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Ancient extent of Montgomeryshire
1831 area 483,323 acres (1,955.939 km2)
HQ Montgomery
Chapman code MGY
Succeeded by Powys
1831 population
- 1831 density
Governance Montgomeryshire County Council (1889-1974)

Montgomeryshire, also known as Maldwyn (Welsh: Sir Drefaldwyn) is one of thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It is named after one of William the Conqueror's main counsellors, Roger de Montgomerie, who was the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.

Montgomeryshire constitutes the northern part of the principal area of Powys (except a few communities added to Powys in 1996 that are within the historic boundaries of Denbighshire). The population of this Montgomeryshire area was 59,474 according to the 2001 census.[2]

Montgomery is considered the county town, though the administrative functions were shared with Machynlleth. The borders of Montgomeryshire correspond roughly to the medieval kingdom of Powys Wenwynwyn. It is also the birth place of Saint Richard Gwyn.

The county flower of Montgomeryshire is Spergula arvensis (also called corn spurrey).


The county is bounded to the north by Denbighshire, to the east and south east by Shropshire, to the south by Radnorshire, to the south west by Cardiganshire and to the west and north west by Merionethshire. It was formed under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542. Ancient Lords of the Manor were of the surname Shropshire. Its cantrefi included:

  • Cyfeiliog
  • Arwystli
  • Mawddwy
  • Mochnant
  • Deuddwy
  • Ystrad Marchell
  • Gorddwr

It also included the Lordships of Cydewain and Mechain


The area is almost wholly mountainous, although there are some fertile valleys in the east. The highest point is Cadair Berwyn at 2,723 ft (830 m). Its main rivers are the River Severn and the River Dyfi. Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir supplying Liverpool.

The main towns are Llanfyllin, Machynlleth, Llanidloes, Montgomery, Newtown and Welshpool. The main industries are agriculture (mainly hill farming) and tourism.

Places of special interest:

  • Bryntail lead mine buildings near Llanidloes
  • Centre for Alternative Technology at Llwyngwern near Machynlleth
  • Dolforwyn Castle near Abermule
  • Montgomery Castle in Montgomery
  • Powis Castle in Welshpool
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Wales (MOMA), Machynlleth
  • The Robert Owen Museum, Newtown
  • Trefeglwys Tumuli
  • Mathrafal the seat of the Welsh kings and princes of Powys
  • Meifod

Memorable Montgomeryshire[]

To walk up and down through Wales, following Offa's Dyke Path, the Marches Way, the Cambrian Way or Glyndŵr's Way one must at some point travel through Montgomeryshire as it is the only county that stretches from the English border to the Dovey estuary at Cardigan Bay, east to west.

See also[]

History of Wales


Coordinates: 52°35′N 3°30′W / 52.583, -3.5

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Montgomeryshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.