Part 3: Fishguard
Part 3: Fishguard
We continue our journey down the rocky and beautiful Welsh coast from Anglesey to Pembrokeshire, arriving at the towns of Fishguard and Goodwick. Nestled in a pair of sheltered harbours and looking out to Wexford across the Irish Sea, the twin towns and their coastline abound with stories and natural beauty. Download the Port Places app on your Apple or Android phone, open the menu and press 'Find More' to see the list of featured experiences, and read on!
Fishguard is a coastal town in north Pembrokeshire, overlooking Cardigan Bay. Its name in Welsh, Abergwaun, reflects its position at the mouth of the Gwaun river; its name in English derives from the Old Norse Fiskigarðr – ‘fish catching enclosure’ – and reveals the town’s long history as a trading port. Goods such as limestone, coal, slate, wool and foodstuffs all passed through its harbour. It is also the site of many strange episodes in the history of Wales, including the last invasion of the British mainland by the French in 1779 and its diverse cultural legacy.
The Port Places app captures this rich history with three overlapping experiences.
Follow the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and experience stories and accounts of the rich history stretching along the coast in both directions from the Twin Towns of Fishguard and Goodwick. Created from material in the Ports, Past and Present collection with contributions from Natasha de Chroustchoff and Jeremy Martineau.
Along the way you will experience stories of an improbable storm-tossed crossing over the Atlantic from Massachusetts, mermaids and fairies, the first telegraph cable, the sights and stories of the Goodwick Parrog (promenade), the Gorsedd stones overlooking Lower Fishguard and the dramatic remains of a ruined church to the east in. The walk can be undertaken in either direction, up the hill to Llanwnda and west from Goodwick or up the steps east past upper and Lower Fishguard on the coastal path.
Why not stop for a meal at the cafe located within the Ocean Lab building, a short drive from the Port and conveniently situated next to a public car park? While there, you can look out to sea and take a walk along the Sea Wall and back. Or visit the high street of Upper Fishguard, only a brisk walk and short climb away. The app will help to situate you as you look out into the bay, and assist you in planning a walk.
This experience overlaps with our next features collection, detailing the story of the 1797 Last Invasion of Fishguard!
On 22 February 1797, the locals in the area around Fishguard and the Pencaer Peninsula remarked that for a day in winter it was an uncommonly fine and warm morning. Little did they know that this day would be marked down in the history books less for the remarkable weather, but for a contingent of the French Légion Noire landing at Carreg Wastad point with the intent of invading Britain and trying to rouse a disaffected population to overthrow the king and establish a republic. Owing to the relative isolation of western Pembrokeshire and an unexpected display of patriotism by the local Welsh, the French invaders found their plans foiled and surrendered themselves on Goodwick Sands only two days later.
This experience includes a tour of the key locations of 'The Last Invasion of Britain', around Strumble Head, Goodwich and Fishguard.
This experience draws on the creative, film and heritage material of the project to set out a trail of stories stretching from Fishguard to Rosslare Harbour. It covers the ferry crossing between Pembrokeshire and Wexford, including creative work, stories, interviews and poetry. It tells the story of sights and sounds of the Irish and Welsh coasts, social change and natural wonders, images of the Irish Sea captured in documentary films and many of the overlapping accounts and events that have clustered around the crossing over centuries.
The experience can begin at either end of the route, and can be downloaded in advance of your journey. Once downloaded, no data is needed to read the text, look at the images and listen to the audio while you undertake your ferry trip.
The three Ports, Past and Present crossing experiences on Port Places bring the past to life by showing that the Irish Sea and its long frequented crossings are not focused on a single topic, but cover every aspect of human life at sea and on land. They present personal accounts together with large-scale tragedies, traces of ancient histories together with the upheavals of recent decades.
In the next section of this exhibit, we cross the Irish Sea to County Wexford and the town of Rosslare Harbour! Browse the list of featured experiences on the Port Places app to learn more.