Situated on the banks of the River Wye, the market town of Builth Wells grew up in the shadow of the Norman-built castle created to control routes to the south and guard the ancient crossing of the Wye. Although rebuilt from stone in the 13th century, the castle was left to go to ruins and whilst it is possible to see the site, the castle itself no longer exists.
New roads constructed in the 1820s lead to a growth in the population of Builth and in the 18th century the health springs or mineral waters were discovered. This made the area very popular in Victorian times with hotels and guest houses springing up to cater for visitors traveling to take the waters. It was at this time that the word Wells was added to Builths name.