Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llanwrtyd and district
The cattle drovers
  Lock up your livestock !  

When the long procession of cattle, sheep, pigs, geese, ponies, men, and dogs were on their slow march over the hills the local farmers were given plenty of warning that they were coming. There would be the usual noise of herded animals, but the drovers would call and shout loudly when they approached farms or loose grazing livestock ! This was to warn the owners to get their animals safely out of the way, for if they got caught up in the mass of the drove it could be very hard to get them out again.


The route
of the old
drovers' road
and Beulah
Section of relief map

The approximate route of one of the most important of the drovers roads from west to east across mid-Wales is shown above. This is a section from a 1905 Ordnance Survey map, with the Sheep flockdrovers route from Tregaron to Abergwesyn and on past Beulah added in white. This track continued on eastwards from Beulah towards Newbridge, which was another important stage along the way to England.
The regular passage of the large gatherings of livestock and the men driving them eastwards had a huge impact on small towns and villages along the way. Their arrival would be noisy, local traders would be busy, and the inns would be full as local people made deals with the drovers for transactions to be carried out further along the route.
This is the second of five pages about the cattle drovers - see more on the next page...

No droving without a licence ! ...


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