R

Redberth,  Reynaldston, Rhoscrowther, Rickeston and Scotsborough, Robeston West, Robeston Wathen, Roch, Rosebush,  Rosemarket,  Rudbaxton.

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Redberth        083043

The Church dedicated to St Mary has been described as a Lovely Little Victorian Church built in 1844 by George Brown and restored in 1913 by F.R.Kempson. It has doored box pews, a miniature two decker pulpit with adjacent reading desk, three sided communion rails and the Ten Commandment tablets on either side of the altar.

Acc/to The Old Parish Churches of South West Wales - Mike Salter  1994.

Church on ancient foundations but has been completely rebuilt and lacks old features.

This vicarage has a parish of its own although the church was formerly only a chapel to Carew.

There appears to be no mention of this benefice in the Valor Eccl.

Under the heading   “Not in Charge” - Ridpert alias Ridbert, Capel to Carew. Bishop of St. Davids Patr. £2 5s. 0d certified value – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

Thomas                                               1543                Redbert        Churchwarden                           

Llewelin            John                           1543                Redbert        Churchwarden

Andrew             John                          1737 Aug2      Redbert           vicar

Handcock         Thomas                     1785  Jun 18   Redberth          vicar

Phelps               John                          1865 Feb 24    Redberth        vicar

Devonald          George                      1829  Feb 12   Redberth         vicar

Gibbon              Hugh Harries             1878 Mar 15   Redberth          vicar

Morgan             John Popkin               1884 May9      Redberth         vicar

Lewis                Joseph Pollard             1891  Jun 2     Redberth         vicar

Howell              James Antony              1910  Nov 28   Redberth        vicar              

Listed by Erasmus Saunders in 1730 as a curacy with a value of £2  0s  0d yearly.

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Reynaldston

Not mentioned by Giraldus c1200 in his list of churches of the area.

Church not listed in the Taxatio of 1291 - therefore doubtful if it existed at that time otherwise it would have been assessed for tax.

Parish registers held in the National Library of Wales - (copies may be at Pembrokeshire Records Office)

baptisms - 1786 -1977

marriages - 1786 - 1948

burials - 1786 - 1953.

Acc/to The old Parish Churches of South West Wales - M Salter.

Tiny Church - south doorway, south transept and vaulted west tower probably 16c

main body walls probably earlier with a Norman font.

Acc/to the RCAM.

The Parish Church (6 in. Ord. Surv. sheet, Pem. 35 NW ) Ded St James[1] Diocese and archdeaconry of St David’s; rural deanery of Narberth.

On plan the church is a parallelogram (34 feet by 13 feet), with no structural division between nave and chancel; a south transept chapel (92 feet by 9- feet) and a Western tower (12 feet by 11 feet). All the windows are modern. The south doorway has a plain pointed arch. The south chapel is approached from the nave through a plain and somewhat obtuse arch, at the eastern spring of which is a corbel. In the south-west angle of the transept are the remains of the stairs to the rood loft the tower is two storey, the louver being faulted. In the west wall is a modern two-light window. The only opening is to the nave by a plain pointed arch. The font bowl (20 inches square externally, and 14 inches internally,) is of the ordinary cushion type; it stands on a circular shaft and modern base. The church was appropriated to the Priory of St. Thomas Haverfordwest.  Visited, 26th May, 1915.

Acc/to Pembrokeshire Parsons 1910.

This benefice belonged to the priory of St. Thomas, Haverfordwest, and according to the account of the King’s minister, the yearly value of the rectory was set down at £2 13s 4d in 1538-9. From the Crown the patronage came into private hands.

The following under the heading of churches appropriated to the Priory of St. Thomas, Haverfordwest, is the only reference to this benefice in the Valor Eccl (1534). -  Eclesia de Reynoldon per annum 3s. 4d

Under the heading   “Not in Charge” :- Reynoldston Cur. Chapel to Begeley. Lord Milford. £2 certified value. – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

The vicarage of Reynoldston was united to that of Jeffreyston under an Order in Council dated 26 Nov.1900.

 Vicars

1409.                           Philip Pencaer.

1409. Mar. 28.             Thomas Loke, vice Philip Pencaer  resigned.

1562. Aug. 21.            Thomas Hartley.

1752                            David Lewis.

1752. Aug. 24.            Evan Rice, vice David Lewis deceased.

1802. Jan. I8.              John Evans  vice Evan Rice deceased.

1825. Aug. 17.            John Miles, vice John Evans. deceased

183I. Jul.                     John Dawkins Palmour, vice John Miles, deceased

1895. Jul. 27.               James Joseph Philipps, vice John Dawkins Palmour, deceased, who died on Jan., 1895.

1901. Jan. 18. John Lloyd, DD., vice James Joseph Phillips, deceased, who died on 26 March, 1900.

1903. Dec. 18.             William Williams, BD., vice John Lloyd. DD. resigned on 30 Sept., 1903

Listed by Erasmus Saunders in 1730 as a curacy with a value of £2  0s 0d yearly - only one other (Redberth) is listed with such a low value.

Acc/to A Topographical dictionary of Wales  S Lewis  1834.

REYNOLDSTON, a parish in the hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke South  WALES , 4 miles (S. by W.) from Narberth containing 109 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the south-eastern part of the county, and on the turnpike road leading from Narberth to Pembroke, comprises but a very small tract of arable and pasture lands which is enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The village has every appearance of antiquity, and in all probability was originally inhabited by a portion of the Flemings to whom Henry I. assigned territories in this part of the principality, with a view to strengthen his interests in the country, and for the greater security of the possessions which the Normans had usurped from the natives. Though now fallen almost into decay, some of the cottages have still the round chimneys which usually distinguish the Flemish dwellings. This place was formerly only a hamlet in the parish of Begelly. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David’s, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Bishop of St.David’s, though formerly for some time after the endows or its church, in that of the Rector of Begelly. The church is a small ancient edifice, with a low tower, and in a very dilapidated condition. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £11  2s.

It would appear that at this date the Church had not been modernized.

The Independent Chapel

The cause started about 1866 and a schoolhouse was built about 1870 in which Sunday Services were held. No records seem to be available but it is believed that in 1873 it had 80 members.

Acc/to - On the State of Education in Wales  1847.

PARISH OF REYNALTON. - on the 9th day of December, 1846, I visited this parish, and was reliably informed by the Rev. J. D. Palmour, the Rector, that there is no school of any description whatever held in it. There was a day-school held here until these last two years at a dwelling house rented and paid for by himself. The average attendance was from 12 to 15. The population of the parish is only about 100 souls. A schoolmaster cannot be supported there.

Day-labourers get 10d. a-day with food, and 1s. 2d. or 1s. day without; masons 2s. 6d. a-day on their own finding, and carpenters 2s; farm servants wages average from £3 to £6, female servants from 30s to £3. With rare exceptions, the people are industrious, steady, and sober. Most of the respectable farmers can read and write; the humbler class of farmers and the labourers are illiterate.                              

Wm. Morris, Assistant.

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Rhoscrowther                       905023

A little hamlet now totally dominated by the Texaco and BP Oil installations. The church, in a cluster of cottages, old rectory and Council houses, is of Norman origin, with a corbelled tower. There is a little annexe to the church which was possibly once the cell of St. Decuman. On the edge of the Texaco refinery is Eastington Farm, an ancient building with a square tower and parapet, probably of Norman age. This was Eastington Manor, one of Little England’s minor fortresses.

Church  St Decuman

The Saint was said to have been born here and built his cell here. It was once one of the seven bishops houses of Dyfed associated with St David’s before the Norman Conquest. Its church has an older bellcote and later typical South Pembrokeshire tower. The porch floor is cobbled and there is a grotesque figure above the doorway. 12ins high it is said to have been brought from Angle and is possibly medieval, could it have come from the chapel destroyed by the sea? 

Restored in 19c and again by W.D. Caroe in 1910.

Nave and chancel probably 13c, 14c transepts and a chapel south of the Chancel as

an annexe on SW side under a separate roof is a much earlier building. W.D. Caroe suggests the possible site of St Decuman’s cell. Under the tower are two inscribed cross-slabs and a female effigy. The north transept or Hendleton Chapel contains the pedestal of a 15th century shrine and is the same size as the vaulted north porch bearing shields inscribed EL and Mary.

Font Norman is of Caen stone and there is a 14c richly decorated monument on the North wall of Chancel.

Nearby is St Decuman’s Well  where the Saint after he is alleged to have had his head cut off, brought it back to his home country here in Pembrokeshire and where he placed it on the ground holy water has flowed ever since. He was martyred 706AD near Dunster in Somerset .

The 1715 memorials of the Powell family of Greenhill brought here after the closure of Pwllchrocan church [see Eastington].

St Decumanus   Parish of Castelmartin.

This rectory appears to have belonged to the Earl of Pembroke, in the 14th century.

On 20 Sept., 1526, a grant of the next presentation to the rectory of St Teguinius, Roscrosther, South Wales, was made by the king to William Owen, and Stephen Feltwell, grocer, of London. - State Papers.

In 1291 this church was assessed at £13 6s. 8d. for tenths to the King, the sum payable being £1 6s. 8d. Taxatio of 1291.

Rosecrowther Rectoria. - Ecclesia parrochialis ibidem ex regia collacione unde Thomas Bewike clericus est rector habens rectoriarn et glebam. Et valet hujusmodi fructus singulis annis xvj- inde sol  in visitacione ordi-naria quolibet tercio anno svjd. Et insinodalibus et procuracionibus archidiacono quolibet anno v ixd. Et remanet elare £15 12s. 11d. Inde decima 31s. 3d. -  Valor Eccl.

Under the heading  “livings remaining in Charge”:- Roscrowther alias Rhos y Cryther R. (St. Decumanus). Ordinaria quolibet tertis anno, 1s. 4d. The Prince of Wales. King’s Books, £15 12s. 11d. Yearly tenths, £1 11s. 3d. – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

The tower pinnacles are a modern addition to the tower of the church.—Arch. Camb. Ser. V., Vol V., p. 130.

On 30 July, 1844, a faculty was granted for the removal of the body of William Powell Taylor, from the churchyard of Rhoscrowther, and its reburial at Pembroke Dock.

1324 Rhosecrowther   Church and rent in the possession of Aymer de Valance.

1794 circa [St Petrox].

extract from a Letter from Cha[rle]s Pigott Pritchett, rural dean of Pembroke, to William Stuart Bishop of St David’s.

List of subscribers to the fund for the sons of the clergy

Revd J Bowen, Rosecrowther         £1 1 0

Church in wales MS AD/AET 1209

Pembrokeshire life 1572 1843 

1582

Griffith White of Henllan had raised crops on some land at Rhoscrowther which was in some dispute between him and Sir John Perrot who seems to have been the villain of the Piece. Perrot allowed the crops to grow,  but at dawn on the 28th August some twenty or so of his retainers,  armed with pitchforks and daggers, travelled with eleven carts to the land in dispute with the intention of carrying away the crops to the nearest Perrot farmhouse. They were spotted and soon encountered Griffith White who tried slashing the traces of the horses.  He was overpowered and held to the ground at the point of a pitchfork, though the intervention of his sons Harry and George saved him from injury.    White, a JP., now ordered the constable of Roscrowther parish,  one of his own men,  to call on his opponents to disperse in the Queen’s name,  and at the same time he exhorted his neighbours to intervene with their arquebuses, bows and arrows.   Perrot’s men fled upon the appearance of the latter, thereby terminating what could have been a very nasty incident.

Land Tax 1791

PARISH    AND    PROPERTY                   SURNAME             FORENAMES

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rhoscrowther Cheveralton                            Hitchings                     Griffith (tenant)  

Rhoscrowther Cheveralton                            Meares                         John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Eastington                               Cuny esq                     John Powell (tenant)

Rhoscrowther Eastington                               Meares                         John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Glebe                                       Bowen                         Rev James (owner)  

Rhoscrowther Hilton                                      Butler                          John (tenant)      

Rhoscrowther Hilton                                      Meares                         John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Hoplas                                     Campbell                      John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Hoplas                                     Gwyther                      Thomas  (tenant)   

Rhoscrowther Kilpason                                  Hood                           Benjamin  (tenant) 

Rhoscrowther Kilpason                                  Owen                          Sir Hugh  (owner)  

Rhoscrowther Kitewell                                   Campbell                      John (owner)       

Rhoscrowther Kitewell                                   Campbell                      John (tenant)      

Rhoscrowther Kitewell                                   Phips                           George  (tenant)   

Rhoscrowther Lower Hentland                      Campbell                      John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Lower Hentland                      Mirehouse                   John (tenant)      

Rhoscrowther Neith                                      Campbell                      John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Neith                                        Davies                         Benjamin  (tenant) 

Rhoscrowther Newton                                  Campbell                      John (owner)       

Rhoscrowther Newton                                    Filkin                          Phillip  (tenant)  

Rhoscrowther Newton                                    Filkin                          Richard  (tenant)  

Rhoscrowther Newton                                    Griffiths                       Thomas (tenant)    

Rhoscrowther Newton                                     Owen                         Sir Hugh  (owner)  

Rhoscrowther Newton                                    Owen                          Sir Hugh (owner)   

Rhoscrowther Newton                                 Powell                      Elizabeth  (tenant)

Rhoscrowther Trebowen                                 Campbell                     John (owner)       

Rhoscrowther Trebowen                                 Cosens                         John  (tenant)     

Rhoscrowther Upper Hentland                       Campbell                   John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Upper Hentland                       Dawkins                      Thomas (tenant)    

Rhoscrowther Windmill                                  Campbell                     John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Windmill                                  Gwyther                      Thomas (tenant)    

Rhoscrowther Woagaston                               Campbell                   John  (owner)      

Rhoscrowther Woagaston                              Gwyther                      Thomas (tenant)  

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Rickeston and Scotsborough

John ap Rice of Rickeston married Katherine Perrot [born in 1530] daughter and sole heiress of John Perrot of Scotsborough, a large mansion in Gumfreston parish, near Tenby, owner of a valuable estate in South Pembrokeshire . The Perrots had held Scotborough since the latter half of the fourteenth century. In 1405 Thomas Perrot of that place negotiated a truce with Owen Glyndwr, and eight years later served as Mayor of Tenby; his descendants intermarried with the families of Verney, Wogan of Wiston, Wyrriot of Orielton, and Lloyd of Tenby. This union allied John up Rice to some of the best known houses in West Wales. As JP he took part in suppressing popish practices to which many Pembrokeshire People still adhered, and in 1592, together with George Owen and Alban Stepneth, caused St Meugan’s Chapel on the border of Cemaes and Emlyn  to be denuded of superstitious relics and monuments  and prepared to prosecute all people still attempting to use the place for religious purposes.  He died in 1598 and was buried in Brawdy Church . His wife survived him by nearly 16 years and was buried with her Perrot ancestors in Gumfreston church, where an inscribed slab records that -Katherin Parat wife of John Apris esquier  died on 17 September 1614. They had the following children:

Thomas ap Rice of Rickeston and Scotsborough was High Sheriff of the county in 1610, and a JP.  In 1598 he married Margaret daughter of William Mercer of Lancashire. She died in childbirth on 1 May 1610 in her 30th year after she had lived 12 years in wedlock with him and borne 10 children of which 7 survived, he then married Alice daughter of Lewis Thomas ap John of Cwngwili near Carmarthen but they had no issue. His will was dated 1650.

His eldest son Perrot ap Rice died during his father’s lifetime - last reference  found dated March 1640 and his eldest son James ap Rice succeeded his grandfather to the Rickeston and Scotsborough estates.

James ap Rice He was High Sheriff in 1655 and a JP., will dated June 1 1658 proved on 26th July 1660.  His wife Anne ap Rice daughter of Sir Rice Rudd of Aberglasney. James and Anne had no children and after Anne’s death in 1673 the estate passed to James’s brother John ap Rice. John ap Rice had married Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Newsham of Abersannan, Carmarthenshire.  John was responsible for inviting the Rev Stephen Hughes who had been evicted from his parish at Meidrin in 1662 for Nonconformity to preach near Brawdy Church. 1660 he was indicted for pulling down Causeway Mill bridge over the road from Gumfreston to Tenby and in august 1662 sued by the rector of Tenby for non payment of Tithe as he had a messuage and 200 acres of land in the parish on which he grew corn.  In 1667-8 he was summoned to appear in the Grand Sessions for non-payment of rent for Park House and the White Close of Kingstowne in the “out-liberties of Tenby” belonging to James Lewis and his wife Anne of Abernantbychan.   John ap Rice died on 2 June 1670 age 37. He was buried in St Mary’s Church Tenby. Elizabeth had difficulty in securing her dower 1670-1 claimed from William Rochford a third of the lands she was entitled to as widow of John ap Rice. The heir was James ap Rice, eldest son of John and Elizabeth. James ap Rice was Bailiff of Tenby1678 and in 1681-2 Mayor of Tenby. Whilst Mayor he committed a Quaker schoolmaster of Tenby to goal for refusing to take the oath of allegiance, was also a JP.  August 6th 1681 he mortgaged Scotsborough and Cornish Down to Griffith Dawes of Bangeston and on 3 Oct 1681 James ap Rice granted Cornish Down and Causey Park except for the quarry and limekiln in the Clicketts to Tenby Corporation. He was then involved in several law suits and quarrels.

1681 July 20 attacked in Tenby by Thomas Davids, gentleman, Thomas Meyrick corviser of Tenby, and Isaac David of Martletwy.

1682 secured from John Owen of Orielton a lease of the tithes of Rickeston - but failed to pay rent sued by Owen 1690.

1684 sued for damages by Arthur Laugharne for slander.

1689 sued by Griffith Dawes for a sum of money.

James ap Rice died suddenly in 1692 and was survived by his widow Eleanor daughter of Captain William Powell of Ludchurch and related through her mother Marie Vaughan to the Earls of Carbery.

James and Eleanor’s son James ap Rice inherited the estate but it was in a financial mess with property mortgaged twice to different people by his father.

John Rickson merchant of Pembroke paid off the mortgages on the understanding that all the estates were conveyed to him absolutely.

Scotsborough was later conveyed by Willian Rickson in 1764 to his brother-in-law Revd. Hugh Thomas who left it to his son William Thomas. His widow who later married Matthew Campbell cousin of the first Lord Cawder settled it on her nephew Richard Parry.

1810 3 Sept. Richard Parry sold Scotsborough to John Owen of Orielton.

1817 Feb 13 John Owen of Orielton sold Scotsborough to Jacob Richards of Tenby. By this time Scotsborough was largely ruinous. The West front was Converted into Cottages for working people but about 1824 an epidemic of smallpox broke out in these tenements and the occupiers fled. The building soon after became a total ruin. Rickeston has totally vanished, the site is now part of Brawdy airfield.

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Robeston West             885096

Church St Andrews  of  red sandstone, tower and north chapel reputed to be   

early Norman , Chancel and nave added 14c, a broken effigy of a lady dates from

c1350.

Acc/to Salter  Old Parish Churches.

A tower with features of c1500 but probably older masonry lies between the north Chapel and porch. A female effigy lies under an arch of the chapel arcade and on the pier is a brass inscription, with symbols of death, to Thomas Cozens and four of his children who died in infancy. The font is Norman. The nave and chancel are probably 13th century. It is unlikely that the chapel formed the original nave as is claimed.

This rectory was appendant to the manor of Robeston, which was formerly owned by the Perrots of Haroldstone. – Owen’s Pems.

The advowson of Robeston was in 1531 owned by Thomas Perrot, Esq. - Inq. P.M. of Thomas Perrot, 23 Hen. VIII.

The patronage was probably forfeited to the Crown on the condemnation of Sir John Perrot.

Robeston.—Ecclesia ibidem ex collacione Johannis Parret unde Willielrnus Stradlinge est rector et habet ibidem unam mansionem et terras. Et valet fructus et emolimenta hujus rectotie per annum et sic commuaibus annis vjxi xiijs iiijd. Inde sol  in sisitacione ordinaria quolibet tercio anllo xijd. Et in visitacione archidiaconi quolibet anno pro sino (lalibus et procuracionibus allnua-tim v8 ixd. Et remanet clare £6 6s. 8d. Inde decima 12s. 8d.—Valor Eccl.

Under “Livings in Charge”:- Robeston alias Robberton West Joun Parret, 1535;  The prince of Wales. King s Books, £6 6s. 8d., £70 Yearly tenths, 12s. 8d. – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

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Robeston Wathen

Acc/to Salter  Old Pembrokeshire Churches.

Robeston Wathern Dedication Unknown SN 084156

The west tower is 13th century. The nave and chancel were mostly rebuilt in the 19th century, and the south transept and north aisle are also of that date.

This benefice is a chapelry with a parish of its own and appears to have been annexed to Narberth Rectory from the earliest date, and to have been served by the rectors of that rectory. For a list of incumbents and extracts from the Valor Eccl., and Bacon’s Liber Regis. See under Narberth.

On 19 May, 1875, a faculty was granted for the restoration of Robeston Wathen Church.

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Roch    

Once an attractive Anglo-Norman settlement centred around the 13th century peel lower castle, perched high on a crag of rhyolite. The castle was the birthplace of Lucy Walter, mistress to Charles II and mother of the ill-fated Duke of Monmouth. The nearby church, in its circular churchyard, and the fine farm buildings opposite the castle, are also attractive, and there is a trace of a village green. But the western end of the settlement is a disaster, with bungalow ribbon development all the way to the A487.

Roch Castle.

A few miles S of St. David’s, Dyfed, West Wales.

Chris Johnson 1996: Tony Roberts 1989.

This 13th-century castle is located off a dirt road, but is easily seen from the main road leading south from St. David’s. A sign on the fence at the entrance to the castle informs visitors that the castle is available for holiday lets, but is not open to the general public. The caretakers of the castle live across the street, not far from a very interesting old church.

Roch Castle stands on the northern edge of the boundary between the Welshry of north Pembrokeshire and the Englishry of south Pembrokeshire. This is a small castle built on a volcanic outcrop with a commanding view over the wide countryside. The D-shaped tower originally had a bailey and ditch, long since vanished. The castle is generally attributed to Adam de la Roche, and there is an interesting legend concerning its construction. It is said that its builder chose the spot because a local gypsy had foretold that he would perish after being bitten by a poisonous snake. The lord reasoned that it would be more difficult for such a prophecy to come true if his home was well elevated above ground. However, his greatly disgruntled wife sought revenge on her husband by placing a poisonous snake in the castle’s kindling wood one day. Later, when the lord was gathering wood for the fire, he was indeed bitten by the snake and died as a result, thus fulfilling the gypsy s prophecy. Another version claims the snake got in the castle on its own.

The castle played no recorded part in history and passed through various local families, including the Walters, Harries and Stokes. The castle was modernized about 1900 when a new wing was added.

Legend also holds that there are at least two, possibly three, tunnels running underneath the castle, one of which leads to - Victoria Cottage, - supposedly built for the Princess of Scotland. It is said that while visiting the area the princess fell in love with the view of the water from the hill and spent much time there. The cottage still stands today, a short distance from the castle and keeps company with a pub next door. The pub is found in what used to be the cottage stables, while a two-story house incorporates part of the original cottage.

Roche family were followers of Stongbow and invaded Ireland with him in the 12c.

Church in a circular churchyard.

Acc/to Salter  Old Parish Churches.

The font is probably of c1200. The 15th century south porch has a rib-vaulted ceiling. The rest has been rebuilt since 1800 when the chancel arch was raised and an 18th century south chapel demolished, its arches to the nave and chancel being blocked up. In the porch is a former churchyard cross-head depicting St Mary & St John , The Virgin & Child, a bishop and what is probably the Good Shepherd with a lamb.

This church was dedicated to St. Hilary, and was granted by Adam de Rupe about the year 1200 to the monks then of the Order of Byron, at Pill Priory. -  Charter, 25 Edw I, n 8. On the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of Hen. VIII., Pill Priory was granted to Roger Barlow and Thomas Barlow, but the rectory of Roch was not included in this grant, and the sight of presentation remained vested in the king.   Orig., 38 Hen. VIII., p. 5.

In1536-7 a lease for 21 years of the rectory of Roch was granted by the Crown to Edward Lloyd of the Household. - State Papers.

Described as Ecelesia de Rupe, this church was in 1291 assessed at £13 6s 8d. for tenths to the King, the sum payable being £l 6s. 8d. -  Taxatio.

Rupe. - Vicaria ibidem ex collacione dicti plioris de Pulla unde Johannes Barbor clericus est vicarius habens parvam mansionem sive glebam. Et valet communibus annis in omnibus emolimentis iiijli. Inde sol  in visita-cione ordinaria quolibet tercio anl1o :;iiijd ob . Et in visitacione archdiaconi quolibet anllo pro sino (lalibus et procuracionibus v8. Et remallet elare £4 13s 9d. Inde decima 9s. 4d. - Valor Eccl.

Under the heading “Livings Discharged”:- Rupa alias Rock alias Roch V. (St. Mary) Castellgraig Roch. Ordinario quolibet tertio anno, 1s. 2d. ArChidiaC. quolibet anno, 5s. Alans. cum gleb., &c. Pri. Pill olim Patr.; The Prince Of Wales. Clear yearly value, £17, £30 King’s Books, £4  13s. 9d . - Bacon's Liber Regis.

The oldest parish register of this church was purchased in 1681, and contains a number of very interesting entries, among them being the following, which have been selected as throwing light on the history of the benefice and church:-

1760. This church [was] augmented by a Lot of Queens Anne Bounty in Bishop Ellises time. Soon after a purchase was made (of Wm. Trevanion, Esq., of Corhays in Cornwall, and MP. for Tregony, who married Miss Barlow of Slebetch in this county) of lands in Grange in the parish of Llanvihangel Abercowin, in the County of Caermarthen, called Place bach, consisting of twenty-four acres with a cottage thereon.

In 1767 the church was seated and paved, and a list is given in the register, showing to what farms the pews were allotted.

A gallery at the west end [of the church] built this year, 1795, by subscription.

This year, 1798, the Chancel Arch was raised and the aisle taken down, and the seats thereon moved into the Chancel......

1799. The arch between Nave and Chancel completed and considerably raised, and Chancel floor raised, and seats that were in aisle (which is taken down) placed in the church, viz, Folkestom, Hilton, and Simston.

1799, Apr. 15. Memorandum. On account of the expense of keeping the roof of the Ile [aisle] good, which was an half roof, but had originally evident marks of being double roofed, and having been connected (within the memory of Moses Grant, the present vicar) by a leaden gutter with the Chancel, the said Ile was taken down, and Folkeston, Smith’s part of Simston, and Hilton seats were this year put up in the Chancel, and in the site of old division or partition wall between the Nave and Chancel, which was taken away, and the present semicircular arch turned over it. This improvement was made more convenient by means of a gallery having been erected in West End in 1795 by subscription.

The vicarage of Roch was united with the rectory of Nolton by an Order in Council, dated 20 July, 1868.

Subordinate chapels are said to have been at Hilton and Trevran.

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Rosebush             074293

Rosebush Slate Quarry.

The only undertaking in the region to operate on a really large scale (albeit briefly) and certainly the only one to have its own railway.

The early history is obscure, it does seem that T.R. Hutton also took rights to this land when he commenced at Bellstone in 1837. It is not known if he worked here or even if any quarrying had been done at this time, but it is unlikely that such obvious outcrops could have been ignored. In 1842 the land was bought by William Young but again we do not know what work if any was done and in 1862 he sold on to William Williams, a Narberth Draper. Williams must have died soon afterwards as in 1863 his widow, Mary, let it to John Davies and William Keylock.

In October the following year this item appeared in the Mining journal:

-There are several rather valuable veins of slate in the northern district of Pembrokeshire and some 20 or 30 years ago the extensive quarries on the breast of the Precelly mountains near Maenclochog were worked and an enormous capital sunk there. These quarries either from want of capital, bad management or some other cause have ceased working for a number of years until a short time ago they were started by a London company and a good many hands are now employed. The same company have taken or are in treaty for commencing to work other quarries in the same county including Llangolman, Llandilo, Tyrch &c. The extraordinary demand for slates has, no doubt, been the chief inducement in taking these quarries and it is to be hoped that they will turn out profitable to the enterprising speculators.

This report like so many in the Mining Journal at the time would have been submitted by the promoters and the style of this one is redolent of John Davies himself and refers to the Rosebush Slate Co. which he and Keylock set up, obtaining capital from amongst others, a Mr Hodges. Serious work must have been intended as some trouble was taken to obtain a reduction in royalty from l/8th ad valorem to 1/16th. A Benjamin Rees was manager. Shortly afterwards there was a further brief item in the Mining Journal naming the Rosebush company, saying that “An enormous amount of capital has been sunk a short time ago”.  Most of this enormous amount of capital  was the £8000 which Davies and Keylock reputedly received for the lease!

In spite of a firm market, transport costs and royalties meant they were on a loser. They did negotiate with a Josiah Thomas to take over their lease but this fell through and the company wound up in 1868.

In 1869 Edward Cropper, a retired Manchester businessman living in Kent heard of the quarry through his step-son Joseph Macaulay who had business interests in the county. In spite of advanced age and ill health he bought the freehold from Mrs Williams for £3750 and bought the plant, such as it was from the receivers of Rosebush Slate for £800. His purchase of the freehold not only freed him from rent and royalties, but also gave him security of tenure which enabled him to invest freely in infrastructure. With ample means and no shareholders hungry for instant profits he was able to take a long view on such investment, which notably included the Narbeth Road and Maenclochog Railway.

He put Macaulay in charge, assisted by William Pritchard, by now the most experienced manager in the county, whose job at Cronllwyn had just fallen through. Wisely ignoring pre-existing work, an opening was made part-way up the hillside on new ground to the south, working on 4 terraces. All tipping of waste was to the north, good block being taken to the south by tramways on each level. A self-acting incline brought material from levels 1 and 2 down to level 3 and another from 3 to 4. Roofing slate being made on levels 3 and 4.

It was on these upper levels that Macaulay’s ingenuity over-rode Pritchard’s experience when a windmill was erected apparently to drive dressing machines. The windmill was damaged in a storm before drive-gear could be devised and the dressing machines were never powered.

A further incline lowered finished product to the ground level stock yard and block to a mill which had 4 saws and 3 planers, driven by a Francis water turbine via underfloor shafting. A contemporary report said that: “This machinery did its work famously and required but few hands”.

When working progressed downward below level 4, rubbish was removed via a tunnel on level 5, a tunnel on level 6 drained, carried block to the mill and rubbish to the tip. It also provided an exit for roofing slates made in the pit. Latterly, slates were made in the mill using a treadle operated slate dresser thus forming, albeit in miniature, the only example in south Wales of an Integrated Mill, processing both slab and roofing slate.

Water supply for the mill was obtained by damming the original working, fed by an inverted siphon from Mynydd Du to the north. The tailrace supplied the quarrymen’s cottages as well as Macaulay’s own house.

In 1878 no less a person than C.E. Spooner (of Ffestiniog Railway fame), was called in to advise on further development. It is a tribute to the soundness of the methods that the only advice he could give was to acquire more tipping ground adjacent to the level 6 tunnel.

The quarry was one of the best planned in Wales and after the opening of the railway, one of the very few able to load directly into standard gauge wagons. Its workforce of well over 100 and its near 5000 ton output dominated the Pembrokeshire scene. The principal product was slab said to have been in sizes up to 7 x 4  x 4. Offcuts were used to make items such as inkstands, letter weights and chessboards, which were sent to Langer, Powell  & Magnus at Buckingham Palace Road , London for enamelling.

The 26 cottages which still form Rosebush Terrace were models of their kind. Though having only one room above the other and a lean-to kitchen, with their slate roofs and flagged floors, they were much superior to the sort of earth­ floored hovel that most of the men must have been accustomed to, and let at £2 p.a. were much sought after.

Unfortunately even before the railway opened in 1877, the price of slate which had advanced almost every year since Cropper’s purchase, collapsed. Besides which, with the market moving into surplus, buyers became more choosy, opting for the more fashionable north Wales products. Up to the time of his death in 1879 it was estimated that Cropper had spent £22,000 at Rosebush and that his gross revenues had not greatly exceeded a third of that figure.

By 1880 the trade press euphemistically suggested that this quarry could do with more trade, as indeed also could the railway. Even at its peak, the quarry output would have scarcely filled 10 wagons per week. Under-utilised and burdened by the GWR’s £500 p.a. charges at Narberth Road (later Clynderwen), the railway closed in 1882. With both price and demand in a steepening downward spiral, Rosebush’s brief glory was effectively over.

Edward Cropper’s widow Margaret had married landowner Col. John Owen, son of Sir Hugh Owen. They tried to offset the quarry’s decline by energetically promoting the health giving properties of the Maenclochog air. They publicised the facilities of Precelly Hotel and put lakes and fountains, (fed by the mill supply) in their own garden to amuse visitors. The visitors may have been amused by the fountains, but the Colonel does not appear to have been amused by the visitors. Shortly after his death in 1890 Margaret wrote quoting him as having said: "Not one word can be said in favour of them. They cheat the nation, they defraud the Railway Companies of their fares, they bilk the turnpikes. No corn, no hay are wanted, no ostler to be paid, no posting, no coaching required. A pint of beer perhaps the only harvest of the town through which they pass".

These dreadful parasites were cyclists!

Some of them, it was alleged even propped their bicycles against the hotel wall to eat their sandwiches.

The re-opening of the railway in 1884 failed to restore the quarry s fortunes. Macaulay moved away, Cropper’s elder son James was a professional soldier and his younger son Edward took little interest in matters at Rosebush. By 1887 William Pritchard’s son Alfred had leased the quarry and moved into the 9 roomed manager’s house, with the adjacent village shop being run by his two sisters.

By this time not all the cottages could be let and one was used as an office. Before the end of the 80s the railway had closed again and the quarry was idle. In 1889 an attempt was made to sell them both. There were no takers for the railway and the best that could be done with the quarry was a let at a nominal £1 p.a. as a source of tip material. In 1891 with the market recovering, Pritchard investigated the prospects for a revival. It was estimated that there was a potential for 1300 tons p.a. of roofing slates, 500 tons of slab and 3500 tons of rough block. To produce this would require another tunnel to fully work the 6 levels and a second turbine in the mill would call for doubling up on the supply pipe. With the prospect of this costing £5000 and faced with cartage costs to Fishguard of 15/- per ton, nothing was done. By 1895 when the railway reopened as the North Pembroke and Fishguard Railway, Pritchard was busy re-opening Gilfach.

Most of the quarry property was now owned by Joseph Rowlands a Birmingham solicitor, although Rosebush Terrace was bought by the Rev. Albert and Mr Walter Hughes.

In the early 1900s the Misses Pritchard were still running the shop, but apart from renting a stable, Pritchard himself had severed all connection. Some desultory work was done until c.1905 by Griffith Williams who rented both Rosebush and Bellstone at £6. 5. 0 p.a.

There was an amusing episode in 1904 when several women living in Rosebush Terrace, broke fences to extend their gardens onto quarry land. It appears from extant correspondence that Williams found these ladies intimidating neighbours and they may well have precipitated his departure.

In 1908 when this quarry and Bellstone came up for sale, Col. Owen's daughter Edith bought them for £720 with the intention of finding a tenant to work them. She was unsuccessful.

Remains: The site abuts Bellstone, the most obvious relic being the plastered walls of the fine mill building. In one corner the mill is the pit for the water turbine. The ruined loco shed on the other side of the railway track bed matches the style of the mill. Maps show a subsidiary building to the south of the mill and a range of buildings behind the engine shed, but almost all trace of these has been lost. Also prominent are the abutments of the bridge which carried the tipping line from 5 tunnel over the railway.

On levels 3 and 4 most of the 10 or 12 dressing sheds survive, several paired back-to-back. Where such a layout, rarely seen outside north east Wales, was adopted they were normally of different sizes, the larger being intended for slab dressing, the smaller for roofing slate. These are of identical dimensions suggesting that roofing slate was worked in one or the other according to wind direction.

On the south side of the quarry are the three much degraded inclines.

Both tunnels are open at the quarry ends; however the one on level 6 which emerged on the level is blocked at its outer end. The level 5 tunnel has a nice arch at its outer end but being partly through waste is supported by crossbars and props of light railway rails which have collapsed at one point.

There is a partly flooded tunnel entering the working face at level 4 which may have been a pre-existing metal mine. Above level 1 there is some trial working.

All trace of the windmill on the hill above has been obliterated by forestry. At level 2, cut by the workings, is a leat which may have been an early water supply.

The access track to the original (pre-Cropper) working is prominent and the pit still holds water. Some pipework is visible, both here and up valley to the north. Some distances away on the flat ground to the west, a powder house survives.

The houses of Rosebush Terrace, along the rail line to the quarry, are still occupied, several with the original slates on the roofs. At the end is the manager’s house, now a cafe, and abutting it is the Misses Pritchard’s shop. Local legend has it that their customers were required to drop their coins through a hole in the counter into a basin of water, so that they were cleaned before the ladies handled them, Since 1972 the dwellings have been on mains water, a matter of complaint at the time as apart from having to pay, the occupiers complained that the public supply was inferior to the quarry water.

The corrugated iron Precelly Hotel, now renamed - Tafarn Sinc -  is still very much in business and the station partly reconstructed. Mr Gareth Williams, besides restoring the water gardens has at last, with his caravan park, succeeded in promoting the area as a tourist destination. Mr William’s  grandfather Griffith Williams was the quarry’s maintenance man. When he took up his appointment he walked from Porthgain having sailed there from Porthmadog which he had reached by walking from Aberdaron.

In 1940, Pembrokeshire like the rest of the country was getting ready for imminent invasion. Panic measures were taken throughout the area; all signposts were taken away and hid-in a safe place and people placed strips of adhesive on windows to stop flying glass in the event of an explosion.

Steel ropes, sup­ported by barrels, were placed across the reservoir at Rosebush, to stop landings by enemy gliders and the reservoir itself was guarded by the Home Guard. The area was also used for shooting practice, whilst an anti-tank ambush was con­structed in a field above the New Inn. The figures 44, made of white stones, had been placed on a hillside by one of the regiments stationed at Rosebush and they were demolished by the police as they formed a landmark for enemy planes.

On a clear moonlit night, enemy planes used to follow the Welsh coastline on their way to bomb Liverpool and Merseyside. Searchlights were a familiar sight, and one these units was sited near Maenclochog, as well as an Observer Corps unit. There was always the threat of gas warfare and children had to carry their gasmasks with them to school.

Several planes crashed into the Pre­seli Mountains during the war including a Liberator and a Flying Fortress.

The highest peak, Foel Cwm Cerwyn, is only 1760ft above sea level but altitude instruments on those planes were not up to today’s standards.

On the night of August 29/30th, 1940 German bombers dropped bombs on Morvil Mountain, including one time­ bomb which went off at 8 the following morning. Later on in the war the railway line between New Inn and Rosebush was used for practice bombing by the R.A.F. This was done to find out the extent of damage done to railways in France by British bombers.

Due to its geograph­ical location Pembrokeshire played an important part in the Battle of the Atlantic and thousands of American troops were stationed at Rose­ bush and nearby villages.

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Rosemarket                 953084

Iron age hill fort, Celtic style Church.

A large South Pembrokeshire village, Once an important market, the village has an Iron Age hill-fort a Celtic-style Church, and (unusually) a network of village streets.

Rosemarket Church

The parish church is dedicated to St Ismael.  Acc/to Rhigyfarch’s Life of St David he was an important member of the group of monks who founded the settlement at St David’s.

Tradition and evidence of dedications suggest that he sailed from that area and landed at Monk Haven were he founded Eglwys Ismael, one of the seven bishop houses of Dyfed. From there he seems to have sailed further up stream to Westfield Pill. At Rosemarket he established a Christian site alongside the local settlement on “the Rings”, a century before St Augustine came to convert the Saxons.

Present church dates from the 12c. Built by the Norman/flemish settlers who occupied the Welsh cantref of Rhos following the invasion of the area around 1108.

Part of the development of a new Norman borough of Romarche, “the Rings” was refortified as a castle, a market was established and it was linked by water with the Norman stronghold of Pembroke.

Church was rededicated to St Leonard but latterly reverted to St Ismael. The Holy well alongside Barn Lane is still called St Leonard’s well.

First written evidence of the Church was dated at 1145 but it is believed to have been completed 30 yrs earlier.

Simple, celtic style Nave almost certainly part of the original church. The font is of Norman design and may well be as old as the Church but North Transept could well have been a late medieval memorial chapel. The chancel may have been rebuilt.

During restoration work in the mid 1800’s an old tombstone was found in memory of a Walter Jordan. (Was he a member of the Jordan family of Jordanston nearby - a Walter Jordan was Royal Attorney at the turn of the 14c with strong Pembrokeshire connections?    Was he the founder of the townred of Jordenston?)

Church and income given to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem by Alexander Rudapec at some time between 1115 and 1147.  (One of the earliest recorded gifts to the Knights in Wales.)

A Commandery of the Order was established later in the century at Slebech.  Robert, son of Godebert the Fleming of Rosemarket gave, with others, the whole vill of Rosemarket to the order. The Prior or Commander of Slebech became rector of Rosemarket and claimed the rectorial title. This meant that a tenth of all corn and hay from the parish was given to the Commandery. The Prior appointed a parish priest he and the Order were responsible for the unkeep of the chancel. (Acc/to A History of Rosemarket Church by Geoffrey Nicolle, Schoolmaster of Rosemarket).

This church, together with the whole vill of Rosmarche,  mill and lands and all their appurtenances and liberties, was granted to Slebech Preceptory by the three barons, William, son of Haions, Robert, son of Godebert, and Richard, son of  Tankard. – Anselm’s Confirm. Charter.

On the suppression of that house the patronage came into the hands of the Crown. In 1625 the rectory of Rhosmarket was held by Sir John Stepney of Prendergast.—Inq. P.M. of Sir John Stepney, 2 Car. I.

On 10 July, 1656, the Commonwealth approved of the union of the parishes of Langwm, Rosemarket, and Freystrop - State Papers.

Rosemarkett.—Vicaria ilidem ex collacione precep-toris de Slebeche unde Willielmus Capriclle clericus est vicarius habens ibidem glebam et terras dominicales, Et valet eum fructibus et emolimentis communibus anais clare £4 Inde deeima 8s. - Valor Eccl.

Under the heading   Livings discharged :—Ros Market alias Rosemarket V. (St Ishmael) Praecept. Slebeche Propr.; The Prince of Wales. Clear yearly value, £15 £30 King’s Books, £4. – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

On 31 July, 1891, a faculty as obtained for the restoration of Rhosmarket Church.

Vicars.

1481 Sir John Tasker incumbent.

1535 William Capriche.

c1540 John Howell. Involved in a court case - John Baghe v John Howell re - Goods of complainant in the said vicarage.

1579 Thomas Meredith.

1613 Lewis Phillips MA.

c1620 Harri Barbar MA.

1635 John Owens ejected on a charge of Drunkeness,  resumed the living c1660 resigned 1671

1640 church in a ruinous state. A church rate was fixed by the wardens. According to some landowners it was fixed in more ways than one. Accusations were made that the assessment had been so arranged that the Churchwardens paid as little as possible. Some refused to contribute. Thomas Field was eventually called before the Court of Arches to make him pay up.

1674 Sir John Stepney was ordered to repair the Chancel roof under threat of loosing his rectorship.

1677 John Williams father of Zachariah and grandfather of Anna Williams.

1715 Thomas Richards MA., son of Richard Evans a pauper of Lledrod, Carms. (Will and Inventory NLW) [note the use of the old Welsh form of surname but missing out the -ap-]

1747 John Williams.

1770 John Rowe.

1773 William Richards (James Summers Curate)

1809 John Morris

1833 Thomas O Foley MA

1835 William Edward Tucker BA

1856 Silvanus Brigstocke

1875 John T Willis BA

1879 Henry Davies

1883 Morgan Lewis Jones BA

1898 John Henry Davies MA

1903 T. Atterbury Thomas BA

1935 Ifor James Jones BA

1938 Arthur George Pettit MA

1948 Cecil P Willis BA

1951 J Oliver Evans BA

1958 F V Stevens BA

1964 David G Williams BA  also Rector of Freystrop

1974 Gwynfa Warrington         

1978 John Hale also Rector of Burton

 

1807 Church was in “good order”.

 See also Rosemarket - A Village beyond Wales   - lecture by Geoffrey  Nicholle.

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Rudbaxton                                         960205

The site where Alexander de Rudepac established a motte and bailey fortress in early 11c.

Church    St Michael  believed built on the site of an early celtic church dedicated to St Madoc. Most of the church early 13c restored 1870’s. There is a holy well nearby dedicated to St Madoc.

Churches of Pembrokeshire  - Slater.

Greater Rudbaxton - St Michaels.

The long 16c south chapel east of the older porch has a pair of four-centred arches to each of the 13c nave and later chancel. The whole of the chapel east wall is filled with a monument to several late 17c Howards and Pictons. The west tower is 15c. Little remains of St Leonard s Chapel by the castle.

Described as Ecclesia de Rudepagotona,  this church was granted by Wizo, lord of Wiston, Walter his son and Walter son of the said Walter, to the Knights Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalen Anselm’s Confirm. Charter.

On the dissolution of the monasteries the rectory came into the hands of the King. The patronage is now vested in the Lord Chancellor.

Under the name of Ecclesia de Rudepac, this church was in 1291 assessed at ? 4d for tenths the King, the sum payable being £1  1s. 4d. - Taxatio.

Rudbackestan Rectoria. - licclesia ibiderl utlde Thomas Lloid rector ex cohaciotle predicte peceptorie de Slebeche tenet ihidem unam reetoriam mansiol1em et gardinum que valent per annum v. Et fructus et oblaciones ejusdem ecclesie valent cum predictis v per annum xiij-  viijd. Inde sol  in quadam pensione predicte preceptorie annuatim viij. St in visitacionearchidiaeoni quolibet anno pro sinDdalibus et procuraeionibus vS ixd. St remanet clare £15 4s. 0d. Inde decima 30s. 5d.—Valor Eccl.

Under the heading  “Livings remaining in Charge”:- Rudbacston alias Rudbarston R. (St. Michael). Pens. Preceptorise de Slebeche, 8s. Ordinario quolibet tertio athlo, 2s 2id. Archidiac. quolillet anno, 5s. 9d. Prsecept. Slebeche olim Patr.; Prince of Wales. King’s Books, £15 4s. 2d., £150. Yearly tenths, £1 10s. 5d. – Bacon’s Liber Regis.

On 8 Aug., 1892, a faculty was granted for the restoration of the parish church.

There were two subordinate chapels in the parish, called St. Margaret’s Chapel and St. Catherine’s Chapel. —Paroch. Wall. There was also a chapel dedicated to St. Leonard .

10 November 1415 Institution of Sir John Cokworthy to the parish church of Rudbaxton on the presentation of Brother Walter Grendon’s, Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, the benefice vacant by the death of the last incumbent. Given at London.

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[1] There is a Quiry by them as to the dedication of this church  - Pembrokeshire Parsons don’t mention to whom it was dedicated