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SCOVESTON - BURTON

GRID REFERENCE: SM 926082
AREA IN HECTARES: 2550

Historic Background
A large character area lying the north of the Milford Haven waterway, within the ecclesiastical parishes of Llangwm, Llanstadwell, Rosemarket and Steynton. Much of the area formed part of the medieval Manor of Pill, part of the larger Manor (or Sublordship) of Pill and Roch, which was created under the de Roches between 1100 and 1130. Its relationship with the Lordship of Haverford, of which it was notionally a member, was always a matter of dispute. Pill was a large and important manor with a caput at the head of Castle Pill (pill is a local term for a tidal inlet) at the west end of the area – possibly on the site of an iron age hillfort and later a Civil War defence. The southeast end of this area lies within the parish of Burton, which represented a detached portion of the Lordship of Pembroke. Burton parish church was present by 1291. The Manor (and parish) of Llangwm, to the north, was a holding of the de Vales until a Roche kinsman, Gilbert de la Roche, acquired it in the late 13th century. The Roches granted ‘six bovates of land in Studdolph, and five acres of land with half a carucate of land in the same township’ to the Tironian Pill Priory in its late 12th century foundation charter. Hayston was present in the 14th century. The present settlement pattern appears to be of relatively late origin as only a few of today’s farms and landholdings can be identified with medieval manors and townships. Scoveston is not recorded until the mid 15th century, while the remainder – Jordanston, Norton, Milton, Westfield etc – were not recorded until the 16th- and 17th-centuries. Some, such as Oxland, are 18th century in origin. Nevertheless, these different periods of origin are not reflected in any differing tenurial arrangements, and a homogenous pattern of enclosure has resulted. By the time of the first estate maps in the late 18th century and the tithe survey in the 1840s the landscape of today had been established. There are hints that at least parts of the area had evolved from open field systems. For instance, enclosed strip fields are shown on estate maps on the east side of Castle Pill and close to the very small village of Burton. No traces of these strips now remain. The area has remained primarily agricultural but its military potential has long been apparent. Castle Pill was fortified by Royalist forces in 1643, with an 18 gun fort garrisoned by 300 men. The massive inland Scoveston Fort was the only defensive work to be constructed after the 1860 Royal Commission report on defence proposed a ring of forts around the Milford Haven waterway to prevent it from landward attack. Railways also crossed the area, to Neyland in 1856 and Milford Haven in 1859.

 

Base map reproduced from the OS map with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright 2001.
All rights reserved. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Licence Number: GD272221

 

Description and essential historic landscape components
This very extensive historic landscape character area extends from the town of Milford Haven in the west, along the northern shore of the waterway past Neyland and up to and past the village of Llangwm. Despite its size it is a remarkably coherent landscape consisting of large farms, dispersed houses and large, regular fields. Although it lies close to Milford Haven waterway, this area only directly borders the sea at a few locations near Burton and Llangwm. Pasture is the dominant land-use, with a little arable land particularly in the western part of the area. There is virtually no rough or waste ground. Apart from deciduous trees on steep valley sides, such as at Castle Pill and Barnwell Pill, in some sheltered hollows, and on the banks of the Milford Haven waterway, this is not a landscape characterised by woodland. Occasional trees are also present in some hedgerows. Earth banks topped with hedges are the main boundary type. Hedges are generally well-maintained, although in the northern part of the area some are becoming overgrown and a few are derelict. Burton Mountain and Williamston Mountain, once one of the few open areas on the Milford Haven waterway is divided into large fields by banks and hedges. Apart from Burton village the settlement pattern is one of dispersed farms and houses. There are several mansions and large farms within this area, including Jordanston Farm, Williamston, East Hook and Studdolph Hall. Some of these houses are of some antiquity, such as East Hook, a 17th century and 18th century house next to the ruins of a 16th century house, and others indicate the minor gentry origins of the larger farms, such as the three storey Georgian house of Jordanston. Some of the larger houses, Castle Hall for example, have been demolished. Attached to most of these large houses are ranges of stone-built, 19th century, and sometimes earlier, outbuildings, often arranged around a courtyard, and sometimes set some distance from the dwelling. The wide range of buildings at Castle Hall Farm are a good example of this type. Gardens and parkland survive at some of these larger houses. Interspersed across the landscape are smaller farms. The houses take a variety of forms, but in the main they date to the 19th century, and are stone-built, rendered, slate-roofed, and broadly in the Georgian tradition. Many have been modernised. Older farmhouses and modern farmhouses are also present, presumably replacements of earlier structures. Old outbuildings are also stone-built, but usually of just one or two ranges. Most farms of this size have large ranges of modern steel and concrete outbuildings. Dispersed modern houses are present in this area, but are not a defining characteristic, apart from west and north of Jordanston. Here mid 20th century semi-detached houses in a fairly dense scatter are a distinct feature of the landscape. At Burton, the only village within this area, the medieval parish church of St Mary together with a cluster of late 18th century and 19th century dwellings is surrounded by late 20th century housing, including a small estate. Other buildings include the massive remains of Scoveston Fort, an element of the mid 19th century military defence of the Milford Haven waterway. Given the large extent of this area it is not surprising that there are a large number and variety of archaeological sites. However, these do not greatly characterise the landscape. Of interest are: several prehistoric funerary and ritual sites, including standing stones, chambered tombs and round barrows, an iron age fort with the slight remains of a Civil War fort, several prehistoric find spots, medieval mill and windmill sites, and World War 2 defensive features.

To the south and east the boundary of this area is very well-defined against the Milford Haven waterway, the town of Milford Haven, the town of Neyland, an Oil Refinery and a large tract of woodland. On other sides this area is very difficult to define, and any boundary should be considered a zone of change rather than hard-edged.

Sources: Burton Parish tithe map 1840; Charles 1992; Jones 1996; Llangwm Parish tithe map 1841; Llanstadwell Parish tithe map 1849, Llanstadwell Third Part tithe map 1830; Ludlow 2002; NLW PICTON CASTLE VOL 1; NLW R .K. LUCAS NO. 17, 19 & 25; Page 2001; Price 1986; Pritchard 1907; PRO D/RKL/1194/4; PRO RKL/841; Rees 1975; Rosemarket Parish tithe map 1843; Saunders 1964; Stainton Parish tithe map 1843

 

 

 

 

 

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