Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Welshpool and district
Important Victorians
  The Earl of Powis and Powis Castle  

Powis Castle stands impressively against the skyline Castle document on high ground just to the south-west of Welshpool.
The castle was once a medieval military stronghold for the Welsh princes of Powys, with the oldest part of the present castle dating back to about 1200. The building is thought to have survived so well because it has been lived in almost continuously for over 700 years.

In Welsh the castle is called 'Y Castell Coch' or the Red Castle. This is because of the red sandstone used for much of the early stonework.
Powis Castle
around 1830
Engraving of Powis Castle The castle was purchased in 1587 by Sir Edward Herbert, whose son William became Baron Powis in 1629.
Although parts of the building were destroyed in 1644 during the English Civil War, the castle continued to be a residence for the Herbert and Clive families ever since the 16th century.
Over the years Powis Castle was gradually transformed from a border fortress into a magnificent home for the gentry, filled with fine furniture and paintings.
A daughter of the Herbert family married the son of Lord Clive in 1784, and many fine objects associated with the famous 'Clive of India' came to Powis Castle.
The castle is greatly admired for the very fine gardens and woodlands in the surrounding estate.
Engraving of Powis Castle

There are four long formal terraces with statues (right) built into the rocky slopes just below the castle, and a large collection of huge clipped yew trees. The estate also had the tallest tree in Britain, a Douglas fir 180 feet (55m) high.
Powis Castle has been the home of successive generations of the Earls of Powis, and although the castle is now in the care of the National Trust the present Earl lives in part of the building.

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