Lyonshall Genealogy, History and Geography.

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Railways and Byways

Railways and Byways


The byways of England date back to The Bronze Age (2,400 BC) but the first proper metalled roads were built by The Romans (43-409 AD).  Many of these were used by The Anglo-Saxons with a few notable additions but the Norman Conquest of 1066 led to more roads being constructed to link major towns and castles.  It was the 'Industrial Revolution' that made the construction of canals, tramways and eventually Railways essential for commercial reasons.

Lyonshall is a good example with the roads linking Hereford, Ludlow and Brecon with their Norman Garrisons.  Lyonshall Castle was the meeting point for these major routes.  The Kington to Brecon 'tramroad' was built in 1796 to carry stone from the quarries to the iron works at Merthyr Tydfil and return with coal.  When this proved inefficient it was replaced with a Railway in 1862.  The Kington to Eardisley Railway was in part a "vanity project' by the local landowners and the Great Western Railway 'bailed it out' in 1875.  It finally closed in 1940 but the Leominster to Kington and Presteigne lines ran through the Parish until 1964.

Railway history is a fascinating and rewarding study of England's social development.  

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