This is a scale model of a coastal trading brig, typical of those that plied the waters of Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire about the time of the Royal Charter storm of 1859. These vessels were of relatively shallow draft and largely flat bottomed, so allowing them to be sailed into bays at high water and then unloaded at low tide by horse and cart transport. Many of these vessels were lost in that fateful storm and this model is erected as a memorial to those sailors and their ships.
It is located in Cwm yr Eglwys, a small village built on the edge of a sandy beach and hidden in a valley between Fishguard and Newport on the north Pembrokeshire coast, Wales.
Directly above Cwm yr Eglwys beach is the remains of the old 12th Century church of St. Brynach Now only the west wall remains and the graveyard, Cwm yr Eglwys church was destroyed during a violent storm in October 1859.
This storm had an effect on the development of the Meteorological Office as Captain Robert FitzRoy, who was in charge of the office at the time, brought in the first gale warning service in 1860 to prevent similar tragedies.
A total of 133 ships were sunk during the storm and another 90 badly damaged according to the Board of Trade records. The death toll was estimated at around 800, including some people killed on land by falling rocks and masonry. Twice as many people died in these two days as had been lost at sea around the British Isles in the whole of 1858.