CALDEY ISLAND, the principal of a cluster of insulated rocks in the bay of Tenby, and forming an extra-parochial district in the hundred of CASTLEMARTIN, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 2 miles (E.) from the main land. The population is returned with the parish of Penalley. This island, of which the ancient British name is Ynys Pyr, is about one mile in length, and half a mile in breadth, and comprises more than six hundred acres of good land, lying on bed of limestone, something less than half being in state of cultivation. Owen, speaking of the fertility of this spot, describes it as abounding with corn; but he adds that "all their ploughs goe with horses, for oxen the inhabitants dare not keepe, fearing the purveyors of the pirattes, as they themselves told me." Robert, son of Martin de Tours, founded a priory here, in the reign of Henry I, which he dedicated to St. Mary, and made a cell to the abbey of Dogmael, to which establishment the whole of the island was granted by his mother: its revenue, at the dissolution, was £5. 10. 11. The remains have been mostly converted into offices attached to a mansion erected on part of the site, now belonging to -- Kynaston, Esq., who is sole pro prietor of the island. Among them is the tower of the ancient conventual church, which is surmounted by a stone spire, and forms a conspicuous object of picturesque appearance, imparting, with the rest of the ruins, an interesting and romantic character to this sequestered spot. A lighthouse, with a steady light has been erected on this island, which is of great service to vessels entering Tenby harbour.
Gareth Hicks, 30 Dec 1999