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Radnorshire - Historic County of Wales

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Radnorshire (Sir Faesyfed) - Historic County of Wales

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For Historical information about Radnorshire visit Historic Radnorshire Link to follow - including connections to Historical figures, Gentry and political people connected with Radnorshire.

For Information about research in the County and Families Researched on Geni (Including Emigrants) go to Radnorshire - Family Heads

For Famous or Notable People from Radnorshire visit Radnorshire - Famous People

Known in Welsh as Sir Faesyfed. An inland County, bounded N. by Montgomeryshire and Shropshire, E. by Herefordshire, S. and SW. by Brecknockshire and W. by Cardiganshire.

Areas 301,164 acres.

  • 1831 area 272,128 acres (1,101.26 Sq. km)
  • 1911 area 301,165 acres (1,218.77 Sq. km)
  • 1961 area 301,165 acres (1,218.77 Sq. km)

Population 1971 - 18 271 (23,000.

Headquarters - New Radnor, Llandrindod Wells

Chapman code RAD


  • Created 1542
  • Abolished 1974
  • Succeeded by Radnor

Famous for

  • the annual Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, held in Llanelwedd.
  • Crickhowell sits alongside the River Usk and is famous for its 13-arched bridge
  • Hay-on-Wye is famous for its second-hand bookshops and the world's biggest annual literary festival.
  • Rhayader is very famous for bikers because of its trails and bridleways intended for such activity

County Flower Radnor Lily - Gagea bohemica

In the E. and S. are some comparatively level tracts, including the Vale of Radnor, but most of the County is mountainous, with the Cambrian Mountains running through the W. of the County. The highest point is at Radnor Forest (2,166 ft). The Elan Valley contains several huge man-made reservoirs supplying water to Birmingham. The main rivers are the Wye, the Elan and the Ithon. The chief towns are Knighton, Llandrindod Wells, Llanelwedd, New Radnor, Presteigne and Rhayader. The main industries are tourism and hill farming.

Places of special interest:

  • Abbey Cwmhir (SO0571);
  • Beguildy Tumuli (SO1776);
  • Broadheath House, Presteigne (SO3363);
  • Elan Valley Vistor's Centre (SN9264);
  • Offa's Dyke (SO2763, SO2872);
  • The Rock Park, Llandrindod Wells (SO0560).


On the creation of the county it was divided into six hundreds. The names of the hundreds, (not always consistently spelt), were as follows:

  • Colwyn
  • Cefnllys (Kevenlleece or Cevnllŷs)
  • Knighton
  • Painscastle
  • Radnor
  • Rhaiadr (or Rhayader)


Urban and rural districts of Radnorshire 1894 - 1974:

  • a) Llandrindod Wells UD,
  • b) Knighton UD,
  • c) Presteigne UD,
  • 1) Rhayader RD,
  • 2) Knighton RD
  • 3) New Radnor RD,
  • 4) Colwyn RD,
  • 5) Painscastle RD

Parish Map


from The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers 1984.

For full size image see Central Wales - Phillimore - open the full view and use the magnify tool.