Now a major ferry port and gateway to Pembrokeshire, Fishguard was the site of the ‘Last Invasion of Britain’ more than 200 years ago.
The Last Invasion
A story of how one local woman armed with a pitchfork single-handedly saved Fishguard from French invaders.
More than 200 years ago, at the time of the French Revolution, while Napoleon Bonaparte was busy conquering in central Europe, the French government decided they could also do some conquering somewhat nearer to home. So they came up with a cunning plan!
Without knowing too much about British feelings at the time, they thought the poor country folk of Britain would be pleased to welcome their French liberators.
However things didn’t quite go according to plan. In the February of 1797, four warships set sail from France. Their ultimate aim was to land in Bristol. Instead, the Welsh winds blew them to the sheltered waters of Fishguard Bay where, frightened by cannon fire, they landed at nearby Llanwnda.
Men, arms and gunpowder were unloaded, and the last invasion of Britain began. The men, however, were a ragtag bunch, with many newly released prisoners amongst them. Hardly had they begun on their mission than they forgot it and instead started to plunder the local farms, gorging themselves on the local food and getting drunk on beer and wine.
Meanwhile, in nearby Fishguard, a large, tough woman called Jemima Nicholas, the wife of the local cobbler, heard news of the invasion and was outraged
At once, she decided to take matters in to her own hands and she marched out to Llanwnda armed with nothing but a pitchfork. Single-handedly, she rounded up 12 French soldiers, marched them back to Fishguard and had them locked up inside St Mary’s church before marching back to look for more!
Jemima Nicholas, or Jemima Fawr (Jemima the great) as she was also known, has won her place in history.
Look for the memorial stone erected in 1897 near the entrance of St Mary’s churchyard in Fishguard, and the wooden sculpture in Scolton Manor woods.
Discover more myths and legends
Enjoy the spectacular views from up on the common and decide why you think this standing stone was placed here.
Burial chambers, ancient woodland and stone cairns make this area of North Pembrokeshire a place of myth and mystery.
Once a home to lords and ladies, princesses and warriors, Carew is now home to ghost stories and rare bats.
Step back in time and experience life in the Iron Age. Many myths and legends would have been told around the fire in hill forts such as this.
Milford Haven Waterway
Explore the secret waterways of the Daugleddau Estuary, wooded valleys and rugged Preseli Hills.
Now a tranquil village nestled within the National Park, Nevern’s Medieval past lives on through the legends relating to the castle and the church.
Newport and Carn Ingli
Explore the bustling little town of Newport, or venture up on to Carn Ingli, sometimes called the mountain of angels.