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Arts and crafts in Powys

Powys is in Mid Wales. It has a population of around 133,000 and covers approximately 518,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Herefordshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Shropshire, Wrexham.

Landlocked and sparsely populated, Powys (Powis in Welsh) is the largest county in Wales and particularly in the rural villages the Welsh language is widely spoken. The landscape is largely mountainous and each year millions of people visit the Brecon Beacons National Park to take part in activities such as hill walking, climbing and caving. The earthwork Offas Dyke was constructed over a thousand years ago, as a border between the old Welsh kingdom of Powys and the old Anglian kingdom of Mercia. Some sections stand up to eight feet high and over sixty feet wide and in parts the earthwork approximates the current border between Wales and England. Conflicts that took place in the area centuries ago are reflected in the ruins of castles such as Dolforwyn, Montgomery and Tretower. The ruins of Y Gaer, a Roman Fort near the market town of Brecon, date back even further to the early centuries of the first millennium.

Other attractions in Powys include The Hall at Abbey-Cwm-Hir, a country house built during the 1830s, extended later in the century and restored during recent years. The exterior architecture of the house is Victorian Gothic Revival and inside the restoration complements original features, with fine furnishings, decor and themed rooms. The house is set among beautiful gardens, with woodland, a lake and waterfall. Powis Castle is near to the town of Welshpool and was originally built around eight hundred years ago as a medieval fortress for Welsh princes. Remodelled in later centuries it became a country mansion for wealthy and powerful nobles and in the 1950s was bequeathed to the National Trust. Rooms inside the castle are beautifully furnished and decorated and collections include paintings, tapestries, textiles, sculptures, bronzes, armour, silverware and jade. Visitors can also stroll through the impressive castle gardens, whose design was inspired by French and Italian gardens.

Richard Wilson

(Born 1714 in Penegoes in Powys), Painting

The Welsh artist Richard Wilson was one of Britains earliest landscape painters.