Powys Digital History Project

Presteigne and the Marches


Presteigne location mapThe border town of Presteigne 
Presteigne, the former county town of Radnorshire, lies on the southern bank of the River Lugg.
Just across the old Lugg Bridge is the English county of Herefordshire. The ancient earthworks of Offa's Dyke, dating from the 8th century, lie just three miles to the west of the town.

Fire and plague
Major events in the history of Presteigne include disastrous plague epidemics in the 16th and 17th centuries, and a great fire of 1681 which destroyed much of the town. Presteigne was chosen as the location for the Great Sessions in 1541, which were broadly similar to the English Assizes, and it later became the venue for the Quarter Sessions, Canons Lane, Presteignewhich dealt with lesser crimes.

The past preserved
Presteigne is still remarkably unspoiled, and many of its historic buildings, like the old house pictured here, are little changed.
More information on different aspects of the events which created the town of today will be found on these pages. Please select from the choices given on the menu page.