Friday, 16 October 2015


A day out to do some research for the final part of my Creative Wales project. This is the most difficult part, requiring a conceptual leap that I’m still rather uncertain of how to make. It’s concerned with the relationship of music to architecture and place and, following on from the last part of the project (based around the abandon chapel at Cippyn), I have decided to follow up a similar site of which I have been aware for sometime. This is a ruined medieval church at Hasguard, in Pembrokeshire.

Hasguard is quite remote, about ten miles South-west from Haverfordwest and beyond the more industrialised Milford Haven part of the county. This is the bit that tourists and visitors are not so familiar with and is about four miles from the little coastal village of Dale.

As you will see from the photos, it was a perfect early autumn day and the roads were empty apart from an endless stream of tractors; it’s harvest time after all…

Like Cippyn, Hasguard is one of those villages that no longer seem to exist beyond a handful of dispersed houses, farms and the ruined church itself. Unlike Cippyn though, it’s not too difficult to find.

The church is medieval and of uncertain age, added to and adapted from about the thirteenth century onwards. The roof has gone and the inside rendering has been open to the elements and only two windows remain, but it’s otherwise in surprisingly good condition and there is no vandalism or graffiti. 

It certainly could house a performance of some kind without posing any serious Health and Safety risks. As you’ll see it seems to be well-looked after; a friend who visited it some years ago tells me that it was then overgrown with weeds and creepers, though it does still house a small colony of snails.

It’s difficult to know when it was abandoned. The churchyard has a number of rather ordinary nineteenth century headstones and the burials seem to have persisted through into the 1960s, so its use seems to have ceased sometime in the last forty to fifty years.  

And, to follow, a visit to Dale to write up my notes together with some coffee and cake…

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