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Legacies - South West Wales

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Immigration and Emigration
The Flemish colonists in Wales

The Landsker line

The harbour at Tenby, South
Before the Norman Conquest, the majority of what is now Pembrokeshire would have been Welsh speaking. The Landsker line became a cultural and linguistic boundary which divided Pembrokeshire into two.

The influx of Flemings into south Pembrokeshire was so great that the Welsh language was eradicated and Flemish gradually gave way to English as the dominant language. However, it was a dialect spoken with a strong and distinctive accent and with a large vocabulary of words not commonly found elsewhere.

The South Pembrokeshire Accent
The distinctive qualities of the English spoken in south Pembrokeshire was noted by George Owen in 1603 ‘‘… the most parte of the countrey speacketh Englishe and in yt noe use of the Welshe. The names of the people are mere Englishe eche familye followinge the Englishe fashion in surnames. Their buildings are Englishe like in town reddes and villages and not in severall and lone houses. Their dyett is as the Englishe people uses as the common foode is beefe … These reasons and alsoe for that most of the anciente gentlemen came thither out of England … might verye fittlye procure it the name of Little England beyonde Wales.”
In 1930, P.V.Harris wrote that, "in many ways the dialect of South Pembrokeshire is the most fascinating in Britain, and owing to the country's remoteness, perhaps the least adulterated in recent years. Many of the words are pre-Chaucerian which have fallen into disuse elsewhere and some of the more familiar words still have the earlier pronunciation." Some examples of dialect words recorded by Harris in 1930 are: Budger' , A butcher, 'Catamouse' , the bat, 'Catchypawl' , the tadpole, 'Frost Candles' ,Icicles, and 'Sea-parrot' , the puffin.

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Pembrokeshire Dialect
The story of the Welsh language
Haverfordwest Castle
St Florence
Tenby Museum
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The Venerable Bede
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