There are two Pwlchrochans in Pembrokeshire, one a stretch of estuarial sand and mud on the south shore of the Milford Haven Waterway near the Valero (formerly Texaco) Oil Refinery, near the village of Pwllcrochan.
The other a rather isolated sandy and rocky bay on the north coast between Porthgain and Trefin, but neither appear to justify their name of Cauldronpool or Crockpool for there is no blowhole or witch’s cauldron anywhere close.
Pwllcrochan North is best approached via the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Coastal Footpath, either from Porthgain to the west or Trefin to the east where limited parking can be found. The little bay is flanked by Ynys Fach (Little Island) to the west and Trwyn Llwyd (Grey Nose) to the east so the beach, which is strewn with large rocks, is sheltered from all but the northerly winds. Local people swim there or enjoy a quiet few hours on the beach, but they know that their time is limited by the tides as the beach is not particularly deep. Coasteering parties love it and canoeists and kayakers often paddle in and out, while in autumn its isolation makes it a useful haven for seals. All along this coast in the more isolated coves seals haul ashore to have their calves or pups, and on a windy October day it is quite an experience listening to their eerie singing as they suckle their young on the rocky shore.
A short distance inland of Pwllcrochan is the ancient farmstead of Henllys (Old Court) near Llanrhian, on a hillside overlooking the narrow cwm through which a rivulet runs down to the sea at Porthgain. The farmlands extend to the coast and include the rocky islet of Ynys Fach, and Henllys together with Longhouse and other properties in the parish, was owned in earlier times by the Bishop of St Davids, forming part of the Episcopal Manor of Trefin, which is recorded in the Black Book of St Davids of 1326. One of the Bishop’s tenants, John David in 1554, took exception to some of the parishioners letting their cattle loose on Henllys land and he sued seven of them for forcible entry and depasturing his fields.
In 1640 the Bishop leased a large area of his land, including a ploughland called Henllys of 200 acres, to a man called Henry Garnon of Trefin for 21 years, and he seems to have seen his full tenancy out for he is recorded to have been there still in 1660. In the Land Tax records for 1786 the land appears to have been leased to one of the well-known local gentry, John Edwardes of Sealyham, one of the Kensington dynasty who also owned St Brides castle near Dale and much of the Dale peninsula. In recent times it has been the home of the Charles family, one of whose members was the eminent Welsh antiquarian and historian Dr B.G.Charles, a senior member of the Board of Celtic Studies.