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PENCAER (SM 906326)


This windswept and sparsely populated community is noted for its stunning coastal scenery and for its part in the unsuccessful 1797 French invasion.


Carreg Wastad (SM 926406): Carreg Wastad Point is the site of the last invasion of mainland Britain, an abortive landing by a motley French force called the Legion Noire. The force, consisting of 600 troops and 800 released convicts, had set sail from Brest on February 16th, 1797 under the command of the Irish American Colonel William Tate. The aim had been to sail up the Bristol Channel towards Bristol, but adverse weather conditions meant that the two frigates carrying the troops anchored instead off Carreg Wastad Point.


Having landed the men and their supplies, the frigates sailed away, leaving Tate to his own resources. He took over Trehowel Farm as his headquarters while his men ransacked nearby farms and cottages for provisions. It is said that a ship carrying wine had recently been wrecked on the coast, so every house was well stocked with liquor - a fact which helped speed the invaders’ downfall.


Tate found it impossible to maintain any military discipline among his men, many of whom were ‘the sweepings of French prisons’. They began to advance towards Goodwick in some sort of order, but were met by a rapidly assembled defence force under the astute command of Lord Cawdor and mainly comprising men of the Castlemartin Yeomanry. Tate surrendered and his troops laid down their arms on Goodwick beach before being marched off into captivity. A memorial stone by the coast path marks the site of the French landing.


RAF Strumble Head (SM 887394): This was a Chain Home Low radar station. CHL1 was at Trenewydd where a latrine and an operations building can still be seen. CHL2 was at Treathro where visible remains include remnants of huts, the operations block, interrogation cubicle and guardroom.


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