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Montgomeryshire, Welsh Sir Drefaldwyn, historic county of north-central Wales, along the English border. Montgomeryshire is an area of wooded hills and valleys encircled by higher mountains, including Long Mountain in the east, Clifaesty Hill in the south, Plynlimon in the west, and the Berwyn mountains in the north. It extends to the Dovey estuary in the far west. Montgomeryshire lies entirely within the present county of Powys.

Montgomery, Welsh Trefaldwyn.  In the 11th century the Norman Roger de Montgomery, 1st earl of Shrewsbury, built his castle at Hendomen, northwest of the present town, and a small village developed under its walls. In 1223 the English king Henry III built another castle at a new Montgomery, the present town, to which a royal charter was granted in 1227. This castle was dismantled by the Parliamentary army in 1644 during the English Civil Wars. The town has a parish church (St. Nicholas) dating from about 1227. 

Historical Information

In prehistoric times important trade routes ran east-west along the course of the upper River Severn in eastern Montgomeryshire, and consequently that area has many hill forts dating from the Iron Age. The Roman occupation of the region was similarly centred in the east and was military n nature. Offa's Dyke, the earthwork built in the 8th century by the Mercian kings to demarcate their kingdom from Wales to the west, runs north-south along the eastern border of Montgomeryshire. The area became the Welsh province of Powys in the 8th century CE. Powys was invaded by the Normans about 1090, and it fell to Roger de Montgomery in 1093. In the eastern part of Powys a string of Norman castles was built, including Powis Castle near Welshpool and one at the town of Montgomery. The area was under the rule of the marcher lordships (local rulers in Wales who were partly independent of the English crown) until 1536, when King Henry VIII created the county of Montgomeryshire and thus brought the area fully under the administration of the crown. From the 15th century the county was known for its manufacture of wool flannels and for its lead mining. The huge Powis Castle mansion, located outside Welshpool, is one of the best-known castles in Wales.

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Genealogical Resources

Archives and Libraries

Powys County Archives Office 
County Hall 
Llandrindod Wells 

Brecon Area Library (BRE) 
Ship Street 
LD3 9AE 
Tel: 01874 623346 
Contact: Chris Price 

Newtown Area Library (NEW) 
Park Lane 
SY16 1EJ 
Tel: 01686 626934 
Contact: Margaret Stacey 

Llandrindod Wells Library (LLW) 
Cefullys Lane 
Llandrindod Wells 
LD1 5LD 
Tel: 01597 826870

Books about Montgomeryshire

These books are available for purchase from the Powysland Club

Cities and Towns

Email Lists


A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in the county of Mongtomeryshire, Wales, United Kingdom. To subscribe send "subscribe" to (mail mode) or (digest mode). 


A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in the district of Powys, Wales, United Kingdom. To subscribe send "subscribe"  (mail mode)  (digest mode). 

General Interest (including Tourism)

Genealogy Links

History Links

Queries and Surnames


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