Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
in Victorian times
  Changes for livestock farmers  
  There were several changes in Victorian times for livestock farmers in Powys. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Industrial Revolution brought many benefits to the woollen industry, and thus also to sheep farmers.
Machines could produce woollen items far more quickly, and railways could transport materials more effectively. At the same time, though, the woollen industry also suffered through competition from industries using man-made fibres, such as cotton.
Drawing by
Rob Davies
Drover In the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign, cattle, and sometimes other animals such as pigs or sheep, were walked from Wales to the meat markets of England. By the end of the Victorian times, drovers, the name given to the men who drove or guided the cattle, were seen no more.
The use of other means of transport, especially the railways, meant that meat could be taken far more quickly across the country, and the enclosing of land meant that it was no longer easy to move herds of animals across open country.

Drovers were often entrusted with carrying letters and messages Farmer with cowand with carrying out financial commissions as they travelled long distances across Britain.
They brought back news from other parts of the country, and people in Wales first heard of the Battle of Waterloo from the returning drovers. Use the link in the blue box on the right for more about the drovers.
These methods of communication were gradually replaced in Victorian times by the new Royal Mail postal system.
There is information on the local livestock markets of the time on the next page...

Cattle in the street on market day...


For more about the Welsh drovers see our Llanwrtyd Wells section or just
click here
Link to sources
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