Saturday 29 November 2014 *


Unlocking the gateway to Wales

Located at the mouth of the Severn Valley, the idyllic market town of Welshpool provides a stunning gateway into Wales surrounded by communities steeped in centuries of history and tradition. 

Enveloped by breathtaking countryside, Welshpool is home to a delightful blend of modern and traditional, young and old, bustling and laid back with a rich history making it one of the most fascinating towns in Wales.
With a thriving farming community fueling the success of one of Europe’s largest one-day livestock markets, the town and its surrounding community also boast first class schools, enterprising businesses as well as pubs and restaurants to please socialites of any age.
Powis Castle, the Llanfair Steam Railway, Montgomery Canal and the Bronze Age Hillfort of Gaer Fawr are just some of the attractions that welcome thousands of visitors every year. And did we mention the beautiful guest houses, Farmhouse B&B’s and hotels as well?
The town has come a long way since it was founded by Gruffudd al Gwenwynwyn back in 1241, and its first known population count in 1292 listed just 106 taxpayers for what was already a busy medieval market town.
Originally called Pool due to the wetlands that surrounded the early settlements, there are several stories on how the town arrived at the name Welshpool, with one story particularly credible.
The rising tonnage of goods being transported by river and canal from Welshpool as the industrial revolution transformed both Welshpool and Newton into manufacturing areas rivaled that of the volume leaving Poole Harbour. The Burgh de Poole added ‘Welch’ to its title in 1813, with formal moves in 1835 to become Welshpool.
The current-day lay out of the town centre has not changed much in 800 years however most buildings date from the 18th and 19th century when industries such as tanning, agriculture and flannel thrived. The town grew rapidly post-war and today more than 7,000 people call it home with around 25,000 people living within a 10-mile radius in magnificent towns like Montgomery and Llanfair.
The area’s hill forts and the castle of Montgomery are a legacy of the turbulent times that the area has endured through the past 2,000 years and the many popular walks include Offas Dyke, Glyndwr Way and Rodney’s Pillar which are all associated with conflict in some way. Legend even has it that the Welsh defeated the Vikings in Buttington in 893.
While Her Majesty the Queen was a visitor in 2010, royal visitors can be traced all the way back to Henry Tudor who camped outside the town on his way to the Battle of Bosworth in 1536.
Welshpool prides itself on its ability to keep smiling. It enjoys a tremendous community spirit which contributes to the warm welcome extended to any visitor.
While immigration from England and Eastern Europe has seen the town continue to evolve well into the new Millennium, Welshpool remains one of the most remarkable and well-liked towns in Wales.