When my friend Kelvin Houston took me to meet his cousin Shelagh O’Keefe for tea, I had no idea of the treat that was in store. From her kitchen in a house overlooking the sea, she produced delicious home made Welsh cakes. I’d never eaten welsh cakes before and had to stop myself from eating more than my share. These are my memories of Pembrokeshire.
Shelagh and Kelvin have the same great grandfather, George Philip, founder of Philip and Son Ltd, Shipbuilders and Engineers.
From the keep, we could see the River estuary of the river Cleddau and the town beyond. Up and down stone spiral staircases we wandered, through deep passageways we meandered and into the café we sauntered for another sample of welsh cakes. They were good, but not as spicy as Shelagh’s. The castle was built in 1093 and was the birthplace of King Henry VII. We met Susan Bulkeley (nee Maxwell) the granddaughter of Joseph Russell Stenhouse aka ‘Sten’ at the shop as we were leaving and swapped tales of adventure.
St Govan’s Chapel
Whether this was a place for hermits or smugglers, we can never be sure. No more than we can be certain of the number of steep steps to get there. Legend has it that the number is never the same when counted on the way up. Tucked into a cleft in the rocks, it’s perfectly camouflaged from every angle. It was bitterly cold in November and the wind ripped through my clothes. I raced up those steps in a futile effort to get warm and forgot to count.
Carew Castle and Tidal Mill
We took a short brisk walk from the car park to see our second castle. Located near a tidal woollen mill at the upper reaches of the Carew river. Dating from the mid 16th Century, the mill was closed for the winter. The fading light and the bitter cold wind won the day. It was time to return to our boat Faraway. Kelvin pointed out Caldey Island before we jumped in the car to return to Milford Haven.