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The village of Kerry is still largely a farming community, although nowadays it is also a commuting village for the town of Newtown just less than 3 miles away. It is famous for its breed of sheep, i.e. The Kerry Hill breed. The A489
runs through the centre of the village, which has a population of about 1,000. As you travel through from Newtown you will see two black and white lodges on the left hand side of the road. These lodges guarded the old carriage access to Dolforgan Hall, which together with the Brynllywarch Hall estate, played a big part in the development of the village in the 19th century. In fact, most of the village, including the surrounding farms, belonged to either the Dolforgan or Brynllywarch estates.
Further along the main road, there is a shop/post office and further again, a hairdressers fronting the village square which has the church, St Michael & All Angels, leading off it. This Norman church dates back to 1176 and has a rare example of an old chained bible. There is evidence that a church existed before this date but in 1176 it was rebuilt and re-dedicated and there is a well-known story of a dispute at this time between Giraldus Cambrensis, who as Archdeacon of Brecon, was responsible for the parish of Kerry and came to Kerry to confront the Bishop of St Asaph about the rights of his diocese. When he arrived on the morning of the re-dedication, he found the church locked, as 2 of the clergy had hidden the keys and had set out to greet the Bishop.
However, he managed to gain access and had the bells rung as a token of possession. When the Bishop arrived, there was a confrontation, with each threatening to ex-communicate the other. Giraldus had the Church door thrown open and came out accompanied by other priests and clergy with lighted candles and a processional cross. At this point, the Bishop galloped off and was pursued by sticks and stones thrown by the surrounding crowd. Kerry parish thus remained in the diocese of St Davids until July 1849, when it was transferred amicably to St Asaph.
There are 2 pubs in the village: the Herbert Arms on the right of the main road and the Kerry Lamb further along on the left. Also just before the Kerry Lamb, there is a Baptist Chapel. A primary school, St Michael's Church in Wales School, stands on the right of the main road on the edge of the village. There is another school just outside the village: Brynllywarch Hall School which is for children with special needs.
Kerry is known for the foundation of the modern eisteddfod and this annual event still takes place each year in June.
The people of Kerry act as hosts each year to a party of children from the Highcliffe Junior Choir who have been travelling up from Dorset for over 40 years and are traditionally put up in the homes of people in the village.
There are several lovely walks around Kerry including the one along the Kerry Ridgeway, overlooking Wales on one side and England on the other. It is an old drovers' route of about 15 miles from Wales to the English markets and has wonderful views all around.
Some years ago the W.I. published a leaflet showing several walks in the area.
On the outskirts of the village at the old Cilthrew farm, the Papworth Trust provide free respite holidays for families desperately needing a short break.
Kerry has a bowling club, football club and a village hall where lots of events and activities take place. It also has its own community news magazine, the Kerry News, which is available from the post office/shop.
Written by Sue Farrington
Kerry Baptist Chapel.
Kerry Chapel was opened as an Independent (i.e. Congregational) Chapel in 1824 and Samuel Bowen, the Classical Tutor of the North Wales Independent College, Newtown, became its first pastor. However, by 1849 the Chapel had been acquired by the Baptists and Richard Owen, of Upper Green Newtown, became its first Baptist Minister. In January 1856 he left Kerry to become a student at Pontypool Baptist College and he returned to Kerry for his second pastorate from 1860 to 1863. The Chapel’s last fulltime minister was Revd John Bridge from 1977 to 1983. However, since October 2011 Mr. Rob Saunders has served as Minister-in-Training (Student Pastor) of both Kerry and Sarn Baptist Chapels.
Organisations in Kerry
| Kerry Shop/Post Office
|| Les & Hazel Danson
|| 01686 670650
| Kerry School (St Michael's)
||Headteacher: Mrs Kath Thomas
|| 01686 670208
| Brynttywarch Hall School
||Headteacher: Mr G Randell
|| 01686 670276
| St Michael & All Angels Church
|| Vicar: Alexier Mayes
|| 01686 670482
||Minister in Training: Rob Saunders
Secretary: Elwyn Pugh
Coffee Mornings: Wed 10.30am - 12 noon
||Bookings Secretary: Wendy Rees
Caretaker: Kevin Lander
||Nikki's Hair Salon
||Editors: Joy Morgan
||President: Margaret Griffiths
||Leader: Edward Evans
Secretary: Sandra Evans
||Leader: Hannah Sneade
||Secretary: Marie Hussey
||Secretary: Mike Morgan
||Secretary: Amanda Eastwood
||Leader: Dorinda Groves
||Secretary: Jane Stewart
||Brown Owl: Julie Lowe
||Leader: John Lewis
||Vice-Chairman: Clive Williams
|Childrens Dance Classes
||Tuesdays - Contact Sally Gartfell
||Thursday evenings from May - October
Meet at the Village Car Park at 6.15pm
||Monday evenings from 7.30pm - 8.30pm
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