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Holiday Directory

St. Catherines Island

St Catherine's Island is the small island just off the Castle Beach in Tenby which can be reached at low tide but is sadly now not accessible to visitors - it lies derelict and has done since the 1970's when it was used as a zoo for a short time.

The original chapel (dedicated to St Catherine - hence the name) was many centuries old but this was replaced by the Normans by a castle (Dinbych meaning fortress thus explaining the name Dinbych - y - Pysgod meaning little fortress of the fishes).

During the Napoleonic Wars work began on a fortification to defend the county with work finishing after two years in 1870 although guns were never fired

In 1907 the Island was sold privately for 500 to the wealthy Windsor - Richards family, who were involved in the South Wales Iron and Steel Industry. The elegance of their occupation is well remembered, with the main hall carpeted with animal skins, glass trophy cabinets, Tapestries, and many Stag heads and hunting trophies bedecking the walls. The principal rooms were furnished in period styles, with the main hall containing its huge open fireplace being a focal point for numerous lavish celebrations, in particular, the Tenby Hunt Ball.

Around 1920 the family left Tenby, and much of the furniture and decor from the Fort was sold in the Town, and is still can be found within homes in the locality.



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