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Builth and district
Victorian maps
  Builth Wells in 1840  

The image below is based on the tithe map for Builth made in 1840. It shows a small market town as it was at the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign. The basic shape of the town centre as it is today is recognisable but there some differences to the modern Builth Wells. You can see that the town has developed on an important crossing place on the River Wye. Many of the buildings shown on this map would have used stone taken from the castle when they were built.

  map of Builth in 1840
  engraving of Builth bridge1 At this time the space at the Breconshire end of the bridge over the River Wye was an open square. The Market Hall (now the Wyeside Arts Centre) had not yet been built and on the site were small cottages as you can see in this engraving of the time.  
  2 The map shows two tollgates on the roads out to the East and West from the town. These were put there by the Turnpike Trusts so that they could charge people for using their turnpike roads. If you were were travelling on foot you would not need to pay, but if you were on horseback, or in a horse drawn vehicle, or if you were driving animals along the road you would have to pay.  
  3 Where North Road now is, there was a water course dividing the town from the area which is now the Gro. The Gro was just a grassy patch of gravel which regularly flooded.  
  4 Where the bottom part of The Strand is now, connecting High Street with the river edge, there is only an open field.  

Compare with the map of Builth in 1888
Compare with the map of Builth in 1905

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