STEPASIDE village was a heavily industrialised site during the latter end of the nineteenth century with a thriving iron works using iron ore and limestone from local quarries. Today, this site is privately owned and features a chalet style complex. At one time, the village offered a school, post office, shop, garage and petrol station, a cobbler, a tailor and numerous public houses. Today, the only industry is the very busy coachworks, with several small housing estates.
Local folklore has it that Stepaside got its name when Oliver Cromwell and his army passed through on their way to Pembroke Castle. He is reported to have asked people in his way to step aside, hence the name. Certainly he passed through the area, coming down what is known as the Old Welsh Road and climbing out of the valley up the Holloway which many years ago was called Old Noll’s Way (Cromwell’s nickname).
However a more likely explanation is that early bridges in the area were so narrow, pedestrians had to step aside to make way for others to pass. A Stepaside Bridge occurs in 1789 at St Issells (the local parish) and there is a Stepaside bridge over the Syfyrnwy river near Clarbeston, Pembrokeshire.
Today, Stepaside is comparatively quiet since the building of the by-pass. It is an easy walk to Wiseman’s Bridge beach through the picturesque Pleasant Valley.
Photos courtesy of Kilgetty, Begelly, Stepaside & Pentlepoir Community Voice on Facebook.