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survey of the site carried out in the early 20th century mentions that some stonework was still visible. As the winter wore on, two Royalist ships, the Globe and the Providence, arrived from Bristol carrying guns and ammunition. Two culverins, two demi-culverins, two sacres and two minions were placed within the fort, as well as some of the ordnance from the ships themselves.


Scarcely had the fort been completed than it met its fi rst


challenge. On 23rd January 1644, fi ve Parliamentary warships, under the command of Captain Swanley, arrived in the Haven. A few days later three other vessels joined this little fl eet. T e Globe and the Providence took shelter in Prix Pill, under the protection of the guns in the fort, which over the following week exchanged occasional shots with the Parliamentary fl eet. During one of these cannonades, a cannon ball smashed into the empty bed of one of the Parliamentary captains. On 24th January, a conference took place on board Swanley’s fl agship, attended by Major-General Rowland Laugharne and Colonel John Poyer, the leaders of the garrison at Pembroke, during which Swanley promised his help in driving the royalists from the county. As a result, with a mixed force of foot soldiers, sailors and artillery, Laugharne was able to take the enemy strongholds of Stackpole House and Trefl oyne House. T e turn of Pill Fort came next. Early on the morning of 23rd February, Laugharne crossed the waterway with a force of 250 foot, half of them seamen, sixty horsemen, a demi- culverin, a sacre and fi ve smaller guns. T e Crescent frigate guarded their passage and they probably came ashore in the vicinity of Newton Noyes. A troop of musketeers was placed in the tower of Steynton Church to prevent an attack by the royalist garrison of Haverfordwest, whilst a body of horse scoured the countryside. T e larger guns were placed on the high ground on the eastern shore of the pill, a number of local people assisting the troops to drag them into position. A bombardment of the fort began, in which four of the parliamentary ships took part, as well as a gun placed on the south side of the haven opposite the fort. Nightfall put an end to the cannonade. T e soldiers were forced to sleep in the fi elds around their guns, it being a bitterly cold night. Early next morning the main attack commenced. Laugharne’s force made its way around the head of the pill and after attacking and scattering an ambush awaiting them near Steynton, they swiftly occupied the village of Pill and the nearby ruined chapel of St T omas Beckett. T e royalists were now under concentrated fi re from several directions. Two of their garrison had been killed and it was not long before an off er of surrender was made. Laugharne’s men quickly entered the fort, taking prisoner three hundred men and eight offi cers, one of whom was John Barlow, master of ordnance, a member of the Barlow


July 1946 - Steyton HAA Bty & Flax Factory


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