Fishguard

Invasion re-enactment

Lower Fishguard

First published in Town guides

The town of Fishguard occupies a lofty headland on the coast which overlooks the ferry port (regular car ferries to Rosslare in Ireland) at its sister town of Goodwick nearby. Lower Fishguard with its cluster of quayside cottages is very picturesque and there are good views from here of the port and headland.

Fishguard's main claim to fame is that it was the site of the Last Invasion of Britain in 1797 by a group of ill-disciplined French troops who landed on the coast a few miles south at Carreg Wasted.

The Royal Oak Inn in the town centre was the scene of the troops' surrender. They had arrived there to negotiate a ceasefire, which was turned by the assembled British into an unconditional surrender.

Their willingness to capitulate is said to have been brought about by a large group of local women - the French had mistaken the stovepipe hats of the women and their red flannel dresses for military uniforms.

Certainly one local woman, Jemima Nicholas, the 'Welsh Heroine', captured 14 French soldiers single-handedly. Mementoes of the Last Invasion can be seen in the pub and a Visitor Centre in the town gives the full story.

The Last Invasion Tapestry, an impressive work some 30 metres long and made by local craftswomen, depicts the events of 1797.

An International Music Festival is held here each July, featuring orchestral, choral and related events and highlighting acclaimed international artists.

The local theatre, Theatr Gwaun is a good local entertainments centre featuring live events and a programme of the latest movies. On The Parrog is the Ocean Lab, a deep-sea adventure centre with cybercafe; and the local Watersports Centre.

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