ST ISSELLS - from Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)
ISSEL'S, ST., (ST. ISSELL'S), a parish in the hundred of NARBERTH, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 3 1/2 miles (N.) from Tenby, containing 1226 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated at the western extremity of Carmarthen bay, has its surface singularly diversified with abrupt and precipitous eminences and deep dingles, which, being richly wooded, form a striking contrast to the dingy and sterile appearance occasioned by the coal mines in the immediate vicinity. But the greatest ornament to this part of the country is the richly wooded eminence on which stands Hean Castle, the seat of Thomas Stokes, Esq., which commands extensive and interesting marine views, embracing a great variety of beautiful and romantic scenery along the coast. The estate attached to it formerly belonged to the Wogans of Wiston, from whom it passed to its present proprietor, by marriage with one of the coheiresses of that ancient family. Kilgetty, an ancient mansion in this parish, belonging to the family of Picton, and in which the late Lord Milford was born, is in the occupation of a farmer, and is at present going to decay. The parish abounds with excellent coal and culm, of which great quantities are annually raised by a company, and shipped for various parts of the kingdom at Sander's Foot, where a pier is now being constructed, to which a rail-road is already in progress from these mines and those of Begelly. Other improvements have also been commenced, among which a plan for rendering the quay accessible to larger vessels than could previously approach with safety is in a considerable state of advancement. Iron-ore is also found in connexion with the strata of coal, and was formerly wrought to a considerable extent by the Pembrey Iron Company; but the works have been discontinued for the last five or six years, owing to a want of charcoal for fuel, the coal here produced being of the hard species called "stone coal," and consequently unfit to be employed in the manufacture of metals. The sands on this part of the coast are extremely favourable for sea-bathing, and a few families, who prefer retirement and tranquillity, resort hither during the summer season, prefering the humbler, but more peaceable, accommodations which the inns of this place afford, to the gaieties of Tenby. The beach abounds with most of the species of shells found at Tenby, and numerous fossil remains are discovered in the mines, at a great depth from the surface. The turtle, or "scorpion" stone, as it is here called, is frequently met with, and is susceptible of a beautiful polish. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £3.17. 6., endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of St.David's. The church is romantically situated in one of the richly wooded dells with which the parish abounds, and is a neat structure in the early style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower, which is seen to great advantage above the wood in which it is embosomed. The free school was founded by John Jones, Esq., who, in 1757, bequeathed £300 in trust for the gratuitous instruction of an equal number of children of both sexes, in reading and writing: the income arising from this bequest, amounting to £16.12.per annum, is appropriated to the maintenance of the school, the remainder of the funds necessary for which being raised by subscription. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £187. 9.
Gareth Hicks, 23 Dec 1999