Fishguard, Wales, United Kingdom
Fishguard’s name in Welsh is Abergwaun, meaning the mouth of the River Gwaun. The English name comes from an Old Norse word for a fish trap, and indeed the community has profited from catching and drying herring for centuries. It has remained remarkably unchanged physically over the years. The waterfront has a traditional feel like many others in Pembrokeshire. At first glance, nothing would indicate that this is the site of the last invasion of Britain by a foreign power. But a bicentenary stone recalls the day in 1797 when 1400 French revolutionary troops landed here, only to be routed by the local folk, including a heroic woman shoemaker named Jemima Nicholas, who rounded up more than a dozen dismayed invaders while armed with a pitchfork. A large tapestry depicting the struggle is on display in the Fishguard Town Hall. The surrounding South Wales countryside is dotted with medieval castles, some impressive, such as Pembroke and Picton Castles, and others little more than scenically sited ruins. Cardigan also has a notable garden called Dyffryn Fernant, and St. David’s boasts an impressive early cathedral and a Bishop’s Palace. Prehistoric Pembrokeshire is represented by the Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber, a massive dolmen with an intact 15-ton capstone made of the same type of rock that formed the inner sanctum of Stonehenge.