Flannel Street, Abergavenny
This street name is a link to Abergavenny’s flannel industry. Flannel produced locally was softer than the output of many mills in other areas of Wales.
The street was known as Butcher’s Row in the 17th century. It’s appropriate that the Neil Powell butcher’s business, established in 1857, now occupies numbers 1 to 3.
The Flannel Street name was established by 1816. Trades often clustered in the same streets or areas within towns, and the street’s renaming suggests that a number of flannel manufacturers had set up premises here.
One flannel factory stood at the corner of Flannel Street and Cross Street, on the south side. Plaques by Abergavenny Local History Society mark the site on the current shop building. In 1960 part of one of the old flannel looms was still in situ in the previous building on the site.
In the 1850s number 4 Flannel Street was the premises of fabric dyer Charles Price. He also cleaned upholstery, carpets and clothes, claiming to return them to as-new appearance.
Flannel from the large woollen mills of Mid and South-west Wales was rough, cheap and hard-wearing. Augusta Hall (Lady Llanover) and others wanted to revive the old traditions in South-east Wales. They arranged for attractive new flannels to be made, often in lighter colours. They offered prizes for the best samples, stimulating an increase in the amount and quality of flannel made in Gwent and Glamorgan. In the 1850s Augusta even had a mill built on the Llanover estate to process wool and produce flannel, from which clothes were made for her and the estate workers. The mill was used for a century.
Flannel Street follows the line of a defensive ditch outside the Roman fort. When buildings at the western end of the street were demolished to provide space for the new post office, archaeologists found remains of a military workshop for the Roman Fort nearby, with pieces of legionary armour and scrap bronze.
With thanks to Abergavenny Local History Society
Postcode: NP7 5EG View Location Map