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From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)

PENALLEY (PENALEY), a parish in the hundred of CASTLEMARTIN, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 1 1/2 mile (S.W. by W.) from Tenby, containing 333 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the south-eastern extremity of the county, and on the shore of the Bristol channel, comprises a moderate portion of arable and pasture land, of which, with the exception only of a very small tract of common, the whole is enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. It formerly belonged to the family of De Barri, of Manorbeer castle, and, in the 1st of Henry IV., was granted to John de Windsor; but soon after reverting to the crown, it was granted by letters patent to Thomas ab Owain, of Trellwyn, in this parish, from whose family, on the death of his descendant, Thomas Bowen, Esq., it passed by marriage to the family of Philipps, of Picton. Trellwyn, the ancient family seat of the ab Owens, or Bowens, was garrisoned for the king, during the parliamentary war, by Lord Carberry; but being besieged by the parliamentary forces, after an obstinate resistance, it was finally surrendered on honourable terms. The parish abounds with limestone, which is quarried upon an extensive scale: part of it is exported to the coast of Devonshire, and part is burnt into lime for manure, for the supply of the neighbourhood. Some fine specimens of Madripore are found here. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £4. 17. 11, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's. The church is an ancient cruciform structure, and has been recently repaired and enlarged by the erection of a gallery containing sixty additional sittings: on an altar-tomb are two heads in relief, with the imperfect inscription "Wm. de Raynoor et Isemay sa femme, virgo beata Maria Ayt Merci, Amen." In the churchyard is an ancient circular cross of small dimensions, without any legible inscription, the shaft of which is elaborately ornamented with rich tracery. The vicarage-house is an elegant building, surrounded with beautiful gardens, and commanding some fine marine views: it was erected by the present incumbent, in 1822, under the provisions of Gilbert's Act. A neat and commodious school-house has been built also at the expense of the incumbent, in which about sixty children of both sexes are gratuitously instructed: it is supported by subscription, aided by an endowment of £3 per annum, charged on the estates of the late Lord Milford. Caldey Island is within the limits of this parish, for all ecclesiastical purposes. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £52. 14.

Gareth Hicks, 30 Dec 1999

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