Welcome to Presteigne & Norton!
Presteigne, (Llanandras in Welsh), was once the county town of Radnorshire and nestles at the heart of the Marches on the border of Wales and England. Surrounded by devastatingly beautiful, unspoilt countryside, this thriving border town has many unique qualities that make it both a perfect destination and a base from which to explore.
Set alongside the river Lugg, at the corner of the three counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Powys, it is within a short drive from Hay on Wye, Hereford, Ludlow and Shrewsbury.
Just over an hour and a half from Birmingham and the beautiful coastline of West Wales, it would be difficult to find a better place to stay for easy access to the rich variety of experiences necessary for a rewarding break. There’s always something on hand, or within easy reach, to treat the whole family.
The High Street has a good range of individual shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and services. Good accommodation is plentiful, both in the town and the surrounding area, and whether your choice is self-catering or serviced accommodation, high quality local and organic produce is available in both shops and restaurants. There’s even a Michelin starred restaurant five miles outside Presteigne.
The surrounding countryside is breathtaking, and the drive from Presteigne to Aberystwyth was voted one of the ten most beautiful drives in the world by the AA. Just to the west are Radnor Forest and Offa's Dyke. Go slightly south west and you can browse the book shops of Hay on Wye, and to the east you can sample the renowned culinary delights of Ludlow. Hereford, with its Cathedral, is a stone’s throw away and in between there are activities and visits to satisfy a whole variety of tastes.
What to do.
Throughout the year the senses are served with a range of musical and arts based events; The Presteigne Music Festival is a prestigious and internationally renowned regular event whilst Irish music, African drums, and French Canadian percussionists have performed in a rich and constantly varied menu supplied throughout the year.
There is a calendar of high quality art exhibitions throughout the year, whilst the Church of St Andrew's permanently houses its own treasure, a 16th century Flemish Tapestry.
If all this isn’t enough the Judge's Lodging, an award winning restored Georgian Court House complete with cells, courtroom and living quarters that will provide ‘hands on’ interest and amusement whatever the weather.
Norton is situated 2 miles north of Presteigne. The village church of St. Andrew was almost certainly Norman in origin with subsequent alterations and additions. The font is 15th. Century, the rood screen is 16th. Century and the belfry is 17th. Century.
By the 1860,s the church had suffered considerable neglect and was falling into disrepair. Sir Richard Green-Price and his family moved to Norton Manor in 1861. He first enlarged the Manor and built a new vicarage in 1865. In 1866 he turned his attention to the church. At first he intened to just carry out repairs but he then called in the eminent architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott to carry out a programme of restoration. The church was re-opened in September 1868. A plate situated below the west window commemorates that event. Many of the memorials and much of the church furniture are dedicated to the Green-Price family. A guide to the church is available within the church.
Presteigne and Norton attract visitors from many parts of the world. In particular, the town benefits from being twinned with the town of Ligné near Nantes, France, and there are frequent exchange visits between the two communities.
Presteigne is a Transition Town. This is an increasingly widespread grass roots movement, in which people in local communities throughout the UK and Ireland have joined together to prepare for a future in which a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions will be essential and communities will no longer have access to cheap energy derived from fossil fuels. For more information click Transition Town .
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