Kidwelly is a town and community in Carmarthenshire, southwest Wales 7 miles northwest of the most populous town in the county, Llanelli. In the 2001 census the community of Kidwelly returned a population of 3,289, increasing to 3,523 at the 2011 Census, it lies on the River Gwendraeth above Carmarthen Bay. The earliest written form of the name,'Cetgueli', is recorded by the monk, writing in the 9th century. One theory is that the name means the territory, or kingdom of Cadwal. Another theory is that the name is the combination of the two words Cyd and Gweli, i.e. the joining of the two river beds Gwendraeth Fawr and Gwendraeth Fach, wherein Cydweli lies. The town itself is ancient, established by written records at around 1106 AD; the substantial and well preserved castle and church were established by the invading Normans in 1106. The earliest castle on the site was a typical Norman motte and bailey design, made of earth and timber; the 13th century re-design was commissioned by Edward I Longshanks as a strategic part of his'Ring of Steel' oppression against the Welsh.
At the time of the stone castle's creation, Kidwelly benefited from the latest strategic military thinking in castle design. It had a concentric design with one circuit of defensive walls set within another to allow the castle to be held if the outer wall should fall; the great gatehouse was begun late in the 14th century but it wasn’t completed until 1422, somewhat due to the Welsh rebel Owain Glyndŵr’s efforts to reclaim Welsh independence. A field in the neighbouring forest of Kingswood, Maes Gwenllian is known as the location of a battle in 1136, in which Princess Gwenllian, sister of Owain Gwynedd, led her husband's troops into battle against a Norman army during his absence, she is believed to have been killed either during the battle or shortly afterwards, historians debate whether her death was at Maes Gwenllian or if she was marched back to Kidwelly Castle to be beheaded there. Although being an ancient town, Kidwelly grew during the industrial revolution, as did many other towns in southern Wales.
The town was home to a large tinworks. Little evidence now exists of such activities since the closure of the industrial works, with the exception of Kidwelly Industrial Museum. An atmospheric quotation from a despondent vicar in the nineteenth century provides insight to times gone by. Lords day in this Town is but little regarded as a day for spiritual worship lick houses are allowed to be open, frequented during Divine Service. Publick ses are numerous in this place, the Town Clerk keeps a... publick house. Times on the Lord's day we are not only hear cursing and... once swearing in our streets, but we see most brutal fighting, and... otice taken thereof by the authority of the Town. This is the cause why places ship are so little frequented and religion so little appreciated and professed at Kidwelly." Thomas Griffiths, Vicar Local attractions include Kidwelly Castle, founded in 1106. Kidwelly Carnival is an annual event held on the second Saturday of July. Previous carnivals have featured aerial displays.
The town is twinned with French village Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer. Road - Kidwelly is connected to Llanelli and Carmarthen by the A484 road. Bus/Coach - There are local buses running through Kidwelly, linking the town with Llanelli and Carmarthen, with a main stop in the town centre; some services were withdrawn in 2014. There is a Coach Park located in the town centre. Rail - Kidwelly railway station is on the West Wales Line. Westbound services from Kidwelly terminate at Carmarthen or Pembroke Dock, with less frequent direct services to Fishguard Harbour and Milford Haven. Eastbound services terminate at Swansea or Cardiff Central, with less frequent direct services to Manchester Piccadilly and London Paddington. Cycling - Kidwelly is connected to the National Cycle Network along the coast from the east and west by NCR 4; the cycle path runs directly through the town centre. Air - Pembrey Airport is 3 miles east of Kidwelly; the nearest airport with domestic and international scheduled flights is Cardiff Airport.
Walking- There are numerous public footpaths and bridleways in Kidwelly and Mynydd-y- Garreg, including Glan yr Afon, just behind the Wesleyan Chapel on the Bridge and Summer Way off Water Street. Kidwelly is governed on a local level by Carmarthenshire County Council and on a community level by Kidwelly Town Council, who appoint a Mayor of Kidwelly and Mynydd-y-garreg, it is located within the UK Parliament constituency of Llanelli, represented by the Welsh Labour MP Nia Griffith, within the Welsh Assembly Constituency of Llanelli represented by the Welsh Labour AM Lee Waters. The community is bordered by the communities of: Llandyfaelog; the local rugby union team is Kidwelly RFC, a club formed in the 1880s which now plays in the Welsh Rugby Union league. They play their home games at Kidwelly. Parc Stephen's is the home venue of local football and lawn bowls teams; the football team is Kidwelly Town AFC. Church of Saint Mary, Kidwelly Mynyddygarreg Kenyon, John R. Kidwelly Castle, Cardiff: Cadw, ISBN 978-1-85760-256-2 Kidwelly Town Council - Includes Visitors` Guide Kidwelly Castle Official Website Kidwelly Industrial Museum Official site www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Kidwelly and surrounding area
Pendine Sands is 7 miles of beach on the shores of Carmarthen Bay on the south coast of Wales. It stretches west to east from Gilman Point to Laugharne Sands; the village of Pendine is close to the western end of Pendine Sands. In the early 1900s the sands were used as a venue for motor cycle races. From 1922 the annual Welsh TT motor cycle event was held at Pendine Sands; the firm, flat surface of the beach created a race track, straighter and smoother than many major roads of the time. Motor Cycle magazine described the sands as "the finest natural speedway imaginable". In the 1920s it became clear that roads and race tracks were no longer adequate venues for attempts on the world land speed record; as record-breaking speeds approached 150 mph, the requirements for acceleration to top speed before the measured mile and safe braking distance afterwards meant that a smooth, straight surface of at least 5 miles in length was needed. The first person to use Pendine Sands for a world land speed record attempt was Malcolm Campbell.
On 25 September 1924 he set a world land speed record of 146.16 mph on Pendine Sands in his Sunbeam 350HP car Blue Bird. Four other record-breaking runs were made on Pendine Sands between 1924 and 1927. Firstly the 150 mph barrier was broken by Campbell. In April 1926, Parry-Thomas added 20 mph to break the land speed record at 171.02 mph. Campbell raised the record to 174.22 mph in February 1927 with his second Blue Bird. On 3 March 1927 Parry-Thomas attempted to beat Campbell's record. On his final run while travelling at about 170 mph the car crashed. There is an untrue urban myth that the exposed drive chain broke and decapitated him. Parry-Thomas was the first driver to be killed in a world land speed record attempt. One further attempt at the Land Speed Record was planned by Giulio Foresti in the "Djelmo", but Foresti crashed during a test run on 26 November 1927 destroying the car. In 1933 Amy Johnson and her husband, Jim Mollison, took off from Pendine Sands in a de Havilland Dragon Rapide, G-ACCV "Seafarer", to fly non-stop to New York.
Their aircraft ran out of fuel and was forced to crash-land at Bridgeport, just short of New York. In June 2000 Don Wales, grandson of Malcolm Campbell and nephew of Donald Campbell, set the United Kingdom electric land speed record at Pendine Sands in Bluebird Electric 2, achieving a speed of 137 mph; the Ministry of Defence acquired Pendine Sands during the Second World War and used it as a firing range. The beach is still owned by the Ministry of Defence. From Monday to Friday part of the beach is closed off because of MOD operations. Between 9 July 2004 and May 2010 all vehicles were banned from using Pendine because of safety concerns, but since May 2010 cars have again been allowed access. Parry-Thomas's car was buried in the sand dunes near the village of Pendine after his accident. In 1969 Owen Wyn Owen, an engineering lecturer from Bangor Technical College, received permission to excavate Babs, which he spent the next 16 years restoring; the car can be seen on display at the Museum of Speed in Pendine village during the summer months.
On 21 and 22 June 2013, Pendine Land Speed Racing Club initiated land speed racing events again on the sands. The Vintage Hot Rod Association hosted their inaugural Amateur Hot Rod Races on Pendine Sands on 7 September 2013. Racing was open to members of the VHRA and their pre-1949 hot rods and saw 80 vehicles being timed flat out on the sands; the event culminated in the VHRA winning the Motoring Event of the Year at the International Historic Motoring Awards. This is an annual event, with hot rodders from around the world taking part. In September 2013, Guy Martin broke the UK speed record for a bicycle ridden in the slipstream of another vehicle, he hit a top speed of 112.9 mph while riding behind a modified truck driven by former British Truck Racing Championship winner, Dave Jenkins. The preparations for the record attempt were documented in Episode 1 of a Channel 4 series called Speed with Guy Martin, first broadcast in the UK in December 2013. On 7 May 2015, Idris Elba broke the historic'flying mile' record set by Malcolm Campbell, in a Bentley Continental GT Speed.
On 21 July 2015 at Pendine beach in Wales, the 90th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's first world land speed record in ‘Bluebird’ was recreated by his grandson, Don Wales a land speed record holder, in the restored car. Commenting on the restoration appeal Wales said: "This beautiful car has been lovingly restored and looked after by Doug Hill and the team and it's only right that such an iconic car deserves to have the final pieces in place to complete her!"' The new gearbox will be part of a long term project to restore the car to its 1925 specifications. This would require the fabrication of two full-length exhaust pipes, a new seat and upholstery, the re-manufacture of a dropped nose cone and rear wheel spats. On 12 May 2018, a home-built'wooden shed' set a new speed record, achieving 101 mph, breaking its own previous record of 80 mph; the following day, 45-year-old Guernsey businessman Zef Eisenberg set a new land speed'sand' record of 201.5 mph on his 350-horsepower supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, the first time a speed in excess of 200 miles per hour had been achieved at Pendine.
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Wisemans Bridge is a small hamlet and holiday resort on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path between Amroth and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is part of the parish of Amroth. In the 19th century local high-quality coal was shipped out of Wisemans Bridge in vessels of 50 or 60 tons; the footpath linking Wisemans Bridge and Coppet Hall beach was once a railway track used to transport coal to Saundersfoot Harbour. In 1943, Winston Churchill visited the area as the allies practised for the D Day landings
The common cockle is a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Cardiidae, the cockles. It is found in waters off Europe, from Iceland in the north, south into waters off western Africa as far south as Senegal; the ribbed oval shells are white, yellowish or brown in colour. The common cockle is eaten in much of its range; the common cockle was one of the many invertebrate species described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae, where it was given that old binomial name of Cardium edule. The species name is derived from the Latin adjective ĕdūlis "edible". Italian naturalist Giuseppe Saverio Poli erected the genus Cerastoderma in 1795, making the common cockle the type species as Cerastoderma edule; the genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek words keras "horn" and derma "skin". For many years it was referred to by both names. Other common names in English are common edible cockle. On account of its heart-like shape and its similarity to mussels, it is called the heart mussel in German and Scandinavian languages.
It reaches from 3.5 centimetres to 5 centimetres in length, but sometimes it reaches 6 centimetres. The shells are whitish yellow, grubby white, or brown; the shell is oval, covered by ribs, which are flattened in the middle part of the shell. The digestive glands are light brown to dark green. In contrast, the similar lagoon cockle has an elongated shell posteriorly, black digestive glands and is found in substrate of stagnant water; this species is found in coastal areas of eastern Atlantic Ocean. It is distributed from Iceland and Norway in Europe, to Senegal along the coast of west Africa; the common cockle is one of the most abundant species of molluscs in tidal flats located in the bays and estuaries of Europe. It plays a major role as a source of food for crustaceans and wading birds; this species is a filter feeder, meaning that it feeds by straining water to obtain suspended matter and food particles. Water is inhaled through an inhalant siphon, exhaled through an exhalant siphon, it tolerates a wide range of salinity, wide range of temperatures, which helps to explain its extensive range.
It has a first spawning period in early summer, a second one in the fall. Lifespan is five to six years, though it may perish earlier due to predation by humans as well as crabs and various birds including oystercatchers. A green shore crab can consume up to 40 common cockles a day, eating smaller cockles much more than larger ones. Hence they could have a greater impact in lean seasons; the cercozoan species Marteilia cochillia is a parasite of the common cockle, having caused a collapse in commercial harvests of cockle beds in Galicia in 2012. A survey of cockle beds in Galicia found that infestation by the gregarine parasite Nematopsis was widespread, that the most common pathological finding was disseminated neoplasia; these animals were a significant food source in hunter-gatherer societies of prehistoric Europe, the clay remains of shell-imprints have been found. The clay is imprinted with fine decorations, repetitions of the distinct curved ridges, undulating lines and/or edges characteristic to the cockle shell, a natural resource of coastal waters.
Cardial ware is the name of the Neolithic pottery from maritime cultures that colonized Mediterranean shores c. 6000 – 5,500 B. C. this name being based upon the old binomial name of the species: Cardium edule. In the 1800s, a song called "Molly Malone" was first published becoming the unofficial song of Dublin, Ireland; the lyrics describe Molly Malone selling the common cockle in the streets of that city. This cockle is eaten in several countries, it is sometimes eaten pickled, or raw. An important species for the fishing industry, it is commercially fished in the United Kingdom and France by suction dredge and raking by hand; the greatest catch was from the Netherlands, but now fisheries restrictions have been put in place due to environmental concerns. Similar measures have been established elsewhere, for example in Scotland where dredging with vehicles is prohibited, in parts of England and Wales where only old-fashioned hand-gathering is permitted; this species is used in aquaculture. Farming of cockles is ongoing in the Netherlands and Portugal.
However, production in those countries has not been stable. Gathering this species can be dangerous. In 2004, the incoming tide at Morecambe Bay in England caused 23 cockle-gatherers to die. In addition to being a food source, their shells have been used industrially as a source of lime. Cockle
Millennium Coastal Park
The Millennium Coastal Park was a project undertaken by Llanelli Borough Council to transform a 12 miles stretch of industrial wasteland on the south Carmarthenshire coast into green parkland. The project was taken over by Carmarthenshire County Council after the amalgamation of Welsh local authorities and the land was transformed into a landscaped recreational area for the general public; the park is 1000 hectares in area, cost £35 million to develop and in 2002 was awarded a Civic Trust Award. It has extensive views over the Lloughor Estuary to the Gower Peninsula, it includes a cycle track which provides traffic-free cycling and has been described as "one of the finest stretches of the whole National Cycle Network". Another feature is a wave-shaped, grass-covered landform, created from 115,000 cubic metres pulverised fuel ash, a form of "land art". Another part of the project is the Burry Port Marina which provides berthing for 250 craft in three harbours; the Discovery Centre on the waterfront provides information on its facilities.
The Lloughor estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is within the Carmarthen Bay Special Area of Conservation. The Millennium Coastal Park offers various wildlife habitats such as wetlands and rough grassland, these are preserved in the Pwll Lagoon Local Nature Reserve, the Ashpits Pond Local Nature Reserve and the North Dock Dunes Local Nature Reserve; the park offers views of the Gower Peninsula on the other side of the Loughor estuary, features a variety of visitor attractions including the North Dock visitor centre, National Wetlands Centre Wales at Penclacwydd and Sandy Water Park. The Millennium Coastal Path runs through the park. WWT National Wetlands Centre
Burry Port is a small town five miles outside the larger centre of Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, lying on the Loughor estuary. The town's population was 4,209 in the 2001 census and 4,240 in 2012; the town is home to a harbour and is where Amelia Earhart landed as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The Pembrey Burrows sand dune and wetland system, home to a country park and the Cefn Sidan sands, lie nearby; the town has a proud musical heritage and is home to Burry Port Opera, Male Choir and Burry Port Town Band. Burry Port lies 5 miles west of Llanelli, it sits at the mouth of the Loughor estuary. West of the town's shoreline is Pembrey Burrows, a large area of burrow and marshland which occupied many square miles of land, much of, reclaimed. To the north of the town is the hill Mynydd Pembrey, or Pembrey Mountain. Further north lie the Gwendraeth Valleys; the Gwendraeth Fawr runs north easterly from Kidwelly for about twelve miles. The land around the valley itself contains large amounts of coal as well as limestone.
The Gwendraeth Fawr flows the length of the valley and joins its sister river the Gwendraeth Fach west of Kidwelly before flowing into Carmarthen Bay. People made a living in Burry Port from farming and fishing before the industrial revolution brought the railways and collieries to the area; as Pembrey Burrows was a hazard to shipping, local people would salvage what they could from boats wrecked in storms while navigating the Bristol Channel. Pembrey sands have proved the final resting place of many ships, some by mishap, others it is said lured to their doom deliberately to provide plunder for the wreckers known as "Gwyr-y-Bwelli Bach" or "The Men of Little Hatchets", they were named after the locally made tool, a hatchet incorporating a claw for ripping open cargo and useful for dispatching unwanted witnesses to the wreckers' activities. Records indicate that coal mining was established in the valley as early as 1540 although there was little effective transport; the Gwendraeth Fawr at the time was treacherous.
Growing interest in coal and iron ore drove the growth of the coal trade. Thomas Kymer, owner of many mining and other operations in the area established several loading places and primitive trackways to load barges on the Gwendraeth Fawr. Cargo was carried down the Gwendraeth river and up the Towy to Carmarthen. In 1768 Kymer opened a canal and quay, part of, today restored and preserved; the canal cut through the marshes allowing boats to travel upstream far enough to reach solid ground where quays could be built. This allowed barges to operate without having to wait for tides to get inland. A canal alone was not sufficient to solve the transport problems and wagonways were built to carry traffic from the mines to the canal itself. Several of these wagonways became plateways and railways as technology improved. A second canal was cut by the Earl of Ashburnham in 1798 to serve his mines nearby and this was fed by wagonways; the canals continued to expand and wharves and dock facilities were built.
More mines continued to open further up the valley sending their coal down through the canals to the sea. The trade in coal was hindered however as the shifting sands made the river treacherous and the safe paths changed year by year. In 1832 a harbour was built at a few years after the nearby harbour at Pembrey opened. Fed by a series of chaotic canals and wagonways it offered a way to ship Gwendraeth coal out by sea. No village or town of Burry Port yet existed. By 1840 the canals feeding Burry Port and their tramways fed coal from the entire Gwendraeth valley down to the sea. Early records of Burry Port as a town appear around 1850, springing up around the new docks adjacent to Pembrey; the importance of the newly emerging town was plain when the railways reached Burry Port, the station serving both Pembrey and the new town of Burry Port was built a few hundred yards down from Pembrey at Burry Port. The canal network was now unable to handle the loads from the Gwendraeth valley mines and part of the canal network was converted into the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway by the late 1860s with the port continuing to grow in importance and shipping volumes.
Carmarthen Bay Power Station was built on the north shore of the Burry Estuary, occupying some 220 acres. Work started on its construction in April 1947, power was first generated on 28 June 1953. At this time the plant employed around 500 people and during its 31 years of operation the three stacks became a local landmark; the power station ceased generating power in 1984, was demolished in the early 1990s. With the closure of all the mines at Cwm Mawr the railways up the valley were lifted; the harbour is now a marina for small leisure craft. Pembrey and Burry Port railway station still exists and is served by regular services east via Swansea and Cardiff to London and west into Pembrokeshire. Burry Port boasts a small supermarket, specialist shops, several hairdressers, a beauty and skincare salon, an array of pubs and fast food outlets, a library and a large secondary school. Glan-y-Mor Comprehensive School has about 600 pupils. There is a Welsh primary School - Ysgol Parc y Tywyn, an English medium infants school and an English medium junior school in the town.
Burry Port lies on the Millennium Coastal Path from Bynea near Llanelli to Pembrey Burrows. The town is home to a lifeboat station, situated in Burry Port Harbour. Burry Port lies in the Llanelli parliamentary constituency, held by the Labour Party since 1922; the Labour Party has l
Saundersfoot is a large village and electoral ward in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. It is near Tenby and they are two of the most visited Welsh holiday destinations. Saundersfoot lies on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Saundersfoot was known in medieval Wales as Llanussyllt and after the Norman conquest as St Issels, both after the parish church dedicated to the Welsh saint Issel, its bishop or abbot was considered one of the seven principal clerics of Dyfed under medieval Welsh law. It was a substantial parish in 1833 with 1,226 inhabitants. John Marius Wilson described the village and parish as St Issells in his 1870–72 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales; the church is a grade II * listed building. Permission to build the harbour was granted by Parliament in 1829 to the Saundersfoot Railway and Harbour Company for the export of anthracite coal from the many mines in the area, although coal was exported from the beach for centuries before this; the village grew up to serve the port which by 1837 had five jetties handling coal and iron ore and subsequently pig iron and firebricks from local sources.
The course of the tramway from Bonville's Court mine ends at the jetty. The tramway from Stepaside forms the sea front; the industry faded away in the early years of the twentieth century. Saundersfoot railway station is a mile from the village centre just off of the B4316 road. Trains call here every two hours in each direction, westwards to Pembroke Dock and eastwards to Whitland and Swansea; the electoral ward of Saundersfoot is coterminous with the boundaries of the Saundersfoot community. It elects one county councillor to Pembrokeshire County Council. Saundersfoot has a playing field named King George's Field. Saundersfoot Karate Club meet every Wednesday. All ages and abilities are welcome; the pubs in the centre of Saundersfoot include'The Captains Table','The Royal Oak','The Mulberry','The Hean','Mermaid On The Strand' and'The Deck'. Local attractions include Folly Farm, Heatherton World of Activities, Manor House Wildlife Park and Tenby Dinosaur Park. Saundersfoot holds its annual charitable cheese festival and New Years Day swim every year, sponsored by local businesses.
More than 1,500 people took part in 2016. Saundersfoot travel guide from Wikivoyage