Montgomeryshire is a mountainous county, most of it being in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. The mountainsides provide high sheep pastures, largely unpeopled but for scattered farmsteads and hamlets. Some high passes slice through the hills, where rivers and streams have driven valleys.
The western part of Montgomeryshire reaches out toward the coast at the Dovey estuary, a wedge between Merionethshire and Cardiganshire, but ends just above that water. It is in this part of the county, in the Dovey Valley, that the town of Machynlleth lies. Machynlleth is a small place, but it once tried to claim the title “capital of Wales” as the rebel Owain Glyndwr once summoned a parliament here. In the east of the county is lower land, a strip close up against the border with Shropshire.
The main town is Welshpool, near the Severn and home of lordly Powis Castle. Montgomery itself, from which the county is named (and itself named after a Norman baron), is a village a few miles south, lying barely a mile from Shropshire. The River Severn runs north-eastward through eastern Montgomeryshire before it turns east toward Shrewsbury.
County Town: Montgomery
Main Towns: Carno, Llanidloes, Llanfyllin, Llanrhaedr ym Mochnant, Llansantffaid ym Mechain, Machynlleth, Newtown, Welshpool.
Main Rivers: Severn, Fyrnwy, Tiannon, Afon, Garno, Mule, Rhiw, Camlet, Wye, Dovey.
Highlights: Parliament House, Machynlleth; Powis Castle; Market Hall, Llandiloes; Market Square, Montgomery.
Highest Point: Moel Sych, 2,713 feet.
Area: 780 sq miles
County Flower: Spiked Speedwell