Montgomery is a small town in mid Wales - it was originally the county town of Montgomeryshire, but now lies within the modern county of Powys. Situated on a wooded hill near the east bank of the river Severn, it is seven miles south of Welshpool and only a mile to the west of Offa's Dyke and the border with England.
It was here that the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger of Montgomery first built a castle in the late 11th century to help defend Shropshire from Welsh raids. As Roger was from the town of Montgomeri in the Pays d'Auge region of Normandy, he naturally named the castle and settlement after his home town. The Welsh however call Montgomery, "Trefaldwyn", "Baldwin's town" recognising a later Norman administrator.
Roger of Montgomery's castle was built of timber and it was not until some 150 years later that a stone castle was built at a slightly different location nearby and the modern town of Montgomery began to grow up around the new stone castle and was incorporated as a borough by Henry III. Montgomery was sacked at the beginning of the 15th century by Owain Glyn Dwr and was the scene of a siege and battle during the civil war in 1644 when the Parliamentary forces captured the town from the Royalists.
As towns go Montgomery is quite small, with a population of around 1,200 - as the former administrative centre for the county of Montgomeryshire it retains many old buildings including the old gaol, an attractive market square, and many Georgian style houses - but even today the town is still dominated by the ruins of the old castle.
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