In the beginning.
Long the home of the Welsh, South Pembrokeshire came under the control of the English in the late-11th century; attracted by its mild winter climate, fertile land and flat landscape, it proved to be a perfect combination for growing crops. All of this was easily accessible by sea for the invaders, with a deep river for ships provided by the river Cleddau, taking them right into the heart of the county.
Under English/Norman rule, South Pembrokeshire attracted settlers that would help turn the region into a profitable agricultural heartland. Subsequently, many of the indigenous Welsh of South Pembrokeshire were driven out and settled in the more mountainous land of North Pembrokeshire, above the Landsker Line. The North of the county is where they could scratch out a living by herding sheep and goats; this exodus helped preserve the Welsh language and culture in this region, which it still clings to today.
Those Welsh who stayed became anglicised and forced to adopt the English language and culture, hence the ridiculous phrase for South Pembrokeshire 'Little England beyond Wales.'
South Pembrokeshire has always been and will always be a region of Cymru; the substantial colonial English-speaking immigrant population must never be allowed to claim South Pembrokeshire as 'Little England.' Pembrokeshire is not a newfound utopia to claim as their own.
Recently, we've witnessed a renewed surge for claiming South Pembrokeshire as 'Little England beyond Wales' by deluded individuals and colonial driven groups.
Last week we read of two colonial-minded onslaughts on our Welsh identity; firstly, it was the distortion of our history by claiming a proposed statue of William Marshal, a Norman/ English invader, was a Welsh hero. This feeble claim is nonsense. William Marshal was awarded a title (1st Earl of Pembroke) along with stolen lands by a foreign King. To honour a man responsible for the conquest and suppression of our people with a statue is atrocious.
Who are these people responsible for this proposed statue - where have they come from, and what is their political background?
You can read more on this story here at NATION CYMRU.
Secondly, we witnessed a South Pembrokeshire ice cream company using the insulting phrase 'Little England' on its packaging. For some bizarre reason, they thought that having 'Made for you in little England beyond Wales' emblazed on the top of a tub of ice cream was a good marketing ploy.
Thankfully, because of a united backlash on social media platforms, the company has now dropped the slogan and apologised for any offence given. Read more on this story here!
Notice on the above story link; 'BBC Wales News' list of invaders for Pembrokeshire included the Romans, Vikings and Normans. However, they forgot to mention those colonial-minded English settlers, probably the most damaging of all intruders.
Apologies, I digress; let's turn back to the William Marshal debacle.
I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that a statue for the Welsh king of Deuheubarth, Rhys ap Tewdwr, a native who successfully kept the invaders at bay until his heroic death whilst defending his realm in 1093, would be a more fitting monument for Pembrokeshire. However, perhaps such a bold suggestion of promoting Welsh history/identity would be deemed anti-English in today's society?
Yma O Hyd!