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From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)

ROBESTON WATHEN, or EAST, a parish in the hundred of NARBERTH, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Narberth, containing 421 inhabitants. This parish is beautifully situated on the turnpike road leading from Narberth to Haverfordwest, and within a short distance from the Canaston or East Cleddy river, which is navigable to within a few hundred yards of its western boundary. It comprises but a moderate portion of arable and pasture land, which is enclosed and cultivated: the soil is fertile, and the inhabitants are employed in agriculture, and in the procuring of limestone, which is found in some parts of the parish of a very excellent quality, resembling that of Aberthaw in Glamorganshire, and for the exportation of which the river Cleddy affords every facility. The village is seated on an eminence, and with the lofty tower of its church, rising above the thick foliage of the adjacent wood, forms an interesting and highly picturesque object, as seen from a distance. The surrounding scenery is beautifully and richly diversified, and the views over the adjacent country abound with interesting and romantic features. Robeston Wathen House, the seat of' the Rev. J.W. James, is a pleasing residence, surrounded with thriving plantations, which, with some neighbouring woods, form one of the few well-timbered spots with which the prevailing nakedness of the county is richly contrasted. From the churchyard is obtained a highly picturesque and beautiful view of the opposite hill, crowned with the magnificent ruinsof Lawhaden Castle, apparently on the brink of a richly wooded precipice, overhanging the river Cleddy, which flows at its base, and on the margin of which is seen the church of Lawhaden, in a romantic and sequestered spot. The living is consolidated with the rectory of Narberth, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's. The church, which is situated on elevated ground, is an ancient structure with a lofty square embattled tower. There are some trifling charitable benefactions for the poor, to whom also William Hawkins is said to have bequeathed an annuity of £11.10., of which no account can at present be obtained. In this parish are the remains of a small encampment, popularly called a Rhâth but nothing of its origin is known, neither do the remains possess any interest. The poor are supported by an average annual expenditure amounting to £78. 14.

Gareth Hicks, 30 Dec 1999

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