The Old Radnor Inlier comprises Precambrian sediments unconformably overlain by Wenlock age limestones and shales. Its structure is dominated by steep strike-slip faults. Major NE-SW faults probably bound the inlier and are linked by more northerly faults to form a strike-slip duplex. Strike-slip faults within the inlier match a Riedel shear system, with observed dextral offsets on a NW striking set and implied sinistral offsets on the major inlier-parallel faults. Subordinate dip-slip faults are anomalously oriented, but may be Riedel shears reactivated during progressive sinistral transtension across the inlier.
Pre-Wenlock deformation is recorded by the tilting of the Precambrian sediments and by some faults that do not cut the unconformity. On regional grounds, this deformation might be Ashgill (late Ordovician) or late Precambrian-early Cambrian in age. The strike-slip component now predominating was imposed in post-Wenlock time, probably during the regional sinistral transpression of the Acadian (Late Caledonian) event in Early Devonian time. Later Variscan and Mesozoic components cannot be ruled out.