of Goodwick, 1699-1938; papers relating to Trevinnert estate, 1749-1911; Llanwnda Farm and Glasfryn papers, 1805-1951; Hescwm Issa estate papers, 1826-1869; papers of the Trenewydd estate and the Johns family, 1797-1948;..................................."



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SM957370 (Lat/Lon: 51.993734, -4.977248), Fishguard which are provided by:

Merchant Marine

Fishguard Lifeboat Station

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

  • Fishguard Harbour Improvement Company Records     1857-1897        "Abortive attempts were made to improve the harbour at Lower Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, from the late 18th century onwards. However in 1859 the Fishguard Harbour Improvement Company was formed by Act of Parliament in order to build a pier and quay at Lower Fishguard Harbour. .........  "  
  • Pembrokeshire Museums Service papers    Including   " ........... deeds relating to Fishguard, 1804-1812; ............. papers relating to William Morris, mariner, of Fishguard, 1832-1839 ..........."
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;

  • Papers of Fishguard Branch, Royal British Legion (Women's Section)  1935-1977


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;

  • Fishguard and Goodwick Urban District Council Records  1879-1983  
  • T. G. V. Johns, Fishguard, Papers  "Papers of T. G. V. Johns, 1834-1949, comprising Acts of Parliament relating to Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, 1834-1861; Manorowen poor rate book, 1851; legal papers relating to the Fishguard Improvement Co., 1949 ................................."

Held at Pem.RO

  • Fishguard and Goodwick parish/community council minute books 1974-1976

[Gareth Hicks: 15 April 2015]