The opening of the new road at Lower Town

Fatality in 1899
Article which appeared in The Sphere of London
Cutting the ribbon
At the start of the diversion
Reaching the top

Dinas Hill, which was the old road from Lower Town up to the tollgate cottage and Parc y Morfa had a reputation far and wide for being a difficult road to climb. It was so steep (1 in 5) that loaded carts needed the assistance of an extra horse to pull them up the hill. This cart horse would be hitched to the loaded waggon and when it reached the top the horse would be unhitched and would make its own way back down the hill to await the next waggon.

The hill was recognised as being a serious hinderance to travelling in the area and many accidents occurred including fatalities. In 1904 a scheme was proposed to divert the road to provide an easier route for traffic away from what was considered to be “the worst few hundred yards of road in South Wales” but the cost of the proposal was such that the plan was abandoned.

With the increase of motorised vehicles wanting to use the road (many of which were not powerful enough to negotiate the gradient), pressure to proceed with a diversion was again back on the agenda. Councillors in Newport as well as Fishguard demanded that something be done and in 1910 it was agreed by Pembrokeshire County Council that the diversion should be included in the County Road Improvement Schemes.  Mr J C Yorke of Langton had originally offered land to enable a new route around the headland however the proposal to develop a hotel on the top of the hill (see post on Castle Estate ) meant that Mr Yorke had withdrawn his offer.

By 1911 however, perhaps because the Castle Estate development did not proceed, the necessary land for the diversion, once again was available and the new road was created.  The road scheme  even made the London papers as can be seen from the article appearing in  “The Sphere” of London on 5th October 1912

The exact date of opening is not known but it was probably early 1913. The official opening was by Mr Evan Jones of Pentower who cut the ribbon and he was in the first car to use the route having been driven by his chauffeur, Mr Richard Thompson.

Today the old road can still be navigated to the top – but only on foot as it is now a public footpath.

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