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Coordinates: 51°59′54″N 4°58′49″W / 51.9982°N 4.98041°W / 51.9982; -4.98041

Fishguard
Welsh: Abergwaun
Fishguard Harbour.JPG
Lower Fishguard
Fishguard is located in Wales2
Fishguard

 Fishguard shown within Wales
Population 3,193 [1]
OS grid reference SM955375
Principal area Pembrokeshire
Ceremonial county Dyfed
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town FISHGUARD
Postcode district SA65
Dialling code 01348
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Preseli Pembrokeshire
List of places: UK • Wales • Pembrokeshire

Fishguard (Welsh: Abergwaun, meaning "Mouth of the River Gwaun") is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, with a population of 3,300 (est. 2006). The community of Fishguard and Goodwick had a population of 5043 at the 2001 census. A regular ferry leaves for Rosslare in Ireland from the port of Fishguard Harbour (not actually in Fishguard, but a mile away at Goodwick). Fishguard is the terminus of the A40 London to Fishguard trunk road. It is in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Fishguard is served by train at Fishguard Harbour railway station.

The town of Fishguard (proper) is divided into two parts:

  • Lower Fishguard (Welsh: Cwm) is situated where the River Gwaun meets the sea in a deep valley. It is a typical fishing village with a short tidal quay. The settlement stretches along the north slope of the valley.
  • Upper Fishguard contains the parish church, the High Street and most of the modern development, and lies upon the hill to the south of Lower Fishguard, to which it is joined by a steep and winding hill. The western part of the Upper town, facing Goodwick, grew up in the first decade of the 20th century with the development of the harbour.

Contents

History

The name Fishguard is from old Norse fiskigarðr = "fish catching enclosure",[2] and indicates that there may have been a Scandinavian trading post here, although there is no historical record to confirm this.[3] It was once a marcher borough. Owen, in 1603, described it as one of five Pembrokeshire boroughs overseen by a portreeve.[4] The Norman settlement lay along what is now High Street between the church at its north end and the slight remains of a Norman motte at its south end. Lower Fishguard developed as a herring fishery and port, trading with Ireland, Bristol and Liverpool. In the late 18th century it had 50 coasting vessels, and exported oats and salt herring.[5] The port declined in the latter half of the 19th century.

Fishguard's ancient Royal Oak pub saw the signing of surrender following the Last Invasion of Britain in 1797 when a force of 1,400 French soldiers landed near Fishguard but surrendered two days later The whole story is told by the Fishguard Tapestry, which was created for the 200th anniversary as a deliberate echo of the Bayeux Tapestry, and is on display in a hall near the town centre. The nineteenth century vicar of Fishguard, the Rev Samuel Fenton, wrote the noted book 'The History of Pembrokeshire'. The ancient Parliamentary Borough of Fishguard was contributary to the Borough of Haverfordwest. In 1907, it was created an Urban District, and included Goodwick from 1934 until the Urban District was abolished in 1974. During the Second World War, the Fishguard Bay Hotel was Station IXc of Special Operations Executive where submersibles were tested in Fishguard Bay.

Since 1995, the town of Loctudy (Breton: Loktudi) in Brittany, France has been twinned with Fishguard.

Geography

Fishguard in Pembrokeshire

Fishguard has a relatively mild climate due to its coastal position. The winds coming from the west or south-west have a determining influence on temperature and precipitation.

Wildlife around Fishguard is rich in flora and fauna: it shows a wide variety of colourful wild flowers and sea mammals including the grey seal, and even porpoises and dolphins. The local birdlife include Curlew, Redshank and Sanderling regularly foraging in the lower fishguard harbour and Stonechat, Cormorant and Fulmar can be seen from the coastal path.

Demography

According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, Fishguard had 3,193 inhabitants and 1,465 households. In 2001, 39.8% of the population could speak Welsh. This compares with 58.9% in 1951 and 90.3% in 1901. The population of 3,193 breaks down as follows:

Age Distribution Fishguard Pembrokeshire
0–4 years 5.8% 5.8%
5–15 years 13.0% 14.6%
16–19 years 3.7% 4.8%
20–44 years 24.4% 28.4%
45–64 years 25.2% 27.2%
65+ years 27.9% 19.2%

Economy

The English name 'Fishguard' demonstrates the town's connection with the sea. It is therefore not surprising that sea fishing and the port are the principal industrial activities in this town. Fishguard Harbour opened in 1906 and today is used by ferry passengers to Ireland and also well-known for herring fishery.

Landmarks

Outside of Fishguard there is a stone monument commemorating the signing of the Peace Treaty after the last invasion of Britain in 1797. Women dressed in Welsh costume startled the invaders. Also there is the 19th century parish church of St Mary's containing the grave of the heroine Jemima Nicholas. There is also a Bi-Centenary memorial stone monument in West Street, Fishguard to commemorate the Invasion. A tapestry was created in 1997 to commemorate the invasion and can be viewed free of charge in Fishguard's Town Hall.

Fishguard has many hotels and is the main shopping town of North Pembrokeshire with a busy Thursday market in the Town Hall.

Fishguard hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1936 and 1986.

Fishguard has a thriving Round Table with 20 members doing all sorts of good work including running the Fishguard & Goodwick Carnival which has been voted the most popular community event.

The Gwaun Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, is also a thriving charitable organisation within the community who host a number of sponsored events and other community works throughout the year thanks to the influx of younger brethren to the Order.

Notable people

The Welsh writer D.J. Williams was a resident and also taught at the local secondary school.

The retired football (soccer) player Mark Delaney who played for Cardiff City, Aston Villa and internationally for Wales grew up in Fishguard.

Jemima Nicholas single handedly captured 12 French soldiers in 1797, armed only with a pitchfork.

Catatonia lead singer Cerys Matthews went to Fishguard High School and now lives locally.

In the media

Fishguard has acquired a reputation as a result of "Hugh Pugh", a comic character in the Welsh TV series Barry Welsh is Coming, who reports from Fishguard and constantly points out the rivalry between Fishguard and Haverfordwest.

Fishguard's Royal Oak pub appeared in the film I'll Sleep When I'm Dead starring Academy Award nominee Clive Owen.

Lower Fishguard was used as "Llareggub" in the film of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole. The film Moby Dick (starring Gregory Peck) was also filmed here in the 1950s.

In sci-fi comic 2000 AD, Fishguard was the landing point for the Allied liberation of the United Kingdom in Savage Book 5.

See also

  • HMS Fishguard was a Banff class sloop, formerly the USCGC Tahoe transferred from the US Coast Guard in 1941 and returned in 1946.

References

  1. ^ Fishguard Ward, 2001 census
  2. ^ Charles, B. G., The Placenames of Pembrokeshire, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1992, ISBN 0-907158-58-7, p 50
  3. ^ Charles, ibid, p xxxvi
  4. ^ Owen, George, The Description of Penbrokshire by George Owen of Henllys Lord of Kemes, Henry Owen (Ed), London, 1892
  5. ^ Barrett, J. H., The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, HMSO, 1974, ISBN 0-11-700336-0, p 44

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Fishguard (Welsh: Abergwaun) is small coastal town in Pembrokeshire, South Wales.

Understand

Fishguard is a port of entry into South Wales from Rosslare in south-east Ireland, and lies at the western end of a historic road to London, which eventually becomes London's Oxford Street, (The modern A40 by and large follows this route). The town has a population of around 4,000.

Historically attempts were made by the Great Western Railway to make Fishguard a more significant port to allow passengers from London a slightly quicker journey to North America, by traveling by train from Paddington to Fishguard and then join a liner, rather than taking the train from Waterloo to Southampton.

  • Train services [1] are timed to meet the Rosslare ferry. There are some direct trains between Cardiff and Fishguard, however passengers will generally need to change in Swansea.
  • Stena Lines runs a ferry service from Fishguard to Rosslare, south-east Ireland, 92 miles (2 hour 10 minute drive) from Dublin.
  • Fishguard Folk Festival (Spring Bank Holiday 26-29 May 2006) is the only annual folk festival in west Wales. Though a small festival it draws an audience from a vast rural area and is a focal point for local folk musicians, usually with guests from Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland and Scotland (the Celtic nations). It offers a fine variety of traditional and modern music, dance and song, and is based on stage performances held at venues throughout the town, such as the local Arts Centre, participation sessions in pubs, street performances and teaching workshops. There is a great deal to see and do for everyone. Families are welcome, though there are adults only sessions in some of the pubs in the evenings.

The 11th annual celebration of folk music, song and dance will take place over the late Spring Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 28th to Monday 31st May 2010 in the historic seaport town of Fishguard. With concerts, dance displays, 'meet the artist' events, busking, informal music and song sessions and a real ale bar. Over the past ten years the seaport town of Fishguard has been host to this friendly small traditional music festival. Also featuring is the ever-popular guided 'Pirate and Smugglers' walk. The festival is mainly free, and embraces the talents of old and young alike and actively encourages visitors to join in the sessions with the 'stars' of the show. The first acts for 2010 have been announced as Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies, Nick Wyke & Becki Driscoll, Lucy Farrell and Jonny Kearney and Mike Chant. There are many more acts still to be announced.

Buy

The 11th annual celebration of folk music, song and dance will take place over the late Spring Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 28th to Monday 31st May 2010 in the historic seaport town of Fishguard. With concerts, dance displays, 'meet the artist' events, busking, informal music and song sessions and a real ale bar. Over the past ten years the seaport town of Fishguard has been host to this friendly small traditional music festival. Also featuring is the ever-popular guided 'Pirate and Smugglers' walk. The festival is mainly free, and embraces the talents of old and young alike and actively encourages visitors to join in the sessions with the 'stars' of the show. The first acts for 2010 have been announced as Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies, Nick Wyke & Becki Driscoll, Lucy Farrell and Jonny Kearney and Mike Chant. There are many more acts still to be announced.

Drink

Some pubs near the Ferry Port accept the Euro as well as sterling.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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