Welcome to the website of the Crickhowell District Archive Centre (CDAC) which serves the small town of Crickhowell (Population ca. 2,800) in the south east of Powys, and the seven historic parishes which surround it – Cwmdu, Llanbedr Ystradwy, Llangattock, Llangenny, Llangynidr, Partrishow and Llanelly (now Monmouthshire). These parishes once comprised the old Hundred of Crickhowell and later the Rural District of Crickhowell in Breconshire.
It is an area of considerable diversity, ranging from the high moor lands which form the mountainous rim of the South Wales Coalfield in the south, across the lush lowland farmland and villages of the Usk valley which comprise a central south-easterly trending corridor, to include a large part of the lonely high ridges and deep and sparsely populated valleys of the Black Mountains to the north. Our archives are of a mainly rural region, though also have relevance to the industrial towns to the south, because before 1894 parts of Brynmawr, Beaufort, Tredegar and the Clydach Gorge lay within Breconshire and in the parishes we cover.
The Archive Centre was set up in 1999, initially with Millennium funding, in order to preserve and make available locally documents relevant to the town and surrounding area, for which it would otherwise be necessary to make the journey to the Powys County Archives Office at distant Llandrindod Wells.
Visitors can independently research in the archives or be helped in their investigations by the volunteer(s) on duty, according to their needs. A research service is provided for those unable to visit in person but charges have to be made for this, to help cover the cost of running the centre.
The centre’s collections focus on Crickhowell and the surrounding parishes. It includes census records, tithe maps and schedules, copies of early mapping, including the Beaufort Estate maps of 1587 and 1760, Ordnance Survey maps, aerial photographs, parish records, memorial inscription lists, local extracts from trade directories, indexes to local wills some of which have been transcribed, catalogues of estate sales, etc., together with much highly localised documentation not available elsewhere (notably an extensive photograph collection). We also have a reference collection of local history related books.