UK Genealogy Archives logo

Crickhowell, Breconshire

Historical Description

Crickhowell, a small market-town, a parish, and the head of a poor law union and county court district, in Breconshire. The town stands on a gentle declivity at the river Usk, near the Brecon and Newport Canal, 3½ miles N of Gilwern station on the L. & N.W.R., 6 WNW of Abergavenny, and 157 from London. The town is well built and well supplied with water. It is an ancient prescriptive borough, but has no charter, is a seat of petty sessions, and has a head post office. There is a stone bridge of thirteen arches over the Usk. The church was founded in 1303 by Lady Sibyl de Pauncefote; it was restored in 1868, and contains two old fractured effigies, and a monument to Sir John Herbert of 1666; the chancel was restored in 1883. The castle was founded soon after the Conquest; belonged to successive lords of the manor; went into decay as early as the time of Elizabeth; and although originally very extensive, has been reduced to ivy-clad fragments of two towers, square and round. Markets are held on Thursdays, and fairs 1 on 12 May and 22 Sept. The markets are held in the basement of the town-hall, which was erected by the late Duke of Beaufort. The foundation-stone of a new town-hall was laid by the late Duke of Clarence in 1890. On its completion it was named the Clarence Hall. There are a reading-room and library, and a dispensary. The parish comprises 1959 acres; population, 1246. The manor belongs to the Duke of Beaufort. The ancient British camp of Crug-Hywel is on a high hill called Table Mountain, 2 miles N of the town; has a nearly triangular outline of about 1200 feet; is supposed to have been formed by Howell ap Ehys, Prince of Gwent, in his war against Brecon, and gave its name to the town, corrupted into Crickhowell. A picturesque gateway, formerly belonging to an old house built in the reign of Henry II., called Porthmawr, is now the entrance to a private residence. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St David's; net value, £327 with residence. Patron, the Duke of Beaufort. There are Congregational, Baptist, Wesleyan, and Calvinistic Methodist chapels.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Registration districtCrickhowell1837 - 1974

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

For births, marriages, and deaths in Crickhowell from 1837 to 1974 you should search for the Crickhowell Registration District.

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Breconshire is online.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online: