infobox UK place
country = Wales
welsh_name= Aberhonddu
official_name= Brecon
latitude= 51.94677
longitude= -3.39086
unitary_wales= Powys
lieutenancy_wales= Powys
constituency_westminster= Brecon & Radnorshire
post_town= BRECON
postcode_district = LD3
postcode_area= LD
dial_code= 01874
os_grid_reference= SO045285
population= 7,901

Brecon ( _cy. Aberhonddu) is an historic market town in southern Powys, mid Wales, with a population of roughly 8,000 with around 6,000 in the surrounding area. It was the county town of the historic county of Brecknockshire; although its role as such was eclipsed with the formation of Powys it remains an important local centre.

Early History

In Roman Britain Y Gaer, Brecon was established as a Roman cavalry base for the conquest of Roman Wales and Brecon was first established as a military base.

After the Dark Ages the original Welsh name of the kingdom in whose territory Brecon stands was 'Brycheiniog', which later became anglicised to Brecknockshire or Breconshire, and probably derives from the personal name of Welsh Prince Brychan, the eponymous founder of the kingdom. The English name of Brecon town may also be derived from Brychan.

The Welsh name, Aberhonddu, means 'mouth of the Honddu'. It is derived from the River Honddu, which meets the River Usk near the town centre, a short distance away from the River Tarrell which enters the Usk a few hundred metres upstream.

Before the building of the bridge over the Usk, Brecon was one of the few places where the river could be forded.

Coming of the Normans

The confluence of the Honddu and the River Usk made for a valuable defensive position for the Norman castle [] which overlooks the town, built by Bernard de Neufmarche in the late 11th century.

Priory and cathedral

Less than a mile from the castle stands Brecon Cathedral, a fairly modest building compared to many cathedrals. The role of Cathedral is a fairly recent one, and was bestowed upon the church in 1923 with the formation of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon from what was previously the Archdeaconry of Brecon - a part of the diocese of St David's.

Present Day Brecon

Today Brecon is a thriving community, and is popular as a holiday destination, being on the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, affording among the best views of the Brecon Beacons themselves, a range of hills, including Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in southern Britain at 886m.

August sees an annual Brecon Jazz Festival held in the town centre, with several open air venues and indoor concerts held in several venues, including the town's market hall and the recently opened 400-seat Theatr Brycheiniog next to the redeveloped Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal basin to the east of the town centre.

Brecon's Speakers Club [ Brecon Speakers Club] opened in January 2008.

Military Town

The east end of town also has two military establishments:
* Dering Lines, home to the Infantry Battle School (formerly Infantry Training Centre Wales), [ [ Brecon ] ] where Infantry Officers and Other Ranks are trained, and
* The Barracks, home to 160 (Wales) Brigade. Eight miles to the west of Brecon is Sennybridge Training Area, an important training facility for the British Army. [ [ Welcome to the new British Army Website - British Army Website ] ]

Cattle Market

The west end of Brecon has a small industrial area, and recent years have seen the cattle market moved from the centre of the town to this area, with markets held several times a week.


Brecon has many primary schools, with a secondary school and further education college (Coleg Powys) on the northern edge of the town. Due to Brecon being a rural area, bus trips of over an hour are not uncommon for pupils making their way to school. The town is also home to Christ College, a private boarding school.


Brecon is located near where the east-west A40 (Monmouth-Carmarthen-Fishguard) meets the north-south A470 (Cardiff-Merthyr Tydfil-Llandudno). The nearest airport is Cardiff International Airport.


The Neath and Brecon Railway reached Brecon in 1867, terminating at Free Street. By this point, Brecon already had two other railway stations :
*Watton - from 1 May, 1863 when the Brecon and Merthyr Railway to Merthyr Tydfil was opened for traffic
*Mount Street - in September 1864, with Llanidloes by the Mid Wales Railway which linked to the Midland Railway at Talyllyn Junction. The three companies consolidated their stations at a newly rebuilt Free Street Joint Station from 1871 [ [ Victorian Brecon - railway stations ] ] . Through services from the Midlands ceased in 1930, while services to Neath ceased in October 1962.

Town twinning

*flagicon|United States Saline, Michigan
*flagicon|Germany Blaubeuren, Baden-Württemberg
*flagicon|France Gouesnou, Brittany
*flagicon|Cornwall Wadebridge, Cornwall

Points of interest

*Brecon Beacons and Brecon Beacons Mountains Centre
*Brecon Cathedral, the seat of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon
*St. Mary's Church
*Brecon Jazz Festival
*Brecknock Museum
*South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon
*Theatr Brycheiniog (Brecon Theatre)

Notable Residents

* Roger Glover - Deep Purple
* Sarah Siddons - actress †
* Thomas Coke - the first Methodist Bishop, who previously had served as Mayor of Brecon in 1772 †


*Brecon hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1889.
*Brecon is a regular gig venue for the popular Indie music band The Automatic
*Edwin Prosser The first aeroplane to fly over the town of Brecon. The pioneering pilot, aged only 19, was Edwin Prosser. He was photographed after landing his 50 h.p. biplane at Slwch Farm near Brecon on 1st November, 1913, and flew over the town on the following day.

Additional photographs


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brecon — Brecon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brecon — Le centre ville …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brecon — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Centro de la ciudad. Brecon (en galés Aberhonddu) es una ciudad histórica en la zona meridional de Powys, en Wales, con una población total de cerca de 14.000. Fue la ciudad capital de el condado histórico de B …   Wikipedia Español

  • Brecon — Brecon, Stadt, so v.w. Brecknock 2) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Brecon — Brecon, Stadt, s. Brecknock …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Brecon — ▪ Wales, United Kingdom also called  Brecknock , Welsh  Aberhonddu        cathedral town, Powys county, historic county of Brecknockshire, Wales, on the River Usk at its confluence with the Honddu and Tarell. The town grew up around a Norman… …   Universalium

  • Brecon — Original name in latin Brecon Name in other language Aberhonddu, Brecknock, Brecon, Brekon, Brekun, Brycheiniog, HMS Brecon, beulekon, Брекон, Брекън State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 51.94612 latitude 3.38887 altitude 136… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Brecon — or Brecknock geographical name 1. (or Breconshire) (or Brecknockshire) former county SE Wales capital Brecon 2. town SE Wales in Powys population 7422 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Brecon — This is a locational surname. It can be English, Scottish or Welsh. It may originate from the village of Brecon in the former county of Breconshire or Brecknockshire, East Wales, or from the village of Bracken in Yorkshire, or the town of Brechin …   Surnames reference

  • Brecon — noun A town in Powys, Wales …   Wiktionary

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