River Irfon

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The drovers road to Tregaron crosses the Irfon via the Irish bridge at the foot of the Devil's Staircase
The Irfon flowing down the Abergwesyn Valley, dropping into the Wolves' Gorge in the middle-ground of the picture.

The River Irfon is a river in Brecknockshire. It flows from the upper slopes of Bryn Garw in the Cambrian Mountains, through the Abergwesyn Valley, past the Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve in the hills above the village of Abergwesyn, and through Llanwrtyd Wells to its confluence with the River Wye at Builth Wells. The source of the Irfon is in the so-called Desert of Wales.


The Irfon flows through the narrow Wolves' Gorge into the Wolves' Pool in the Abergwesyn Valley

From its source at 1,770 feet above sea level on the upper slopes of Bryn Garw in the Cambrian Mountains the Irfon flows southwards past the foot of the Devil's Staircase, along the Abergwesyn Valley, through the scenic Wolves' Gorge, and into the Wolves Pool. It then flows past the forest of Sessile Oaks (Quercus petraea) to join the River Gwesyn at Abergwesyn where it passes beneath the Irfon Forest and the Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve towards Llanwrtyd Wells. Then it flows eastward through Llangammarch Wells, and Garth to join the River Wye at Builth Wells. An overall length of approximately 28 miles.[1]

The Irfon defines the northern limit of the Mynydd Epynt area between Llanwrtyd Wells and Builth Wells.


The Irfon at Llangammarch Wells.

The river is famous in Welsh history for the fact that it was on its banks, in the vicinity of Cilmery, that Llywelyn ap Gruffudd Prince of Wales, was killed on 11 December 1282.


The Abergwesyn Valley and the legend of the boy failing to safely leap the Wolves' Gorge were described by George Borrow in his 1862 travel publication Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery.


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