Crickhowell (; Welsh: Crug Hywel pronounced [krɨːɡ ˈhəu̯ɛl], also spelled Crughywel, or Crucywel pronounced [krɨ̞ˈkəu̯ɛl]) is a town and community in southeastern Powys, Wales, near Abergavenny, and lies in the historic county of Brecknockshire.
The town lies on the River Usk, on the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Significant parts of the surrounding countryside, over 20,000 acres (81 km2), form part of the Glanusk Park estate.
The name Crickhowell is derived from that of a nearby Iron Age hill fort called Crug Hywel; the Welsh language name being anglicised by map-makers and local English-speaking people.
Public services in Crickhowell are provided by Powys County Council and to a lesser extent by Crickhowell Town Council. Planning matters fall to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. There is a primary school and a secondary school; both act as a central point for a large catchment area. There is some light industry on the outskirts of Crickhowell at the Elvicta Industrial Estate. The town centre includes a variety of traditional businesses, many of which are family owned. Other facilities in Crickhowell include a library, two play areas, public toilets and the CRiC building, which houses a tourist information centre, an internet cafe, an art gallery and a local history archive. There are pubs, cafes, restaurants and two hotels: "The Bear" and "The Dragon".
The churches in Crickhowell include St Edmund's Church which holds a service every Sunday, Crickhowell Evangelical Church, a Baptist church and a Catholic church.
In 2015, Crickhowell appeared in a TV documentary, claiming it as the first British settlement to purposely use similar tax avoidance tactics used by multinational businesses to avoid paying taxes themselves, in protest at the way large corporations use legal loopholes to avoid paying UK corporation tax.A market and fair have been recorded since 1281.
An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward includes The Vale of Grwyney community and has a total population of 2,801 as of the 2011 census. The current councillor is John Morris, a Liberal Democrat.
Today, Crickhowell is a popular tourist destination. In 2005 a tourist information centre was built in the centre of town and during summer the town is notably busier. Many people visit Crickhowell to see the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, and perhaps to enjoy some mountain-biking, camping, hillwalking, rock climbing, fly-fishing, hang-gliding or caravanning, or simply to tour the area by car, staying in bed-and-breakfast accommodation. The Green Man Festival takes place annually in mid-August at nearby Glanusk Park.
Notable features in Crickhowell include the seventeenth-century stone bridge over the River Usk with its odd arches (twelve on one side, thirteen on the other) and its seat built into the walls, the 14th-century parish church of St Edmund, and the ruins of Crickhowell Castle on the green "tump" set back from the A40 Brecon to Abergavenny road.
Crickhowell's Market Hall (originally the Town Hall) on The Square dates from 1834, nowadays with market stalls on the ground floor and a cafe in the first floor old courtroom. In 2007 Powys County Council handed over responsibility of the hall to a charity, the Market Hall Trust. The stone building, raised on twin doric columns, is Grade II* listed. The market hall has been changed over the years, with the addition and removal of decorative glass frontage and the addition of a lift for disabled access to the courtroom chambers above.
Crickhowell has two schools: Crickhowell Community Primary School and a secondary school, Crickhowell High School, which has approximately 700 pupils.
George Everest, after whom Mount Everest is named, may have been born near Crickhowell. His father had an estate there called "Gwernvale Manor". This is now a hotel, known simply as 'The Manor'.) There is also a street in Crickhowell named after him (Everest Drive). The current Lord and Lady of the Manor of Gwernvale are Stephen and Ruth Berrow who still reside in the town of Crickhowell.Admiral John Gell died here in 1806 after serving over 30 years in the Royal Navy.The Glanusk Park estate was the childhood home of the former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who still lives near the town as proprietor of Tŷ'r Chanter bed and breakfast lodgings.
The former Crickhowell & Penmyarth Golf Club was founded in 1897 and played on a course at Glanusk Park. The club and course disappeared in the late 1960s.
Tretower— Tretower Castle and Tretower Court, a manor house still in very good conditionCwrt y Gollen, a British Army training base, is near Crickhowell.