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Tower House including attached shop

A Grade II* Listed Building in Talgarth, Powys

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Latitude: 51.9958 / 51°59'44"N

Longitude: -3.2325 / 3°13'57"W

OS Eastings: 315473

OS Northings: 233751

OS Grid: SO154337

Mapcode National: GBR YW.JJSC

Mapcode Global: VH6BV.X3GD

Plus Code: 9C3RXQW8+8X

Entry Name: Tower House including attached shop

Listing Date: 27 March 1990

Last Amended: 14 August 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7502

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Located at the corner of the Square, at the side of the A479, adjoining the bridge over the River Enig.

County: Powys

Community: Talgarth

Community: Talgarth

Built-Up Area: Talgarth

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

Tagged with: Building

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Talgarth was a borough from the early C14 and had 73 burgesses in 1309, with grants of market and fairs. The tower house is probably of the C14, so placed as to guard the river crossing and town. It was described by Leland as 'a little prison'. It has C19 extensions on both west and east sides providing shops.


Rubble stonework with stone slate roof, slate to extensions. The tower itself is square in plan, and consists of 3 storeys and cellar, the walls 1.68 thick, originally rising to a defensible parapet, probably machicolated with a paved wall walk. Added to this structure on the E, a 2-storey rubble shop extension with a pitched slate roof; this was initially a lower lean-to, the evidence surviving as a line on the left gable. Two 6-paned sashes over a simple classical C19 pilastered shop front with bracketed cornice decorated with anthemia, and a central double-doored entrance with overlight. On the SW side is a further C19 2-storey and basement lean-to addition, rising directly from the river, with a rubble chimney stack and various C19 windows with brick quoining. Shop front and door to road, and a boarded door from cellar to river bank. The upper part of the medieval tower above the shop has a short chamfered lancet window set off-centre, with the remains of machicolations to the right, and on the SW side a gargoyle. The NW side is largely obscured by the early C20 National Westminster Bank replacing a steep roofed building, but retains a slightly projecting garderobe. The SE elevation of the tower has a small paned window to the top floor, a round-arched window on the intermediate floor, and a blocked doorway on the ground level. The building attached on the SW side conceals a small lancet window on the first floor of the tower.


The tower has a fireplace in the SW wall obscured by a C19 carved Jacobean style surround, and in the SE corner, a lobby at the foot of the stair rising in the SE wall thickness is lit by a small window. The stairs are covered with stepped stone slabs, and, facing at the top a garderobe in the NW wall, with a low wall cupboard adjacent. The first floor has two off-centre opposing half-round corbels for a former floor beam. The fireplace is obscured. A second wall stair commences from the window embrasure on the SE wall leading to the top floor with a high ceiling, and opposite the opening The stair continues up to the former parapet walk. On this floor the wall fireplace has a megalithic lintel, 0.7m thick, and there is a second window on the NW side with access from the reveal to another garderobe. Roof structure replaced late C20.

The cellar, also accessed by wall stairs, has the remains of a stone built oven on the SW wall, and an opening to the C19 kitchen in the SW extension. It is said locally to have underground passages to Talgarth Church, to Bronllys Castle and, more ambitiously, to Cardiff.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at II* as one of only two tower houses in the County and one of the very few such structures to survive in Wales.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Talgarth Bridge
    Located at the centre of the town, spanning the River Enig, and adjoining the Tower House.
  • II Talgarth Mill
    Located on the right bank of the river Enig, about 50m above Talgarth Bridge, with access at the side of the Town Hall.
  • II The Bridge End Inn
    Located immediately to the SW of the River Enig bridge, on the corner of Regent Street.
  • II Bridge House
    Located along the left (W) bank of the River Enig, immediately N of Talgarth Bridge.
  • II Glanant
    Located along the left (W) bank of the River Enig, immediately N of Talgarth Bridge.
  • II Town Hall
    Located on a prominent site in the centre of Talgarth.
  • II Telephone Call-box on The Square
    On E side of The Square in the centre of the town; to N of Town Hall.
  • II Old Post Office
    On the south side of the junction of High Street and Bell Street.

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