Land units
in Victorian times
  Dividing up Powys

In order to organise the running of the country the government has always divided up the land into administrative units. In the Victorian period these were sometimes re-organised.
The following is a list of each territorial unit referred to in the pages on communities in Powys, together with an explanation of what they are and a brief history:


County - a division of a country. In Victorian times, three counties existed in what is now the one county of Powys - Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Breconshire. Each was administered on behalf of the Crown by the Sheriff. The county of Powys was created in 1974.


Diocese - an area under the authority of a bishop. A separate Church in Wales was created within the Anglican Church in 1920, and the dioceses covering Powys today are Bangor, St. Asaph, and Swansea and Brecon. The Roman Catholic dioceses covering Powys are Menevia and Wrexham.

  Hundred - a subdivision of a county, a number of parishes grouped together.
  Parish - an area having its own church and priest. Have a look at the maps of parishes on our communities pages to see how they developed over the 19th Century. This was a very important unit in Victorian times.
If you stopped a man or woman walking along a road in Victorian Powys and asked them where they came from they were just as likely to say the parish as the village. The parish had its own officials.
  Shire - another name for a county.  
  Town - a place where a large number of people live and/or work, with council offices, several shops, and other amenities. They often developed around a market.  
  Village - a group of houses, and possibly some other buildings like a shop and a school, in the countryside.  

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