The mystery plaque at Gallops.

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Ten towns in Wales have been named this year as among the ‘Best Places to Live in Britain’, an annual regional survey by The Sunday Times.

Crickhowell in Powys, south Wales, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and beside the River Usk, topped the list in a hoorah to independent shops and local community spirit.

Here is a focus on three antiques and related businesses in the town.

Gallops going strong

For more than 30 years two generations of the same family have owned Gallops Architectural Salvage and Reclamation in Crickhowell.

Geraint Gallop and his two sons Rikki and Jo sell flooring, traditional paving, garden and antique furniture, cast-iron radiators, statuary and advertising signs. For example, as an architectural/garden piece, an antique Monmouthshire cider mill is currently on sale for £3600.

They have an intriguing carved sandstone plaque (picture above). Rikki said: “We found it upside down on someone’s patio. We don’t have a price on it yet until an expert can tell us what the inscription says.” The Gallops would welcome input on this from ATG readers.

Rustic rambler

Keen collector Sue Lawrence has lived all over the world and now farms in Monmouthshire.

Her interest in the classic rustic style started when she and her husband were doing up their farm and started buying at auctions and fairs.

This led to the idea of a business and five years ago Lawrence opened Beatrice and Maud, originally in Abergavenny, with a friend, and now in Crickhowell’s high street.


A wall-hanging and pine dresser at Beatrice and Maud.

“My grandmother was Beatrice and hers was Maud,” said Lawrence about the shop’s name. She imports decorative items from Rajasthan, across Europe and some of the Eastern bloc countries as well as travelling in her van – named Daffodil – across the UK to source antiques and vintage stock for the business which she now runs on her own.

Beatrice and Maud is closed during April and May, reopening in June. It is on Facebook. (Thanks to Monmouthshire Living for information.)

Family-run firm

Edward Chetwynd Antiques is a family-run business operating from a farmhouse by the village of Llangattock, in the Usk valley about a mile from Crickhowell.

Country and period furniture as well as sporting items are among the traditional stock.

The website offers an 18th century Carmarthenshire potboard dresser at £4450 and, at £395, an Edwardian leather cartridge magazine initialled RHH on a brass label.