Powis Castle, Welshpool

PWMP logoPowis Castle, Welshpool

Powis Castle is now owned by the National Trust although the parkland and extensive estate surrounding it are still owned by Lord Powis and the Herbert family, who have held them since 1578. If you've just scanned the QR codes by the Park Lane gates, you can enter the park during daylight hours and follow the tarmac roadway to the castle. This is a permissive route and the Trustees of the Powis Castle Estate ask that no dogs are taken into the Deer Park, and no bicycles or vehicles are to be used. Follow the link below for castle visiting details.

Powis Castle is also renowned for its landscaped garden, developed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The original castle was built in the 13th century by Welsh prince Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn. It was damaged by Llywelyn Fawr after he unified Wales and proclaimed himself Prince of Wales. Gruffudd later regained his lordship and rebuilt the castle.

The castle was transformed into a grand residence in the 1530s by Edward Grey, Lord of Powis. In 1578 it was leased to Sir Edward Herbert. He bought the castle in 1587 and it remained in the Herbert family until 1952, when it was bequeathed to the National Trust, with Lord Powis retaining ownership of the surrounding estate and parkland.

In 1784 Henrietta Herbert of Powis Castle married Edward Clive, whose father Robert – known as “Clive of India” – worked for the East India Company but was authorised to act on behalf of the government to quell rebellions in India. Edward became governor of Madras in 1798, and Henrietta and their daughters lived with him there. She, Edward and Robert brought many precious Indian objects to Britain. You can see more than 300 of them in the castle’s Clive Museum.

The world wars of the 20th century brought tragedy to the Herbert family. In 1916 Viscount Clive, heir to the castle, was hit by a bullet while serving in France with the Welsh Guards. He was moved to London for surgery but died, aged 23. He is buried at Christ Church, Welshpool, where a stained glass window was unveiled in his memory in 1919. He left assets worth £288,947 (over £24m in today’s money) to his brother, Mervyn Horatio Herbert.

Lord Kitchener, whose face stares out from the “Your Country Needs You” recruitment poster, visited Powis Castle many times. In 1902 he reviewed two companies of the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry in the parkland here and presented medals for service in the South African (Boer) War. The outbreak of the First World War forced him to cancel a visit to Powis Castle and he was appointed Secretary of State for War. He died in June 1916 with the sinking of the ship on which he was sailing to Russia.

Mervyn Herbert became a Peer but died, aged 38, in 1943 while serving as a Squadron Leader in the RAF. He is also buried at Christ Church.

Postcode: SY21 8RF     View Location Map

Powis Castle and garden on National Trust website