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Newtown, Montgomeryshire

Historical Description

Newtown, a market-town, a parish, the head of a poor-law union, and a county court district in Montgomeryshire. The town stands in a fine valley, on the river Severn and The Montgomeryshire Canal, 5½ miles NW of the meeting-point of Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, and Salop, 9 SSW of Montgomery, 14 SW of Welshpool, and 220 by rail from London. It was originally a small village called Llanfair-yn-Nghede-wain, is known to the Welsh as Tre Newydd; rose gradually to some consequence as a seat of manufacture, particularly of fine flannels, and acquired a sudden increase of importance in 1832 by the removal here of the flannel markets previously held, at Welshpool. The town is well built, enjoys eminent manufacturing advantages in situation, in local appliances, and in facilities of conveyance. It is notable as the birthplace and the burial-place of Robert Owen, the social reformer; was made a parliamentary borough by the Reform Act of 1832, uniting with Montgomery, Welshpool, Machynlleth, Llauid-loes, and Llanfyllin in sending a member to Parliament; is the seat of the summer assizes of Montgomeryshire, and a seat of petty sessions; and has a head post office, a station on the Cambrian railway, and two banks. The Montgomeryshire Infirmary is situated here. The bridge is modern, and has three arches, each 60 feet in span. The flannel-hall is a spacious structure, and is used also for public meetings and as a town-hall. The church was built in 1847, and contains monuments of the Pryses of Newtown Hall, and a remarkably beautiful late Perpendicular rood-screen removed here from the old church. The old church stands in the centre of the town, is an interesting structure in a state of dilapidation; comprises nave and chancel, with a S aisle of equal breadth, separated by a curious wooden arcade of eight bays; has some windows of Decorated English date and some of Late Perpendicular. There are Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels. A weekly newspaper is published. Markets are lield on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and fairs on The last Monday and Tuesday of every month. Flannels of all kinds are manufactured in upwards of fifty factories, machinery is made, trade is carried on in connection with wharves on the Shropshire Union Canal, and there are foundries, potteries, mailings, and tanneries. Newtown Hall was formerly the seat of Sir John Pryse. The borough limits comprise all Newtown parish and Gwestydd and Hendidley townships. Population of borough, 6474.

The parish comprises 2771 acres; population, 4038. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St Asaph; net value, £322 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of St Asaph.

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 districtNewtown1837 - 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 Montgomeryshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

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