Maenclochog is the centre of a scattered community of moor-land farms and villages. Lively sheep and horse-fairs were once held on the green, attracting buyers and sellers from a wide area.

April 1946 – US Camp site Ty-grig, Rosebush

Nearby Rosebush once boasted an important slate quarrying industry, and a railway line was built to transport the slates away. Military activity in the area has mainly taken the form of annual training exercises on the Preseli moors, initially for Yeomanry troops who would arrive by train and set up their tented camp above Rosebush. Between April and June 1944 a large area of mountain and common land was requisitioned to enable British and American tank battalions to take part in top-secret Canal Defence Light (CDL) tank training exercises. These featured Grant tanks, each fitted with a very powerful carbon arc light which – it was intended -would be shone in the faces of enemy troops, blinding and disorientating them. It was envisaged that a line of such tanks could create a ‘wall of light’ behind which Allied troops could advance in safety.

July 1946 – PY015 Maenclochog SL Bty, Cernydd

Temporary camps were erected at various locations to house the servicemen, including Ty-grig, Rosebush (SN073 290) and Pant-bach, Rosebush (SN074 292). Apart from the remains of tank tracks criss-crossing the moors, little is now visible of these war-time activities.

Goetty Mountain (SN068 290)

This is where the volunteer troops would set up camp in the early years of the 20th century. Some evidence of hut platforms has been discovered, probably dating from the First World War.

Cernydd, Maenclochog (SN090 273)

Troops marching through Maenclochog

A field here was the site of a searchlight battery during WW2. The battery was housed in six or seven steel and concrete huts on concrete bases, protected by an earth bank to the west.

Upper Blacknuck (SN073 275)

This was the site of a WW2 searchlight battery, although no trace of can now be seen. Upper Blacknuck was later the site of a Royal Observer Corps underground nuclear monitoring post (SN071 279). This chamber, 4.5m x 2.3m, was made of reinforced concrete and brick and was accessed by means of a steel ladder inside a vertical shaft, the shaft being covered by a hatch. The chamber was constructed in 1960 and its current condition is unknown.

Further reading

The Railways of Pembrokeshire by John Morris.

Ty-grig, Rosebush (SN073 290)

51.926076, -4.8039487

Pant-bach, Rosebush (SN074 292)

51.927907, -4.8026081

Goetty Mountain (SN068 290)

51.925903, -4.8112110

Cernydd, Maenclochog (SN090 273)

51.911396, -4.7783129

Upper Blacknuck (SN073 275)

51.912606, -4.8031089

Upper Blacknuck, Royal Observer Corps underground nuclear monitoring post (SN071 279)

51.916129, -4.8062371