150 years ago

150 years ago in May 1867 the County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser ran the story:

“The new railway is now open to Llanwrtyd, a very nice fishing station on the Irfon, not far from Builth; you can get very comfortable quarters there, very fair trout fishing, which is open, and the scenery among the mountains is most picturesque.”

The small village of Pont Rhyd y Fferau – where visitors alighted for the Llanwrtyd Wells – had a new name.

Already a popular spa resort, with the arrival of the railway visitor numbers blossomed as it was now possible to travel to Llanwrtyd Wells directly from the industrial towns and cities of South Wales.

Four months later the growing status of the town was marked by the opening of the new board school.

This provided places for up to 80 pupils. It advertised for:

“A certificated Master, with wife or sister to teach sewing, House and coals. Salary 30p.”

Whilst Llanwrtyd Wells was rapidly growing, a newspaper report of the time stated of its neighbouring parish Llangammarch:

“There is nothing attractive in the parish to studious persons. Nature seems to be half slumbering here amongst peat bogs and rushes, scattered villages, and smoky and dingy cottages.”

Although a momentous year for Llanwrtyd Wells, daily life continued as always:

“BEER-HOUSE OFFENCE.—John Hughes, Abernant Inn, Llanwrtyd, was charged by P.C. Edwards with keeping his house open during illegal hours, on the night of the 13th February.”

And:

“A farmer residing at Gellyfelin, near Llanwrtyd, was summoned for removing two steers from his farm to Llanwrtyd village without having first obtained a license, authorising him to do so.”

Not to mention:

“This gay, lively, and fashionable watering place was all alive on Tuesday last, on the occasion of a cricket-match which took place that day between the Llandovery, and Llanwrtyd and Builth clubs, including their summer visitors.”

And:

“Philip Jones and John Hughes, Llanwrtyd Wells, were charged with having in their possession an unclean and unseasonable salmon, at the parish of Llanwrtyd,”

The old Congregational Chapel which is home to the Heritage & Arts Centre also first opened its’ doors in 1867. The Centre re-opens its’ doors again to the public in April.

Why not come and discover some more of the town’s history?