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.