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History &

Heritage

History and Heritage 

History in Powys isn't about what happened long ago, It's not about dates and dusty remains. It's about the here and now.

Don't just read about our ancestors in books. See what they saw, touch what they touched, walk a mile in their shoes. Or in the case of Offa's Dyke Path National Trail, you can walk 177 miles. Ride our steam railways, cruise our canals, explore our tram roads and drovers' paths. Stroll the pleasure gardens of our Victorian spa towns, marvel at the great stone dams of Elan Valley and Vyrnwy and the landscapes they created.

And when it comes to museums, here in Powys we're not too keen on the "look but don't touch" approach to history, You won't find museums like this anywhere else in Britain. That's because they're devoted to local heroes like the Robert Owen Memorial Museum in Newtown. They reflect the quirks and eccentricities of true enthusiasts.

Then there are our castles... some of them started life as stark medieval fortresses. They became sumptuous family homes where the rich and powerful could display a love of architecture, gardening and the arts. The Romans, the Mercians and the Normans all came, saw what they liked and built fortresses to stake their claim.

All this means you can spot a castle just about anywhere in Powys, most of our towns have got one. The atmospheric ruins crowning a hill above Montgomery, for instance, or the green "tump" beside the river in Crickhowell.

 

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Castles

Castles 

Powys, a region steeped in history, boasts a collection of captivating castles that weave together the intricate tapestry of Wales' medieval past. Powis Castle, near Welshpool, is a grand testament to the region's architectural legacy. With its origins dating back to the 13th century, this imposing fortress stands gracefully amid enchanting gardens, allowing visitors to not only explore the stone walls and towers but also revel in the meticulously manicured terraces and vibrant floral displays.

Further east, Montgomery Castle graces the skyline, overlooking the charming town of Montgomery. The castle's ruins narrate a tale of strategic importance, its position atop a hill providing both a military stronghold and a commanding view of the picturesque surroundings. It's a place where the whispers of centuries-old stories linger in the air.

Venturing into the heart of the Brecon Beacons, one encounters the dramatic silhouette of Carreg Cennen Castle. Perched dramatically on a limestone crag, this fortress offers not only a glimpse into medieval architecture but also breathtaking vistas of the rolling Welsh countryside. The ruins echo with the footsteps of generations long past, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape.

Bronllys Castle, situated amidst the lush Wye Valley, is a lesser-known gem, yet it exudes a quiet charm. Its remains speak of a bygone era, inviting curious minds to imagine the events that unfolded within its stone walls. Further east, the remnants of Builth Castle add to Powys' rich historical tableau, contributing to the region's narrative as a hub of medieval power and influence.

Radnor Castle, though bearing the scars of time, remains a poignant symbol of Powys' history. Its strategic location and the stories etched into its stones make it a compelling destination for those keen on delving into the past.

Each of these castles in Powys serves as a living testament to the resilience, grandeur, and significance of Wales' medieval heritage.

 

Whether wandering through the courtyards, climbing tower staircases, or simply absorbing the views, visitors are transported to an era where these castles stood as powerful symbols of strength, prestige, and the enduring spirit of the people who shaped the course of history in this remarkable region.

Walking Through History

Time to strap your boots on and step back in time, These History and Heritage walks  have been developed by the Powys War Memorial Officer and partners to help you travel through time minus the need for a DeLorean or a  Tardis.

Heritage Walks

1. Talgarth World War 1 Walk 

 

Talgarth (near Brecon) is a small market town in Powys, mid-Wales. According to records, Talgarth was the capital of the early medieval Welsh Kingdom of Brycheiniog (Brecknockshire).


The name Talgarth means ‘front of the hill’ and the town is situated at the foot of the Black Mountains.

 

A circular walk around the town has been produced by the Talgarth Walkers are Welcome Group and the Powys War Memorials Project. The walk enables you to find out how men, women and children from Talgarth were involved in and affected by World War 1. 

 

The walk is just over 1 mile long and has been graded 'easy' because there is little ascent or descent and most of the walk is on pavements. 

The English version of the walk leaflet can be downloaded here. 

The Welsh version of the walk leaflet can be downloaded here. 

There are also QR codes and associated website pages for the Talgarth walk. Here is a direct link to the History Points website page with information about the QR codes:

History Points QR codes for Talgarth World War 1 walk 

We would welcome any feedback or comments about the walk.

2. Llandrindod Wells: World War 1 QR code walk 

A World War 1 QR code walk around Llandrindod Wells was developed in association with the organisation, History Points. 

The 1.5 mile (approximate) walk around the town enables you to find out more about Llandrindod Wells during World War 1. 

 

Here is a direct link to the History Points website page about the walk:

http://historypoints.org/index.php?page=powys-tours

Here is a direct link to a map showing where all the QR codes are located in Llandrindod Wells:

http://historypoints.org/index.php?page=llandrindod-wells-powys-in-world-war-1

Here is some information about what QR codes are and how to use your phone or other device to access QR codes

3. Christ Church Welshpool World War 1 Poppy Trail

Christ Church in Welshpool is a redundant Victorian church that has become the life and love of Karl, Natalie and their three sons. The family have embarked on a lifelong restoration project, to create both a beautiful home and an atmospheric public space so all can share in this unique building and its heritage.

The Powys War Memorials Project has worked with Christ Church in Welshpool to create a World War 1 poppy trail walk around the church and its grounds. The poppy trail walk explores war memorials in the church itself and graves in the church yard. 

The English version of the poppy trail walk leaflet can be downloaded here.

The Welsh version of the poppy trail walk leaflet can be downloaded here

4. Brecon World War 1 Trail 

The Powys War Memorials Project worked in collaboration with History Points to create a World War 1 trail around Brecon in Powys. 

 

The trail, just over 1.5 miles long, enables you to explore 14 places of interest associated with World War 1. 

 

World War 1 trail in Brecon 

5. Llanidloes World War 1 Trail and App

Two local historians have developed an app for a World War 1 trail in Llanidloes. 

Llanidloes in the Great War available as PDF here

(Click PDF icon to open)

6. Crickhowell & Llangattock in World War 1

 

Take our self-guided tours to discover the many ways in which Crickhowell and Llangattock were affected by the war. To start the tour, simply use your mobile to scan the QR codes at any of the featured places (HiPoints).

 

When you’ve read the text for that location, click “Next” to see the text and map for the next place on the tour. Eventually you’ll return to your starting point.

The tour routes meet at the river bridge, so it’s easy to follow both or one at a time.


To follow the tours virtually, choose a starting location from the boxes on the right.

To view maps showing all HiPoints on these tours, follow the links: 
Crickhowell map or Llangattock map


The tour was created by HistoryPoints in conjunction with the Powys War Memorials Project.

7. Machynlleth in World War 1 

Take our self-guided tour to discover the many ways in which Machynlleth was affected by the war.
To start the tour, simply use your mobile to scan the QR codes at any of the featured places (HiPoints). When you’ve read the text for that location, click “Next” to see the text and map for the next place on the tour. Eventually you’ll return to your starting point.

To follow the tour virtually, choose a starting location from the box on the right.

To view a map showing all HiPoints on this tour follow this link.

The tour was created by HistoryPoints in conjunction with the Powys War Memorials Project.

8. Newtown in World War 1

Take our self-guided tour to discover the many ways in which Newtown was affected by the war.

To start the tour, simply use your mobile to scan the QR codes at any of the featured places (HiPoints). When you’ve read the text for that location, click “Next” to see the text and map for the next place on the tour. Eventually you’ll return to your starting point.

To follow the tour virtually, choose a starting location from the box on the right.
To view a map showing all HiPoints on this tour follow this link.

The tour was created by HistoryPoints in conjunction with the Powys War Memorials Project.

9. Welshpool in World War 1 

Take our self-guided tour to discover the many ways in which Welshpool was affected by the war.

To start the tour, simply use your mobile to scan the QR codes at any of the featured places (HiPoints). When you’ve read the text for that location, click “Next” to see the text and map for the next place on the tour. Eventually you’ll return to your starting point.

To follow the tour virtually, choose a starting location from the box on the right.
To view a map showing all HiPoints on this tour follow this link.

The tour was created by HistoryPoints in conjunction with the Powys War Memorials Project.

10. Ystradgynlais in World War 1

Take our self-guided tour to discover the many ways in which Ystradgynlais was affected by the war.

To start the tour, simply use your mobile to scan the QR codes at any of the featured places (HiPoints). When you’ve read the text for that location, click “Next” to see the text and map for the next place on the tour. Eventually you’ll return to your starting point.To follow the tour virtually, choose a starting location from the box on the right.

To view a map showing all HiPoints on this tour follow this link.
The tour was created by HistoryPoints in conjunction with the Powys War Memorials Project.

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