Crickhowell
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Crickhowell (; cy, Crucywel , non-standard spelling ') is a town and
community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place, norms, religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, text ...
in southeastern
Powys Powys (; ) is a county and preserved county in Wales. It is named after the Kingdom of Powys which was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain ...
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
, near
Abergavenny Abergavenny (; cy, Y Fenni , archaically ''Abergafenni'' meaning "mouth of the River Gavenny") is a market town and Community (Wales), community in Monmouthshire, Wales. Abergavenny is promoted as a ''Gateway to Wales''; it is approximately fr ...
, and is in the historic county of
Brecknockshire Brecknockshire ( cy, Sir Frycheiniog), also known as the County of Brecknock, Breconshire, or the County of Brecon is one of thirteen historic counties of Wales, and a former administrative county. Named after its county town of Brecon (archaically ...
.


Location

The town lies on the
River Usk The River Usk (; cy, Afon Wysg) River source, rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain (range), Black Mountain (''y Mynydd Du''), Wales, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Initially forming the boundary betw ...
, on the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the
Brecon Beacons National Park The Brecon Beacons National Park ( cy, Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog) is one of three national parks in Wales, and is centred on the Brecon Beacons range of hills in southern Wales. It includes the Black Mountain (range), Black Mountain ...
. Significant parts of the surrounding countryside, over , form part of the Glanusk Park estate.


Etymology and language

The name Crickhowell is an anglicised spelling that corresponds to the Welsh Crucywel. The name is derived from
Crug Hywel Crug Hywel is an Iron Age Celtic Britons, Celtic hillfort, with a clearly visible earth and stone ditch and rampart. Crug Hywel is approached by a couple of public footpaths across farmland from Crickhowell and Llanbedr, Crickhowell, Llanbedr and ...
, meaning 'Hywel's mound'. This is usually identified with the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
hill fort A hillfort is a type of earthworks (engineering), earthwork used as a fortification, fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze Age or I ...
on nearby Table Mountain, although this has the local name of Mynydd y Begwn. It may be that Crug Hywel refers to the castle mound in the town itself. The language of Crickhowell (and Llangynidr) was originally Welsh. In his 1893 book ''Wales and her language'', John E. Southall, reports that over 60% of the population of Crickhowell spoke Welsh, although the town was only a few miles from more anglicised Abergavenny.


The town

Public services in Crickhowell are provided by
Powys County Council Powys County Council ( cy, Cyngor Sir Powys) is the local authority for Powys, one of the Administrative divisions of Wales, administrative areas of Wales. The County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, County Hall is in Llandrindod Wells. History The cou ...
and to a lesser extent by Crickhowell Town Council. Planning matters fall to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. There is a
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school for primary ed ...
and a
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both '' secondary education, lower secondary education'' (ages 11 to 14) ...
; both act as a central point for a large catchment area. There is some
light industry Light industry are Industry (economics), industries that usually are less Capital intensity, capital-intensive than heavy industry and are more consumer-oriented than business-oriented, as they typically produce smaller consumer goods. Most lig ...
on the outskirts of Crickhowell at the Elvicta Industrial Estate. The town centre includes a variety of traditional businesses, many of which are family owned. Other facilities in Crickhowell include a library, two play areas, public toilets and the CRiC building, which houses a tourist information centre, an internet cafe, an art gallery and a local history archive. There are
pubs A pub (short for public house) is a kind of drinking establishment which is licensed to serve alcoholic drinks for consumption Licensing laws of the United Kingdom#On-licence, on the premises. The term ''public house'' first appeared in ...
,
cafes A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or café is an establishment that primarily serves coffee of various types, notably espresso, latte, and cappuccino. Some coffeehouses may serve cold drinks, such as iced coffee and iced tea, as well as other non-caf ...
,
restaurants A restaurant is a business that prepares and serves food and drinks to customers. Meals are generally served and eaten on the premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and Delivery (commerce), food delivery services. Restaurants vary g ...
and two hotels: " The Bear" and "The Dragon". The churches in Crickhowell include St Edmund's Church which holds a service every Sunday, Crickhowell Evangelical Church, a
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe ...
church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building), a building for Christian religious activities * Church (congregation), a local congregation of a Christian denomination * Church service, a formalized period of Christian communal worship * Chris ...
and a
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
church. In 2015, Crickhowell appeared in a TV documentary, claiming it as the first British settlement to purposely use similar tax avoidance tactics used by multinational businesses to avoid paying taxes themselves, in protest at the way large corporations use legal loopholes to avoid paying UK corporation tax. A market and fair have been recorded since 1281.


Governance

An
electoral ward A ward is a local authority area, typically used for electoral purposes. In some countries, wards are usually named after neighbourhoods, thoroughfares, parishes, landmarks, geographical features and in some cases historical figures connected to t ...
in the same name exists. This ward includes The Vale of Grwyney community and has a total population of 2,801 as of the 2011 census. The current councillor is John Morris, a Liberal Democrat.


Tourism

Today, Crickhowell is a popular
tourist Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tour (disambiguation), tours. Th ...
destination. In 2005 a tourist information centre was built in the centre of town and during summer the town is notably busier. Many people visit Crickhowell to see the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, and perhaps to enjoy some mountain-biking,
camping Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home, either without shelter or using basic shelter such as a tent, or a recreational vehicle. Typically, participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natur ...
,
hillwalking Walking is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United Kingdom, and within England and Wales there is a comprehensive network of Rights of way in England and Wales, rights of way that permits access to the countryside. ...
,
rock climbing Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, across, or down natural rock formations. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically an ...
,
fly-fishing Fly fishing is an angling method that uses a light-weight fishing lure, lure—called an artificial fly—to catch fish. The fly is Casting (fishing), cast using a fly rod, Fishing reel#Fly reel, reel, and specialized Fly line, weighted line. T ...
,
hang-gliding Hang gliding is an air sport or recreational activity in which a pilot flies a light, non-motorised foot-launched heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the fo ...
or caravanning, or simply to tour the area by car, staying in bed-and-breakfast accommodation. The
Green Man Festival The Green Man Festival is an independent music, science and arts festival held annually in mid-August in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. Green Man has evolved into a 25,000 capacity week long event, showcasing predominantly live music (in particular ...
takes place annually in mid-August at nearby Glanusk Park.


Notable buildings

Notable features in Crickhowell include the seventeenth-century stone bridge over the
River Usk The River Usk (; cy, Afon Wysg) River source, rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain (range), Black Mountain (''y Mynydd Du''), Wales, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Initially forming the boundary betw ...
with its odd arches (twelve on one side, thirteen on the other) and its seat built into the walls, the 14th-century
parish church A parish church (or parochial church) in Christianity is the Church (building), church which acts as the religious centre of a parish. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church may play a significant role in co ...
of St Edmund, and the ruins of Crickhowell Castle on the green "tump" set back from the A40
Brecon Brecon (; cy, Aberhonddu; ), archaically known as Brecknock, is a market town in Powys, mid Wales. In 1841, it had a population of 5,701. The population in 2001 was 7,901, increasing to 8,250 at the 2011 census. Historically it was the count ...
to
Abergavenny Abergavenny (; cy, Y Fenni , archaically ''Abergafenni'' meaning "mouth of the River Gavenny") is a market town and Community (Wales), community in Monmouthshire, Wales. Abergavenny is promoted as a ''Gateway to Wales''; it is approximately fr ...
road.


Market Hall

Crickhowell Market Hall Crickhowell Market Hall ( cy, Neuadd y Farchnad Crucywel), formerly Crickhowell Town Hall ( cy, Neuadd y Dref Crucywel), is a municipal building in the High Street, Crickhowell, Powys, Wales. The structure, which accommodates market stalls on th ...
(originally the Town Hall) on The Square dates from 1834, nowadays with market stalls on the ground floor and a cafe in the first floor old courtroom. In 2007 Powys County Council handed over responsibility of the hall to a charity, the Market Hall Trust. The stone building, raised on twin doric columns, is Grade II* listed.


Schools

Crickhowell has two schools: Crickhowell Community Primary School and a
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both '' secondary education, lower secondary education'' (ages 11 to 14) ...
, Crickhowell High School.


Notable people

George Everest Colonel Sir George Everest Commander of the Order of the Bath, CB Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS Fellows of The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, FRAS FRGS (; 4 July 1790 – 1 December 1866) was a British surveyor and geogra ...
, after whom
Mount Everest Mount Everest (; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: ''Chomolungma'' ; ) is List of highest mountains on Earth, Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The China–Nepal border ru ...
is named, may have been born near Crickhowell. His father had an estate there called "Gwernvale Manor". This is now a hotel, known simply as 'The Manor'.) Admiral John Gell died here in 1806 after serving over 30 years in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
. The Glanusk Park estate was the childhood home of the former
royal Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name), a list of people with either the surname or given name * A member of a royal family Places United States * Royal, Arkansas, an unincorporated community * Royal, Illinois, a village * Royal, Iowa, a cit ...
nanny A nanny is a person who provides child care. Typically, this care is given within the children's family setting. Throughout history, nannies were usually servants in large households and reported directly to the lady of the house. Today, modern ...
Tiggy Legge-Bourke Alexandra Shân "Tiggy" Pettifer (née Legge-Bourke; born 1 April 1965) is a British former nanny A nanny is a person who provides child care. Typically, this care is given within the children's family setting. Throughout history, nannies w ...
, who still lives near the town as proprietor of Tŷ'r Chanter
bed and breakfast Bed and breakfast (typically shortened to B&B or BnB) is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes and typically have between four and eleven rooms, wit ...
lodgings.


Golf course

The former Crickhowell & Penmyarth Golf Club was founded in 1897 and played on a course at Glanusk Park. The club and course disappeared in the late 1960s.


Surrounding villages

* Cwmdu * Glangrwyney *
Llanbedr Llanbedr () is a village and community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place, norms, religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and ...
* Llangattock * Llangenny * Llangynidr * Tretower Tretower Castle and Tretower Court, a manor house still in very good condition Cwrt y Gollen, a
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western ...
training base, is near Crickhowell.


References


External links


Crickhowell visitor website
*David John Addi
BBC feature on Crickhowell castlePhotos of Crickhowell and surrounding area on geograph.org.uk
{{authority control Towns in Powys Communities in Powys Black Mountains, Wales River Usk