This view was taken from the little village of Dale on the estuary of the Black and White Rivers Cleddau, looking towards the port town of Milford Haven. Twelve hundred years ago, and until the Norman Invasion of 1066, the sheltered inlets of the Haven were the haunt of Viking raiders. In fact if you had been looking out across this stretch of water in 854 CE you might have spotted the 23 ships of a Viking raiding fleet. They were gathered off Milford Haven, under the command of Ubba/Hubba (who incidentally gave his name to the present-day settlement of nearby Hubberston). He was one of several commanders of the Great Army whose various factions invaded the Saxon kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia.
If you had looked again in 1171 CE you would surely have seen at least some of the 400 warships that had converged in the Haven as a prelude to Henry II’s invasion of Ireland. The ships were carrying 500 knights and 4,000 men-at-arms.
Look again in 1597, and there would have been storm ravaged ships of the Spanish Armada. A number made landfall on the Cleddau only to be sent packing back to sea by the Welsh militia. This seeing off also apparently involved some pillaging. One of the damaged caravels was captured by six Welsh boats, and relieved of its gold and silver.
Today, though, instead of long boats and warships, you are more likely to see oil tankers heading for the oil refineries of Pembroke Dock. And sometimes even a cruise ship. The misty installation is a recycled oil refinery, now used for the storage of Liquefied Natural Gas.
Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire Ordnance Survey 1946 (out of copyright)
Dale Beach – never too old to hunt for seashells.
March Square Ordnance Survey map apart, this post’s circles and squares in squares may take a bit of finding: round buoys and storage tanks anyone? Square window panes and spotty backpack? Please pop over to BeckyB’s for more March geometrics.
In which Six Go Potty In Pembroke With Cockapoo Puppy – holiday snaps #7