Powys Digital History Project  
  An attractive border town
Hay is an ancient border town on the
banks of the River Wye, in the eastern corner of Breconshire. At one time the town was contained within a triangular wall with three gateways.
Today the little town of narrow streets and alleyways in warm grey stone is dominated by Hay Castle and the Jacobean mansion built alongside it in the 17th century and which is being restored after fire damage.
Many of the buildings in the town have Georgian or Victorian style facades, but in some cases these conceal much older structures.
Hay attracts large numbers of visitors from all over the world each summer due to the great success of the ten-day long Festival of Literature, now in its twelfth year. Many important writers, musicians, film-makers, poets, media people and entertainers participate in this annual celebration of the arts.
The town is also notable for having around 34 second-hand bookshops, and has unsurprisingly been called 'the town of books'.
The name of the town was only changed to the longer version of 'Hay-on-Wye' as recently as 1947.
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