About Talgarth

Talgarth is a small market town situated at the foot of the Black Mountains. The little rivers Enig and Ellywe flow from the mountains through Talgarth and onwards towards the River Wye some miles distant.

There is evidence of many Neolithic tombs in the area, the most notable being that of Penywrlod. During excavations here, a small bone flute was found, estimated to be about 6,000 years old and thus the oldest dated musical instrument found in Wales.

Between Talgarth and the Black Mountains sits another ancient site, that of Castell Dinas, where an Iron Age hillfort was constructed sometime after 600BC. The impressive contours can still be seen today, atop which the Normans built a castle in about 1070, which was destroyed during the 15th century Welsh rebellion led by Owain Glyndwr.

Talgarth is said to have been the royal residence of the House of Brycheiniog, although it retains no direct evidence of this. Reputedly St. Gwendoline, a daughter of King Brychan, was buried on the site of the present St. Gwendoline's Church where a Celtic monastery was established in the 5th century. The church, mainly 13th to 14th century, was granted to Brecon Priory in 1094 by Bernard of Neufmarché.

The town was a borough from the early 1300s and had 73 burgesses in 1309. The Tower House is believed to have been built somewhat earlier, a defensive residence guarding the river crossing and town.

Talgarth has always been a centre for trade and commerce in livestock and agricultural produce, famous for its horse fairs up to the end of the 19th century and for its sheep market to the present day. During the latter part of the 20th century the railway which served Talgarth for over a century was closed, as was the Mid Wales Hospital, and these two factors brought about a decline in the area’s fortunes. However, with the construction of a bypass in 2006, the centre of Talgarth was rendered free of heavy traffic which then offered opportunities for regeneration, starting with Talgarth Mill.