Here the Wales Coast Path passes Lydstep Haven and Lydstep Beach holiday park. This area once belonged to Lord and Lady St David’s, who lost both their sons in the First World War.
The holiday park’s bar and restaurant are inside the former Lydstep House, a listed building noted for its historic interior. The first resident was probably John Adams (1796-1873), who came from an affluent Pembroke family. The house was bought by John Wynford Philipps (1860-1938) in 1898, the year in which he became MP for Pembrokeshire. He had earlier been Liberal MP for Mid Lanarkshire (near Glasgow). He gave up his seat in 1908 because of ill health, but soon entered the House of Lords. He was later made Viscount St Davids of Lydstep Haven.
In August 1901, his wife Leonora got into trouble on the sea off Lydstep Haven. She had been bathing from a coracle when a strong wind blew the boat from its moorings. Mrs Philipps tried to swim for shore. A fellow bather, Mrs Grismond Philipps of Cwmgwili, near Carmarthen, swam out to keep the exhausted woman’s head above water until help arrived. She later received the Royal Humane Society’s bronze award.
Leonora Philipps helped to found the South Wales Nursing Association, which aimed to place a trained nurse in every parish. She died in London in March 1915 after a short illness.
Two months later, Captain Colwyn Erasmus Arnold Philipps, elder son of Lord and Lady St Davids, was killed in Belgium aged 26, while serving with the Royal Horse Guards. His poetry was published after his death.
In July 1916, Lord St Davids lost his other son, Captain Roland Philipps, who was killed – also aged 26 – while serving in France with the Royal Fusiliers. Roland had earlier received the Military Cross for killing four German soldiers with his revolver and repelling attacks while he was wounded. He was the Liberals’ prospective Parliamentary candidate for South Glamorgan.
About the place-name:
Lydstep, the name of the village up the hill from the haven, comes from Old Norse Hlud hóp, meaning ‘bay of Hlud’. It was written as Loudeshope and Ludsoppe in the 14th century. There is also a written record of Ludsop haven from 1393.
With thanks to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society, for place-name information
Postcode: SA70 7SB View Location Map