MARLAIS (MARLOES), a parish in the hundred of RHÔS, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 11 miles (W.S.W.) from Haverfordwest, containing 427 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the southern shore of Muggleswick bay, a lesser portion of St. Bride's bay, the western extremity forming a small promontory, and is partly bounded on the east by a small pill, or creek, of Milford Haven. It comprises a considerable tract of arable and pasture land, which, with the exception of a comparatively small portion, is enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The village is principally inhabited by fishermen, who obtain a livelihood in the lobster and crab fisheries, which are carried on here to a considerable extent, and by the sale of leeches, which are found in great numbers in a sheet of water covering from sixty to seventy acres, called Marlais Mere, and which, during the summer months, when it is dry, affords excellent pasturage for cattle. More than one-half of the parish is encompassed by the sea, and the shore is in general bold and bordered with cliffs: the depth of water, within a short distance, varies from four to fourteen fathoms. There are a few small islands, the principal of which are called Midland and Gateholm isles, situated close to the coast, but the larger one of Skomer is attached to St. Martin's parish in Pembroke. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £5, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the King, as Prince of Wales. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a small edifice, not possessing any architectural details of importance. A former structure, which was dedicated to St. Mary, and situated near the beach, was destroyed by an encroachment of the sea, which also laid waste the glebe land originally belonging to the living. Margaret Allen, by deed in 1772, gave £100, vested in the trustees of the turnpike roads in the county of Carmarthen, and producing £5 per annum to a schoolmaster for teaching twelve poor boys of this parish, to which purpose also an unknown benefactor from Picton Castle gave £5 per annum. The poor are maintained by an average annual expenditure amounting to £136.
Gareth Hicks, 30 Dec 1999