The village of Herbrandston is to be found some three miles to the west of Milford Haven, with its massive oil refinery clearly in sight on the horizon. The parish dates back to mediaeval times and was first recorded in 1307 as Herbraundistone, which derives from the old Germanic or maybe Flemish personal name of the title holder hence Herbrands Farm. The Parish Church is an old, stone built building with a massive, low tower and the dedication is to St Mary the Virgin.
Herbrandston - St. Mary the Virgin
Photo: Rod Morris
The village has a Green, a Village Hall, a Public House (The Taberna), a Post Office, Primary School and old Manor House (Herbrandston Hall). The population today is around the four hundred mark, roughly one hundred more than at the time of the Great War of 1914-1918.
Photo: Rod Morris
It has long been known locally that Herbrandston was spared fatalities in both the World Wars and the present Vicar, the Reverend Sian Wight, has duly confirmed this. It is not recorded how many men and women of the village served during the Great War but we do know that the Squire of the Manor, Major Stokes, went to fight the Kings enemies, as did the two sons of the Rector, Leonard and Cecil Hughes. Squire Stokes and Leonard Hughes both served as Colonels during the Second World War and returned unscathed.
There is no war memorial in Herbrandston and nothing that formally marks the villages good fortune in being spared wartime fatalities. The beautiful Reredos in St Marys Chancel was placed there as a mark of thanksgiving and a local man gave thanks by pointing the whole of the chancel free of charge.
The present day villagers of Herbrandston remain fiercely proud of their forefathers and eternally grateful for their safe return to the green, green grass of west Wales, and to this most idyllic Thankful Village.
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