English: Builth Wells bridge Main A483 river crossing in Builth Wells (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bealt, Beauhalt, or Builth, is situated in a most delightful spot, on the river Wye.  That it is a place of great antiquity is indisputable, though the learned are not agreed whether it was the Ballaeum Sylurum of the Romans, or not; however, that it was one of their stations is evident, from there being still some remains of a camp; and pavements, with other pieces antiquity, have been discovered at different periods.  The Britons, when they fled into these parts from the superior power of the Saxons, built a strong castle here, to prevent the incursions of their merciless enemies.  But, the English having taken possession of it soon after the Norman conquest, one of the Welsh princes seized upon it, and laid the whole in ashes.

English: Cosy Corner Tea Room Restaurant, Builth Wells. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was however afterwards rebuilt by the Mortimers earls of March; but, a fire having accidentally broke out in that part of the town next the river in the year 1690, the remains of the castle and many houses were totally demolished.
The pleasant and beautiful situation of this town has induced many people to settle in it, and of late years a manufactory of stockings has been established in it, by which many hands are employed.  The houses in general are very neat, and the streets regularly and well paved; but there are not any public structures that merit particular notice.  The town has two weekly markets, Monday and Saturday; and fairs June 27, Oct. 2, and Dec. 6.  It is distant from London 171 miles, 15 from Brecknock, 14 from Rhayader, 20 from the Hay, 20 from Kington, and 21 from Llandovery.

The following are the principal inhabitants:

Gentry, &c.

Cowper John, Gent, (F.)
Evans John, Esq. (F.)
Evans Powell, Gent. (F.)
Lloyd Mrs.
Morgan Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Price Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Prothero Richard, Esq. (F.)
Rusbatch Mr. John


Jones Rev. Mr. Vicar


Jones Thomas, Surgeon
Edwards Prince Samuel, Surgeon


Evans Thomas, Attorney
Jones William, Attorney

Traders, &c.

English: The Barley Mow, Builth Wells (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adney George, Farmer
Bowen Thomas, Shoemaker
Butts R. Baker
Clarke – , Land-surveyor
Daniell William, Butcher
Daniell Daniel, Butcher
Davis Thomas, Shoemaker
Davis John, King’s Head Inn
Davis Mary, Flour-dealer
Davis Edward, Mercer
Davis Philip, Taylor
Davis Hannah, Baker
Davis Lloyd, Currier
Davis James, Victualler, (Flag-and-Castle Inn)
Davis Rees, Shoemaker
Davis W. Shoemaker
Davis D. Watchmaker
Davis Samuel, Harper
Davis Rees, (F.) Musician
Davis David, (F.) Maltster
Davis D. Dealer in Earthenware
Edwards Richard, Hatter
Evans Thomas, Shoemaker
Evans John, Victualler
Farr William, Weaver
Games John, Currier
Harbert William
Havard John, Shoemaker
Hodges William, Hair-dresser
Hurds Robert, Baker
James Richard, (F.) Sadler
James John, Weaver
Jinks George, Hair-dresser
Jones John, Sadler
Jones D. Joiner and Victualler
Jones Abigal, Crown Inn
Jones, B. (F.) Smith
Jones John, Glazier
Jones D. Supervisor
Jones James, Victualler
Lea Thomas, Royal Oak Inn
Lees Lewis, Victualler
Lewis Rees
Lewis Lewis, (F.) Tanner
Morgan John, Breeches-maker
Morris Thomas, Butcher
Morris Thomas, (F.) Shoemaker
Newman Roger, Baker
Parker Thomas, (F.) Farmer
Powell Peter, Smith
Powell Thomas, (F.) Carpenter
Price Wm. (F.) Carpenter & Auctioneer
Price John, Glazier
Price Thomas, Farrier
Price John, (F.) Sadler
Price William, Farmer
Price Thomas, Chandler & Soap-boiler
Price John, Victualler, (Greyhound)
Price James, Victualler
Pritchard Daniel, Farmer
Pritchard David, (F.) Mercer & Grocer
Pritchard Thomas, Post-master & Red Lion Inn
Pritchard Miss, School-mistress
Probert Robert, Butcher
Probert Robert, Victualler
Prosser Margaret, Glover
Prothero Thomas, (F.) Mercer and Grocer
Prothero R. Taylor
Prothero Hugh, Cooper
Samuel Ann, Mantua-maker
Stanton Thomas, Sadler
Thomas John, Shoemaker
Vaughan Thomas, Habit-maker
Williams D. Mercer and Grocer
Williams Morgan, Maltster
Worsenam Thomas, Skinner

The little vale of Builth has always been justly admired by all travellers, for the many picturesque views in and about it. – A mile N.W. of the town is the park wells, well known for the virtue of its salt springs, &c. and about seven miles N.E. in the county of Radnor, is Llandrindod Wells, too well known for the value of its three different springs, to need any encomiums upon it in this work, (see Dr. Lindon on the virtues of Llandrindod waters)  Llanwortyd well is about 11 miles westward of the town of Builth, a most efficacious relief of all scorbutic cases; this spring was discovered about sixty years ago by a clergyman.

English: Pencerrig Hotel The Pencerrig Hotel was formerly the home of the Welsh landscape artist Thomas Jones (1742-1803), who was born in the local spa town of Llandrindod Wells. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thomas Jones (1742–1803) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gentlemen’s seats in the neighbourhood. – A mile north of the town, in the county of Radnor, is Llanelwell Hall, the seat of – Gwynne, Esq. – Half a mile above it, upon the side of a hill, is Willfield, a new-built villa, belonging to David Thomas, Esq. the situation of this house is delightful, particularly so for a summer residence, having a beautiful view from the south front of the vale of Builth, the town, two stone bridges, and the junctions of three rivers, viz. the Wye, the Irvan, and the Wevery; when the plantations come to perfection, from the variety of the grounds and the different views northward and southward, this will be one of the most agreeable spots in the county. – on the Llandrendod road, two miles from Builth, is Penkerrig, the seat of Thomas Jones, Esq. – West of the town is Killmarry, the seat of Thomas Price, Esq. – Seven miles west is Garth, the seat of Howell Gwynne, Esq. – Nine miles west is Abarranell, the seat of John Lloyd, Esq. – Ten miles west is Llevyn Madock, the seat of – Thomas, Esq. – Seven miles east is Llangoid-Castle, the seat of Sir Edward Williams, Bart. – Eight miles to the south is Trebariud, the seat of – Vaughan, Esq.

Source: Universal British Directory 1791

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