Pembrokeshire in wartime
Pembrokeshire's coast is littered with reminders of its wartime past, with relics of both World Wars concealed among the heather along the cliff-tops.
If you look carefully you may find the remnants of lookout stations, gun emplacements, submarine listening stations and small airfields.
Stackpole Court - a wartime billet
Stackpole Court, like many great houses, was used as a billet for soldiers during the Second World War. The family's possessions were locked up and guarded by a housekeeper, but the troops did serious damage to the house. Lead was stripped from the roof, so that by the 1950s there was a serious damp problem and the house was never the same again. It was demolished in 1963.
Kete - Naval radar and ice-cream trikes
Today it's just a coastal car-park, but during the war it was HMS Harrier, a collection of about 100 huts that housed the Royal Navy's Air Direction School for training radar technicians. An unusual use was found for Wall's Ice Cream tricycles.
St David's Airfield - helping guard the western approaches
One of several small airfields along the Pembrokeshire coast, St David's Airfield was opened in 1943. Today the runways are gone, and the area has been restored to native heathland, which plays an an important part in our Heathland Beef scheme.
Garn Fawr - wartime lookout
One of a number of wartime coastal lookouts, Garn Fawr had possibly the best view of any of them. The lookout with his binoculars would have felt very lonely up here had an enemy fleet approached. The builders, and some Royal Naval staff, have carved their names into the concrete.
St David's Head - radar and gun emplacement
During the First World War a hydrophone station was built here to listen for submarines entering the Irish Sea. You can still see the footings. During the Second World War a radar station and machine gun emplacement were positioned on Carn Llidi. You can still see evidence of these structures – look for the remaining brickwork and concrete paths.
Freshwater West - landing craft tragedy
Many beaches played their part in training for D-Day. April 1943 saw a tragedy at Freshwater West when not only two landing craft full of troops but also a small lifeboat sent to rescue them were lost. A war memorial by the car-park commemorates this tragic event.
Milford Haven - a well-defended waterway
One of the safest harbours in the world, Milford Haven was of great strategic importance in wartime. Pembroke Dock housed a Royal Naval dockyard until 1925 and, during the Second World War, the RAF's Sunderland flying boat base. The oil tanks at Pennard were bombed in 1940.
Lydstep - more gun emplacements
You'll have to search among the gorse bushes at Lydstep to find the concrete remains of the Second World War gun emplacements. Lydstep was the first National Trust place in Pembrokeshire, and makes a short but spectacular coastal walk.