CARDIGAN RIFLE RANGE 1, PENTWD MARSHES
Map Reference SN14NE
Grid Reference SN1839745337
Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion
Old County Cardiganshire
Type of Site FIRING RANGE
Broad Class DEFENCE
Period 20th Century, 19th Century
Site Description The firing range on Pentwd (Pentood) Marshes near Cardigan was a Victorian Rifle Range in use by local militia volunteers and rifle shooting clubs from the middle part of the nineteenth century and is clearly marked on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd series Ordnance Survey mapping of the town.
By the time the range appeared on the first edition 25-inch plan (1890) it comprised three distinct firing lines to the same target area, alignments from roughly north-west by south-east to north-north-west by south-south-east: 300, 600 and 900 yard ranges with firing positions marked at measured intervals along the firing lines which increased in length from west to north; the range may originally have extended to 1000 yards, prior to the construction of the nearby railway (see below) . At the target area (SN18524496) were marked two ‘Mantelets’, protective screens for the markers. The targets themselves, just behind the mantelets, appear insubstantial though their positions are shown. None of these features were seen during field investigation. The firing positions were shown either as a ‘box’ convention or simple dots; they may have been nothing more than timber shooting stands.
The range would have been in use during the Boer War. But by the time of the second edition map (1906) the target area had been re-developed (on the same site) and the three firing lines replaced by just one on a fresh alignment (see NPRN 419921).
This range was possibly set up as a more suitable alternative to the one at Tredefaid Dingle, some 2.5km to the south-west which was in use in 1862 (NPRN 420135). The Pentood range was in use as early as 1865 when a rifle contest here was reported in the local press: 'The range is situated near the town, being across the Pentood and Forest Marsh, and is upwards of one thousand yards in length, and nearly level throughout. The only fault to be found with the ground is, that it is in some parts wet and boggy; but measures have been commenced to remove the water by draining......the Cardigan Corps numbering as it does many enterprising and spirited members, will in a few years introduce further improvements, and make the range one of the best in the Kingdom. There were double targets at the shoulder ranges, and single targets at the kneeling distances'. (Pembrokeshire Herald & General Advertiser 01.09.1865)
David Leighton & Daryl Leeworthy, RCAHMW, 27 February 2014