THE HISTORY OF PRINTING IN MONTGOMERYSHIRE, 1789-1960 BY J. IORWERTH DAVIES, F.L.A. (Continued from Vol. 66, 1978) The Welshpool Printers Until April 1974, the town of Welshpool had the distinction of being the second largest borough in area in the United Kingdom. It extended to over 20,000 acres and its population was the largest of any town in Montgomeryshire. In 1263, borough status was conferred by Griffith ap Gwenwynwyn, one of the Welsh princes and in 1406, a second charter gave the town its market rights and other privileges.1 A wealthy market which has been held there for over five centuries has made the town the established centre for the agricultural industry for over a wide area of mid-Wales and the border counties. The history of Welshpool has been closely connected with that of Powys Castle, at one time the home of Welsh princes and medieval lords of Powys and, since the time of Queen Elizabeth the first, the seat of the Herbert family. The town's connection with the aristocracy of the castle, its traditional affinity with the anglican church, together with the proximity of Shropshire, gives it an air of an English town. In this respect it is quite different from any of the other towns in Montgomeryshire. This picture of the town changes only on Monday, when the people of the large rural hinterland attend the weekly market and the Welsh language can be heard spoken on the streets of Welshpool. One of its religious houses, the Cistercian Abbey of Strata Marcella, founded by the poet-prince Owain Cyfeiliog in 11702 holds an important place in the history of the Welsh literature. It was here that the manuscript containing Llyfr Gwyn 1 Pearson, J. M. Welshpool past and present. Borough of Welshpool Official guide. Welshpool David Rowlands Ltd., County Times Press, 1952. p. 23. 8 Williams, D. H. The Welsh Cistercians. Pontypool, Hughes & Sons Ltd., 1969. p. 15.