Did You Know

  • There's been a small settlement around what is now St. Mary’s church, called variously Llanfair yng Nghedewain or Llanweyr, for over 750.
  • St. Mary’s was itself an offshoot of the more significant St. Llwchaiarn church in Llanllwchaiarn, which in turn dates back to early 7th century.
  • Edward the First gave this small settlement a ‘charter’ to hold a market and two annual fairs in 1279, something which allowed Newtown to become a centre of trading.
  • This charter was granted as a reward for Roger de Mortimer, a Marcher Baron, who led Edward’s campaign against Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, (Llewelyn the Last, the last King of Wales) in 1277.
  • By the late 14th century it had become known as Drenewyth, or Y Drenewydd, and hence - Newtown.
  • The basic layout of the town centre streets remain the same as they were 700 years ago.
  • By the 1790s there were about 800 people living in Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn.
  • Over the next 100 years the population grew by 875%, to 7,000 people.
  • The Montgomeryshire canal terminated at Newtown. It was built two hundred years ago. There used to be a large turning area just 100 metres south of where the CostCutter on Lower Canal Road now is.
  • The Exchange was built in 1832 as a flannel exchange, a trading floor for woven cloth. It was built as a rival to the existing exchange in Welshpool and used not just for trading, but also as a court and social centre for concerts, lectures and meetings.
  • At its peak as a flannel and textile town of the Victorian era there were about fifty factories in the town.
  • The railway connecting Newtown not just to Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth, but also north to Wrexham and Oswestry and south to Builth and Brecon.
  • Until 1935 the cattle market used to be in the town centre.