The Rebecca riots 3
A stormy September

Closer to home
Early attacks by Rebecca and her daughters were in South and West Wales, though the people of of the Rhayader area, sharing many of the resentments of these first attackers, must have taken a keen interest in what was happening. Rumour was rife and the town must have been buzzing with gossip on market day. This must have increased dramatically when on Friday 22nd September 1843 the Pen-y-pistyll tollgate on the North Road from Rhayader was attacked.

The North or Pen-y-pistyll tollgates from an OS map of 1904

Powys County Archives

In his letter to Thomas Lewis Lloyd, John Davies describes this attack as a "slight attempt" so it is not clear how much damage was done. This gate was on a relatively new turnpike road built along the Wye valley to the North by the Llangurig Trust.
On the following Monday (the 25th) a more concerted attack succeeded in destroying the Llangurig gates and terrifying the gatekeeper.


Sir John Benn Walsh was in Rhayader the following day and records, "There was considerable excitement in the town from the news that a gate at Llangerig about 9 miles from Rhayader on the Aberystwyth road had been levelled last night by a party of Rebbecaites"
Sir John joined other landowners in offering a reward for the arrest of the rioters but this proved no more effective than even larger rewards had in Carmarthenshire. Whatever their grievances, the Rebeccaites showed great loyalty and stood united. 
There are 6 pages on the Rebecca riots. Use the box links below to view the other pages.