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Living in Machynlleth: the local area guide

Nestled away in the Dyfi Valley in the Welsh county of Powys lies the ancient market town of Machynlleth – or Mach, as the locals often call it. This historic settlement dates all the way back to Roman times, and radiocarbon dating conducted in the 1990s revealed that copper was being mined in the area as far back as the Early Bronze Age!

A Royal Charter issued by King Edward I in the year 1291 contains the first recorded written mention of the town of Machynlleth. Here, King Edward granted Owen de la Pole, who was Lord of Powys at the time, the right to hold a weekly Wednesday market in the town – which still runs to this day! Visitors to Machynlleth’s Wednesday Market will be able to sample an eclectic range of Welsh, French and Spanish foods at the stalls dotted around the market.

There are also a few people who claim that Machynlleth was once an ancient capital of Wales, due to the fact that Owain Glyndwr made the town the seat of his Welsh Parliament in 1404. However, these claims have never been formally recognised. Interestingly, Glyndwr was the last native Welshman to hold the title of Prince of Wales.


The 2011 Census showed that slightly more than 2,200 people currently reside in the town of Machynlleth. This figure represents a growth of close to 100 people since the 2001 Census was conducted 10 years earlier.

Machynlleth’s residents are divided into roughly 1,000 households, the majority of which live in unshared, terraced houses. The town also boasts rather strong home ownership statistics – with the 2011 Census revealing that 31.8% of households own their homes outright, while 22.6% own their homes with a mortgage or loan.


The main school in Machynlleth goes by the name of Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, which incorporated Machynlleth County Primary School and Ysgol Bro Ddyfi Secondary School when it was opened. Today, there are roughly 540 students between the ages of 4 and 18 who attend the school.

As it is a fairly new institute, 2015 was the first year that students took their A -Level examinations, and exam results were very promising. Of all the grades awarded at A Level, 73% were between A* and C.


If you are wanting to embark on a spot of travelling, you’re in luck. Machynlleth is home to the Machynlleth main-line station, which is one of the many stops along the Cambrian Line. Arriva Trains Wales is the company responsible for operating trains along this line. From the station, travellers are able to make their way to Aberystwyth and the Cambrian coast to the west, and to Newtown and Shrewsbury if heading in an easterly direction.

Machynlleth straddles the junction where the A487 and A489 roads meet, meaning that the town and holiday resort of Aberystwyth is a mere 35-minute drive away – traffic permitting. If you find yourself without access to a car, there are a handful of regular bus services providing residents with transport through to neighbouring settlements such as Newtown, Aberystwyth and Tal-y-Wern.

Amenities and shopping

In true small town style, Machynlleth is home to a popular High Street. Here, residents will be able to find all manner of shops to peruse, from books to jewellery, fabrics, food and more! Of course, there are also a number of pubs, restaurants and cafes where you can wet your whistle after a hard day’s shopping. For your weekly food shop, you will be able to find everything you need under one roof at the town’s Co-operative food supermarket.

As tourism is the town’s primary sector of employment, there are a number of activities to do and sites to see around the town. For lovers of extreme sports, take a trip out to one of the town’s mountain biking trails. For a more laid back outing, you could pay the Centre for Alternative Technology a visit.


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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