Staylittle, or Penfforddlas (its Welsh name), which means common at the top of the green road, is a lovely hamlet close to the head of the Clywedog Reservoir, with its spectacular dam. Legend has it that two local blacksmiths were so quick at shoeing a horse that riders and stagecoach travellers needed only to 'stay a little' before continuing their journeys.
The village is set in the shallow upland basin of the River Clywedog on the B4518, equidistant from Llanidloes andLlanbrynmair. There are several sites of Bronze Age tumuli in the area. A chalice was found when one was opened. An important 11th century battle took place at Maesmedrisiol. Today the site is a modern sheep farm still bearing the name. A nearby farm, Dolbachog, was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The present farmhouse stands on the site of the one mentioned and was once a Quaker Meeting House.
Staylittle's first school was opened in January 1874. It seems that among the adults of the area there was a thirst for education for among those who attended the day school was a married woman. Several men also attended the evening school including a number of married men. It does seem, however, that a significant number of children did not attend. Prominent among the reasons their parents proffered for this was their inability to provide suitable clothes for their children to attend in. Others 'desired leave for their children to attend every other week, their services being required to nurse baby, or a sick mother'.
In the early 18th century the farm at Esgair-goch became a Meeting House for the Religious Society of Friends. Under the care of John Goodwin, it subsequently played a significant role in the development of Quakerism in Montgomeryshire. Quakerism in Montgomeryshire declined in the latter part of the 18th century.
Later, in the 19th century, Staylittle played an important role in the provision of non-conformist places of worship - Baptist and Methodist (originally at Rock Villa) for the nearby farming and mining communities. Though Staylittle was not a mining village it owed some of its population growth, in the Victorian period, to the importance of lead mining in the area. From 1851 its population grew steadily if not spectacularly with people migrating from out of the area to work in the nearby mines of Dylife and Dyfngwn.
After 1881 with the decline of lead mining the population of the community in Trefeglwys, in which Staylittle is found, declined rapidly dropping by over 30% in the course of 20 years. Many of the men who left the area did so to find work in the South Wales coalfields.
To the south of the village lies Clywedog reservoir where, under the auspices of Clywedog Sailing Club, it is possible to sail. Similarly, angling is available under the auspices of Llanidloes and District Angling Association.
The Hafren Forest is a short distance from Staylittle, where picnic sites and woodland walks encourage you to linger by the river Severn.
Legendary People born in Staylittle:
David Brunt the 'father of meteorology' attended Staylittle Primary School