Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Hay and the Wye valley
  Coach services in the early Victorian period  

Pigot's Directory of South Wales, published in 1835, is a wonderful source of information on early Victorian times in the area. (See the section on Earning a living).
The Directory also gives information on the transport links at the time. From this we can see just what was then available to local people.


The entry opposite shows those horse-drawn coaches which came through Hay in the early Victorian period. Although these coaches are slow when compared to a modern motor coach, you can see that local people had good transport links to Builth, Brecon, Carmarthen, Brecon, Hereford, and Worcester.

At many of these towns passengers would be able to change coaches and travel on yet further.

extract from Pigot's Directory

The fares were roughly 5d (about 2 pence) per mile sitting in the open on top. This sounds very little today but was worth a lot more in Victorian times.
It meant that longer journeys were beyond the means of ordinary working people who simply could not afford it.
In 1841 a new coach service direct to Ross-on-Wye began. This was a special coach - the Prince of Wales - linking with one which took passengers on to Cirencester, where they could catch a train to London. In this way the journey to the capital was speeded up and by 1849 it took just 10 hours.
In 1859 a return service was set up along the Wye valley. The Wye Side coach travelled from Hereford up the valley through Hay, Builth and Rhayader and on to Aberystwyth.

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