Kingsbridge and Holyland Road
Holyland Road's name possibly goes back to the time of the Crusades when two pilgrimages to St David's in Pembrokeshire was equal to one to the Holy Land. The Bishop's Palace at Lamphey was the last stop for pilgrims along the way, and tidal saltwaters from the estuary would have reached the Kingsbridge a thousand years ago. (A small remnant can still be seen from the car park of Holyland Wood.)
In the short distance from the East Gate end of Main Street to the bridge and entrance to the wood, Holyland Road was also given the following names ... Harcourt Terrace, Two Penny Hay, Wades Close, Bengal Villas, Kingsbridge Cottages; as well as a row of houses with just numbers.
The Adams of Holyland House
The Adams of Paterchurch and Holyland can be traced back to the 1300s when they lived at Buckspool near Bosheston. Successive generations served as MPs from 1542 to the end of that century and it is from about that time that the present Holyland House was established as a three story farmhouse built over a spring which still flows through the cellar.
In the early 1800s the House was enlarged and a bow fronted Georgian façade was added. This work was probably carried out by Major Joseph Adams, who was the brother-in-law of John Campbell of Stackpole Court, and under whom he served when the French landing party surrendered near Fishguard in 1797. By 1825 a fine coach house had been added, a walled kitchen garden designed, and a pleasing wood planted south of the house.
Holyland House was requisitioned by the War Office at the beginning of The Second World War and the last male heir, Lieutenant John Stephen Adams RNVR, was sadly killed in action.
Lords Meadow Farm - the land to the east of the bridge
Lords Meadow Farm was acquired by Mr and Mrs A J Roblin in 1906 and was next farmed by their son George Roblin, whose dairy herd provided daily-delivered fresh milk to the eastern end of Pembroke. The Farm is now in the possession of their grandson John Woodward - 107 years in the same family!
John's sister Carol still lives nearby and can remember as a child the days when the hay-making was hard work; but nevertheless she recalls them as were happy times. Her uncle George Roblin (born 1904) knew a great deal about plants, trees and birdlife; and Carol's son Jack still remembers what his great uncle taught him including the names of all the cows, even though there has not been a cow on the farm since 1984.
One unusual boyhood memory George recalled was looking up from Lords Meadow to Holyland Hill and seeing a circus coming to town complete with elephants!