of mid Wales.
Powys County Council
|owns and cities
||The administrative centre of Powys is Llandrindod Wells. Other main towns are
Brecon, Builth Wells, Newtown and Welshpool.
Wells is a delightful Victorian Spa town which for one weekend in August, returns to
Victorian times when the whole town dresses in Victorian clothing. Llandrindod Wells is
also the home of the Welsh national bowls
Welsh is spoken by almost a quarter of the population. Knighton and Rhayader are important
||5,179 sq. km / 1,999 sq. miles.
is almost wholly mountainous, a large portion consisting of bleak elevated moorland, but
towards the English border there are several open, fertile and well-wooded valleys. Over
one- half of the central district is 300 m / 1,000 ft or more above sea-level, the
highest point being at 660 m / 2,165 ft in Radnor Forest. In the south the main geological
formation is that of the Old Red Sandstone (Devonian System). The World Bog Snorkeling
Championships are held in Llanwrtyd Wells every year where competitors have to swim the
length and back of a dyke filled with dark peat stained water. On the border
to Denbighshire in the Berwyn mountains is Pistyll
Rhaeadr. Silver plumes of spray emanate from water falling 240 feet
through hanging gardens of rock and beech.
On the southern boundary this is overlain by
Carboniferous limestone. In more central areas older Silurian rocks are exposed. There is
evidence that the area was heavily glaciated.The Brecon Beacons National Park, the Black
Mountains, the rivers Wye and Severn, which both rise on the eastern slopes of Plynlimon,
and Lake Vyrnwy, an artificial reservoir supplying Liverpool and Birmingham.
Main rivers include the Dovey , Taff, Tawe, Teme and Usk.
||Agriculture is the main occupation of the area. Much arable and dairy
farming is undertaken on the lower valley lands, especially on the fertile alluvial soils
of the Usk and Wye region. The central district belongs almost entirely to the basin of
the Severn, where a pure breed of Welsh ponies is reared and where Welsh flannel
manufacture was extensively carried out. The River Teme has good trout fishing.
Afforestation has been undertaken extensively in the north; forestry and quarrying are
undertaken in the south; and limestone is worked in the central areas.
||The writer and MP George Herbert lived in the region, as did the
philanthropist and manufacturer Robert Owen.
length 8 km / 5 miles. It was constructed 1890-1905 in order to supply water to Liverpool,
110 km / 68 miles to the northeast. The name is that of a tributary of the Severn used to
fill the lake. The B4393 encompases the Lake with stop off points for walkers and bird
watchers to take in the wonderful view. To the West of the lake is the Cambrian Mountain
range which includes the picturesque Hirnant Pass linking to Bala Lake in Gwynedd. there
is a visitor centre at the East end of the lake adjacent to the Dam.
The countryside surrounding the
Brecon Beacons is renowned for pot-holing, and the peaks, or beacons, are
named from their use as sites for lighting signal fires.
Hay-on-Wye is a pretty market town which is crossed by Offas Dyke Path.
There is an
alternative technology centre near Machynlleth (Celtica). Near Rhayader are the Elan
Valley and Claerwen reservoirs owned by local authorities in the West Midlands of England.
Four dams have been built on this river to form reservoirs for the city of Birmingham. On
the River Claerwen, a tributary of the Elan, one of the highest gravity dams in Great
Britain (height 56 m / 183 ft, length 355 m / 1,165 ft) has been constructed to create
The highest peaks of the area are Pen y Fan (885 m / 2,904 ft) in the Brecon Beacons,
Waun Fach (811 m / 2,660 ft) in the Black Mountains, and Carmarthen Van (802 m / 2,630 ft)
in the Black Mountain range.
Some 5 km / 3 miles west of Brecon is Y Gaer, the Roman Bannium, an excavated
walled fort. The 14th-century fortified manor house of Tretower Court and the adjacent
Norman tower 5 km / 3 miles from Crickhowell are ancient monuments. In the Vale of Ewyas
are the ruins of Llanthony Abbey, which was founded early in the 12th century.