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Rhayader, Radnorshire

Historical Description

Rhayader, a small market-town, the head of a poor-law onion, petty sessional division, and county court district, and & parish in Radnorshire. The town stands on the river Wye, 15 miles S of Llanidloes, and 18 W by N of New Radnor. It was originally called Rhaiadr Gwy, signify ing "the cataract of the Wye," and took that name from a slight river-fall which was almost destroyed in 1780 by operations for building a bridge. It had a castle, built in 1178 by Rhys ap Gruffydd, burnt in 1231 by Llewelyn, and demolished in the Civil "Wars of Charles I., and had also a cell to Strata Florida Abbey at Llanfadog. It was formerly contributory to the parliamentary borough of New Radnor, but in 1885 the .representation of that borough was merged in that of the county. Rhayader occupies a situation of much beauty, amid a tract of barren hills, and serves as a centre to tourists for exploring circumjacent scenery. It consists chiefly of four streets, intersecting at right angles, and has a head post office, and a station on the Cambrian railway. County courts and petty sessions are held in the Magistrates' Room in West Street, which also serves as a police station. Markets are Iield on Wednesdays, and fairs on 19 Feb., 19 March, 16 April, 12,14, 21, and 28 May, 16 July, 6 and 27 Aug., 26 Sept., 14 Oct., 12 Nov., and 3,18, and 22 Dec. The parish comprises 194 acres; population, 788. There is a parish council consisting of ten members. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Davids; net value, £260. Patron, the Vicar of Nantmel. The church was rebuilt early in the 18th century, and has been restored; the tower was rebuilt in 1888. There are Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan 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 districtRhayader1837 - 1933
Registration districtRadnorshire West1933 - 1974

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

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Radnorshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

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