Mid Wales Towns Tour Journey Notes 1 - Shrewsbury to Welshpool.
Times in brackets are approximate passing times - assuming departure from Shrewsbury on schedule at 11.29. Left or Right refers to when facing direction of travel.
(11.35) R - We pass the Shropshire village of Hanwood and then south of a smaller village - Westbury (11.41).
(11.44) Croeso y Cymru - Welcome to Wales! We cross the border just south of Middletown. R - Breidden Hill is a volcanic hill that rises some 1200 feet. On the top is Rodney’s Pillar - erected in 1781 by local landowners that supplied oak from their forests which was shipped down the Severn River to Bristol where Admiral Sir George Rodney’s fleet was built. A veteran of many campaigns, his fleet was used in the West Indies to defeat French and Spanish ambitions for Jamaica and the American War of Independence.
Up to 65 feet wide and 8 feet deep, Offa’s Dyke is named after the 8th Century King of Mercia who traditionally is believed to have ordered its construction. It roughly follows the current border between England and Wales although here it is about 4 miles to the west and not visible from the train.
We are now in the county of Powys which came into being in 1974 with the former counties of Montgomeryshire (Welshpool was the county town), Radnorshire and Brecknockshire.
(11.47) R - We go over the A458 level crossing and then pass the Welshpool Livestock Market - important for Mid Wales most numerous inhabitants - sheep! Capable of holding 15,000 sheep (as well as 1,200 cattle), this is the largest one day prime lamb market in Western Europe. There is also a produce market in the town itself.
11.50 Arrive at Welshpool and leave the station by the footbridge.