This little market town of Brecon has really been put on the world map by it's now famous Jazz Festival. Taking place around August time each year, many jazz fans and musicians descend on the town to take part in the event. Brecon Jazz Festival was first staged in the mid 1980s and is well worth a visit for musicians and music lovers.
On the north of the Brecon Beacon park lies the town of Brecon itself, the capital of the Beacons. It is an attractive market town, surrounded by the mountains. People settled here long before the Norman times. But in 1091, Bernard of Newmarch built a castle and declared himself to be Lord of Brecon. (Bernard was actually the half brother of William the Conqueror)The Norman ruins are now scattered between the Castle Hotel and the residence of the Bishop of Brecon.There has always been a military presence in Brecon and there is a military museum, of the South Wales Borderers, that displays, amongst other regimental artifacts, sixteen Victoria Crosses, which the regiment displays with pride, because only twenty-three have been won; which means that the South Wales Borderers have attained the highest number by any line regiment in the British Army.
Something that may be considered odd, is the Bronze statue of the Duke of Wellington. This was erected by Evan Thomas in 1856. Thomas, born in Brecon in 1810, created the statue as a mark of respect after the Duke's death in 1852. The Duke had nothing whatsoever to do with the town but was much loved by the whole nation.
Brecon is the birth place of Mrs. Sarah Siddons, a famous actress, whose statue is currently in Westminster Abbey. She was born in an inn called The Shoulder of Mutton which was later renamed The Sarah Siddons in her honour. However, according to the sign the back door, the inn is still called The Shoulder of Mutton. Which may get some people a little confused after drinking a few ales.
Here in 1895, Hugh Price was born. Born of humble parents, he became a doctor of law and founded Jesus College, Oxford in 1671. It is said he is buried in Brecon Cathedral, but the grave is unmarked.
Other attractive features in Brecon are the cobbled foreground of Buckingham Place; a seventeenth century town mansion, which can be seen from Glamorgan Street; the Catholic church where Adelina Patti got married and the over-exaggerated name of King Street which is nothing but a steep, cobbled walk-way.
Just to the south of the town of Brecon is Pen-y-Fan. This is the highest peak in South Wales at 2,906 ft. (886m). There is a col between the twin peaks of Pen-y-Fan and Corn-Du just to the south, and this is known as Cadair Arthur (King Arthur's chair). Legend has it that in underground caves, King Arthur and his knights are sleeping awaiting for a summons from Britain in future times of crisis.
A visit to the Beacons would not be complete without seeing Dan-yr-Ogof show caves which are situated to the south, just off the A4067. The caves which are very popular in the tourist season, are amongst the largest in the country, with enormous underground lakes and impressive stalactites and stalagmites and cathedral-like caverns. Exploration is constantly going on by caving clubs, who are constantly expanding the network of caverns and passageways.
Please feel free to drop by my blog and have a read, leave a comment or ask questions. Don't forget to drop back here soon, for more articles and information on Wales.
Up and Coming Events In Wales
Buy Photos of Wales & UK
In order from top... 1.© Copyright cytoon Street Jazz, (Brecon) and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 2.© copyright: Rennett Stowe Sarah Siddons, and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 3. © Copyright Indigo Goat Buckingham Place Brecon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licencef