Powys Digital History Project

Rhayader manuscript title

Rhayader is an ancient market town at the crossroads of two major routes. It has many old inns and hotels, and holds one of the most important livestock markets in mid-Wales. The town forms the gateway to the beautiful lakelands of the Elan Valley and the impressive dams which transformed the local landscape at the turn of the century.
Select from the pages below to view some aspects of the local history of the small Radnorshire market town of Rhayader, and of the nearby Elan Valley 'Lake District'.
Introduction to Rhayader
The Elan Valley dams
A broken bridge, 1784
Rhayader Castle 
The railway at Rhayader 
Old trade directories 
Education and school life 
Local watermills
Stephen W Williams
Care of the poor
The Old Bwgey Brook
The Rebecca riots
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