Fishguard is a historic country town with many attractions such as Lower Town, Marine Walk and the Harbour. Fishguard is also an ideal centre for visiting Pembrokeshire with its fantastic coastline, mountains and countryside, with one of the richest prehistoric landscapes in Europe. Janes is conveniently located on the High Street of Fishguard’s town centre.
Located in the idyllic North Pembrokeshire countryside, Fishguard attracts tourists from around the world. The town itself was once a rope making centre, which is how the road Ropewalk gained its name.
The picturesque Lower Town was the setting for the filming of ‘Moby Dick’ and Dylan Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood’. The coast and countryside around Fishguard is perfect for walking, fishing, sailing and a host of other outdoor pursuits.
Within the town itself, Fishguard has a Leisure Centre and a Town Hall which houses the library, market, Tourist Information Centre and is the home for The Last Invasion Tapestry.
Fishguard is also an area with a rich and interesting history. The town was the scene for the last French invasion of Britain in 1797.
The French invasion force of around 1400 French soldiers led by an Irish American Col. William Tate set sail with a rag-tag army of conscripts and jailbirds. Sea conditions prevented the French landing near Bristol so they changed plans, setting a course for Cardigan Bay.
They sailed into Fishguard Bay on on Wednesday 22nd February 1797 and were frightened off by canon fire from the Fishguard fort. Little did the French know that it was mainly fired to alert the town of trouble. The French retreated to Carreg Wastad Point and landed on a small beach in Llanwnda, where they off loaded arms and gunpowder.
The rag tag army looted several farms and took Trehowel Farm as Tate’s headquarters. They seized food and drink brought ashore by the Welsh, from a recently grounded Portuguese ship. Fortunately the attack was fended off with characteristic Welsh cunning: local women dressed in their traditional scarlet tunics and tall black felt hats from a distance probably gave the impression to the slightly inebriated French force that a much larger army of British army redcoats was defending the town. At that time, lichen found on local moorland rocks, which produced a red dye called crottal was used to give the tunics their vivid red colour – and so probably helped to foil the invasion. The presence of the women and a small local militia led by Lord Cawdor, successfully achieved the French surrender on 25th February 1797.
Welsh folklore says that during their two days, Jemima Nicholas, the wife of a Fishguard cobbler had marched out to Llanwnda – pitchfork in hand and rounded up twelve soldiers and this event is now marked in history as the last land invasion of the British mainland. Jemima died at 82 and is buried in St Mary’s Church, Fishguard.
For those interested in historic landscapes, the surrounding areas are rich in history, from burial chambers dating to the Neolithic or New Stone Age Garnwnda and a much larger one Carreg Samson, to the iron age forts of Garn Fawr overlooking one of the loveliest views in Pembrokeshire.