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STEYNTON

In 1868, the parish of Steynton contained the following places:

"STEYNTON, a parish in the hundred of Roose, county Pembroke, 6 miles from Haverfordwest, and 2 from Milford, its post town. The village, which is small, is situated on Milford Haven, and near Pill Priory. Here are some ancient forts. The substratum is productive of lime and culm. The parish includes the village of Milford Haven. The living is a vicarage annexed to the rectory of Johnstone, in the diocese of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient structure with a tower, which was garrisoned during the civil war. There is also a district church at Milford Haven, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £80. The parochial charities produce about £20, which go to Devonald's school. St. Botolph's and Castle Hill are the principal residences."

"MILFORD, a chapelry, seaport town, and borough, in the parish of Steynton, hundred of Roose, county Pembroke, 6 miles N.W. of Pembroke, and 285 from London by the Great Western and South-Western railways, which last has its terminus at New Milford, the point of departure for the Irish and Brazilian steamers. The town is situated between two creeks on the right-hand side of Milford Haven, and about 6 miles from its mouth. It is entirely of recent origin, having been commenced in 1784 by the Hon. C. F. Greville, who inherited the property from his uncle, the famous Sir William Hamilton, by whom an Act of Parliament had been obtained for the formation of quays, making roads, regulating the police, &c. The town was designed according to a regular plan, the streets running from E. to W. facing the harbour, to be crossed at right angles by others; but the sanguine expectation of the founder not being realised, the works were discontinued. The portion of the town already finished consists of three parallel streets, ranged along the slope of the hill, commanding views of the harbour, which here spreads into a spacious reach, having the appearance of a lake. The inns, shops, stores, and public buildings are situated in the upper streets, the lower being chiefly occupied as private residences, let at an almost nominal rental. The principal buildings are the church, observatory with an extensive collection of instruments, custom house, and "Lord Nelson" hotel: this last is a spacious building with good accommodation for visitors. Shortly after the town was commenced a dockyard was formed after a plan by Lord Spencer, and several men-of-war were built here, but the dock was subsequently (1811) removed to Pater Church, now called Pembroke Dock. This arrangement, followed by the removal of the Irish post-office and packet establishment, greatly depopulated the place, and reduced trade to stag nation. The re-establishment of lines of steamers to Ireland and Brazil, and the anticipated completion of the great chain of railway communication with Manchester and the northern manufacturing districts, as also with Fishguard and Cardigan, when accomplished, cannot fail to bring commerce to the port, in anticipation of which the Hubberston Docks have been commenced, and it is asserted that the New Milford Docks, and in all probability Newton Noyes Ocean Pier will be carried out as well. One striking peculiarity of Milford is that its climate is nearly twenty degrees milder than in any other part of England. It has recently been made a contributory borough to Pembroke in returning one member to parliament. The jurisdiction of the port extends to the whole haven and along the entire coast from near Laugharne, in Carmarthenshire, to St. David's Head. It is under the control of a lord high admiral and a vice-admiral of the port, a harbour master, and other officials. The whale fishery was formerly prosecuted with considerable success, but is now entirely discontinued. The finest pickled oysters are sent from this port. The shores abound with limestone, which is quarried, and in places veins of copper ore have been found but partially worked. One reason which prevented the government adopting Milford as a naval arsenal, though Lord Nelson declared it the finest and most extensive harbour in the known world, capable of floating more than the whole navy of England in perfect safety, was the difficulty of securing it against hostile assaults; and this objection has not yet been entirely overcome, though the government have recently constructed fortifications at various points, as Popton, South Hook, Blockhouse, Dale, the Stack Rock, and Thorn Island. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of St. David's, value £80. The church, dedicated to St. Catherine, was erected in 1808, chiefly at the expense of the Hon. C. F. Greville, on a site originally intended for the centre of the town. The windows are ornamented with stained glass, and the interior contains a vase of red porphyry, brought from Egypt by Dr. Pococke, and inscribed to the memory of Admiral Nelson; it was presented as a font, but was pronounced too heathenish. There is also the twisted vane of the mainmast of the French admiral's ship L'Orient, blown up at the battle of Aboukir. A vase of Derbyshire marble forms the baptismal font. A little to the E. are the remains of the old chapel of St. Catherine, converted into a powder magazine since the building of the new church. Oyster fishery at Milford has of late been seriously interfered with by the oysters being caught and taken to other districts in order to be laid down in foreign beds. The Deep Sea Fishery Commissioners have recently visited Pembrokeshire, and acting upon their recommendation, and the powers contained in an old local Act, the county authorities have determined to make by-laws for the better preservation of the fishery. When these are carried out it is expected that the Milford Haven oyster fishery will be one of the most productive in the kingdom."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018