The Saundersfoot Bay communities: Saundersfoot, Wiseman’s Bridge, Stepaside, Summerhill and Amroth, are linked by the easternmost section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, and share a captivating heritage.
Today, dynamic festivals, charity swims, fish week and fireworks are popular with locals and visitors but respect for the past, so evident in landscape and buildings, remains an integral part of community life.
Saundersfoot harbour once clanged and steamed as tons of world-acclaimed local anthracite coal were loaded onto ships, joined by Stepaside iron and Wiseman’s Bridge bricks later in the 19th century.
Experiencing this rich industrial heritage is integral to gaining a feel for the locality and is embedded in plans for the harbour’s development as an international marine tourism destination.
Follow a wave-lapped trail to Wiseman’s Bridge, then walk wildlife-rich ‘Pleasant Valley’. Silent furnaces and skeletal kilns announce Stepaside’s ironworks; iron ore was mined at Cwms Level, between Summerhill and Amroth, where quarries and kilns are still evident.
Today a wide variety of local businesses, ranging from gourmet hotels and restaurants, to stylish and quirky shops, create a colourful vibrancy across the bay. Colby Lodge gardens owned by the National Trust, offer a great mix of tranquil corners and new adventures for children.
Saundersfoot Bay Heritage Regeneration Trust exists to preserve, protect and safeguard the rich industrial and cultural heritage around the coastal area of Saundersfoot, Wiseman’s Bridge and Amroth. Before this area became a favourite holiday spot for people across Wales and beyond, the area was renowned for the quality of its coal.
Information researched and provided by: Neil Sefton (Chair SBHRT), Mary Sefton (Secretary), Tessa Pearson, Joyce Lewis, Pauline Davies, Michael Slade and Sue Boughton-Thomas.
Additional recording contributions from: Audrey Hilling, Duncan Hilling, Peter Williams, Joyce Lewis and children from Stepaside Community Primary School.
Thanks also to Carys Mills (Harbour development / Welcome Centre advisor), Alan Jones (Script Editor) and Michael Slade (Recording & Editing).
The recordings took place at the Saundersfoot Regency Hall Community Centre.
Find out more about the Trust and their work Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SaundersfootBayHRT/.
Echoes of the past is a podcast about Pembrokeshire, about history and culture, and about the importance of this corner of Wales to the wider world.
Echoes website: http://www.echoeswales.cymru/
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Music: Water Lily – The 126ers https://youtu.be/BQm22usqKds