Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector, light and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen. The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
Parc y Scarlets
Parc y Scarlets is a rugby union stadium in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, that opened in November 2008 as the new home of the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC. The ground replaced Stradey Park, the home of Llanellis rugby teams for almost 130 years, the stadium complex includes facilities for matchday supporters and for non-matchday revenue generation, as well as a training barn and a training pitch with athletics track. The stadium also hosts some matches of the Wales national under-21 and senior football teams. Reserve Team played all of their fixtures at the stadium in the 2011/2012 season. The ground was built by Port Talbot-based Andrew Scott Limited on a site owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, the stadium was designed by specialist sports stadia architects, The Miller Partnership, whose designs include Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Structural steelwork for the development was provided by Rowecord Engineering of Newport, the stands have a slight curvature to allow for better views. Having previously been known by the title of Pemberton Stadium. The approach to the stand is known as the Ray Gravell Legends Walkway paved with bricks naming each Llanelli RFC. Parc y Scarlets officially opened on 15 November to Llanelli RFC who played the first match at the stadium in a 32–3 win over Cardiff RFC in the Principality Premiership. The match was held before a limited to a maximum of 4,000 due to laws that require a stadium to host three events at restricted capacity before it can be authorised for its full capacity. The Scarlets hosted their first match at Parc y Scarlets on 28 November against Munster in the Celtic League with capacity limited to 9,000. The Scarlets first Heineken Cup match in the new stadium was on 12 December against Ulster, the official opening ceremony was held on 31 January 2009 when the Scarlets hosted the Barbarians, defeating them 40–24. It has also acted as home stadium for Llanelli A. F. C, when the facilities at their Stebonheath Park ground have not been sufficient, such as in European competitions. List of stadia in Wales by capacity Official site
Barmouth is a town in the county of Gwynedd, north-western Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Mawddach and Cardigan Bay. Located in the Historic county of Merionethshire, the Welsh form of the name is derived from Aber, the town is served by Barmouth railway station. The town grew around the industry, and more recently as a seaside resort. Notable buildings include the mediaeval Tŷ Gwyn tower house, the 19th century Tŷ Crwn roundhouse prison, dinas Oleu which is located east of the town on the adjoining hillside, was the first tract of land to be donated to the National Trust. In January 2014 two trains were stranded at Barmouth after severe storms destroyed the sea wall at nearby Llanaber. Barmouth Bridge, which takes the Cambrian Line over the River Mawddach, was formerly at the end of the GWR Ruabon Barmouth line. The southern end of the bridge is now the start of the Mawddach Trail, the Barmouth Ferry sails from Barmouth to Penrhyn Point, where it connects with the narrow gauge Fairbourne Railway for the village of Fairbourne. The town has a RNLI lifeboat station with a Visitors Centre with shop, the nearest rugby club is in Dolgellau, some seven miles away. Barmouth has one association football team, Barmouth & Dyffryn United. Barmouth is the venue for the annual Barmouth Beach Race, a motocross event, usually taking place on the last weekend in October, the event sees riders take part in beach racing, using a temporary motocross course constructed on the beach. Over 200 riders typically take part in this event, with spectators attending free of charge, the event attracts champion riders from England and Wales. The busy harbour plays host to the annual Three Peaks yacht race, charlie Brooks, actress Herbert Tudor Buckland, architect Auguste Guyard, French educationalist and philosopher who moved to Barmouth upon the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Harold Lowe, 5th officer, RMS Titanic Tommy Nutter, fashion designer Fanny Talbot, public benefactor Bill Tilman, mountaineer and sailor, jim Valentine, legendary RU/Northern Union player, killed by lightning in Barmouth 25 July 1904. Johnny Williams, boxer St Davids Church, Barmouth St Johns Church, Barmouth St Tudwals Church, Barmouth community website latest news from Barmouth and historical photo gallery and much more. Mawddachestuary. co. uk Whats on in Barmouth Illustrated Guide to Barmouth Sunset at Barmouth and Barmouth Evening by Christopher Williams, painted in 1910s, aerial photograph of Barmouth www. geograph. co. uk, photos of Barmouth and surrounding area
Wrexham is the largest town in north Wales and an administrative, commercial, retail and educational centre. Wrexham is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley alongside the border with England, historically part of Denbighshire, the town became part of Clwyd in 1974 and since 1996 has been the centre of the Wrexham County Borough. At the 2011 Census, Wrexham had a population of 61,603, human activity in the Wrexham area dates back to the Mesolithic period. By the early Middle Bronze Age the area had developed into a centre for an innovative metalworking industry, a Roman civilian settlement was located in the Plas Coch area of Wrexham and excavations have revealed evidence of agriculture and trade with the wider Roman world. By the end of the 6th century AD, the area was being contested between the Celtic-speaking inhabitants and the English-speaking invaders advancing from the east, the origins of the name Wrexham may possibly be traced back to this period. Renewed Welsh and Viking attacks led to a reduction in Anglo-Saxon power in north Wales from the early 10th century, following the Welsh reconquest of the area during the 11th century, Wrexham formed part of the native Welsh lordship of Maelor. During the 12th century the lordship was disputed between the Welsh and the English. The first recorded reference to the town in 1161 is to a Norman motte and bailey castle at Wristlesham which was founded in the Erddig area around 1150 by Hugh de Avranches. However, by the early 13th century Wrexham was undisputedly in the hands of the Welsh house of Powys Fadog, stability under the princes of Powys enabled Wrexham to develop as a trading town and administrative centre of one of the two commotes making up the Lordship. Following the loss of Welsh independence on the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, Wrexham became part of the semi-independent Marcher lordship of Bromfield and Yale. From 1327 onwards, the town is referred to as a villa mercatoria and by 1391 Wrexham was wealthy enough for a bard, jester, juggler, dancer and goldsmith to earn their living there. At the beginning of the 15th century, the local gentry, local poet Glyn Gutor Glyn wrote of Sion ap Madog, the great-nephew of Owain Glyndŵr, as Alecsander i Wrecsam. In the mid 15th century, the church was gutted by fire. The main part of the current church was built in the late 15th, the Acts of Union passed during the reign of Henry VIII brought the lordship into the full system of English administration and law. It became part of the new shire of Denbighshire in 1536, the economic character remained predominantly agricultural into the 17th century but there were workshops of weavers, smiths, nailers as well as dye houses. A grammar school was established in 1603 by Alderman Valentine Broughton of Chester, during the English Civil War, Wrexham was on the side of the Royalists, as most Welsh gentry supported the King, but local landowner Sir Thomas Myddelton, owner of Chirk Castle, supported Parliament. The Industrial Revolution began in Wrexham in 1762 when the entrepreneur John Wilkinson, known as Iron Mad Wilkinson, wilkinsons steam engines enabled a peak of production at Minera Lead Mines on the outskirts of Wrexham. Wrexham was also known for its industry, by the 18th century there were a number of skinners and tanners in the town
Pwllheli is a community and the main market town of the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd, north-western Wales. It had a population of 4,076 in 2011 of whom a large proportion,81 per cent, are Welsh speaking, Pwllheli is the place where Plaid Cymru was founded. It is the birthplace of the Welsh poet Sir Albert Evans-Jones, the towns name means salt water basin. The town was given its charter as a borough by Edward, the Black Prince in 1355, the town grew around the shipbuilding and fishing industries, and the granite quarry at Gimlet Rock. During the 1890s, the town was developed by Solomon Andrews and this work included the Promenade, roads and houses at West End. A tramway was built linking the town to Llanbedrog, the trams ran until 1927 when the section of track between Carreg-y-Defaid and Tyddyn-Caled was seriously damaged by a storm. Andrews ran the Cardiff Road section in 1928, and offered to sell the tramway to Pwllheli Corporation at the end of the season and he then sold the assets, and the Corporation removed the tracks during the winter of 1928/29. For many years a holiday camp run by Butlins operated a few miles from Pwllheli at Pen-y-chain. During the Second World War it became a camp, HMS Glendower. After the war, Butlins re-established the holiday camp, the camp, now renamed Hafan y Môr, has been redeveloped and is now run by the Haven group. Pwllheli is the town of the Llŷn Peninsula, and has a range of shops. As a local railhead with a market every Wednesday, the town is a point for the population of the whole peninsula. The junior pupils were located at the Penrallt site and the pupils at a new complex in Cardiff Road. This new school was expanded to accommodate all pupils under the Ysgol Glan y Môr name. The Penrallt site was redeveloped as the Pwllheli campus of Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor. The façade of the building of the old grammar school was retained and incorporated into the design of the current college buildings. Thus the old school is seen from the town square as it has been since the former Pwllheli County School moved to Penrallt in the early 20th century. Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor Pwllheli railway station is the terminus of the Cambrian Coast Railway running to Machynlleth with services continuing to Shrewsbury, the station is operated and served by Arriva Trains Wales
Aberdare is a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, at the confluence of the Rivers Dare and Cynon. The population at the 2001 census was 31,705, Aberdare is 4 miles south-west of Merthyr Tydfil,20 miles north-west of Cardiff and 22 miles east-north-east of Swansea. During the 19th century it became an industrial settlement, which was also notable for the vitality of its cultural life. Aberdare dates from the Middle Ages and it was originally a small village in an agricultural district, centred around the Church of St John the Baptist, said to date from 1189. By the middle of the 15th century, Aberdare contained a mill in addition to a number of thatched cottages. Two major industries supported the growth of the community, first iron, a branch of the Glamorganshire Canal was used to transport these products, then the railway became the main means of transport to the South Wales coast. From the 1870s onwards, the economy of the town was dominated by the mining industry. There were also several brickworks and breweries, during the latter half of the 19th century, considerable improvements were made to the town, which became a pleasant place to live, despite the nearby collieries. A postgraduate theological college opened in connection with the Church of England in 1892, the services in the majority of the chapels were in Welsh. Most of these chapels have now closed, with many converted to other uses, the urban district includes what were once the separate villages of Aberaman, Abernant, Cwmaman, Cwmbach, Cwmdare, Llwydcoed, Penywaun and Trecynon. There are several cairns and the remains of a circular British encampment on the mountain between Aberdare and Merthyr. This population growth, a result of the growth of the coal trade was increasingly concentrated in the previously agricultural areas of Blaengwawr. Many of the came from the rural parts of west Wales which had been affected by an agricultural depression. Population levels continued to increase over the forty years, albeit with a small decline in the 1870s. The first decade of the 20th century saw a sharp increase, largely as a result of the steam coal trade. The population has declined owing to the loss of most of the heavy industry. Welsh was the prominent language until the mid 20th century and Aberdare was an important centre of Welsh language publishing, a large proportion of the early migrant population were Welsh speaking, and in 1851 only ten per cent of the population had been born outside of Wales. Griffiths meanwhile, was vicar of Merthyr in order to escape local anger
Bangor City F.C.
Bangor City Football Club are a semi-professional Welsh football club from the City of Bangor, Gwynedd. The club compete in the Welsh Premier League, being ever present since the league was founded in 1992. Bangor City F. C. is one of Wales older football clubs, and has an history of competition in European football. In the 1961–62 season, Bangor City won the Welsh Cup, in the first round, Bangor was drawn against the Italian Cup winners, Napoli, at the time one of Europes greatest football teams. In the first leg, played at Farrar Road, unexpectedly Bangor won 2–0, world superstar Bobby Charlton guested for the Blues in the 1978 Anglo-Italian Tournament. At the end of 1977–78 when Southport was relegated from the English Football League Fourth Division, Bangor City, Boston United, due to Wigan Athletic having installed crush barriers, Bangor missed out on promotion. In 1979–80 Bangor City was invited to compete in the Alliance Premier League, on 12 May 1984 Bangor became the first Welsh club to play at Wembley since Cardiff in 1927, when reaching the FA Trophy final against Northwich Victoria. The match finished 1–1, with local boy Paul Whelan scoring for Bangor, the replay was played in Stokes Victoria Ground, and despite a goal from another Bangor lad, Bangor lost 2–1 conceding in the last minute. In 1985 Bangor City was back in the ECWC, in the first round drawn against the Norwegian cup winners, Fredrikstad. Interestingly, captain of Bangor that season was midfielder Mark Palios, against Atletico, Palios shaved the post with a header in the first minute that would have given Bangor an unlikely lead in the first leg at Farrar Road following a cross by Phil Lunn. In 1994 as League of Wales Champions, Bangor City entered the UEFA Cup, akranes won the leg in Bangor by 2–1, while Bangor lost the match in Iceland by 2–0. Łódź were a powerful side, But Nick dominated throughout the game. Having played Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United in earlier campaigns, manager at the time was Nigel Adkins, now in charge of Championship side Reading. Unsurprisingly Bangor were beaten, 2–0 at home, and 1–0 in Finland, in 2006 the club made it to the Welsh Cup final where they were beaten by Rhyl 2–0 at Wrexhams Racecourse ground. The club managed to win back the Welsh Cup in 2008, defying the odds and defeating league high fliers Llanelli 4–2 after extra time at Latham Park, Newtown. An injury time equaliser saw an invasion by celebrating Bangor fans before the Blues were able proceeding to defeat their expensively-assembled opponents during the additional period. Victory in the Welsh Cup meant that Bangor had again qualified for Europe, the first leg was held at the Racecourse ground, Wrexham, saw Bangor beaten 6–1 by a talented Danish side. Despite this early setback Bangor ended the 2008–09 season with yet more silverware as they retained the Welsh Cup by defeating Aberystwyth Town 2–0 in a match held at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Holywell Town F.C.
Holywell Town F. C. is a Welsh football club from Holywell, Flintshire. They are nicknamed The Wellmen, and play their games at Halkyn Road. Holywell Town were founding members of both the Cymru Alliance and the League of Wales and enjoyed their best period in the top flight in the mid-1990s. For the 2015-16 season, they will be playing back in the Cymru Alliance after a gap of nine due to winning the Welsh Alliance League Division 1 the previous season. The history of football in Holywell can be traced back to a club that was known as Holywell. There is evidence of a Holywell team existing way back in 1881, back in March 1893, Holywell became one of the seven founder members of the North Wales Coast League, and had 58 players registered with the club within six months of the league commencing. Holywell would finish 4th in the season of the North Wales Coast League. This was followed by three seasons of fifth-place league finishes, ending in 1897–98, when the finished in sixth place. This would be the worst position the club would end up during their time in the Coast League, the club reached their first cup final in 1898, when they faced Bangor City for the North Wales Senior Cup, but would lose the final 3–0 to Bangor City. However, after being engulfed by the Baron Corvo episode of 1899, the left the North Wales Coast League at the end of the 1900–01 season. After three years absence, football returned to Holywell in 1905, with the formation of a new club and they would later rejoin the North Wales Coast League for the 1912–13 season. Holywell United was to enjoy a run during the next few years. In the 1913–14 season, they achieved the North Wales Coast League and Amateur Cup double, winning 15 of their 17 league games and it was during this period when Holywell United hosted their biggest game at that time, playing an Everton XI at their Ffordd Fer ground. The Merseysiders included at least five players with English First Division experience within the team and they also reached the final of the North Wales Coast Amateur Cup for the fifth time, but would lose to Holyhead 3–1. In 1929–30, the club first appeared under the new name of Holywell Arcadians, for the following three seasons, Holywell Arcadians competed in the Welsh Football League, which ran alongside the North Wales Football Combination, and was the forerunner of the Welsh League. Holywells social and football history came together and combined to establish the club as it is known today, in 1946 former soldiers that were returning home from World War II established the club at Halkyn Road, where it has played its home games ever since. It was also around this period that the moniker of The Wellmen was adopted by the club, the Wellmen beat Barmouth 2–0 in the final at Llandudno. More success came to Holywell when they joined the Welsh League in the 1949–50 season and they finished a highly creditable fifth place, but went on to become the Welsh League champions in the 1952–53 season
The Welsh Cup is a knock-out football competition contested annually by teams in the Welsh football league system. The Football Association of Wales is the body of this competition. The winning team qualifies to play in the following seasons UEFA Europa League, until 1995, Welsh clubs playing in the Welsh or English leagues were invited to play in the Welsh Cup. On occasion some English clubs, mostly those from border areas such as Shrewsbury, Hereford, however, in the event of an English club winning the Welsh Cup, they were not allowed to progress to the European Cup Winners Cup. Instead, the best placed Welsh club in the Welsh Cup competition would take the European place, from 1996 to 2011, only clubs playing in the Welsh football league system were allowed to enter the Welsh Cup. This rule excluded the six Welsh clubs who played in the English football league system, Cardiff City, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham. On 20 April 2011, the Football Association of Wales invited these six clubs to rejoin the Welsh Cup for the 2011–12 season, between the 1961–62 and 1984–85 seasons, the final was played as a two-leg match, originally on a points basis rather than aggregate score. In the 1985–86 season, it reverted to a game, to be decided by extra time. The last English winner of the Welsh Cup was Hereford United in 1990, for a list of Welsh Cup finals including venue and attendance information see List of Welsh Cup finals