In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Radnorshire like this:
Radnorshire, inland co. of South Wales, bounded N. by Montgomeryshire and Shropshire, E. by Herefordshire, S. and SW. by Brecknockshire, and W. by Cardiganshire; greatest length, N. and S., 30 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 34 miles; area, 276,552 ac., pop. 23,528. Radnorshire is the smallest of the 6 counties of South Wales. In the E. and S. are some comparatively level tracts, including the Vale of Radnor, but the greater portion of the surface is hilly, or even mountainous, the Forest of Radnor reaching in its highest summit an elevation of 2163 ft. ...
Oats and wheat are grown in the lower parts, but attention is chiefly directed to the rearing of stock; the higher parts serve only for the feeding of sheep and the breeding of Welsh ponies. Butter is made in large quantities. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The minerals are of little value, except the limestone which underlies the Vale of Radnor. The mfrs. are very limited, chiefly flannel. The forests, which at one time were of great extent, have long disappeared. There are several medicinal mineral springs, those of Llandrindod being in great repute. None of the rivers (Wye, Elan, Ithon, &c.) are navigable, but the railway communication is good. Radnorshire was made a county by Henry VIII. It comprises 6 hundreds and 60 pars, with part of 1 other. It contains no parl. or mun. bor. It is in the dioceses of St David's and Hereford. It returns 1 member to Parliament.
Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Radnorshire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Radnorshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th September 2016
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