Victorian Festival 
2017
21st to 27th August 2017

Llandrindod Wells

A BRIEF  HISTORY OF THE MEDICINAL WATERS 

From the 1985 Festival Brochure

Llandrindod , standing on a plateau some 700 feet above sea level, overlooking the Ithon Valley, and surrounded by such green hillsides has been described as the "Hygienic capital of wales."

The waters, which brought the town to notice, were first discovered by the Romans, and there are numerous signs of Roman occupation, mainly at Castell Collen, the Roman camp some two miles from town. There are also signs of Roman settlements along the A483between Llandrindod Wells and Howey, plus the Roman lead mines near the old parish church adjacent to the Golf Course.

The comparatively modern record of the medicinal use of the waters goes back to about 1670, when two of the springs were given poetic names , there being Ffynnon-llwyn-y-gog (the well in the cuckoo's grove) and Ffynknon-Cwm-y-gog (the well of the blacksmith's dingle).

Little was heard of the waters then until 1736 when a local resident, Mrs Jenkins is said to have rediscovered the saline spring and the sulphur well at the Pump House.

Let England boast Bath's crowded springs,

Llandrindod happier Cambria sings,

A greater, though a modern name,

By merit rising into fame.

Let chemists bid the furnace glow, 

Their panacea to bestow;

While art denies the promised aid

To sickness by the search betrayed,

To natures kinder power I trust,

To nature, ever kind and just!

To her Llandrindod I repair

And find a panacea there!

Is't asked, disdainful 'What can please

In such 'sequestered' wilds as these'.

If russet heath or verdant vale,

Or mountains that the skies assail,

Whence pendant woods the trees overlook

And downward tremble in the brook-

If these can charm the wistful eye,

All these Llandrindod can supply.

A further poem published in the 'Gentleman's  Magazine' in 1748, also in praise of Llandrindod Wells led Mr W Grosvenor of Shrewsbury, to move to Llandrindod Wells and invest money in the area. He leased and built several houses and established a total off Llandrindod Hall Farm near the old Parish Church. Further development to the town  occurred when in 1754 and eminent German physician Dr Linden, visited the town and in 1756 wrote a treatise in grateful praise of the medicinal value of the springs. Both these gentlemen are commemorated by having a street named after them.

Between the 1820's and the 1860's the town started to grow with the building of houses, shops and street; and from then the  growth of the Spa has been rapid and continuous. The most recent springs were discovered in rock Park in 1867, where we now have the Rock Park Spa and Pump Rooms.