|From:||Neuadd, Melin-y-ddol (SJ080077)|
|Via:||Llanfair Caereinion, Montgomery, Bishop's Castle, Purslow|
|Distance:||35.5 miles (57.1 km)|
|Meets:||A458, B4389, A458, B4390, A483, B4386, B4388, B4386, A489, B4384, A488, B4368, B4367, A4113|
|Route outline (key)|
The B4385 is a Welsh/English route of considerable length for a 'B' Class road.
It starts on the A458 to the northwest of Melin-y-ddol and heads southeast along the valley of the River Banwy through that hamlet into Llanfair Caereinion, where the B4389 crosses it via a short multiplex. The B4385 has to TOTSO at the end. The road then leaves the river and after going over a hill crosses the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway Line (which took the easier route round the side of the hill) at a level crossing.
The road then reaches a T-junction where all three directions are the B4385. Turn left for a short spur to reach the A458 but the mainline turns right. It crosses the light railway line again at a level crossing by Castle Caereinion station before climbing through that village. The road continues across the hills to Berriew where it reaches a T-junction on the B4390. The B4385 turns left and multiplexes along that road through the village before turning right near the church to regain its number. It crosses the River Rhiw at a narrow bridge before having to TOTSO left just after the end of the 30 limit. A short distance later the road crosses the Montgomery Canal. The canal is culverted under the road so navigation is blocked. Immediately afterwards is a T-junction where the B4385 meets the A483.
After multiplexing south for half a mile, the B4385 turns left at and regains its number at Garthmyl. The canal is crossed again (here it is even more obvious that it is not navigable) and then the River Severn shortly afterwards at a narrow bridge controlled by traffic lights. The road then goes under the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth railway line and meets the B4386 on the far side. The B4385 is the dominant number in a multiplex for over a mile to the next town, Montgomery.
The B4388 turns off at a sharp-angled junction below the castle hill before the B4386 finally reappears in the town centre. The B4385 climbs out of town before the Welsh language stops appearing on signs for no apparent reason. The road is actually in Shropshire for half a mile, during which it crosses the A489, although this section of the county cannot be reached by road from the rest of it.
A brook is crossed (by a narrow bridge that we are used to by now) where the road returns to Montgomeryshire. However, we will not be in Wales for much longer now. The road skirts the edge of the vale, going through Pentre en route, before moving into England permanently. A couple of miles later it reaches the town of Bishop's Castle.
The original route of the B4385 was along Bishop's Castle High Street but the road now runs one block east. It TOTSOs right on meeting the short B4384 before having to TOTSO left when it rejoins its original route. After passing the church it crosses the A488.
The road heads for the hills straight ahead but, at the last minute, decides it prefers to stay in the valley. It therefore bends right to pass between the hills and through the village of Lydbury North. It continues to follow the valley of the River Kemp downstream (although the road is not particularly flat) via Kempton to reach a T-junction on the B4368 at Little Brampton.
The B4385 turns right and multiplexes along the B4368 across the River Kemp before turning left and regaining its number at Purslow. It soon crosses the River Clun and then goes round Clunbury Hill before reaching Hopton Heath, where it crosses the Heart of Wales Line. It then multiplexes south along the B4367 for a short distance before continuing east and crossing the River Clun again to reach a T-junction. The road to the left is a spur of the B4367 and the B4385 TOTSOs right. It ends a mile later on the A4113 to the north of Leintwardine.
In 1922 the B4385 only ran between the A483 at Garthmyl and the A488 at Bishop's Castle. It was quickly extended south to meet the B4368 and reached Leintwardine by 1932. The road gained its current route in 1935.