was made up of thirteen historic counties of whose original boundaries
can be seen on the map
on the Association of British Counties website. These boundaries were
changed in 1974 and again in 1996.
Anglesey, the largest Island in England and Wales; and Mount Snowdon
(1,085 metres), the highest mountain in England and Wales.
half a million people speak Welsh
in Wales, one of only four Celtic languages that are still spoken
today; Irish and Scottish Gaelic and Breton being the other three.
Welsh is most closely related to Cornish (now extinct) and Breton
(spoken in Brittany in France).
|Areas of Outstanding
In 1956 the Gower
peninsula stretching out into the sea west of Swansea became the very
first AONB to be designated in England and Wales. The protected area
includes a wide range of rare habitats including dunes, mud-flats,
marshland, grassland, heath and also ancient woodlands. The peninsula
is also home to a large concentration of ancient sites dating back
to the Bronze Age and Neolithic times.
Nearly a quarter of the Lleyn
peninsula was designated an AONB in 1956.
Found in the north-west of Wales west of Snowdonia National Park,
the peninsula has a variety of coastal scenery including cliffs, sandy
bays and dunes providing an important haven for birds and seals.
Lying off the north-west coast of Wales, parts of the island of Anglesey
were designated an AONB in 1966. The area encompasses a third of the
island, with almost the entire coastline and significant areas of
inland scenery protected, making it the largest AONB in Wales.
The limestone gorges, woodlands and meadows of the Wye
Valley stretch from Hereford in the north to near Chepstow Castle
in the south and were designated an AONB in 1971. The northern part
of the AONB lies in Herefordshire with the southern half split between
Gloucesteshire in the east and Wales in the west.
Range stretches south from just below Prestatyn between the Vale
of Clwyd to the west and the Dee
Estuary in east. It was designated an AONB in 1985 to protect
the heather-covered hillsides but also areas of woodland and grassland.
social reformer Robert Owen was born
in Newtown, Montgomeryshire in 1771. He believed that character was
formed by social environment and with the aim of combatting the inhuman
conditions created by the Industrial Revolution began to set up model
communities. These included New
Lanark in Lanarkshire, Scotland where the world's first day-nursery
and playground were introduced and evening classes organized. Owen
died in the town in 1858.
All the world is queer save thee and me, and
even thou art a little queer.
(Letter to his business partner on ending their partnership at New
Bevan was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire in 1897. Active early
on in the Welsh trade union movement, he later served as Minister
of Health in Clement Attlee's post-war 1945-51 government. It was
during this legislative period that the Welfare
State was created, revolutionizing British society and it was
Bevan who was responsible for introducing the National Health Service
in 1948, which he did despite stiff opposition.
This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded
by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal
and fish at the same time.
(Speech at Blackpool, 1945)
We know what happens to people who stay in
the middle of the road. They get run down.
(Lists documents and at which record office in Wales they
(Official repository of the coats of arms and pedigrees for
English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Commonwealth families)
only in area to the Lake District, Snowdonia
became a National Park in 1951. The area is principally
mountainous and it has within its boundaries Mount Snowdon, the highest
peak in England and Wales.
only coastal National Park in Britain was created on the Pembrokeshire
Coast in 1952.
Beacons were designated a National
Park in 1957.
1822 St David's College was established
in Lampeter receiving its first students in 1827 and a Royal
Charter in 1828. Now part of the University of Wales, it was
the first university in Wales.
of Wales was established by Royal Charter in 1893. It was
created out of three existing colleges: the University College
of Wales in Aberystwyth (founded 1872), the University College
of South Wales and Monmouthshire (founded 1883), and the University
College of North Wales, in Bangor (founded 1884).
Consorts and Heirs
House of Normandy
Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy
died in 1134 at Cardiff
Castle where he had been held in prison. He was the eldest
son of William the Conqueror but it was his younger brothers
William and Henry who succeeded to the throne. In 1106 he was
captured by his brother Henry I's invading army at the Battle
of Tinchebrai in Normandy and spent the rest of his life a prisoner
in England and finally Wales. He was buried at Gloucester
and fortified complexes built in north Wales
during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), were designated a World
Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1986. These include Beaumaris
on Anglesey and Harlech,
on the mainland.
landscape of Blaenavon, was designated a World Heritage Site in
2000. The area shows the mines, quarries, furnaces, railways and social
infrastructure which once made south Wales the centre of iron and
coal production in the world during the 19th century.
Completed at the beginning of the 19th century, the Pontcysyllte
Aqueduct and Canal was designated a World Heritage Site in 2009.
Situated in Denbighshire in the north-east of the country, the 18
kilometre stretch of waterway was designed and built by Thomas
and William Jessop to take the Ellesmere (now Llangollen) Canal over
the River Dee. Its innovative design includes no locks and acted as
a blueprint for similar canal projects around the world.
A centre of global slate production during the Industrial Revolution,
Landscape of Northwest Wales was designated a World Heritage Site
Bertrand Russell see Nobel
Llewellyn was born in 1906 as Richard Dafydd Vivian Llewellyn
Lloyd in St David's, Pembrokeshire (although some sources claim he
was born in London). A novelist and playwright who also worked in
film and journalism and travelled widely, Llewellyn was best known
for his first novel, How Green Was My Valley which recounted
life in a Welsh mining community.
felt good inside and out, a feeling not to be had many times in your
How Green Was My Valley (1939)
in this quiet house I sit thinking back the structure of my life,
building again that which has fallen. It do seem to me that the life
of man is merely a pattern scrawled on Time, with little thought,
little care, and no sense of design. Why is it, I wonder, that people
suffer, when there is so little need, when an effort of will and some
hard work would bring them from their misery into peace and contentment.
How Green Was My Valley (1939)
is good to see happy faces round a table full of good food. Indeed,
for good sounds, I will put the song of knives and forks next to the
song of man.
How Green Was My Valley (1939)
Thomas was born in Swansea in 1914. He died whilst on a
visit to New York City in 1953 and was buried in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire
where he had lived since 1938.
was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
The morning beckon.
Poem in October (1946)
rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall vales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
Away but the weather turned around.
Poem in October (1946)
begin at the beginning:
It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black.
Under Milk Wood (1954)
Cowper Powys died in the village of Blaenau Ffestiniogg, Merionethshire
in 1963. With ancestors on his mother's side of the family who included
the poets John Donne and William Cowper, he himself became a writer
as did two of his younger brothers: Theodore
Francis, born in 1875 and Llewelyn,
born in 1884. Born in Derbyshire and growing up in the West Country,
it was this rural upbringing that featured so prominently in the books
he wrote later in life. After spending a quarter of a century in the
USA he returned to Britain and settled in Wales.
pulled in his legs and clasped his hands over his knees, leaning forward,
frowning and intent. "I don't care whether I make money. I don't
care whether I get fame. I don't care whether I leave any work behind
me when I die. All I want is certain sensations!" And with all
the power of his wits he set himself to try and analyse what these
sensations were that he wanted beyond everything.
Wolf Solent (1929)