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POWYS (/ˈpoʊ.ɪs/ or /ˈpaʊ.ɪs/ ; Welsh : ) is a principal area , local-government county and preserved county in Mid Wales . It is named after the successor Kingdom of Powys , which formed after the Romans withdrew from Britain .

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 History * 3 Heraldry * 4 Government * 5 Quality of life

* 6 Places of interest

* 6.1 Cave systems * 6.2 Lakes, reservoirs and waterfalls * 6.3 Museums and exhibitions * 6.4 Castles * 6.5 Walks * 6.6 Others

* 7 Main railway lines * 8 Heritage railway lines * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

GEOGRAPHY

_See the list of places in Powys
Powys
for all towns and villages in Powys._

Powys
Powys
covers the historic counties of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire , most of Brecknockshire (Breconshire), and a small part of Denbighshire
Denbighshire
– an area of 5,179 km² (2,000 sq miles), making it the largest unitary authority in Wales
Wales
by land area and about the same size as the country of Trinidad and Tobago .

It is bounded to the north by Gwynedd
Gwynedd
, Denbighshire
Denbighshire
and Wrexham ; to the west by Ceredigion
Ceredigion
and Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
; to the east by Shropshire and Herefordshire ; and to the south by Rhondda Cynon Taf
Rhondda Cynon Taf
, Merthyr Tydfil , Caerphilly , Blaenau Gwent , Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire
and Neath Port Talbot .

Most of Powys
Powys
is mountainous, with north-south transport being difficult.

The majority of the Powys
Powys
population lives in villages and small towns. The largest towns are Newtown , Ystradgynlais , Brecon , and Welshpool with populations of 12,783, 9,004, 7,901 and 6,269 respectively (2001). Powys
Powys
has the lowest population density of all the principal areas of Wales.

Just under a third of the residents have Welsh linguistic skills: Welsh speakers are concentrated mainly in the rural areas both in and around Machynlleth , Llanfyllin and Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant
Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant
(where William Morgan first translated the whole Bible into Welsh in 1588) in Montgomeryshire (Welsh : _Sir Drefaldwyn_), and the industrial area of Ystradgynlais in the extreme south-west of Brecknockshire (Welsh : _Sir Frycheiniog_). Radnorshire (Welsh : _Sir Faesyfed_) was almost completely Anglicised by the end of the 18th century. The 2001 census records show 21% of the population of Powys
Powys
were able to speak Welsh at that time, the same as for Wales
Wales
as a whole.

HISTORY

The county is named after the ancient Welsh Kingdom of Powys , which in the sixth century AD included the northern two thirds of the area as well as most of Shropshire
Shropshire
and adjacent areas now in England, and came to an end when it was occupied by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd during the 1260s.

The uplands retain evidence of occupation from long before the Kingdom of Powys, and before the Romans, who built roads and forts across the area. There are 1130 identified burial mounds within the county, of varying styles and ages, dating from 4000BC to 1000BC, most of them belonging to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
. Of these, 339 are Scheduled Monuments . Standing stones, most again dating to the Bronze Age, also occur in large numbers, 276 being found across the county, of which 92 are scheduled. From the Iron Age
Iron Age
, the county has 90 scheduled Hill forts and a further 54 enclosures and settlement sites. Main article: Scheduled Monuments in Powys

HERALDRY

The gold in the county coat of arms symbolises the wealth of the area. Black is for both mining and the Black Mountains . The fountain is a medieval heraldic charge displayed as a roundel barry wavy Argent and Azure. It represents water, and refers to both the water catchment area and the rivers and lakes. Thus, the arms contain references to the hills and mountains, rivers and lakes, water supply and industry.

The crest continues the colouring of the arms. A tower has been used in preference to a mural crown, which alludes to the county's military history and remains. From the tower rises a red kite , a bird almost extinct elsewhere in Britain but thriving here. The bird is "semy of black lozenges " for the former coal mining industry while the golden fleece it carries is a reference to the importance of sheep rearing in Powys.

The county motto is: _ Powys
Powys
– the paradise of Wales_ (Welsh : _ Powys
Powys
Paradwys Cymru_).

GOVERNMENT

Powys
Powys
from 1974–1996. See also: Powys County Council

Powys
Powys
was originally created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 , and originally had Montgomery and Radnor and Brecknock as districts under it, which were based directly on the former administrative counties.

On 1 April 1996, the districts were abolished, and Powys
Powys
was reconstituted as a unitary authority , with a minor border adjustment in the north-east (specifically the addition of the communities of Llansilin and Llangedwyn from Glyndwr district in Clwyd , along with the movement of the border so that all of, and not as previously half of, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant
Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant
was in Powys, all historically part of Denbighshire
Denbighshire
).

The first Lord Lieutenant of Powys was previously the Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire . The Lord Lieutenant of Brecknockshire and Lord Lieutenant of Radnorshire were appointed as Lieutenants.

The present Lord Lieutenant is The Hon. Mrs Elizabeth Shân Legge-Bourke LVO of Crickhowell
Crickhowell
.

In December 2007 Powys
Powys
was awarded Fairtrade
Fairtrade
County status by the Fairtrade
Fairtrade
Foundation.

QUALITY OF LIFE

Recent research suggests that Powys
Powys
is the happiest place in the UK, although the researchers noted that the numbers were not statistically significant.

PLACES OF INTEREST

CAVE SYSTEMS

* Ogof Agen Allwedd * Ogof Craig a Ffynnon * Ogof Ffynnon Ddu * Ogof y Daren Cilau

LAKES, RESERVOIRS AND WATERFALLS

* The Elan Valley Reservoirs : * Lake Vyrnwy * Llangorse Lake * Llyn Clywedog * Pistyll y Llyn – one of the highest waterfalls in Wales * Pistyll Rhaeadr * Water-breaks-its-neck – waterfall in Radnorshire * Waterfall Country , waterfalls on the upper tributaries of the River Neath

MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITIONS

* Brecknock Museum , Brecon , * Centre for Alternative Technology
Centre for Alternative Technology
, Machynlleth * Llandrindod Wells Museum * Llanidloes Museum * Newtown Textile Museum * Powysland Museum , Welshpool * The Judge\'s Lodging , Presteigne * The Old Bell Museum , Montgomery * The Robert Owen
Robert Owen
Museum, Newtown * The Rhayader
Rhayader
Museum text-align:left; vertical-align:top;">

CASTLES

* Dolforwyn Castle * Montgomery Castle * Powis Castle * Tretower Castle
Tretower Castle
* Aberedw Castle * Castell Du * Bronllys Castle

WALKS

* The Wye Valley Walk from Chepstow
Chepstow
to Rhayader
Rhayader
* Offa\'s Dyke Path * Glyndŵr\'s Way * Severn Way * Taff Trail * The Sarn Sabrina circular walk from Llanidloes via the source of the River Severn (Welsh : _ Afon Hafren _) in Hafren Forest , Plynlimon .

OTHERS

* The Black Mountains * Brecon Beacons * Radnor Forest * Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway * Welsh National Cycle Route * Y Gaer, Brecon Roman fort * Battle of Bryn Glas site * The Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells, Powys * Three stages of the 2015 Wales
Wales
Rally GB

MAIN RAILWAY LINES

* Cambrian Line * Heart of Wales
Wales
Line

HERITAGE RAILWAY LINES

* Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway * Brecon Mountain Railway

SEE ALSO

* List of Lord Lieutenants of Powys
Powys
* List of High Sheriffs of Powys
Powys
* List of schools in Powys

REFERENCES

* ^ _POH-iss_ with the vowels of "goat" and "kit" or _POW-iss_ , with the vowels of "mouth" and "kit" * ^ Welsh Language Board , (disbanded 2012), Archived version of the statistics page, 30 March 2012 * ^ Clwyd- Powys
Powys
Archaeological Trust: Introducing Prehistoric burial and ritual sites. Accessed 6 April 2014 * ^ "Powys". _Heraldry of the world_. (Outdated file.) * ^ Sally Williams. "FairTrade Resource Network". Retrieved 3 July 2008. * ^ _A_ _B_ McGrath, Matt (28 August 2008). "Britain\'s Happiest Places M