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Powys. County of the middle Welsh borderland. The name derives from the Welsh kingdom of post-Roman times. With Norman control it was divided into a series of marcher lordships which were themselves integrated in 1536 into the counties of Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire. It was not until the Local Government Act of 1972 that the name was revived and given, not completely appropriately, to the new county formed by the merging of Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, and Breconshire. The White Paper ‘Local Government in Wales’ referred to it as ‘a reasonably homogeneous area, even though its resources are poor’. The adverb ‘reasonably’ hides considerable diversity, but it was because of limited size (Radnorshire had a population of only 23,360) and resources that no changes were made in 1994 and in spite of active campaigning by Montgomeryshire, Powys was retained in 1996 as a unitary authority, with only minor adjustments.

Harold Carter

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Powys County in e central Wales; the county town is Llandrindod Wells. There are Iron Age and Roman remains. Offa's Dyke and the later Norman castles were built as border defences by the Welsh and English. During the Middle Ages, Powys was a powerful kingdom. The county includes fertile lowland valleys, highlands and plateau regions. It is drained by the Usk, Wye and Taff rivers. Agriculture and forestry are the main occupations. Area: 5077sq km (1960sq mi). Pop. (2000) 126,700.

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Powys a former Welsh kingdom. At its most powerful in the early 12th century, Powys was divided in 1160 into two principalities. It was conquered by the English in 1284 after the death of the Welsh Prince Llewelyn in 1282.

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