New Inn and former mills, Amroth
The New Inn was built in the 16th century as a farmhouse belonging to the Earwear estate (now Amroth Castle), later becoming a coaching inn. The back snug retains features of the original farmhouse kitchen, including the flagstone floor and oven fireplace.
The old coaching road from Amroth towards Wiseman’s Bridge is now a traffic-free path. It’s part of the pioneering Pembrokeshire Coast Path, opened in 1970 with its starting point at the bridge over the river Rhath here. The river was the boundary between Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
When Pembrokeshire voted to abolish “dry Sundays” in 1968, alcohol remained unavailable on Sundays in Carmarthenshire pubs. John Morgan of the New Inn lost customers to pubs across the river in Pembrokeshire, including holidaymakers staying at the caravan park he had developed.
This difference in Amroth continued until Carmarthenshire voted to "go wet" and the New Inn, under Paul Luger’s ownership, started serving alcohol on a Sunday on 7 November 1982.
The stone bridge was built in 1907, replacing a ford and wooden footbridge. The Clerk of Works was Alfred James, a locally renowned stonemason. The Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire highway authorities paid him £5 for his services.
The wooded valley beyond the New Inn is known as Factory Woods, or simply Factory, and once hosted a range of watermills. The nearest house across the river from the inn is now a holiday home called The Mill. It was the Earwear Corn Mill or Castle Corn Mill, which ground corn into flour and middlings. It was still active in the early 20th century.
The quiet footpath up the valley to Trelessy passes the remains of a thriving woollen and carding mill, known as Earwear Woollen Mill and later as The Factory. You can also see remnants of the leat which brought water from below the woollen mill to power the corn mill.
At Trelessy, archaeologists explored the site of a Roman villa in the 1950s. They found evidence of a large enclosure defined by a rampart, ditch and counterscarp and of a large three-compartment building. In the building they found the stone foundations of partitions, clay floors, stone flagging and fragments of ceramic roof tiles. A further possible Roman building was identified c.440m north-northwest of Trelessy villa in 2007.
About the name ‘Earwear’:
The name pobably derives from two Old Norse elements: err ‘sand-bank, gravel bank’ and ver ‘weir’. There is an early reference to a toll on fish caught here.
With thanks to Mark Harvey, and to Prof Dai Thorne of the Welsh Place-Name Society
Postcode: SA67 8NW View Location Map