Finding the North Pole


In places where many unrelated families have the same surname* and people occupy the same land for generations, the name of a house becomes part of a persons’s identity, as gravestones testify.

Was this house named as a wry comment on the poverty of the soil as suggested by Dyfed archeologists?

The generally marginal, poor quality of the land is testified by the names of two farms – one, ‘North Pole’, is suggestive of later 19th century origins while another, ‘Llys-y-fran’ (or ‘Crow’s Palace’), is clearly a post-medieval irony, although it is recorded as early as 1640.

Perhaps this house was named in gratitude for the timbers of a ship (The North Pole) wrecked on Strumble Head and recycled as local building materials. The painfully long list of Pembrokeshire ship wrecks published by ‘Dive Pembrokeshire’ doesn’t mention a ship of this name, however.

Does anyone know?

*The stock of Welsh surnames is very small, which is partly attributable to the reduction in the variety of baptismal names after the Protestant Reformation. (Click here for the complete article)

About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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