This area is named after the older Welsh/British Kingdom of Powys, which occupied the northern two thirds of the area as well as lands now in England, and came to an end when it was occupied by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd of Gwynedd during the 1260s.
The gold in the county coat of arms (see right) symbolises the wealth of the area. Black for both mining and the Black Mountains. The fountain is a medieval heraldic charge, always shown as a roundel barry wavy Argent and Azure. It represents water and, therefore, both refers to the water catchment area and the rivers and lakes. The arms, therefore, contain references to the hills and mountains, rivers and lakes, water supply and industry.
The crest continues the colouring of the arms. A tower has been used in preference to a mural crown, which alludes to the county's military history and remains. From the tower rises a red kite, a bird almost extinct elsewhere in Britain, but thriving here. The bird is semy of black lozenges for the former coal mining industry, while the golden fleece it carries is a reference to the importance of sheep rearing in Powys.
The county motto is, Powys - the paradise of Wales (Welsh: Powys Pardwys Cymru) .
See also: Powys County Council
Powys was originally created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and originally had Montgomery and Radnor and Brecknock as districts under it, which were based directly on the former administrative counties.
On 1 April 1996, the districts were abolished, and Powys was reconstituted as a unitary authority, with a minor border adjustment in the north-east (specifically the addition of the communities of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Llansilin and Llangedwyn from Glyndwr district in Clwyd, all historically part of Denbighshire).
The first Lord Lieutenant of Powys was previously the Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire. The Lord Lieutenant of Brecknockshire and Lord Lieutenant of Radnorshire were appointed as Lieutenants.
The present Lord Lieutenant is The Hon. Mrs Elizabeth Shân Legge-Bourke LVO of Crickhowell.
Places of interest
Ogof Craig a Ffynnon
Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
Ogof y Daren Cilau Cave systems
Brecknock Museum, Brecon,
Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth
Llandrindod Wells Museum
Newtown Textile Museum
Powysland Museum, Welshpool Museums and exhibitions
including the Elan Valley Reservoirs:
- Claerwen Reservoir
Afon Claerwen Castles
The Black Mountains
Brecon Caer Roman Fort
The Lake Vyrnwy Sculpture Trail
Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway
The Welsh National Cycle Route
The Wye Valley Walk from Chepstow to Rhayader
Offa's Dyke Path