Llangollen is a small town of some 3,000 people in the valley of the river Dee in eastern mid Wales, within the county of Denbighshire.
Llangollen is now famous as the home of the International Musical Eisteddfod held every year in July which brings in some 120,000 visitors, and which should not to be confused with the Welsh National Eisteddfod. It now operates from a permanent centre at the Royal International Pavilion which also hosts an annual jazz festival in addition to a festival for male voice choirs.
It was founded in the seventh century by Saint Collen who built a church there but remained a small village until the construction of Thomas Telford's Holyhead Road (now known as the A5) in 1815 when it became an important stop for coach travellers enroute from London to Holyhead. It was also around this time that the Ladies of Llangollen, the Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, took up residence at Plas Newydd in the town. They achieved a certain fame as they entertained much of Regency society at their home as well as a certain modern notoriety. The house and gardens remain today as a tourist attraction within the town.
Nearby are the remains of Castell Dinas Bran (some people believe the Holy Grail is buried there) and also the ruins of the 13th century Valley Crucis Abbey and further up the valley is the thousand-year old Pillar of Eliseg commemorating the medieval kings of Powys.
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