Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crickhowell and district
  The railways come to the area  

During the great railway building time in the earlier part of Victoria's reign, businessmen invested millions of pounds building new railways. In order for them to make money they built lines between large towns or cities which would have lots of travellers. They also built lines between places of industry like flannel mills or iron works.
When the great railway builders came to look at railways westward into South Breconshire they chose to send the lines up the Clydach valley to connect to the ironworks at Brynmawr, Nant-y-glo and Ebbw Vale. Crickhowell missed out and the nearest station was Gilwern station on the hill above the village. (See the 1889 map below)

  map of Gilwern
  This was unfortunate for the little market town. A railway would have helped local farmers sell their produce farther off, and it would have allowed local businesses to benefit from a growing tourist industry. Although it was possible to catch a horse-drawn omnibus from Crickhowell to the Gilwern station it was not as convenient as having a railway through the town.  
  engraving of railway
The industrial communities of this southern fringe of Breconshire did benefit however. The picture in magazine article on the accident at Brynmawr shows the railway in the background as it was in 1869. Here we can see an old steam locomotive travelling westward.

Back to Crickhowell transport menu

Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Crickhowell menu