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Site Details

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

NPRN 96261

Map Reference SH70SW

Grid Reference SH7455500809

Unitary (Local) Authority Powys

Old County Montgomeryshire

Community Machynlleth

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Post Medieval

Site Description Machynlleth is most famous for having been the seat of Owain Glyndwr’s Welsh Parliament from 1404, and as such the title of ‘ancient capital of Wales’ has been claimed for the town, though at no point was it declared as such. There is evidence of human occupation in the area dating back almost three thousand years, with copper mining having taken place close to the current town’s centre and during the Roman occupation there was a fort (NPRN 300159) within a few miles of the town. The earliest record of Machynlleth itself, however, dates to 1291 when a charter was issued granting the town the right to hold a weekly market and bi-annual fair.

Machynlleth was such a successful market town that in 1621 neighbouring communities complained that their own trade was being diminished by the pull of Machynlleth, which drew traders from across the English border. The Town and Market Hall (NPRN 408661) occupied the traditional position at the centre of the cross roads, but have since been replaced by the iconic Clock Tower (NPRN 32925). Machynlleth is today largely dependent upon agriculture and tourism, attracting visitors to such sites as the medieval Royal House (NPRN 404635), the Owain Glyndwr Centre (NPRN 32041) and Parliament House (NPRN 34042).

K Steele, RCAHMW, 20 January 2009

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