Mill Bay, just inside the harbour entrance, Henry Tudor landed in 1485 on his way to gaining the English crown at Bosworth Field. A lighthouse has dominated St Ann’s Head since 1713, while Dale Castle is a relatively modern private house, not open to the public.

Like the Angle Peninsula across the water, the Dale Peninsula has long been fortified against the threat of seaborne invasion, and there are numerous sites of military significance still evident; in the village itself, what appear to be council houses were actually built as accommodation for service personnel. Dale is fortunate in having an active local history group which has done a great deal of valuable work, identifying and recording the history of many sites which would otherwise have been forgotten.

Marloes Sands to West Dale Bay

Here the coast path joins the perimeter track of the airfield and several wartime sites are visible. Near Little Marloes Farm can be seen the earth banks behind which were the bomb stores for the airfield. Towards Dale the path passes the hard standing of one of the Mainhill hangars. At Hoopers Point (SM788 062) is the former rifle practice range, while two concrete tubes are all that remain of an anti-aircraft post. On the airfield itself can be seen the remnants of ‘Battle HQ’, asbestos huts which include the former squadron office and two buildings which housed fuel bowsers.

The Gann and inland

The gravel pits in this area, to the north of Dale, provided the materials for the building of Dale Airfield, and the incline plane along which the materials were transported can still be seen. Alongside the shoreline road are painted concrete cylinders, relics of wartime roadblocks to be used in the event of invasion. The main accommodation site for Dale Airfield was nearby at Crabhall Farm (SM802 074); this is on private land but the huts can be seen from the road, and there are other dispersed remnants of the airfield visible on the road past Philbeach Farm towards Marloes. These include the concrete footings of the WAAF accommodation site near the road junction and two concrete huts in a field a short distance further on which are the remains of a wireless transmission site.

Further reading

Dale, An Illustrated History, published by Dale WI;

An Experience Shared 1939 – 1945 by Vernon Scott, published by Laleham Publications.

Hoopers Point (SM788 062)

51.710809, -5.2032191

Crabhall Farm (SM802 074)

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