Figurehead inscribed 'Soli Deo'
- Figurehead type
- Figurehead inscribed 'Soli Deo'
- Vessel name
- Type (Naval/Merchant)
- Copyright owner
- © National Museum Wales
- Copyright notes
- Current location
- Pembrey Country Park, Pembrey, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA16 0EJ
- Location date
- Figurehead carved and painted with the words 'Soli Deo' which translates 'For God Alone'.
- Date made
- Place made
- H176.0 x W450 cms
- Object history
- The figurehead and plaque on display here have been kindly loaned to Llanelli Borough Council by the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum. They were donated to the museum by Dr and Mrs Rhys Bevan John formerly of Rock House, Pembrey.
It was in 1923 that the doctor and his wife came across a house buried up to its roof in a sand dune adjacent to Pembrey Harbour. It had been abandoned to the elements but the house, which had once been the home of the Harbour Master, was well preserved. They traced the owners, rented it, and then set about having it dug out from its sandy grave.
Outside the front door they found a ship’s figurehead and plaque bearing the name “Soli Deo” which means “For God Alone”. These, according to local people, had been salvaged from a sailing ship of that name which had foundered on the notorious Cefn Sidan Sands many years before. These brightly coloured reminders of the maritime history of the area stood outside the house until the second world war when the property was taken over by the Navy and then the Army.
Dr Bevan John stored the figurehead and plaque at his home in Pembrey and later in Oxford until they were donated to the National Museum of Wales, some twenty years ago. Since then, they have been in Cardiff awaiting restoration. Now, after nearly half a century, these well known local treasures are back on view in Pembrey.
- Vessel history
- Information supplied by National Museum Wales.
- Owner type
- Public Institution
- Owner name
- National Museum Wales
- Contact details
- National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP
- Ownership can be cited online
- Accessible to public
- Data verified by owner
- Date verified
The figureheads database contains records of over 300 figureheads.