Llandrindod Wells

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Llandrindod Wells
Llandrindrod Wells Town
Llandrindod Wells is located in Powys
Llandrindod Wells
Llandrindod Wells
Location within Powys
Population5,309 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSO055615
Community
  • Llandrindod Wells
Principal area
Ceremonial county
CountryWales
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLLANDRINDOD WELLS
Postcode districtLD1
Dialling code01597
PoliceDyfed-Powys
FireMid and West Wales
AmbulanceWelsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
UK
Wales
Powys
52°14′37″N 3°23′08″W / 52.24354°N 3.38547°W / 52.24354; -3.38547Coordinates: 52°14′37″N 3°23′08″W / 52.24354°N 3.38547°W / 52.24354; -3.38547

Llandrindod Wells (/lændrɪndɒd ˈwɛlz/, /klændrɪndɒd ˈwɛlz/; Welsh: Llandrindod, /ɬanˈdɾindɔd/ lit. "Trinity Parish"), sometimes known colloquially as Llandod, is a town and community in Powys, within the historic boundaries of Radnorshire, Wales.[2] It serves as the seat of Powys County Council and thus the administrative centre of Powys.

It was developed as a spa town[2] in the 19th century, with a boom in the late 20th century as a centre of local government. Before the 1860s the site of the town was common land in Llanfihangel Cefnllys parish. Llandrindod Wells is the fifth largest town in Powys and the largest in Radnorshire.

History[edit]

A gathering of people at the Rock Park Pump House, Llandrindod, 1920s

During the mid-18th century, the 'healing qualities' of the local spring waters attracted visitors to the area resulting in an economic boom with the building of a 'splendid' hotel at Llandrindod Hall. A period of relative decline during the late 18th and early 19th centuries was reversed with the construction of the Heart of Wales line making Llandrindod accessible from south Wales, the Midlands and northwest England. Enclosure of the common in 1862 enabled the expansion of the town with the construction of new streets, hotels, shops and houses.[3]

During the 'season' between May and mid-September, visitors would take the waters at the pump rooms at the Rock Park and Pump House Hotel, entertained by orchestras. Hotels, boarding houses and shops—including the Central Wales Emporium on the corner of Temple Street and Station Crescent—provided for the visitors. In the early 1870s, an ornamental lake was formed by draining marshland near the Pump House Hotel (on the current site of the Council offices), and in 1893 a 9-hole golf course was opened on the common beside the lake (later replaced by the present 18-hole course on the hills above). Horse races (and later air displays) were held on the Rock Ddole meadow beside the river.[4]

In 1893, Archdeacon Henry de Winton, who had responsibility for the area at the time, had Llandrindod old church[5] and Cefnllys church[6] unroofed in order to persuade the congregations to attend the new church in the centre of the town. Both churches were later restored in 1895 following protest. [7]

Llandrindod was the place of the election of the first Archbishop of Wales in 1920, which occurred at the Old Parish Church.[8] Elections for every Archbishop since have continued to be held in Llandrindod, now at Holy Trinity Church in the Town Centre.[9] In 1907, a Catholic church was founded in the town, Our Lady of Ransom and the Holy Souls Church.[10]

Vans Good Food Shop, an example of the style of shops of Llandrindod's Victorian heyday

The town has maintained an important profile in the world of motoring and motorsport. Apart from two of its most symbolic recent buildings being the Tom Norton's Automobile Palace and Pritchard's Garage, it served as the base for many International motorcycle events such as the International Six Days Trial ISDT starting in 1933 with the last visit taking place in 1961, often drawing in crowds of thousands to watch.[11]

The town's boom continued until the First World War during which time soldiers on training courses were billeted in hotels and boarding houses, and refugees and wounded soldiers were accommodated in the town. The depression of the late-1920s and 1930s led to many hotels and boarding houses being turned into private homes and flats. During the Second World War the town was again used for military hospitals and billets, followed by a slump in the post-war years.[12] The Beeching Axe resulted in the closure in the mid-1960s of the Mid-Wales line and with it Llandrindod's connection from nearby Builth Wells direct to Cardiff and to north and west Wales. The town does retain connections to Swansea and Shrewsbury from Llandrindod railway station on the Heart of Wales line.[13]

Prior to 1974, the town housed much of the administration of Radnorshire, although the official county town was Presteigne. The reorganisation of local government in 1974 resulted in Llandrindod becoming the county town of the newly formed administrative county of Powys. This led to an influx of people employed by the new bureaucracies, on salaries determined by national pay scales. The new County Hall was based on Spa Road East in Llandrindod Wells.[14]

In a 2017 survey undertaken by Rightmove, Llandrindod was voted the Happiest Place in Wales.[15] A survey by the Royal Mail over the Easter 2018 period showed that Llandrindod had the highest online shopping rates for that period in the whole of the country.[16]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Llandrindod Wells (212m elevation) 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.5
(43.7)
6.9
(44.4)
9.8
(49.6)
12.6
(54.7)
16.0
(60.8)
18.7
(65.7)
20.7
(69.3)
20.2
(68.4)
17.3
(63.1)
13.3
(55.9)
9.3
(48.7)
7.0
(44.6)
13.2
(55.8)
Average low °C (°F) 0.9
(33.6)
0.4
(32.7)
2.0
(35.6)
3.3
(37.9)
6.2
(43.2)
8.9
(48.0)
10.9
(51.6)
10.6
(51.1)
8.5
(47.3)
6.1
(43.0)
3.2
(37.8)
1.2
(34.2)
5.2
(41.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 114.8
(4.52)
86.2
(3.39)
85.0
(3.35)
64.6
(2.54)
74.4
(2.93)
63.1
(2.48)
67.6
(2.66)
77.5
(3.05)
78.8
(3.10)
122.5
(4.82)
122.6
(4.83)
125.8
(4.95)
1,082.7
(42.63)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 16.4 12.8 13.6 12.3 11.3 11.7 10.5 11.8 11.9 15.2 16.2 15.8 159.3
Source: metoffice.gov.uk[17]

Governance[edit]

Three county electoral wards lie within the boundaries of the town which each elect a councillor to Powys County Council: Llandrindod East/West, Llandrindod North and Llandrindod South.[18] Llandrindod Wells Town Council has up to 15 town councillors (elected from five community wards)[19] and one clerk.[20] In March 2019, the Mayor and Chair of three years, Cllr Jon Williams, resigned amid bullying claims.[21]

Notable landmarks[edit]

Pritchard's garage

The architecture of the town includes many buildings in ornate styles dating from the boom period of the Victorian and Edwardian eras including the Metropole, the Glen Usk and the Gwalia hotels, The Albert Hall, and Llandrindod railway station which built in 1865.[22] The Old Town Hall, which was originally commissioned as a doctor's home and surgery, was completed in 1872.[23]

There are also buildings in the Art Deco style including two former garages, Pritchard's and the Automobile Palace. The latter was notable for a collection of antique bicycles owned by the proprietor, Tom Norton, which were displayed suspended from ceilings in the building. The building has in recent years been renovated and is now home to several small businesses and the National Cycle Collection, featuring some of the bicycles originally displayed in the garage.[24]

The largest of the town's hotels are the Metropole (with 120 bedrooms of 4 star standard, an indoor swimming pool and leisure centre), the Glen Usk and the Commodore. The Hotel Metropole's swimming pool used to be open-air and was open to the public but is now reserved for guests.[25]

Water-sculpture on the lake

A large man-made lake in the town is used for fishing and model boating. The lake houses a sculpture of a water serpent and leaping carp, the scales of which are made of thousands of copper plates initialed by local people and visitors during construction of the work. Beside the lake, sits a distinctive tree-trunk sculpture known as a 'Llandoddie', one of many such sculptures distributed throughout the town.[26] In May 2018, pedalo boats for hire were launched onto Llandrindod Lake, as part of a £158,000 regeneration project.[27] Llandrindod Wells' parks are listed, as a collective, on the Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales. The Grade II* listing reflects the parks' significant role in the "development of Llandrindod Wells as a flourishing spa town".[28]

An 18-hole golf course, which features challenging topology and views over the lake, was established in 1905.[29]

The town has three international standard outdoor bowling greens dating from 1912 which hosts national and international events[30][31] and has recently been voted ‘the best facilities in the whole of the British Isles’. A newer indoor bowling centre, can also be found in the centre of the town.[32]

Llandrindod Wells County War Memorial Hospital was opened in 1881.[33]

Culture[edit]

A penny-farthing at the Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival, 2005

Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival is held in the town every year at the end of August. Many locals and some visitors dress in Victorian, Edwardian or other antique costumes, and many of the town's shops and other high-street businesses dress their windows or otherwise join in the spirit of the event. The festival typically offers open-air and street theatre and music, a fairground, a craft fair, an historical re-enactment, entertainments at The Albert Hall and exhibitions of "things old-time".[34]

There is a wide range of entertainment available in the town each year. The Albert Hall is the town's Victorian Theatre, owned and run by the community of Llandrindod. The Theatre is managed by a group of volunteers from the local area. The theatre hosts a wide range of performances and activities suitable for all.[35] Many local organisation's events are held at the Theatre.

Pavilion Mid Wales (formerly known as The Grand Pavilion) brings a wide range of entertainment to the town.[36]

The town hosts annual Welsh 2 Day Enduro in June. The enduro started in 1952, and is the UK's biggest time card motorcycle enduro event. The event covers 300 miles, over 2 days, with 500 competitors. [37]

A typical year of events within the town looks like this:

Month Event/s
January LWTC Pantomime, Wassailing
February YFC Drama Week
March
April
May
June Welsh Two Day Enduro, Radnor Fringe Festival
July Carnival, LWTC Summer Season
August Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival and Firework Display, LWTC Summer Season
September Llandrindod Raft Race
October The Albert Hall Talent Night
November Ysgol Trefonnen Fireworks Display
December The Albert Hall Christmas Singalong, Welsh Carol Service, School Christmas Fayres, Muddy Santa.
Monthly Artisan Market

Education[edit]

Llandrindod has two primary schools and one secondary school:

  • Llandrindod Wells CP School - Cefnllys (Ysgol Cefnllys) is an English Medium Local Authority Primary school. Llandrindod Wells Church in Wales School - Ysgol Trefonnen is an English and Welsh Medium Local Authority Primary School.[38]
  • Ysgol Calon Cymru is the town's Local Authority secondary school. The school has two campuses, which replaced the former Llandrindod High School (and Builth Wells High School) and opened in September 2018. The Llandrindod site provides an English-medium education for 11 to 18 year olds.[39]

Notable people[edit]

Twinning[edit]

Llandrindod Wells is twinned with:[40]

Llandrindod Wells Twinning Association[41] host annual trips to and from the Twinned towns.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Llandrindod" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 829.
  3. ^ "Llandrindod and district: Taking the waters". Powys Digital History Project. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  4. ^ "The Season". Welcome to Llandrindod Wells. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  5. ^ Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust - Radnorshire Churches Survey - Church of Holy Trinity, Llandrindod
  6. ^ Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust - Radnorshire Churches Survey - Church of St Michael, Cefnllys
  7. ^ The Old Parish Churches of Mid Wales (2nd Edition) by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 2003; ISBN 1-871731-62-3]
  8. ^ Owen, Eluned E. (1961). The Later Life of Bishop Owen. Llandyssul: Gomerian Press. p. 434.
  9. ^ "Bishop John Davies chosen as new Archbishop of Wales". BBC News. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Llandrindod Wells – Our Lady of Ransom and the Holy Souls". Taking Stock. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  11. ^ "ISDT 1961 – Wales". Speed Track Tales. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  12. ^ Wilson, Chris (1995). Around Llandrindod Wells. The Chalford Publishing Company Limited. ISBN 0-7524-0191-2.
  13. ^ News From the Heart of Wales Line Archived 3 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine [www.heart-of-wales.co.uk news article; Retrieved 2010-11-07.]
  14. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1979, p. 677
  15. ^ "'Happiest place to live' status is no surprise says Llandrindod Wells mayor". County Times. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Online shopping: Llandrindod Wells tops the list | Wales - ITV News". Itv.com. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Climate Normals 1981–2010". Met Office. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Your Councillors". Llandrindod Wells Town Council. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  20. ^ Llandrindod Wells Town Council
  21. ^ "The Mayor of Llandrindod Wells has stepped down". 20 March 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  22. ^ G. Body (1983), PSL Field Guides – Railways of the Western Region, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 0-85059-546-0
  23. ^ Cadw. "Brynarlais (87569)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Welcome to The National Cycle Museum Llandrindod Wells." www.cyclemuseum.org.uk.
  25. ^ "The Metropole Hotel". Visit Mid-Wales. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  26. ^ Llandoddie in a BBC article.
  27. ^ Mike Sheridan (16 May 2018). "Completion of regeneration works to breathe new life into Llandrindod Wells boating lake". Powys County Times. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  28. ^ Cadw. "Llandrindod Wells Public Parks (PGW(Po)20(POW))". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  29. ^ History of Llandrindod Wells Golf Club Archived 17 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine (from club's website)
  30. ^ "BBC mid-Wales walks".
  31. ^ "History of Llandrindod Wells Bowling Club". Archived from the original on 24 February 2007.
  32. ^ "Home". Radnorshire Indoor Bowls Association.
  33. ^ "Llandrindod Wells War Memorial Hospital; Convalescent Home (764)". Coflein. RCAHMW. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  34. ^ Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival
  35. ^ "The Albert Hall".
  36. ^ "Pavilion Mid Wales".
  37. ^ "Welsh 2 Day Enduro".
  38. ^ "Ysgol Trefonnen". Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  39. ^ Anwen Parry (6 September 2018). "Ysgol Calon Cymru: Hundreds of pupils start back at Powys' newest school". Powys County Times. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  40. ^ "Llandrindod Wells Twinning Association". Llandrindod Wells Twinning Association.
  41. ^ "News and events". 22 February 2008.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jane Griffiths, Walking Around Llandrindod Wells: Historic Spa Town, Kittiwake Press, 2007, ISBN 1-902302-51-6
  • Olivia Harries, Llandrindod Wells in Old Postcards, C Davies, 1986, ISBN 0-7154-0663-9
  • Reginald Campbell Burn Oliver, Bridging a century: [the Hotel Metropole, Llandrindod Wells, 1872-1972], a century of growth in the story of Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, Sayce Brothers Printers, 1972, ISBN 0-9502337-0-6
  • Reginald Campbell Burn Oliver, The centenary of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Llandrindod Wells, 1871-1971, R.C.B. Oliver, 1971, ISBN 0-9501480-1-6
  • Bruce Osborne, Llandrindod Wells, New Millennium Spa Heritage Series, 1999, ISBN 1-873614-06-3
  • Joel Williams, Voices of Llandrindod Wells, Red Dragon, 2000, ISBN 1-903610-00-1
  • Chris Wilson, Around Llandrindod Wells, The Chalford Publishing Company, 1995, ISBN 0-7524-0191-2

External links[edit]