Town and station name
Buellt or Builth was a cantref in medieval Wales, located west of the River Wye. Unlike most cantrefs, it was not part of any of the major Welsh kingdoms for most of its history, but was instead ruled by an autonomous local dynasty. During the Norman era it was associated with Rhwng Gwy a Hafren, a region independent of the Welsh monarchies and controlled by Norman Marcher Lords. In the 16th century, it was reorganized as a hundred and joined with the former kingdom of Brycheiniog to form the county of Brecknockshire.
In the 16th century, as part of Henry VIII's Laws in Wales Acts, Buellt became a hundred and merged with Brycheiniog into the new county of Brecknockshire. In 1996 the area became part of the modern county of Powys. The cantref's name survives in the modern town of Builth Wells and the site of nearby Builth Castle.
Many of the town's buildings, including the 1876 Market Hall, were built from stone from Llanelwedd Quarry. Much of the facing and other dressed stone used in the construction of the Elan Valley dams was also quarried here. The Quarry produced the first occurrence of laumontite in Wales. The quarry is currently operated by Hanson Aggregrates.
The town is served by Builth Road railway station on the Heart of Wales Line, which is located just over a mile to the north, having lost its more central (Builth Wells) railway station on the Mid-Wales Railway in the 1960s under the Beeching Axe. A dedicated cycle route linking the town with Swansea (NCR 43) has been proposed and a 13-mile section of the route from Swansea has already been developed. The remains of Builth Wells railway station was knocked down in late 1967.
Builth Road railway station is a station primarily serving the town of Builth Wells, in mid Wales. It is situated on the Heart of Wales Line. The station is just over two miles (about 3.5 km) north of Builth Wells on the A470.
All trains serving the station are operated by Arriva Trains Wales and it is a request stop. There are four trains a day in each direction from Monday to Saturday, and two services on Sundays.
The station uses one of the high level platforms of the former interchange station with the earlier Mid Wales Railway (closed 31 December 1962) which served the town of Builth Wells directly on its route from Cardiff to the North. The original station did not originally bear the name "Builth Road".
During the Royal Welsh Show, Arriva Trains Wales run special services with connecting buses into Builth Wells.
The addition of the word "Road" to the name of the station indicates that the station is not located at Builth, but is some distance away on the road to Builth. Similarly, Gwinear Road, Beaulieu Road.
It is unusual in retaining the term "road": in recent times some such stations have been provided with park and ride facilities and renamed "Parkway", for example Bodmin Parkway. But it is not the only station on the line to retain the "Road" suffix, as the station serving Llanbister retains the name Llanbister Road.
One of the main Wales north-south trunk roads, the A483, passes through the town, using the former railway route. As of June 2009 part of this road, along with the other main route through town (A470), is the subject of a transport study by the Welsh Assembly to help alleviate traffic congestion in the town centre.
The 18th-century bridge at Builth Wells carries heavy vehicles on the A470. It has six fine masonry spans, with relatively small round cutwaters, which are fitted on the upstream side with stout steel fenders to provide protection from debris. The centre of the bridge has a pedestrian refuge on each side. The arches have been reinforced by a layer of concrete in the soffit. The bridge was built in 1775 and widened in 1925. The river here marks the boundary between the old counties of Breconshire and Radnorshire.