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Dec 16, 2021

Bettws-y-Crwyn (Welsh: Betws-y-crwyn / Betwsycrowyn) is a small, remote village and civil parish in south-west Shropshire, England. It is close to the England–Wales border and is one of a number of English villages to have a Welsh language placename.

Human settlement in England

The remote mediaeval “Shepherd’s Church” of St. Mary at Bettws-y-Crwyn

Location within Shropshire
Population 239 (2011 census)
OS grid reference SO203812
Civil parish
  • Bettws-y-Crwyn
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town KNIGHTON
Postcode district LD7
Dialling code 01547
Police West Mercia
Fire Shropshire
Ambulance West Midlands
UK Parliament

List of places


52.423°N 3.171°W / 52.423; -3.171

. . . Bettws-y-Crwyn . . .

The first part of the name of the village is the Welshbet(t)ws, a borrowing from the Old Englishbed-hus, meaning ‘prayer house’ or ‘chapel’.[1] In Welsh, crwyn (the plural of croen) usually means ‘skins, hides, pelts’.[2] Hence Betws-y-Crwyn appears at first to mean ‘chapel of the hides’. However, Eilert Ekwall suggested that the form that now appears as crwyn ‘may be Welsh crowyn ‘pigsty’ ‘.[3] In this he has been followed by Margaret Gelling[4] and the University of Nottingham‘s ‘Key to English Place-names’ project .[5] The Welsh noun crowyn has a range of meanings, including ‘shed where animals are kept, sty, coop, kennel; creel, basket’.[6]

The parish name was formerly written simply as Bettus or Bettws, and the suffix Crwyn only appears in written records in the nineteenth century.[4]

The parish, including the hamlets of Anchor (which has a pub of the same name), Quabbs and Hall of the Forest had a total population of 212 at the 2001 census,[7] increasing to 239 at the 2011 census.[8]

It lies at 400 m (1,300 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest settlements in Shropshire and England too. The village is about sixteen miles (26 km) west of the Shropshire town of Craven Arms, and only about nine miles (14 km) south-east of Newtown in Powys, Wales.

Bettws had a school which closed in 1951; its building is now the village hall, containing a First World War memorial board.[9]

The parish lies within the Clun electoral division of Shropshire Council.

. . . Bettws-y-Crwyn . . .

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. . . Bettws-y-Crwyn . . .