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From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)

FLORENCE (ST.), a parish in the hundred of CASTLEMARTTN, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 3 1/2 miles (W. by N.) from Tenby, containing 350 inhabitants. This parish is beautifully situated on a gentle eminence in the centre of a fertile vale, sheltered on one side by the northern declivity of the Ridgeway between Pembroke and Tenby. The village forms one of the most cheerful and interesting objects in the delightful ride from Tenby to Pembroke. Many of the cottages, which are grouped in pleasing clusters around the church, are of ancient appearance, and coeval with the castles in the vicinity, having been built by the first generations of the Flemings who settled in this part of the principality, in the reign of Henry I, by permission of that monarch, when driven from their own country by an inundation of the sea. Attached to the cottages are spacious gardens, and the lands in the immediate vicinity are more richly wooded than in almost any other part of the surrounding country. The scenery is agreeably diversified, and the whole appearance of this interesting spot is highly picturesque. The living consists of a rectory and a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's: the former is a sinecure, rated in the king's books at £16. 12. 1., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambrige; the latter, which is discharged, is rated at £4. 18. 4., is endowed with £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Rector: the bishop formerly collated to the vicarage. The church, dedicated to St. Florence, is a massive cruciform structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a lofty square tower: on the north side of the altar is a mural tablet of brass, with a Latin epitaph, in choriambic verse, to the memory of Robert Rudd, A.B., formerly archdeacon of St. David's, who was ejected from his benefice in the reign of Charles I, for his adherence to the cause of that monarch, and died in October 1648. There is a place of worship for Independents. In connexion with the established church is a Sunday school, supported by subscription, which is attended by nearly all the children of the parish; and a school, supported by the dissenters, is held in a school-house belonging to the parish. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £126. 7.

Gareth Hicks, 23 Dec 1999

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