|Welsh: Y Trallwng|
Welshpool Town Hall
Welshpool shown within Wales
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Mid and West Wales|
|List of places: UK • Wales • Powys|
Welshpool (Welsh: Y Trallwng) is a town in Powys, Wales, 4 miles (6 km) from the Wales-England border. The town is low-lying on the River Severn; the Welsh language name Y Trallwng literally meaning 'the marshy or sinking land'. Welshpool is the fourth largest town in Powys.
In English it was initially known as Pool but its name was changed to Welshpool in 1835 to distinguish it from Poole in Dorset. It has a population of 6,269 (United Kingdom Census 2001), contains much Georgian architecture and is just north of Powis Castle.
Welshpool served briefly as the capital of Powys Wenwynwyn or South Powys after its prince was forced to flee the traditional Welsh Royal site at Mathrafal in 1212. After 1284 Powys Wenwynwyn ceased to exist. The Long Mountain plays as a backdrop to most of Welshpool, which once served as the ultimate grounds for defence for fortresses in the times when the town was just a swampy marsh.
The town was devastated by the forces of Owain Glyndwr in 1400 at the start of his rebellion against the English King Henry IV. Today the waymarked long-distance footpath and National Trail Glyndwr's Way runs through the town.
St Cynfelin (he is also known as St Matu) is reputed to be the founder of the church in "the age of the saints in Wales" in the 5th and 6th centuries.
There is a six-sided, brick cock-pit which was built in the early 18th century and was in continual use for cockfighting until the practice was outlawed in 1849. This is the only unaltered cockpit preserved on its original site in Britain.
Welshpool railway station is on the Cambrian Line and served by Arriva Trains Wales. The town is also the starting point of the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, a narrow-gauge heritage railway popular with tourists. A small network of bus services link surrounding towns and villages, mainly operated by Tanat Valley Coaches. Notable is service No X75, serving Shrewsbury to the east and Newtown and Llanidloes to the south west, also service No D71 to Oswestry via Guilsfield and Llanymynech. In addition there is a local town service operated by Owen's Coaches. The semi-disused Montgomery Canal also runs through Welshpool. To the south of the town is Welshpool Airport which is also known as Mid Wales Airport.
The local economy is primarily based upon agriculture and local industry. The Smithfield Livestock Market is the largest one-day sheep market in Europe, whilst the town's industrial estates are home to numerous different types of small industry. Due to the town's small size and population the attraction of high street stores is limited, meaning many of the residents are forced to shop in neighbouring towns like Newtown and Shrewsbury.
The town is the home of Ardwn Primary School, Oldford Primary School,Gungrog Primary School, Maes-y-dre School and Welshpool High School is a secondary school which teaches a range of pupils from ages 11-18 and is consistently set to a very high standard of education throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 and A Level studies. It has one of the highest results average for GCSEs in Wales.
Welshpool is at the cross-roads of the A483 (north/south) and the A458 (east/west). The A458 connects to the UK Motorway network at the M54 near Shrewsbury
Light aircraft can use Mid Wales Airport, just to the south of the town.
The Montgomery Canal passes through the town. Currently, a few miles either side of the town are navigable, but restoration work continues on the rest of the canal.
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