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FUN FACTS: Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire a coastal treasure
Since Pembrokeshire features heavily in this month’s newsletter, we thought we’d gather A few Fun* Pembrokeshire Facts** for you…

Rhai ffeithiau am Sir Benfro… 

Trysor cenedlaethol… A coastal treasure

Pembrokeshire has the only UK National Park which is primarily designated for its coastal landscape – most of the park lies within 2 miles of the coast, and nowhere is more than 10 miles from it.  The length of the coastline is 420km and in total the Park covers around 615 sq. km. 

It is also where Coasteering originated in the 1980’s, where surfers would scramble their way to the best surf spots along the coast.

View from Carn Menyn eastwards

Tony Holkham at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cerrig gleision… Ancient burial sites and bluestones

In the northern part of the county are the atmospheric Preseli Hills, which have many prehistoric sites, from the Golden Road which was the main route to and from Ireland for many travellers dating back as far as the Neolithic period 5,000 years ago, to Beddarthur which is said by some to be the final resting place of King Arthur – and are the probable source of the Stonehenge inner circle stones.

Llywelyn2000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dewi Sant… Wales’ Patron Saint 

Saint David was apparently born on a cliff-top in Pembrokeshire during a fierce storm…and at that very moment, a bolt of lightning is said to have struck the rock, splitting it in two. 

Some say he lived more than 100 years and died on 1 March 589 – hence St David’s Day, or Dydd Gwyl Dewi.  

The nearby St Non’s well – named after Saint David’s mother – is believed to have healing powers and was an important site for Christian pilgrims in medieval times.

Bychan ond bendigedig
Bychan ond bendigedig… Small but mighty 

St Davids is the smallest city in Britain, in terms of size and population, with 1,348 people at the last count in 2021. 

It has had city status twice, the first time from the 12th century up to 1886. City status was granted a second time in 1994 at the request of Queen Elizabeth, following a proposal from St David’s town council.

St Davids has been a major site of pilgrimage since medieval times, with Pope Calixtus II making a decree in the 12th century that “two pilgrimages to St Davids were equivalent to one to Rome”.

Seren y sioe… Star of screen 

Pembrokeshire has been the location for several high-profile films.  This includes Freshwater West, which was used as the setting for Shell Cottage in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it also featured in Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe.

Footpath down to Whitesands Bay

Footpath down to Whitesands Bay by Bill Boaden, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lan a lawr… Get walking

If you walk the entire Pembrokeshire Coast Path, you will ascend a height higher than Mount Everest – 35,000 ft, compared to Everest’s height of 29,000 ft.

Robert Recorde

Robert Recorde, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Hafal… Nothing equals it

The equals sign (=) was invented in 1557 by Welsh physician and mathematician, Robert Recorde, from Tenby. 

Along with acting as physician to both King Edward VI and Queen Mary, introducing the pre-existing plus and minus symbols to English speakers, and serving as controller of the Royal Mint. He also coined the now obsolete mathematical term “Zenzizenzizenzic” to represent the eighth power of a number – in his own words “it doeth represent the square of squares squaredly”… strange that that one never quite caught on.

*Fun-ish.  We don’t get out much.

**Would not quote us as reliable source in an academic text…but might help in a pub quiz one day.

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