Newtown has existed as a small but significant border town in the upper Severn Valley for over 700 years. It is sometimes said that the town hides its jewels, and indeed to the casual visitor this can often be the case. The town was established as a new town by Edward I in 1279 and has retained the name ever since. Until the end of the eighteenth century it remained a small, isolated market town. With the industrial and political changes sweeping the country in the early nineteenth century, Newtown exploded into the largest manufacturing town in Mid Wales. The woollen industry sustained the town for over a hundred years. Then decline set in until, in the 1970s, it became a new town again under the 1965 New Towns Act. Newtown Through Time, with nearly 200 pictures, explores the town and its often hidden past.
Newtown Local History Group has published a variety of books about the town, including Newtown: Second Selection (History Press: 1998), Newtown Pocket Images (History Press: 2006) and many others. They also produce a quarterly magazine, The Newtonian.