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Historic Background
Apart from Fort Popton and a narrow strip of sea cliff/cliff top this entire area comprises an oil refinery and oil pumping station. It occupies part of Rhoscrowther parish, which represented the medieval Manor of Popton, and the west half of Pwllcrochan parish. This comprised half a knight’s fee held directly of the Lordship of Pembroke. It had an annual value of 10 marks in 1324 after it had been acquired, from the Popton family, by the Perrots who later rose to great prominence in southwest Wales. Eastington, which lies south of this area, is a large, semi-fortified hall-house built by the Perrots in the late 14th century. The Meares acquired the manor in the 17th century. Prior to the construction of oil industry installations the landscape consisted of farms and regularly shaped fields – little change had occurred to this agricultural landscape since the early 19th century – with a fort situated on the cliff tops. This fort, Fort Popton, was built 1859-64 to act in conjunction with Fort Hubberston on the opposite shore of the Milford Haven waterway. It comprised a casemated battery of 31 guns and included a defended barracks with accommodation for 10 officers and 240 men. It was redesigned in 1900. In 1961, BP constructed a jetty below the fort and a pumping installation within and close to the fort in order to pump oil to Llandarcy, near Swansea. The pumping station closed in 1985. The Field Studies Council now uses part of the fort as a research centre. To the east of the fort Texaco constructed an oil refinery in 1963. It opened in 1964.

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
Most of this historic landscape character area consists of the massive industrial complex of the Texaco oil refinery and the decommissioned BP jetty and oil storage tanks, but it also includes Fort Popton which was altered to accommodate part of BP’s pumping installation, a small amount of farmland, steep wooded coastal slopes below the refinery and mooring jetties. It lies
on an undulating plateau at approximately 50m above sea level on the south side of the Milford Haven waterway.

This is a distinct historic landscape character area and contrasts with neighbouring farmland.

Sources: Mckay 1993; Pwllchrochan Parish Tithe Map 1840; Rhoscrowther Parish Tithe Map 1838; PRO D/ANGLE/5; PRO D/ANGLE/92; PRO HDX/198/2; Saunders 1964; Smith 1988