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Commerce and Industry in Newtown

Newtown was established as a market town in 1279 when it was granted a charter by Edward I. Since the 1880s it has also been associated with global trade patterns, as it developed into an important hub for the woven textile industry in Wales. This resulted in widespread industrialization and large factories established themselves in the town. A period of great change in population also took hold in the nineteenth century as Newtown changed from a sleepy market town to a bustling industrial centre. A number of companies, such as Pryce Jones – the first company in the world to sell goods through the post – and Laura Ashley and their iconic flower patterned dresses enjoyed international acclaim.
Here are some important milestones in the town’s history:
• 1793 production of a wharf being introduced into the town for the first time
• 1836 Market Hall opened for sale of flannel
• 1859 Pryce Jones his business at 50 Broad Street
• 1866 (November 13) Pryce Jones receives his first order from Queen Victoria for a Welsh flannel
• 1872 (29 July) The Welsh Woollen Manufacturing Company (Cambrian Mills) is formed
• 1878 Vron Brickworks opens
• 1886 (October 19) 800 employed at Cambrian Mills and 100 pieces of cloth produced on a weekly basis.
• 1929 major floods in the town
• 1937 Kymric Mill opens as a textile factory
• 1956 (April 21) Robert Owen statue unveiled at Bank Park by the Rt. Hon. Lord Willians, Ynys Hir
• 1967 (October 19) The Textile Museum opened by Dr. Iorwerth Peate
• 1980 work begins on Ladywell shopping centre

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