Online Encyclopedia

HAY

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 105 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HAY, a market town and urban district of Breconshire, south Wales, on the Hereford and Brecon section of the Midland railway, 1642 m. from London, 20 M. W. of Hereford and 17 M. N.E. of Brecon by rail. Pop. (1901), 1680. The Golden Valley railway to Pontrilas (184 m.), now a branch of the Great Western, also starts from Hay. The town occupies rising ground on the south (right) bank of the Wye, which here separates the counties of Brecknock and Radnor but immediately below enters Herefordshire, from which the town is separated on the E. by the river Dulas. Leland and Camden ascribe a Roman origin to the town, and the former states that quantities of Roman coin (called by the country people " Jews' money ") and some pottery had been found near by, but of this no other record is known. The Wye valley in this district served as the gate between the present counties of Brecknock and Hereford, and, though Welsh continued for two or three centuries after the Norman Conquest to be the spoken language of the adjoining part of Herefordshire south of the Wye (known as Archenfield), there must have been a " burh " serving as a Mercian outpost at Glasbury, 4 M. W. of Hay, which was itself several miles west of Offa's Dyke. But the earliest settlement at Hay probably dates from the Norman conquest of the district by Bernard Newmarch about to88 (in which year he granted Glasbury, probably as the first fruits of his invasion, to St Peter's, Gloucester). The manor of Hay, which probably corresponded to some existing Welsh division, he gave to Sir Philip Walwyn, but it soon reverted to the donor, and its subsequent devolution down to its forfeiture to the crown as part of the duke of Buckingham's estate in 1521,=was identical with that of the lordship of Brecknock (see BRECONSHIRE). The castle, which was probably built in Newmarch's time and rebuilt by his great-grandson William de Breos, passed on the latter's attainder to the crown, but was again seized by de Breos's second son, Giles, bishop of Hereford, in 1215, and re-taken by King John in the following year. In 1231 it was burnt by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, and in the Barons' War it was taken in 1263 by Prince Edward, but in the following year was burnt by Simon Montfort and the last Llewelyn. From the 16th century the castle has been used as a private residence
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