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Historic Background
A character area on the south side of the Pembroke River. It lies within the parishes of Hundleton and Monkton. Hundleton parish was created in the 19th century, from part of the parish of Pembroke St Michael, and lies within the liberty of the medieval borough of Pembroke. The area comprised demesne associated with Pembroke Castle and manor, to which the vills of Maiden Wells, recorded in 1336, and Hundleton, recorded in 1475, were appurtenant. This part of the area became part of the Bush estate in the post-medieval period. Monkton parish represents the core ecclesiastical holding of the Benedictine priory of Monkton, Pembroke that was dissolved in 1535. The name ‘Priory Moor’ preserves the ownership and land-use elements of a block of land at the highest point in the area, north of which is Windmill Hill which may represent the site of one of the priory mills. The Devereux Earls of Essex acquired the Monkton estate later in the 16th century. It is clear from 18th century and early 19th century maps that the present day field system of small, regular fields has evolved, at least in part, from an open field system. A few enclosed strips were recorded close to Hundleton in 1737 and 1807 – the last remnants of the village’s open fields. By the tithe survey of 1841 these no longer existed. Elsewhere the pattern of small fields was firmly established by the late 18th century. The area had been always primarily agricultural, but the Pembroke River shoreline has been used as an informal shipping place. During the 18th century it became an important landing place used for the export of limestone from quarries at West Grove. Bentlass was another early landing stage associated with the ferry crossing to Pennar.

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 historic landscape character area lies on the southern bank of the Pembroke River on undulating land that rises steadily from the shore southwards to over 80m above sea level. It is essentially an agricultural area but includes the two villages of Hundleton and Maiden Wells. Fields are regular and small for southern Pembrokeshire, and are bounded by banks topped with hedges. Hedges vary in character, with some very overgrown and supporting small trees, whilst others are well maintained. Sunken lands flanked by high hedges are characteristic of the area. Overgrown hedges together with woodland on the steep valley sides of the upper Quoits Water Pill lend a wooded aspect to sections of the landscape. Agricultural land-use is almost entirely improved pasture with a little arable. The historic core of Hundleton village consists of a group of 19th century stone built, cement rendered, and slate-roofed two storey vernacular houses and single storey cottages. The parish church was established to serve this community in the 1840s. However, mid- and late-20th century housing development, a school and other buildings have considerably expanded the village, and it now has a much more linear quality stretching along the B 4320 and minor roads. Maiden Wells is a 19th century linear village. It contains both detached and terraced 19th century single storey cottages, interspersed with which is 20th century housing. The Grade II listed Gilead chapel was constructed in the 19th century to serve this community. The only other significant grouping of houses is at the old ferry point of Bentlass. Here there is a 19th century stone-built, Grade II listed warehouse and several 19th century and 20th century houses. Dispersed farms complete the settlement pattern. Farms are smaller than average for southern Pembrokeshire. Farmhouses are generally in the Georgian vernacular tradition, stone-built with slate roofs. Most farms have one or two ranges of 19th century outbuildings associated with them, plus collections of modern steel, concrete and asbestos agricultural structures. Archaeological sites are rich and varied and include a substantial dam and millpond, two iron age forts, prehistoric flintworking sites, the site of a holy well, a windmill site and two limekilns situated close to the foreshore.

This historic landscape area is not well defined where it borders neighbouring agricultural areas. Boundaries should be considered as zones of change rather than hard-edged.

Sources: Laws, 1909; Ludlow 1998; Monkton Parish tithe map 1841; Nash 1986; PRO D/BUSH/6/26, 30, 142 & 144; PRO HDX/198/2; Walker, 1989