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Main A-road junction in the town centre - - 1395444.jpg
Crickhowell Market Hall and Monument
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Location within Powys
Population2,063 (2011) [1]
OS grid reference SO217186
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NP8
Dialling code 01873
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
UK Parliament
List of places
51°51′35″N3°08′14″W / 51.8597°N 3.1372°W / 51.8597; -3.1372 Coordinates: 51°51′35″N3°08′14″W / 51.8597°N 3.1372°W / 51.8597; -3.1372

Crickhowell ( /krɪkˈhəl/ ; Welsh : Crug Hywelpronounced  [krɨɡˈhəu̯ɛl] , also spelled Crughywel, or Crucywel) is a town and community in southeastern Powys, Wales, near Abergavenny, and was in the historic county of Brecknockshire.



General view of the town, c. 1860 Crickhowell.jpeg
General view of the town, c. 1860
Porthmawr Gate c. 1800 View near the Usk at Crickhowell (3371450).jpg
Porthmawr Gate c. 1800

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 (81 km2) form part of the Glanusk Park estate.


The name Crickhowell is derived from that of a nearby Iron Age hill fort called Crug Hywel; [2] the Welsh language name being anglicised by map-makers and local English-speaking people.

The town

Crickhowell Castle. From a survey in the beginning of the 6th century by James Basire Crickhowel Castle. From a Survey in the beginning of the 6th Cent.jpeg
Crickhowell Castle. From a survey in the beginning of the 6th century by James Basire
Detail of Crickhowell Bridge CrickhowellBrideDetail.JPG
Detail of Crickhowell Bridge

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 is a primary school and a secondary school; both 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 [3] 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 pubs, cafes, restaurants and two hotels: "The Bear" hotel and "The Dragon".

The churches in Crickhowell include St Edmund's Church which holds a service every Sunday, a Baptist church, an evangelical church [4] and a Catholic church.

In 2015, Crickhowell appeared in a TV documentary, claiming it as the first British settlement to purposely use similar tax avoidance tactics used by multinational businesses to avoid paying taxes themselves, in protest at the way large corporations use legal loopholes to avoid paying UK corporation tax. [5]

A market and fair have been recorded since 1281. [6]


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward includes The Vale of Grwyney community and has a total population of 2,801 as taken at the 2011 census. [7] The current councillor is John Morris, a Liberal Democrat. [8]


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" set backfrom the A40 Brecon to Abergavenny road.

Market Hall

Crickhowell's Market Hall (originally the Town Hall) on The Square dates from 1834, nowadays with market stalls on the ground floor and a cafe in the first floor old courtroom. In 2007 Powys County Council handed over responsibility of the hall to a charity, the Market Hall Trust. [9] The stone building, raised on twin doric columns, is Grade II* listed. [10] The market hall has been changed over The years, the addition and removal of decorative glass frontage also the notable addition of a lift for disabled access to the courtroom chambers above.


Crickhowell has two schools; Crickhowell Community Primary School and a secondary school called Crickhowell High School, which has approximately 700 pupils.

Notable people

George Everest, after whom Mount Everest is named, may have been born near Crickhowell. His father had an estate there called "Gwernvale Manor". [11] This is now a hotel, known simply as 'The Manor'.) [12] 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.[ citation needed ]

Admiral John Gell died here in 1806 after serving over 30 years in the Royal Navy. [13]

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 Tŷ'r Chanter bed and breakfast lodgings.

Golf course

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. [14]

Surrounding villages

Cwrt y Gollen, a British Army training base, is near Crickhowell.

Related Research Articles

Brecknockshire historic county of Wales

Brecknockshire, also known as the County of Brecknock, Breconshire, or the County of Brecon is one of thirteen historic counties of Wales, and a former administrative county. Named after its county town of Brecon, the county is mountainous and primarily rural.

Monmouthshire County

Monmouthshire is a principal area with the style of 'county' in south-east Wales. The name derives from the historic county of Monmouthshire of which it covers the eastern 60%. The largest town is Abergavenny. Other towns and large villages are Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth, Magor and Usk. It borders Torfaen, Newport and Blaenau Gwent to the west; Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to the east; and Powys to the north.

Black Mountains, Wales mountain range

The Black Mountains are a group of hills spread across parts of Powys and Monmouthshire in southeast Wales, and extending across the England–Wales border into Herefordshire. They are the easternmost of the four ranges of hills that comprise the Brecon Beacons National Park, and are frequently confused with the westernmost, which is known as the Black Mountain. The Black Mountains may be roughly defined as those hills contained within a triangle defined by the towns of Abergavenny in the southeast, Hay-on-Wye in the north and the village of Llangors in the west. Other gateway towns to the Black Mountains include Talgarth and Crickhowell. The range of hills is well known to walkers and ramblers for the ease of access and views from the many ridge trails, such as that on the Black Hill (Herefordshire) at the eastern edge of the massif.

Bwlch Human settlement in Wales

Bwlch is a small village and an electoral ward in Powys, southern Wales. The settlement is strung out along the A40 road which crosses a low col above the Usk Valley at this point on its route between Brecon and Crickhowell. The village is a part of the administrative community of Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine.

Three Cocks Human settlement in Wales

Three Cocks or Aberllynfi is a village near Glasbury in Powys, Wales. The Welsh name refers to the mouth of the Afon Llynfi which enters the River Wye a mile from the village. The nearest town is Hay-on-Wye some 5 miles (8.5 km) to the North East.

Crug Hywel Welsh mountain with hillfort on summit

Crug Hywel is a flat-topped mountain at the southern edge of the Black Mountains in south-east Wales. It rises to 451 m above sea level, from the southern flank of Pen Cerrig-calch (701 m), and overlooks the town of Crickhowell, to which it gives its name. The name is from Welsh crug, a hillock, and hywel, conspicuous.

Bryn Oer Tramway

The Bryn Oer Tramway was a horse-worked narrow-gauge railway built in South Wales in 1814.

Llangynidr Human settlement in Wales

Llangynidr is a village, community and electoral ward in Powys, Wales, about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Crickhowell and 9 miles (14.5 km) south-east of Brecon. The River Usk flows through the village as does the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. It is in the historic county of Brecknockshire.

Glanusk Park estate near Crickhowell, Powys

Glanusk Park is a country estate in Wales, United Kingdom, situated near the town of Crickhowell, Powys and was established in 1826 by ironmaster Sir Joseph Bailey. The park features in the hereditary title Baron Glanusk which was given to Sir Joseph's grandson, Sir Joseph Russell Bailey in 1899 who at that time was the Lord Lieutenant of Brecknockshire. The park and estate contains 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of common land, 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of farmland, 29 let residential properties, 7 let farms and a five-mile (8 km) stretch of the River Usk. There are 400 acres (160 ha) of private parkland and 800 acres (320 ha) of forest which also includes a collection of over 200 different species of oak trees.

Tretower Court Historic house museum in Powys, Wales

Tretower Court is a medieval fortified manor house situated in the village of Tretower, near Crickhowell in modern-day Powys, previously within the historical county of Breconshire or Brecknockshire.

Beacons Way

The Beacons Way is a waymarked long distance footpath in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. It is a linear route which runs for 99 miles (159 km) east to west through the National Park, and passes many of the most important landmarks and mountain peaks in the mountain range. It also includes a few of the towns in the park as well as popular attractions such as Carreg Cennen Castle near Llandeilo at the western end of the path.

The office of High Sheriff of Powys was established in 1974 as part of the creation of the county of Powys in Wales, replacing the shrievalties of the amalgamated counties: High Sheriff of Montgomeryshire, High Sheriff of Radnorshire and High Sheriff of Brecknockshire.

Cwmdu, Powys village in United Kingdom

Cwmdu or Llanfihangel Cwmdu is a small village and community situated in the heart of the Black Mountains in Powys, Wales. Its name is derived from the Welsh language "Cwm Du", which means 'Black Valley'. It is located on the A479 Talgarth to Tretower road. Nearby towns include Crickhowell and Abergavenny. The population of the community, Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine, which includes Cwmdu and nearby villages Bwlch, Tretower and Cathedine, as of the 2011 UK Census was 1026. It is in the historic county of Brecknockshire.

This is a list of High Sheriffs of Brecknockshire or Breconshire.

Pen Cerrig-calch mountain in United Kingdom

Pen Cerrig-calch is a subsidiary summit of Waun Fach in the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Powys, Wales. Its summit, at a height of 701m (2,300 ft), is marked by a trig point. The peak sits high above the River Usk valley as it narrows above the small town of Crickhowell.The views from here are wide-ranging and extend as far as the Beacons themselves to the west. A ridge runs off to the northwest and the shoulder of Pen Gloch-y-pibwr then turns north to the secondary top of Pen Allt-mawr whose peak at 719m is also crowned by a trig point.

Rhiangoll river in Powys, Wales

The Rhiangoll is a river in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Powys, Wales. It rises on the western slopes of Waun Fach in Y Mynyddoedd Duon and drops steeply down to the west into the north-south valley through which the A479 runs between Talgarth and the hamlet of Tretower and through the village of Cwmdu. It is joined by various minor tributary streams on its left bank including the Ffinnant, Nant yr Ychen, Nant-y-fedw and Nantygarreg, all of which rise on the flanks of the ridge extending between Pen Trumau and Pen Gloch-y-pibwr. Two tributary streams flowing from Mynydd Troed and Mynydd Llangorse enter on its right bank as does Nant Ewyn east of the village of Bwlch.

Llanbedr, Crickhowell village in United Kingdom

Llanbedr is a small village 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of Crickhowell in the county of Powys in south Wales. It lies above the river known as the Grwyne Fechan just above its confluence with the Grwyne Fawr in the southern reaches of the Black Mountains range. The village lies within the shadow of Table Mountain, an outlying spur of Pen Cerrig-calch on which is perched the Iron Age hill fort of Crug Hywel.

Tretower is a hamlet in the community of Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine in the southern part of the county of Powys in Wales. It lies on the A479 road within the Brecon Beacons National Park at the foot of the Black Mountains just off the Usk Valley. Tretower is frequented by tourists visiting the impressive Tretower Court and the nearby ruins of Tretower Castle, both of which are now managed by Cadw. Cadw own the Court whilst ownership of the Castle lies with the owner of Tyllys Farm in the centre of the village.

Grade I listed buildings in Powys Wikimedia list article

In the United Kingdom, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical, or cultural significance; Grade I structures are those considered to be "buildings of exceptional interest". Listing was begun by a provision in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. Once listed, strict limitations are imposed on the modifications allowed to a building's structure or fittings. In Wales, the authority for listing under the Planning Act 1990 rests with Cadw.


  1. "Town population 2011" . Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  2. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Crickhowell"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 447.
  3. "Crickhowell High Street (C) George Tod".
  4. "Crickhowell Evangelical Church".
  5. "The town that took itself offshore to expose tax avoiders".
  6. "Wales - British History Online".
  7. "Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  8. "Your Councillors". (in Welsh). 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. Martin Shipton (7 August 2008) "Cafe war breaks out over market hall", Wales Online. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  10. Town Hall, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  11. "George Everest was born on 4 July 1790 but the location is open to doubt. This uncertainty as to his birthplace arises because his father William Tristram Everest had an estate near Crickhowell in South Wales and some reference works suggest he was born there. [...] George's baptismal certificate certainly indicates that he was baptized in Greenwich but although the certificate also bears his date of birth it does not indicate the locality."
    Smith, James R. (2015). "Sir George Everest". In Martin, Geoffrey (ed.). Geographers: Biobibliographical Studies, Volume 15. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  12. "The Manor".
  13. The Literary Panorama. Cox, Son and Baylis. 1807. p. 1385. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  14. "Crickhowell & Penmyarth Golf Club, Glanusk Park, Powys". Golf’s Missing Links.
  15. "Church of the Archangel Michael, Cwmdu (C) Jonathan Billinger".
  16. "The Blue Bell Inn (C) Jennifer Luther Thomas".
  17. "Llanbedr Church and Table Mountain (C) Ian Rushin".
  18. "Llanbedr below Sugar Loaf © Ian Rushin".
  19. "Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal,... (C) George Tod".
  20. "Llangattock (C) Jonathan Billinger".
  21. "Descending the Sugar Loaf towards... (C) John Thorn".
  22. "Llangynidr Bridge in spring (C) Alan Bowring".
  23. "Mynydd Llangynidr (C) Peter Wasp".
  24. "Tretower Court (C) andy dolman".