02/10/2012 09:15 BST | Updated 02/10/2012 11:00 BST

April Jones Missing: Profile Of Machynlleth

The quiet market town of Machynlleth in Wales has been thrust into the public eye following the disappearance of April Jones.

On Tuesday Machynlleth trended on Twitter and a simple Google news search returned hundreds of results for a town with a population of little more than 2,000, which is rarely in the headlines.

Beyond being famed as the place where Led Zeppelin’s most famous song Stairway To Heaven was written, Machynlleth has a rich historical past.

Machynlleth played a key role in Welsh history. According to Canolfan Owain Glyn Dwr Centre:

During the summer of 1404 a unique meeting took place in Machynlleth, in mid Wales. Representatives of communities from many parts of Wales and dignitaries from France, Scotland. and Castile (Spain) came to the coronation of Owain Glyn Dŵr as prince of an independent Wales.

As such Machynlleth was the seat of Owain Glyn Dŵr's Welsh Parliament therefore can claim to be the "ancient capital of Wales".

The BBC voted Glyn Dŵr as the 23rd greatest Briton of all time, however, the town has never held any official recognition as a capital.


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  • Today Machynlleth boasts a healthy tourist industry largely boosted by natural beauty such as great sandy beaches which are just 11 miles away.

    There is an abundance of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, riding and bird watching.

    The market, which dates back hundreds of years, is now a thriving attraction which sells clothes and textiles, plants, china, jewellery and bric-a-brac, crafts.