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Packhorses - but why is so little known about them? 

One thing that is certain from our research is that packhorses were essential to carry out trading across Wales. They carried everything possible. However there are hardly any records that explain how they were used or who managed the trails of packhorses streaming across Wales, carrying the good that were destined to markets in England, or simply moving the wool from farmhouse weaving looms to the local fulling mill / pandy. 

However there are books, articles, stories and pictures about the drovers and their lives and routes, but not much about packhorses .....  except packhorse bridges, but even then the evidence is odd - several are called 'Roman Bridges", so have no sides remailing, some have been built over, but left. 

Weight of cloth - Sue found a website which explained the weight of various thicknesses of tartan - and taking the heaviest (as a worst case scenario) and computing for a different width of cloth, I have calculated that it would only take about 21 horses to carry the 14,000 yards of cloth each week into Shrewsbury.  It sounds more feasible when put that way!

 

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