Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Llanwrtyd and district
Taking the waters
  Healthy holidays for the Victorians  

The little town of Llanwrtyd Wells was one of the small group of spa towns of mid-Wales which once attracted huge numbers of visitors who came to 'take the waters'.
When the rapidly growing steam railway network opened up Visitors with spa water the area to the Victorians, the town became a very busy summer holiday resort. Many families came by train from the industrial towns of the south Wales valleys and from other more distant places. There were stories of groups of miners gathering on the bridge over the River Irfon and forming choirs to singing for the entertainment of other visitors.

The area has beautiful scenery and is fine walking country, and it also provided fishing, golf, bowling, croquet, and other attractions for visitors. But the main reason for the sudden growth of Llanwrtyd Wells from a small village to a town was its mineral springs.

These happy (possibly) visitors to the spa at Llanwrtyd Wells were pictured with their glasses of the Welsh water !
The cover of
a visitors guide
to Llanwrtyd Wells

The main sources were the Dolecoed and Victoria springs. Another was found at Henfron in 1922, well after the Victorian heyday of the spa. The Cover of visitors guide most famous of the local springs was Ffynon Drewllyd or the 'Stinking Well' at Dolecoed. This is close to the River Irfon, and it has the highest sulphur content of any natural source in Britain. It is the sulphur which gives off a very pungent smell and caused it to be given such an unpleasant but accurate name !
The spring was once thought to be poisonous, but in the busy years of the Dolecoed well the water was claimed to be good for the kidneys, the liver, the heart, for rheumatism, and for skin complaints !
You can see an old engraving of the hotel which was built near the sulphur spring at Dolecoed on another page in this section of our schools website.

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Victorian visitors
My hat !
What a wonderful place
for a holiday !
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