The Glasbury and surrounding area is a mainly
rural one with rich valley soils on the flood plain where the
larger farms are, rising to steeper slopes supporting smaller
hill farms and then to common land and upland grazing, with the
Radnor Hills to the north and the Black Mountains to the south.
In the past the community tended to be religiously
strong, more self sufficient and with scattered population - but
with large families. There was a lack of transport and the horse
played a significant roll for both work and leisure. Agriculture
and industry were initially geared to local needs i.e. sheep,
cattle, pigs, various fowl and crops on the farming side ( with
many householders keeping hens and sometimes a few sheep and a
pig for personal use. ) It should be noted that as the population
of major towns grew rapidly so did the demand for meat, poultry
and other commodities, leading to the drovers routes up and down
the country and as far as London with cattle for the needy market.
Cottage industries produced bread, butter, cheese,
cakes, home grown vegetables, jams, clothes etc and these traditions
survive today at a personal level, for fund raising for a variety
of charities and at the numerous annual shows in the area. At
a broader level were the corn mills, blacksmiths, coal merchants,
timber felling and sawmills. By the mid 19th century shops included
butchers, bakers, shoemakers and grocers (some dealing in sundries
as well )
The larger farms and estates such as the Maesllwch
and the Gwernyd provided much local and outside employment in
the 19th century but less so as the level of mechanisation and
transport improved during the next century. This and two world
wars led to less labour intensive farming and rising costs for
the larger estates produced a similar effect for its own workforce.
At a social level singing ( at home and in local
choirs ), sport, games, local events, annual shows and visiting
circuses along with the local hostelries have all played their
part, as have the village halls, the W.I., the Young Farmers and
the Scouts, Guides and Cubs in the 20th century.
Hunting, shooting and angling have long been prominent and still
enjoy continuing support in the area.
B Bowker - March 3rd 2013