World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000624991
Reproduction Date:

Title: Crickhowell  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Llangynidr, Powys, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, Adfa, Powys, Llanddewi Ystradenny
Collection: Black Mountains, Wales, Post Towns in the Np Postcode Area, River Usk, Towns in Powys
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Welsh: Crug Hywel

Crickhowell streets
Crickhowell is located in Powys
 Crickhowell shown within Powys
Population 2,800 
OS grid reference
Principal area Powys
Ceremonial county Powys
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NP8
Dialling code 01873
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Brecon & Radnorshire
List of places

Crickhowell (Crug Hywel, Crughywel, or Crucywel in Welsh) is a small town in southeastern Powys, Wales. It lies on the A40 between Abergavenny and Brecon.


  • Location 1
  • The town 2
    • Tourism 2.1
  • Notable buildings 3
    • Crickhowell Castle 3.1
  • Schools 4
  • Notable people 5
  • Surrounding villages 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The name Crickhowell is taken from that of the nearby Iron Age hill fort of Crug Hywel above the town, the Welsh language name being anglicised by map-makers and local English-speaking people. The town lies on the River Usk, on the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Significant parts of the surrounding countryside, over 20,000 acres (80 km²) form part of the Glanusk Park estate. The town has a population of around 2,800 people.

The town

General view of the town, ca. 1860
Porthmawr Gate from 1898
Porthmawr Gate c. 1800

Many public services in Crickhowell are provided by Powys County Council and to a lesser extent by Crickhowell Town Council. Planning matters fall to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. There are two schools – primary and secondary – which act as a central point for a large catchment area. There is some light industry on the outskirts of Crickhowell at the Elvicta Industrial Estate. The town centre [1] includes a variety of traditional businesses, many of which are family owned. Other facilities in Crickhowell include a library, two play areas, public toilets and the CRiC building, which houses a tourist information centre, an internet cafe, an art gallery and a local history archive. There are a number of pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels.

One of seven churches in Crickhowell
Detail of the bridge

There are also several churches in Crickhowell including St Edmund's Church which holds a service every Sunday, a baptist church, an evangelical church[1] and a Catholic church.

Crickhowell & Penmyarth Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1897 and played on a course at Glanusk Park. The club and course disappeared in the late 1960s.[2]


Today, Crickhowell is a popular tourist destination. In 2005 a Tourist Information centre was built in the centre of town and during summer the town is notably busier. Most people visit Crickhowell to see the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, and maybe enjoy some mountain-biking, camping, hillwalking, rock climbing, fly-fishing, hang-gliding, caravanning or simply tour the area by car staying at Bed-and-breakfasts. The Green Man Festival takes place annually in mid-August at nearby Glanusk Park.

Notable buildings

Notable features in Crickhowell include the seventeenth-century stone bridge over the River Usk with its odd arches (twelve on one side, thirteen on the other) and its seat built into the walls, the 14th-century parish church of St Edmund, and the ruins of Crickhowell Castle on the green "tump" beside the A40 Brecon to Abergavenny road.

Crickhowell Castle

Crickhowell Castle was initially a motte and bailey castle built from 1121, probably by Robert Turberville of the family of Norman Lords, at this time a tenant of Bernard de Neufmarche, Hugh Turberville holding the castle from 1273 not as tenant-in-chief but as mesne lord. Hugh Turberville was Seneschal of Gascony whose services were called upon by King Edward I to train Welsh men-at-arms and transform the royal levy into a disciplined medieval army capable of conquering Wales. Hugh led both cavalry and 6,000 infantry recruited in the Welsh Marches for King Edward's forces. He was later a Deputy Constable and later Constable of Castell y Bere in Merionethshire. He fought against Rhys ap Maredudd during his rising from 1287 to 1291. He died in 1293 the last of the family in the direct line.

The castle was refortified in stone from 1242 when Sybil Turberville a Turberville heiress married Sir Grimbold Pauncefote or Paunceforte. It was walled with substantial stone towers and a large bailey, a home castle befitting an important Royal ally in Wales. The castle was in the hands of the powerful Mortimer family dynasty of Marcher Lords and in the 14th century and declined as a smaller holding within a large portfolio of lands, titles and larger castles.

On the Royal command of new King King Henry IV in 1400, it was again refortified, this time by Sir John Pauncefote, great grandson of Sir Grimbold, in advance of the uprising led by Owain Glyndŵr to 1412. The castle was largely destroyed in the early 15th century by Owain Glyndŵr's forces[3] who also attacked and burned Abergavenny town and other settlements in the area. The ruined stone double tower still stands on the Castle Green.


Crickhowell High School is a secondary school with approximately 700 pupils. In 2000, it was ranked 77th in Wales in terms of its GCSE results (based on 5 GCSEs, grades A-C). Since then, the school's exam results have improved dramatically and according to the latest inspection report by Estyn the pass rate has risen to 72%, which means the school is now ranked in equal 19th place, or in the top 10% in Wales behind St Albans RC high school in Pontypool. It is also the best performing secondary school in Powys (2014 GCSE results). In a recent school standings by the Welsh Government Crickhowell High School was placed in the green category the highest category. This making it one of the best schools in Wales.

Notable people

Crickhowell’s most famous son was the Gwernvale Manor near Crickhowell (this is now a hotel, known simply as 'The Manor'[4]). He was a Surveyor-General of India, after whom Mount Everest was named. There is also a street in Crickhowell named after him (Everest Drive).The current Lord and Lady of the Manor of Gwernvale are Stephen and Ruth Berrow who still reside in the town of Crickhowell

Admiral John Gell died here in 1806 after over thirty years at sea in the British fleets.[5]

The Glanusk Park estate was the childhood home of the former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who still lives near the town as proprietor of Ty'r Chanter bed and breakfast lodgings.

 Crickhowel Castle. From a Survey in the beginning of the 6th Cent by James Basire 1730–1802
Crickhowel Castle. From a Survey in the beginning of the 6th Cent by James Basire 1730–1802

See also Category:People from Crickhowell

Surrounding villages

Also nearby is Cwrt-y-Gollen, a British Army training base.


  1. ^
  2. ^ “Crickhowell & Penmyarth Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
  3. ^ Picture of the castle
  4. ^ [12]
  5. ^ The Literary Parorama, Obituary, 1807

External links

  • Crickhowell visitor website
  • John Addis (27 April 2012) BBC feature on Crickhowell castle
  • Photos of Crickhowell and surrounding area on
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.