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NEWTOWN

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 33188

Map Reference SO19SW

Grid Reference SO1085691610

Unitary (Local) Authority Powys

Old County Montgomeryshire

Community Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Multiperiod

Site Description Newtown was established as a settlement with a defensive motte and bailey (NPRN 300896) to replace the settlement around Llewellyn ap Gruffyd’s castle of Dolforwyn (NPRN 300392) following its destruction in 1277. Edward I’s charter to Roger de Montgomery in 1279 permitted a weekly market to be held each Tuesday, which continues to this day. For several centuries Newtown remained modest in size, with its history closely tied to that of the Pryce family, who resided in Newtown Hall.
In the nineteenth century the town became a major centre for handloom weaving and began to expand. Following the completion of the Long Bridge (NPRN 43171) in 1827 further housing was built across the river in Penygloddfa (NPRN 400005). The population of Newtown more than quadrupled and a number of public buildings were constructed, including the Flannel Exchange and Assembly Rooms (NPRN 32002). As the textile industry struggled to compete with towns such as Rochdale, however, unrest spread through an underpaid workforce, and following the first Chartist Meeting in Wales held here in 1838, there was a military presence in the town for several years.
Following the establishment of the railway line through Newtown the first mail order firm in the world, Pryce Jones (NPRN 32049) was established, however the town’s industries were in decline. During the two World Wars Newtown saw brief revivals in form of timber and clothing production, and later munitions (NPRN 91487), but the town’s industrial heyday had passed.

K Steele, RCAHMW, 6 January 2009

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