image for Town item typeHistory & Culture at Newtown/Y Drenewydd




Unknown, free entry


Newtown Town Council

01686 625544


SY16 2BB

Events at this Venue


Newtown, known in Welsh as Y Drenewydd, lies on the River Severn. It was founded in the thirteenth century and flourished in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries around the textile and flannel industry - indeed, it was known as the' Leeds of Wales'. It received a further boost during that time with the arrival of the Montgomeryshire Canal.

The town is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Robert Owen in 1771. Known as Britain's first Socialist, Robert Owen (1771 - 1858) was born over a saddler's shop in Broad Street, Newtown. At the age of ten he began work in the town's flourishing textiles industry, and worked his way up. He became a self-made man, eventually running and owning some of the largest textile factories in Britain.

Robert Owen is recognised for having sowed the seeds of socialism long before Karl Marx. The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard of the abandoned St Mary's Church in Newtown sums up his philosophy: 'It is the one great and universal interest of the human race to be cordially united and to aid each other to the full extent of their capacities.' Owen's former house is now a museum.

Newtown's textile industry went into decline after the town saw Wales' first Chartist demonstration in 1838. Following the decline of that industry, agriculture became the area's main income generator.

The town was given the status 'new town' in 1967, and as a result, has seen a large population growth, changing the rural market town character of the town as companies have established themselves in the area and a new influx of people have settled.

Today, Newtown is a busy regional town. It boasts an important art gallery in Oriel Davies. Gregynnog, a stunning country house built by Lord Davies of Llandinam, and now in the ownership of the University of Wales is nearby. It holds a well regarded arts festival every summer.

Cash PointDisabled accessDisabled toiletsPostboxPublic toiletsTelephone (public)

Open all the time


Free entry



Plan route to Newtown/Y Drenewydd using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SO 108916  Lat: 52.51512 Long: -3.31512

BY TRAIN: Newtown railway station is a 10 minute walk from the town centre. There is ample parking at the station and Taxis are available in the town centre

BY BUS: Newtown bus station is located in the town centre off Back Lane (opposite Argos) with services from / to Shrewsbury, Llanidloes, Machynlleth, Oswestry, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells, Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Birmingham and London.

BY CAR: A458 from Shrewsbury to Welshpool; then A483.

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Newtown station


  • Cash PointCash Point
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • PostboxPostbox
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Telephone (public)Telephone (public)
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