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Welsh: Caersŵs
Caersws church.jpg
The village church
Caersws is located in Powys
 Caersws shown within Powys
Population 1,526 (2001)
OS grid reference SO0392
Community Caersws
Principal area Powys
Ceremonial county Powys
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Caersws
Postcode district SY17
Dialling code 01650
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Montgomeryshire
List of places

Coordinates: 52°31′17″N 3°25′21″W / 52.521458°N 3.422429°W / 52.521458; -3.422429

Caersws (Welsh: Caersŵs) (Welsh pronunciation: [kɑːɨrˈsuːs]) is a village and community on the River Severn, in the Welsh county of Powys, 5 miles (8 km) miles west of Newtown, and halfway between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury. It has a station on the Cambrian Line from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury. At the 2001 census it had a population of 1,526.[1]


In modern Welsh, Caersws literally means "Fort Kiss", although sws almost certainly derives from some other source.[2] It has been argued that the site may retain a Roman-era dedication to Zeus[2] or preserve the name of a conjectured British queen Swswen.[3]


Main article: Caersws Roman Forts

Caersws was the location of two Roman forts of Roman Wales. Although the Mediolanum of the Antonine Itinerary has since been identified as Whitchurch in Shropshire, Caersws is sometimes identified as the Mediolanum among the Ordovices described in Ptolemy's Geography,[2] although others argue for Llanfyllin[4] or Meifod.[4][5] Further, this second Mediolanum may be identical or distinct from the "Mediomanum" (lit. "Central Hand") mentioned by the Ravenna Cosmography.[2]


Llanwnnog Church in the community of Caersws is a single-chambered structure, variously considered to date from the 13th or 15th century and restored in 1863. It contains the best[citation needed] example of a 15th or 16th century rood screen and loft in Montgomeryshire, a medieval font bowl and one 17th century memorial. Maesmawr Hall was built in the early 19th century.


Downhill Mountain Biking has flourished in forestry at Henblas farm, to the north of the village, with a number of national races being held there. The current series - The Caersws Cup[6] - began in March 2009.

Cymru Alliance club Caersws F.C. are based in the village, and play their home matches at the Recreation Ground.

Caersws is home to current and past champions of a number of sporting disciplines, leading some to christen it the "Sporting Capital of Wales".[7]

Notable People[edit]

  • Elvis Costello has for many years had seemingly strong links with the village, having upon interview listed Mid Wales as a favoured holiday destination.[8] However, in recent years tensions between the village and the ageing punk rocker have been building, primarily due to the lack of name checks in any of his most recent albums. In reply to the subsequent bitter vitriol targeted against Costello, a statement was released by his management in an attempt to defuse the situation. This was largely a failure, with a hotly contested stalemate remaining to this day.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parish Headcounts: Powys". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Roman Britain Organisation. "Mediomanum?" at Roman Britain. 2010.
  3. ^ History in Brief - Mid Wales at
  4. ^ a b Williams, Robert. "A History of the Parish of Llanfyllin" in Collections Historical & Archaeological Relating to Montgomeryshire, Vol. III, p. 59. J. Russell Smith (London), 1870.
  5. ^ Newman, John Henry & al. Lives of the English Saints: St. German, Bishop of Auxerre, Ch. X: "Britain in 429, A. D.", p. 92. James Toovey (London), 1844.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Sporty Village Boasts Famous Five at
  8. ^ Andrews, Robert (2004). The Rough Guide to Britain. Rough Guides Ltd. p. 838. ISBN 978-1843533016. 


  • Stephenson D. (2014), The Medieval Borough of Caersws: Origins and Decline, The Montgomeryshire Collections, Vol. 102, 103-109.

External links[edit]