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HistoryEdit

The town was founded by the Norman William FitzMartin (c.1155-1209) in about 1197. He was a son-in-law of the Lord Rhys, who nevertheless expelled him from his former base at nearby Nevern, which had been established by his father Robert fitz Martin. William founded Newport as the new capital of the Marcher Lordship of Cemais and it was a busy port founded primarily on the growing medieval wool trade. Despite seizure from the native Welsh, it remained within the FitzMartin family until the death of William, the 2nd Lord Martin, who died without a male heir in 1326.

 
Newport Castle

Newport Castle, built by FitzMartin, is situated on a spur of Carn Ingli which overlooks Newport and much of the surrounding countryside. Though in ruins since at least the 17th century, it is impressive due to its situation; a house incorporating the castle walls, which faces west over the town, the bay and the Irish Sea, is still inhabited.

In the town is a significant mediaeval pottery kiln from the 15th century, believed to be the only intact example in Britain; finds include jugs, pots, ridge tiles and distilling equipment. Excavation was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2017.[4][5]

Newport is a former marcher borough. George Owen of Henllys, in 1603, described it as one of five Pembrokeshire boroughs overseen by a portreeve.[6] It retains some of the borough customs such as electing a mayor, who beats the bounds on horseback every August.

In the 1880s the castle was associated with John Brett, who rented it for his large family while he spent summers cruising the south and west coasts of Wales painting, sketching and photographing. He moored his 210-ton schooner, Viking (which had a crew of twelve) at Parrog. A lifeboat station (now a private residence) was operated from a beach known as The Cwm to the west of Parrog in the early 20th century.[7]

GovernanceEdit

At the local level, the electorate of the community elects up to eleven town councillors to Newport Town Council, who meet monthly.[8]

Newport is also an electoral ward to Pembrokeshire County Council, electing one county councillor. Like many wards in the county, Newport has been represented by Independent councillors with no party affiliation.[9]

AreasEdit

TownEdit

Newport town has a compact but varied shopping centre with most facilities including a post office, a wide range of retail premises and ancient buildings including the castle (not open to the public), which is undergoing restoration work.

ParrogEdit

 
Old lifeboat station, The Cwm

The old port area contains much of historic interest, including some of the old quay walls and two former lime kilns. There are moorings for small craft and a number of holiday lets and eating places. It is possible, with caution, to cross the river on foot at low tide. Parrog has two beaches, a golf course, a windsurfing and dinghy sailing club, pubs, hotels and camping grounds.[10][11]

Listed buildingsEdit

In the community, there are more than 60 listed buildings.[12]

AmenitiesEdit

WorshipEdit

 
The tower of St Mary's Church

The church of St Mary's, situated below the castle though within the town, dates from the FitzMartin era, and the outside east apse bears their arms ("Argent, two bars gules"). The church was the subject of an 1860 photograph by notable early Welsh photographer John Thomas (1838–1905).[13]

Other religious buildings include Bethlehem Chapel and the Tabernacle Chapel.

HostelriesEdit

 
Llwyngwair Arms

The town's hostelries include Llwyngwair Arms in the centre of town and Cnapan Hotel, a Georgian hotel and restaurant.

SailingEdit

Newport Sailing Club is housed in an old warehouse. As well as facilities for members, it has a non-members' bar.

WalkingEdit

Newport is on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, part of the Wales Coast Path, has a youth hostel and is popular for walks in the Preseli Hills. Carn Ingli hill, an Iron Age hillfort with Bronze Age hut circles, lies just outside the town. Nearby are the Carreg Coetan Arthur burial chamber and the West Wales Eco Centre.

A little to the north of Newport lie Newport Cliffs, a Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by Natural Resources Wales.

Notable peopleEdit

 
Newport Bay across Traeth y Bettws and Afon Nyfer - viewed from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

See alsoEdit

TwinningEdit

Newport is twinned with the village of Plouguin in Finistère, Brittany and Annapolis, Maryland, USA

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Community and Ward population 2011". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  2. ^ "GENUKI: Newport, Pembrokeshire". Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  3. ^ "GENUKI: Newport, Pembrokeshire: Parish map". Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Pembrokeshire medieval pottery kiln conservation gets funding". BBC News. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Newport kiln pottery 'reveals life in medieval Wales'". BBC News. 18 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  6. ^ Owen, George (1892). The Description of Pembrokeshire by George Owen of Henllys Lord of Kemes (Henry Owen, Ed.). London.
  7. ^ "The Cwm". Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Newport Town Council". Newport Town Council. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  9. ^ Pembrokeshire County Council Election Results 1995-2012, The Election Centre (Plymouth University). Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Visit Pembrokeshire: Newport Parrog Beach". Retrieved 5 Apr 2014.
  11. ^ "Newport Parrog". Retrieved 5 Apr 2014.
  12. ^ "British Listed Buildings: Newport, Pembrokeshire". Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  13. ^ "People's Collection Wales". Retrieved 18 February 2018.

Other sourcesEdit

  • The Lords of Cemais, Dillwyn Miles, Haverfordwest, 1996.
  • Cemais, Dillwyn Miles, Haverfordwest, 1998.
  • Echoes and Shadows: tales and traditions of Newport and Nevern, Brian John, Newport, 2008.
  • Carningli: land and people, Brian John, Newport, 2008.
 
Panoramic image from Carn Ingli with Newport bay in the far right distance

External linksEdit