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The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust News - old stories

Powis Castle's guides start the year with a day out

Part of Welshpool's early 19th century grandeur now suitably utilized as the regional offices of the National Trust © CPAT photo 1713-0016

To start the year off in style, 10 eager room guides from the National Trust property Powis Castle, one of Welshpool's major tourist attractions, decided to spend one of their annual outings having a guided tour themselves - they elected to take a walk around historic Welshpool with Chris Martin of CPAT to guide them. Braving the cold, it was January 4th after all, Chris led them through the highways and byways pointing out some of the town's more interesting buildings and discussing the not so visible, but very varied, archaeological remains that have to come to light over the years.

Welshpool's Cockpit - the only one in Wales to survive in its original position © CPAT photo 1771-0016

The group were fascinated by the fine but often ignored 18th and 19th century street frontages, many of which disguise earlier medieval buildings. They heard about Welshpool's possible Roman origins, about the Norman motte and bailey castle and its associated town, how at the end of the 13th century Edward I created a new borough next to the Norman town in order to 'control' the locals, and how that then went on, financed by the medieval and later woollen industries, to form the nucleus of the modern settlement.

An aerial view of Welshpool's beleaguered motte and bailey castle © CPAT photo 94-C-0131

The party, which comprised only 'Friday' guides, thoroughly enjoyed their walk and talk and promised that they would recommend it to their colleagues - the room guides for Saturday to Thursday - as a way of getting to know Welshpool a little better.

To find out more about the history of Welshpool follow this link to our local community pages.

Chris Martin, January 2008

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