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Welshpool, Montgomeryshire

Historical Description

Welshpool or Welchpool, a market-town, a municipal and parliamentary borough, the head of a poor-law union, county court district, and a parish in Montgomeryshire. The town stands on the river Severn and the Montgomery Canal, 8 miles N of Montgomery, 14 N by E of Newtown, 15 S of Oswestry, 19 WSW of Shrewsbury, 176 by road, and 182 by railway from London. It has a station on the Cambrian, and the Shrewsbury and Welshpool (L. & N.W. and G.W. Joint) railway, and a head post office. Welshpool takes its name from a neighbouring pool or lake; is called by the Welsh Trallwm, from its alder trees. It grew to importance under the fostering influence of Powys Castle, situated 1 mile to the S, and acquired parliamentary representation in the time of Henry VIII., lost it in 1728, re-acquired it in 1832, and unites with Montgomery, Llanfyllin, Llanidloes, Machynlleth, and New-town in sending a member to Parliament. It was first chartered by James I.; is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; is a seat of assizes, sessions, and county courts, and the headquarters of the county militia (now the 4th battalion South Wales Borderers). It is a well-built thriving town, and carries on malting, tanning, and flannel manufacture. The town-hall is a large building with a clock-tower, and comprises municipal offices and court rooms, a corn exchange, a market-house, and an assembly room. St Mary's Church is an ancient edifice, originally built in the early part of the 12th century, and contains two handsome alabaster tombs with recumbent effigies of the last two Earls of Powys. The building was restored in 1871, has a massive tower, and a good Decorated East window. Christ Church is a chapel of ease in the Norman style, erected in 1839. There are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels. Markets are held on Mondays, and fairs on the first and third Mondays in the month. There are two banks, a reading-room and library, a dispensary, and a police station. The Powysland Museum contains a good collection of local fossils and shells, and Roman and other antiquities. A church-house, a memorial to the late Earl of Powys, was opened in 1893, and comprises a large hall with stage, below which is a spacious and well-managed kitchen. The municipal borough is divided into four wards, and has a separate commission of the peace. Acreage, 20,426; population, 6501, The parliamentary borough is less extensive. Population, 4765. The parish contains the townships of Upper, Middle. and Lower Pool. Acreage, 6995 of land and 99 of water; population, 4510. The ecclesiastical parish contains part of Welshpool and Guilsfield parishes. Population, 4682. Powys Castle, the seat of the Earl of Powys, has been separately noticed. A tomen or mound stood close to the town, and probably guarded the passage of the Severn. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Asaph; net value, £226 with residence. Bishop Morgan, the translator of the Welsh Bible, was at one time vicar of the parish.

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 districtForden1900 - 1935
Registration districtWelshpool1936 - 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: