The language data is available from the census reports at ward level, so to that extent the position is not unclear. LinguisticDemographer 14:31, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
According to almost all sources I have come across, including gazeteers from the 19th century, Radnorshire remained predominantly Welsh-speaking well into the 18th century. I also have a 16th century map of Wales, which cites both the 'British' names of Radnorshire along with the English, and those include Trevyclawdd (Knighton) and Llanandras (Presteigne). The suggestion that these Welsh names were somehow 'imposed' in the 1970s is highly POV and untrue.
In the 1970s as part of a government sponsored cymricisation, towns such as Knighton and Presteigne were gifted Welsh names - Tref-y-Clawdd and Llanandras - with little historical basis and certainly unknown to the inhabitants. Neither has taken root. To seek directions to Llanandras in mid-Wales is to court bemusement.
I have removed the above for this reason.
Thanks for this contribution. Please list your sources in support of this argument. The work of Pryce cited shows that there was minimal use of Welsh in most of Radnorshire in the 18th century, but if you have reliable evidence to the contrary, it would be good to know about it. . . . LinguisticDemographer 17:09, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
On 17/7/07 the language section (with references) was replaced with a contrary view with no references. Please supply citations for this. If no citation is supplied, the text will be reverted. If a citation is available, NPOV may require that both points of view are presented. . . . .LinguisticDemographer 11:51, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
The comment above about Trefyclawdd and Llanandras is risible. Presteigne fottball club play at Llanandras Park, the Knighton rugby team is called Trefyclawdd RFC and the local Women's Institute is know as Trefyclawdd WI. This has nothing at all to do with the government. Pryce based his maps on the language of church services - these are of limited use in an area where there was a degree of bilingualism and where the wishes of the gentry held sway. I have little time at the moment to give sources for the position of Welsh in 18C Radnorshire - Crwydro Sir Faesyfed by Ffransis Payne, Southall, Malkin - spring to mind. By all means revert. You obviously have a very limited knowledge of Radnorshire history and I will enjoy refuting your opinions over the coming weeks. Einion clud 15:42, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I have a profound knowledge of Radnorshire history! I was raised in Knighton and educated in Presteigne. My family have lived nearby for at least 300 years (that is as far as my family research currently stretches). I accept that the West of the shire was Welsh-speaking. I do not accept the same for the East. I have both the reference texts cited in the article. I was taught by Keith Parker. I think the current article expresses the position well and incorporates both points of view. --MJB 18:17, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
So where does the west start? Perhaps at Llanfair Waterdine the home of the 15C bard Hywel ap Syr Mathew or the parish of Beguildy the home of the 16C bardic patron Morgan Maredudd of Bryndraenog. Perhaps the west starts in Llangynllo or Whitton the home of those prolific patrons of the 15C and 16C bards the Prices, perhaps at Hergest home of the Vaughans, the Philpotts of Brilley or the Lewis's of Gladestry - Llanfair Llwyth Yfnwg to the bards without any help whatsoever from any cymricising Government! So here we have Hergest where one of the great treasures of Welsh literature "The Red Book of Hergest" was preserved, while the Miles family of Kinnerton preserved that other treasure "The Book of Taliesin. These are some of the field names of Downton Farm at the time the railway to New Radnor was built Pwll Mawn, Clos y Garreg, Plocau Melyn, Maes Downton - what great memories the English speakers of Walton must have had to memorise such names during the centuries when Welsh was seemingly not spoken in the area.
I agree that Welsh disappeared from Presteigne and a handful of the surrounding parishes in the 17C - the rest of the county was Welsh speaking until much later. You say you have traced your family back 300 years, just a couple more generations and you will no doubt find that members of your own family were bardic patrons, the subjects of poems that the great Welsh scholar from Kington Ffransis Payne described as being adornments to any language.
For me that area where you are rooted is a truly fascinating district where three cultures French, English and Welsh came together - to disavow the Welsh element is misguided. Einion clud 19:13, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with any of this. Just provide references and we'll be fine. . . .LinguisticDemographer 19:21, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference: I have incorporated it into the text. I take your point about Pryce's work: because of its Church bias, it consistently underestimates the use of Welsh (where there is any). The gentry, as you say, called the tune in the language of church services, and, insofar as the gentry were exclusively English speakers, the services were in English. The only redeeming virtue of Pryce's work is that it is the only quantitative statistical study of the period, and as such is the "best available quantitative evidence". . . .LinguisticDemographer 20:27, 17 July 2007 (UTC)