The Beacon and Rosemarket Quarry

The Beacon

To the north side of the old school, there is a large area of public land named The Beacon. This is the highest point of the village and with lovely views to the distant Preseli Hills to the north. Here in earlier centuries, villagers would have been allowed to freely graze their animals and have access to the area at all times. Today it is used as a small sports field and children’s playground, but through previous centuries it has long been used as a village gathering place for a variety of events. Here the school sports were held, village carnivals and fetes, and also bonfire and firework displays on special occasions.

In previous generations this land was referred to as The Beckoning rather than The Beacon, and in earlier centuries that would have been a prime purpose, to light a large fire of beacon here, to beckon people or to warn and alert them to an issue of concern, an invasion perhaps. In turn, similar fires would then have been list at other high vantage points so that the alarm could be spread throughout the county.

A bonfire at The Beacon could be seen from the Preseli’s and in turn a bonfire set alight there, or vice versa, and this chain of communication then dispersed further in every direction to the north, south, east and west.

Rosemarket Quarry

For many years, an area at the top end The Beacon was used as a quarry. A circular area estimated to be around 25ft deep became the source of stones used for a variety of construction and maintenance work in and around Rosemarket. Details are scarce but research has revealed several references to the quarry in Minutes from Rosemarket Parish Council meetings:

7th March 1898: “It was noted that stones from the Quarry were taken for use for the road”.

2nd March 1899: “It was noted that stones from the Quarry were taken for use for the occupation road leading down toward the Front Street and to put the bad part of the back road in good repair”.

27th January 1902: …”discussion then followed as to closing in the Beaconing Quarry” – referring to a letter sent to the district Council to ask for a locked gate to be installed at the quarry entrance of the Beaconing.

30th April 1903: Minutes reference some concern at stones “being dug out at a greater depth than had been done previously” and concern about damage this might be causing. It was agreed to instruct a surveyor to “assess damage”, although reference to the outcome of this has yet to be found.

In July 1952, an application was made to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under Section 22 of the Commons Act, 1899, for the enclosure of an area of the “Beacon common” in respect of a children’s playground. Records indicate that this was resolved in 1958 – sometime thereafter the children’s playground would have been constructed.

If you have any information or photos of The Beacon and/or the quarry, please get in touch.