Pennod 5 Llwybr yr Arfordir


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Pennod 5

Cyfle i ymweld ag Abereiddi, Carreg Samson, Rhos y Clegyrn, Eglwys Llanwnda a Chastell Pictwn. A visit to Abereiddi, Carreg Samson, Rhos y Clegyrn, Llanwnda Church and Picton Ca...


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-Pembrokeshire's coastal path

-stretches for more than 186 miles.

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-Beginning in Amroth in the south...

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-..it will guide me

-to St Dogmaels in the north.

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-Joining me

-are naturalist Elinor Gwynn...

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-..and poet and lecturer

-Damian Walford Davies.

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-This week, we explore the area

-between Abereiddy and Dinas Cross.

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-Pembrokeshire's coastal path...

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-..leads people to picturesque

-and historical places...

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-..such as this old quarry...

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-..a few miles north

-of St David's.

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-The quarry opened in 1840.

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-It supplied slate,

-both locally and further afield.

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-By 1904, the industry was in decline

-and the quarry closed down.

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-Local fishermen blasted a channel

-through to the sea...

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-..in order to create a safe haven.

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-Between the grey of the rocks

-and the reflected blue of the sky...

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-..it's no wonder the place

-has been nicknamed the Blue Lagoon.

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-The slate started out as fine silt.

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-It slowly sank into a tropical sea

-millions of years ago.

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-But Abereiddy slate

-was of poor quality.

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-Abereiddy slate used for roof tiles

-only lasted 40 years.

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-Caernarfonshire slate

-lasted for more than 100 years.

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-However, the slate was still used

-locally and was also exported...

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-..to the south-west of England

-and to cities like Bristol.

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-These seven cottages...

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-..were built by quarry owners

-for the quarrymen in 1840.

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-They were simple,

-two-roomed cottages.

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-According to the 1851 census,

-16 people lived here...

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-..mainly men in their 20s and 30s.

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-Interestingly, most of them

-came from North Wales.

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-This row of cottages

-was referred to as The Street.

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-But during a prosperous period

-in the quarry's history...

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-..the street was known

-as Little Brighton...

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-..which was

-a much more impressive name.

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-But The Street's history

-came to an end in 1938...

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-..when a torrential storm

-tore through the village.

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-It flooded this entire street.

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-Around the same time, the village

-suffered an outbreak of typhoid.

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-Abereiddy has seen a lot of comings

-and goings over the years...

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-..as a direct result of industry.

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-But the place

-is still popular with tourists...

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-..who walk along the many paths

-of this wonderful coastline.

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-Whoaaaa!

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-As a National Park warden...

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-..have you noticed increased use

-of the path over the years?

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-Yes, it has been used much more

-over the past 10-15 years...

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-..with people enjoying the open air.

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-We've also noticed

-an increase in outdoor pursuits.

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-Do these new activities

-have a damaging effect?

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-Some of these activities

-can pose an adverse risk...

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-..but we work closely

-with outdoor pursuits companies...

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-..in partnership with the National

-Trust and the Countryside Council.

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-We regularly hold

-Outdoor Charter Group meetings...

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-..to discuss pursuits and sites.

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-What sort of numbers do pursuits

-such as coasteering attract?

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-Interest in coasteering

-has skyrocketed.

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-At one time, there were 200 people

-here on any given day.

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-Because of that, a licence system

-has since been introduced.

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-Now the companies book a slot...

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-..so that we can cap the numbers...

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-..on a given day.

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-In terms of increased footfall

-on the path...

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-..are there signs of erosion?

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-Yes, there is some erosion...

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-..due to the high increase

-in visitor numbers and the weather.

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-We assess the path once a year.

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-One person walks the path to compare

-the erosion in different places.

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-We assess the worst affected areas

-so that they can be addressed...

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-..and resources put in place.

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-I like the sound

-of walking the path once a year!

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-Sadly, that's not down to me.

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-If you're looking for someone,

-I'd like to volunteer.

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-OK, I'll let them know!

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-Cromlechs and standing stones

-are features of the landscape...

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-..signifying the mystery of birth,

-marriage and death...

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-..of the coast's old inhabitants

-from 5,000 years ago.

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-I've always been fascinated

-by cromlechs and standing stones.

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-Friends don't understand

-my obsession.

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-Why am I so fond of them?

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-Because each has its own

-unique character and presence.

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-Some are like clumsy dinosaurs

-clambering out of the sea.

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-Others are more elegant

-and dignified.

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-there are those

-that have deteriorated over time.

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-Carreg Samson near Abercastle...

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-..on the coastal path

-is one of the dinosaurs.

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-The deceased's ashes would be

-scattered in this burial chamber.

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-Notice the enormous capstone.

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-Originally,

-it would have been hidden...

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-..covered by a mound

-of earth and stones.

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-The site is extremely significant.

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-A cromlech was located

-to mark a tribe's territory.

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-How did Neolithic engineers

-lift this capstone?

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-Even now, no-one is sure.

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-Local legend has it that a saint

-called Samson erected it.

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-He broke his little finger

-in the process.

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-It was placed

-underneath this huge stone.

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-Carreg Samson is known locally

-as the Grave Of Samson's Finger.

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-It was quite a little finger!

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-Cromlechs aren't the only stones

-visible in Pembrokeshire.

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-They share the land with cousins

-who are 2,000 years younger.

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-The standing stones.

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-At 2.7 metres high, Rhos-y-Clegyrn

-standing stone is quite a sight...

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-..and even more so

-with a covering of lichen.

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-It's believed there were

-two stones here at one time...

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-..with a pavement

-of circular stones between them.

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-Charred human remains were found

-beneath the supposed pavement.

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-Whatever its architectural design...

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-..it's obvious that Rhos-y-Clegyrn

-was an auspicious ceremonial site.

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-It's easy to get a feel

-for the past here.

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-Imagine the scene -

-flames burning, chanting...

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-..ceremonies conducted

-within a stone circle.

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-And a final farewell

-to a member of the tribe.

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-This is St Gwyndaf's Church

-in Llanwnda on Strumble Head.

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-When the church

-was restored in 1881...

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-..six stones from the ninth century

-were discovered.

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-Five of them

-were in the church's exterior wall.

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-Four of them were decorated

-with simple crosses.

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-Each of these stones

-acts like a small window...

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-..on the rich history of this site.

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-The fifth stone

-may be the most interesting.

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-It was carved

-for the monks who lived here.

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-A face is visible here.

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-Here are the eyes,

-the nose and mouth.

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-Four lines for the hair,

-falling over the cheeks and ears.

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-At the top

-is the Cross of St Andrew.

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-The question is, whose face is it?

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-A woman's face? A monk's face?

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-Or the face of Christ?

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-Who knows?

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-As well as outside, this church

-also has ancient stones inside.

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-There's one on each window sill.

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-The old monk still watches

-over his flock from the beam.

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-To me, these stones

-aren't cold and morbid slabs.

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-They represent living presences

-that are rooted, unlike ourselves...

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-..in their homeland.

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-Despite every effort

-by scientists...

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-..historians and writers

-to demystify them...

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-..the mysticism remains.

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-So I say, long live

-the language of the stones!

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-As our journey

-along the coastal path continues...

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-..Elinor explores the architecture

-of the county's cottages.

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-There's a diversity of buildings

-on the Pembrokeshire coast.

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-Some are renowned,

-such as Pembroke Castle...

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-..St David's Cathedral

-and the Bishop's Palace.

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-But the buildings

-that capture the county's spirit...

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-..are simpler structures...

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-..such as lime kilns, mills,

-farmhouses and cottages.

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-This example sits comfortably

-in its surroundings.

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-It's perfectly situated

-in this part of north Pembrokeshire.

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-Building and restoring houses

-sympathetically is a challenge...

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-..and can be a contentious issue

-within a national park.

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-Edward and Hedydd

-are a couple who have succeeded.

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-Edward is a builder...

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-..and Hedydd is a teacher

-with an interest in local history.

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-This house

-looks as if it's been here...

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-..in this landscape for centuries.

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-But it didn't look like this at all

-when you bought the place.

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-It's an old building,

-maybe 200 years old...

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-..but it was vacant

-before we bought it.

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-Someone may have lived here once,

-but they were outhouses by then.

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-I know you explored

-traditional houses in the area...

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-..to decide on features you liked.

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-Which features did you decide

-to incorporate into your home?

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-It was a ruin when we started...

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-..but, crucially,

-the stone was here.

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-As a builder, I was aware

-that it could have been a problem...

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-..to find stones

-to match the existing stonework.

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-We wanted the correct windows too.

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-We went to see cottages

-in Abereiddy.

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-The windows had to suit the style

-of the cottage and the landscape.

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-We wanted to make sure

-we didn't make a mistake.

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-I like the way

-you've kept the buildings...

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-..at a low level

-so that they blend in.

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-We didn't want a cottage of this

-length because they didn't exist.

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-So we decided to keep one part

-that looked like a cottage...

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-..and the other part

-to look like outhouses...

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-..that were still used as such.

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-I'm interested

-in the cement roofs...

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-..that can be seen

-throughout this region.

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-They're so typical

-of north Pembrokeshire.

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-But why aren't they found

-elsewhere in Wales?

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-They had good quality slate

-in North Wales.

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-Here in Pembrokeshire...

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-..the slate became brittle...

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-..and porous after a few years...

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-..so roofs would leak.

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-That's when cement roofs

-were introduced.

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-What kind of substances

-are used in the cement?

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-We use sand, cement...

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-..and lime.

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-We also use more modern materials

-to help it stick to the slate.

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-In old houses,

-each time the roof was grouted...

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-..more weight was added to it.

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-Around 1.5 tonnes of sand was needed

-to build a roof of this size.

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-Over the years,

-the roofs started to bow.

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-The timber trusses in old houses

-weren't strong enough...

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-..so roofs began to dip.

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-After all the hard work and effort,

-are you happy with the result?

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-Is it exactly

-as you imagined it to be?

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-I'm quite happy with it.

-I don't want to leave the place.

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-If she's happy,

-that's good enough for me.

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-Thinking of Pembrokeshire's

-wonderful landscape...

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-..its people

-and its towns and villages...

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-..it's hard to believe that if you

-scraped beneath the surface...

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-..you'd find something

-completely unexpected.

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-Slavery.

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-The Vikings

-gave this place its name.

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-Fishguard literally means

-fish-catching enclosure.

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-They were very industrious here.

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-They invaded and attacked viciously

-as they searched for treasure.

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-They kidnapped people

-and used them as slaves.

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-In the nearby village

-of Little Newcastle...

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-..lived a boy

-named Bartholomew Roberts.

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-Aged ten, he went to sea

-aboard a ship transporting slaves.

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-In time, he became captain

-of his own ship.

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-A pirate ship.

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-He became known as Black Bart...

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-..arguably the most successful

-and vicious pirate in history.

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-He attacked 200 ships in two years.

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-Many mansions were built

-in Pembrokeshire...

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-..with the money made

-from buying and selling slaves...

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-..and from slave labour

-on Caribbean sugar plantations.

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-Some of the county's families

-became very wealthy.

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-Some of Pembrokeshire's

-colourful characters...

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-..have been involved

-in the slave trade.

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-Among them was Black Bart, no less.

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-Yes, one of his first jobs

-was on a ship transporting slaves.

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-Ships used to transport slaves

-were horrendous...

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-..not only for the slaves

-but also for the crew.

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-You could smell a slave ship

-from miles away at sea.

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-In Black Bart's case...

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-..his ship was attacked

-and he was taken hostage.

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-He then joined his captors

-as a pirate.

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-In a strange way,

-his history is associated...

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-..with the burgeoning slave trade.

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-Following Black Bart's death

-in 1722...

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-..the golden age of the pirates

-came to an end.

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-The pirates, of course,

-attacked the slave ships.

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-But once the pirates

-had been overpowered...

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-..the slave trade grew unhindered.

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-The trade grew significantly

-in the 18th century.

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-Wales's economy

-was linked to the slave trade.

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-Mansions were built

-and wealth was generated...

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-..as a result of slavery.

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-Yes, landowners in Pembrokeshire...

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-..owned land and slaves

-in the Caribbean.

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-The Caribbean was incredibly

-important to the slave trade.

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-The Caribbean was more important

-to Britain's economy...

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-..than the North American mainland

-in that period.

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-You could argue that much of Wales's

-industrial development...

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-..in the late 18th century

-and early 19th century...

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-..was funded by money from slavery.

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-There is a special example

-of slavery in this house.

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-Yes, it involves a slave boy

-named Cesar Picton.

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-He was a gift to John Philipps...

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-..who was one

-of the estate's owners.

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-This house was given to Cesar

-when he was five or six years old...

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-..along with a parakeet.

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-It was fashionable at the time...

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-..to have young black boys

-as travelling companions.

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-But in Cesar's case,

-he became part of the family.

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-He became a wealthy man.

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-John Philipps's daughters

-left him money in their wills...

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-..and he became far wealthier...

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-..than many who were born and bred

-in south-east England.

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-But Wales became instrumental...

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-..in ending this abhorrent trade.

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-But there are still traces

-in the large estates...

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-..of wealth derived from slavery...

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-..during a horrendous period

-in our history.

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-Next week, Damian explores the

-derivation of county place names...

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-..Elinor roams in Ty Canol woods...

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-..and I get the chance to visit

-one of the path's hidden gems...

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-..the Witch's Cauldron.

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-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.

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Cyfle i ymweld ag Abereiddi, Carreg Samson, Rhos y Clegyrn, Eglwys Llanwnda a Chastell Pictwn. A visit to Abereiddi, Carreg Samson, Rhos y Clegyrn, Llanwnda Church and Picton Castle.