1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fishguard

FISHGUARD (Abergwaun), a market town, urban district, contributory parliamentary borough and seaport of Pembrokeshire, Wales, near the mouth of the river Gwaun, which here flows into Fishguard Bay of St George’s Channel. Pop. (1901) 2002. Its railway station, which is the chief terminus of the South Wales system of the Great Western railway, is at the hamlet of Goodwick across the bay, a mile distant to the south-west. Fishguard Bay is deep and well sheltered from all winds save those of the N. and N.E., and its immense commercial value has long been recognized. After many years of labour and at a great expenditure of money the Great Western railway has constructed a fine breakwater and railway pier at Goodwick across the lower end of the bay, and an important passenger and goods traffic with Rosslare on the opposite Irish coast was inaugurated in 1906.

The importance of Fishguard is due to the local fisheries and the excellence of its harbour, and its early history is obscure. The chief historical interest of the town centres round the so-called “Fishguard Invasion” of 1797, in which year on the 22nd of February three French men-of-war with troops on board, under the command of General Tate, an Irish-American adventurer, appeared off Carreg Gwastad Point in the adjoining parish of Llanwnda. To the great alarm of the inhabitants a body of about 1400 men disembarked, but it quickly capitulated, practically without striking a blow, to a combined force of the local militias under Sir Richard Philipps, Lord Milford and John Campbell, Lord Cawdor; the French frigates meanwhile sailing away towards Ireland. For many years the castles and prisons of Haverfordwest and Pembroke were filled to overflowing with French prisoners of war. Close to the banks of the Gwaun is the pretty estate of Glyn-y-mel, for many years the residence of Richard Fenton (1746–1821), the celebrated antiquary and historian of Pembrokeshire.