When we arrived at King's Mill we were offered a great deal of advice about how we could "get the fields back" and manage the land. Get the fields back? The sheer abundance of flora and fauna are here simply because it has been left untouched for decades and we won't be changing that any time soon. With the reduction in woodland and increasingly intensive farming practices, untouched spaces are a rarity and must be protected. We have never asked for a penny in grants or assistance. We are protecting our tiny corner of the world because we love nature and we are more than happy to share it. We have woodcock making the treacherous migration every year from the Eastern Bloc to return to the same winter feeding grounds. In fact one woodcock was caught last year during a survey that was ringed 8 years ago. Some journey. The barn owl is a regular visitor to the fields putting on display at dusk and dawn. Kestrels, sparrowhawkes, badgers and even the very rare shrill carder bumble bee. These are just a few of the residents and visitors that grace us with their presence. All sorts of other rare birds animals and insects have chosen to make their homes here in the safe haven that is King's Mill.
In the woodland here there is an ancient earth works. It is believed to be an Iron Age fort. We will be looking to clear a lot of the invasive willow from the fort in the coming years but for now it remains quite overgrown with a path through the woods giving you an oppotijty to see it. Admittedly it is no Castel Henllys just yet but one day maybe Cadw could do an archeological dig here to see what could be found. It needs a lot of clearing before that would be possible but who knows.... maybe one day.
The monument comprises of the remains of a defended enclosure, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Inland promontory forts are usually located on a ridge or spur with steep slopes on 2 or 3 sides, and artificial ramparts on the level approaches. Alternatively they may have been constructed on a promontory above the confluence of two rivers, or in the bend of a meander. King's Mill Camping is small and irregularly shaped, being defended on three sides by a 10ft high bank. the fourth side is defended by a stream.
The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric defensive organisation and settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric context and within the surrounding landscape. The site is well preserved and retains considerable archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of evidence relating to chronology, building techniques and functional detail. The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.
The mill consists of a late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth century range aligned east-west and containing the mill and mill house (the mill to the east), with a domestic wing attached on the north side and a mid-nineteenth century cartshed attached to the south side of the mill. They are built of lime-mortared local limestone rubble, and the mill has a decorative cornice of projecting bricks; its slated roofline is higher than that of the mill house. There has been a mill on this site since at least 1591, but the present mill ceased work c. 1910.The mill was recorded in detail in 1978 (Site File SR99). It was driven by a large overshot wheel with iron shrouds and spokes and wooden buckets, for which water was impounded in a long, narrow millpond. Inside the mill was a complete set of machinery, including the cast iron pitwheel on the octagonal waterwheel axle, a wooden vertical shaft with cast iron wallower and great spur gear, and two remaining sets of stones. The hurst frame had been designed to support two pairs of stones, with a third pair of French burrs (supplied by Davies, Liverpool) fitted outside its edge; there remained but the south pair had been removed. The vertical shaft carried a crown wheel which had driven three layshafts, with flat belt pulleys to drive the sackhoist (in situ) and ancilliary machinery (all missing).
A note on the Castlemartin range.
Not only is the Castlemartin Peninsula home to some of the best beaches and coastal scenery in the country if not the world it is also home to the Castlemartin range.
This untouched and remote beautiful section of coastline with its outstanding natural beauty is open to the public at specific times to enjoy. Climbers come from all over the world to climb the famous clifs and walkers are able to enjoy this stretch of incredible coastline to watch the sea birds, seals, and see rare flora and fora. There is a dedicated cycle route and dedicated walks along the Wales coastal path all the way from Castlemartin out to the Green Bridge of Wales past Stack Rocks and all the way out to St Govans head on to Broadhaven South and of course Barafundle Bay and the stackpole estate.
The Castlemartin range is used for military exercises and in fact it was the place where the Normandy landings were practiced in preparation for D Day. The history is fascinating and we are lucky to be able to use the range year round for surfing, fishing, climbing, walking and cycling with the relevant permissions and passes.
It is however a live firing range and therefore it is important to follow the rules.
The range is in use 44 weeks of the year. They DO NOT fire through the school summer holidays and over the two weeks of Christmas. They never fire on weekends and never on a bank Holliday.
Firing can take place on all other days from 9.00-4.30 and on Tuesdays and Thursdays they can fire until 11.30pm.
The firing is part of what makes the area quite unique, however if you do have a dog or family member that may be nervous of unexpected noises then it would be sensible to have a chat with us before booking to make sure you know what to expect if they are firing.
If you have an interest in such things and you are lucky enough to be here when they are using the part of the range near the viewing point then the public are welcome to watch the mannouvers .
Don’t hestitate to give us a call to have a chat about this if you have any questions or queries.