Welcome to the parish of Carew in south west Pembrokeshire, It lies on a tributary of the Daugleddau river and is three miles north of Pembroke and five miles west of Tenby. The geology of the area is mainly limestone with some red sandstone in the south. There are coal measures and millstone grit in the north of the parish. This combination has contributed to shaping not only the land but occupations too. The river, and woodland provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, trees and plants.
There are nine communities within the parish, Carew, Sageston, Carew Cheriton, Milton, Redberth, Whitehill, Carew Newton, West Williamston and Pisgah. It is clear that each community has its own identity. This dates from a time when the villages were characterised by different trades. West Williamston and Carew Newton were based on the quarry industry, whilst Milton's fortunes were founded on water. Farming was common to all, particularly smallholdings, where a family farmed a few acres but had to take other jobs such as coal mining to supplement their income.
Blacksmiths, tailors, bakers and shopkeepers kept the villages serviced, along with a variety of vans - from greengrocers to drapers. The local policeman, district nurse and publicans also played important roles. Evidence of earlier times exist in building styles and place names,
Until 1940, the area was served by three schools - at Carew Cheriton, Redberth and Cresselly, the children attended according to their home location. Carew Cheriton School closed in 1940 due to its proximity to the airfield. The airfield became a community in its own right for the duration of the war, home to more than 1,300 personnel. Most children left school at 14, although some went on to attend secondary school - either in Tenby or Pembroke Dock.
A new school opened in Sageston in 1952 and has provided a sound education and strong values for generations of children. It was also the breeding ground for many fine local sportsmen and women. Carew's achievements on the cricket and football fields are legendary. The rivalry with neighbouring Cresselly is equally legendary!
Church and chapel congregations have grown smaller over the past century but they remain supportive of each other's events. In addition to the parish church of St Mary's in Carew Cheriton, Redberth's church is also known as St Mary's. There is a Baptist Chapel at Pisgah and the Methodist Chapel, with its popular youth club, is in Carew. A century ago there were also chapels at Carew Newton and Redberth and a church at West Williamston. On Sundays each one would be full, often for three services.
The area has a rich heritage and culture. Carew Castle has a history spanning over 2,000 years,
whilst the neighbouring mill is the only restored tidal mill in Wales. Near the Castle is an 11th century Celtic Cross.
Each of the villages has important historical features, ranging from the quay walls at West Williamston to the imposing parish church at Carew Cheriton; the remains of mills at Milton and the old forges and kilns dotted throughout the area. All tell a story of past communities that were largely self sufficient. Today their descendants still live in the area.
The text above is taken from the booklet included with the double CD “Changing Times in Carew” with the kind permission of the Carew Community Association.