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Aberdare

Aberdare is a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, at the confluence of the Rivers Dare and Cynon. Aberdare has a population of 14,462. 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 a thriving industrial settlement, notable for the vitality of its cultural life and as an important publishing centre; the settlement of Aberdare dates from at least the Middle Ages, with the first known reference being in a monastic chapter of 1203 concerning grazing right on Hirwaun Common. It was 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 water mill in addition to a number of thatched cottages, of which no evidence remains. In the early 19th century the population grew owing to the abundance of coal and iron ore,: the population of the whole parish, 1,486 in 1801, increased tenfold during the first half of the 19th century.

Two major industries supported the growth of the community: first iron coal. A branch of the Glamorganshire Canal was used to transport these products. From the 1870s onwards, the economy of the town was dominated by the coal mining industry, with only a small tinplate works. There were 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, but in 1907 it moved to Llandaff. With the ecclesiastical parishes of St Fagan's and Aberaman carved out of the ancient parish, Aberdare had 12 Anglican churches and one Catholic church, built in 1866 in Monk Street near the site of a cell attached to Penrhys monastery; 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, Cwmaman, Cwmdare, Llwydcoed and Trecynon.

There are several cairns and the remains of a circular British encampment on the mountain between Aberdare and Merthyr. Hirwaun moor, 4 miles to the north west of Aberdare, was according to tradition the scene of a battle at which Rhys ap Tewdwr, prince of Dyfed, was defeated by the allied forces of the Norman Robert Fitzhamon and Iestyn ap Gwrgant, the last Welsh prince of Glamorgan; the parish population was 1,486 in 1801, but expanded fast during the 1840s and 1850s: the population of the Aberdare District, centred on the town, was 9,322 in 1841. This population growth, a result of the growth of the steam coal trade was concentrated in the agricultural areas of Blaengwawr and Cefnpennar to the south of the town. Many of the migrants came from the rural parts of west Wales, affected by an agricultural depression. Population levels continued to increase over the next forty years, albeit with a small decline in the 1870s; the first decade of the 20th century saw a further sharp increase as a result of the steam coal trade, reaching 53,779 in 1911.

The population has since declined owing to the loss of most of the heavy industry. The Aberdare population at the 2001 census was 31,705. By 2011 it was 29,748, though the figure includes the surrounding populations of Aberaman, Abercwmboi and Llwydcoed. On 1 December 2016, following The Rhondda Cynon Taf Order 2016, the community of Aberdare was split into two new communities, Aberdare East and Aberdare West; these are coterminous with the electoral wards of the same names. Aberdare East includes the village of Abernant. Aberdare West includes Cwm Sian and Trecynon. 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, in 1851 only ten per cent of the population had been born outside of Wales. In his controversial evidence to the 1847 Education Reports, the Anglican vicar of Aberdare, John Griffith, stated that the English language was "generally understood" and referred to the arrival of people from anglicised areas such as Radnorshire and south Pembrokeshire.

Griffith made allegations about the Welsh speaking population and what he considered to be the degraded character of the women of Aberdare, alleging sexual promiscuity was an accepted social convention, that drunkenness and improvidence amongst the miners was common and attacking what he saw as exaggerated emotion in the religious practices of the Nonconformists. This evidence helped inform the findings of the report which would go on to stigmatise Welsh people as "ignorant", "lazy" and "immoral" and found the reason for this was the continued use of the Welsh language, which it described as "evil"; the controversial reports allowed the local non-conformist minister Thomas Price of Calfaria to arrange public meetings, from which he would emerge as a leading critic of the vicar's evidence and, by implication, a defender of both the Welsh language and the morality of the local population, It is still contended that Griffiths was made vicar of Merthyr in t

Blackall Range

The Blackall Range is a mountain range in South East Queensland, Australia. The first European explorer in the area was Ludwig Leichhardt, it was named after Samuel Blackall, the second Governor of Queensland. The Blackall Range dominates the hinterland area of the Sunshine Coast, west of Nambour. Maleny, Mapleton and Flaxton are the main settlements located on the range; the Stanley River rises from the southern slopes. Baroon Pocket Dam is a reservoir on Obi Obi Creek which drains the north west slopes of the range. Mary Cairncross Reserve marks the site of the first settler's house on the Blackall Range. Curramore Sanctuary, Mapleton Falls National Park and Kondalilla National Park are located on the range. A number of lookouts on the range provide views towards the coast. One of these is located at Howells Knob, a mountain which rises 561 m above sea level. With its views, natural environment and an established tourist industry providing accommodation, art galleries and specialty shops, the Blackall Range is a popular tourist destination.

Timber resources in the area attracted timber-cutters in 1860s. The last logging on the range occurred in 1939; the Blackall and Bunya Mountains ranges are the only two locations where the bunya pine species of tree is found naturally. Activities by community groups with the support of the Queensland Government succeeded in recognising the range with iconic status, meaning the area is given greater environmental protection. In mid-2008, iconic status was confirmed, making the Blackall Range the third such declaration in Queensland after Noosa and Port Douglas. Dalla is a language of the Upper Brisbane River catchment, notably the Conondale Range. Dalla is part of the Duungidjawu language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Somerset and Moreton Bay Regional Councils the towns of Caboolture, Kilcoy and Moore. Glass House Mountains List of mountains in Australia Blackall Range: Nature and history

Whiteknights Park

Whiteknights Park, or the Whiteknights Campus of the University of Reading, is the principal campus of that university. The park covers the area of the manor of Earley Whiteknights known as Earley St Nicholas and Earley Regis. Whiteknights Park is some two miles south of the centre of the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire; the campus is 1.3 square kilometres in size and includes lakes, conservation meadows and woodlands as well as being home to most of the university's academic departments and several halls of residence. The site was the home of John De Erleigh II, the famous foster-son of the Regent of England, William Marshal, but takes its name from the nickname of his great grandson, the 13th-century knight, John De Erleigh IV, the'White Knight'; the De Erleigh family were owners of this manor for some two hundred years before 1365. St. Thomas Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford and advisor to King Edward I, was allowed to live there during the 1270s. In 1606 the estate was purchased by the nephew of Sir Francis Englefield, following the confiscation of Englefield House and its estates in 1585.

The Englefield family in turn sold the estate to George Spencer-Churchill, the Marquis of Blandford, in 1798. Between 1798 and 1819, the estate was the scene of vast extravagance and wild entertainments, all at the Marquis' expense. Splendid gardens were laid out. In 1819, George Spencer, by now the Duke of Marlborough, became bankrupt and moved to his family home at Blenheim Palace at Woodstock in Oxfordshire; the gardens of the Whiteknights estate have been described in a book by Barbara Hofland with engraved pictures of the gardens and its multitude of bridges, fountains and grotto's by her husband Thomas Christopher Hofland. The book was ordered by the Marquess of Blandford, but like many other items that he ordered or purchased, it was never paid for; the gardens boasted a "chantilly garden" in the French style, a vineyard, a wilderness, a cottage, a gothic chapel, botanical gardens full of the rarest plants, many of them new from the Americas, an iron bridge, a stone bridge, an extensive sheep walk, an elm grove, an oak grove, a cedar seat and cedars, an ice house, several conservatories and heated basins.

In the grounds, cast-iron or wooden baskets filled with scarlet sage or the exotic begonias were scattered throughout the lawns. There were many, some garden-critics commented "too many" seats, covered seats and pavilions. Mary Soames, who wrote a book about the 5th Duke of Marlborough and his gardens in Whiteknights and Blenheim remarked that the 280 acres were "too small a canvas" for the marquesses' "broad brush"; the estate was sold off and the house was demolished in 1840 by a mob of the Duke's angry creditors. The land was broken up into six leasehold units in 1867 and a number of the new houses were designed by Alfred Waterhouse, including his own residence at Foxhill House and the smaller Whiteknights House for his father. During the Second World War, part of the park closest to the Earley Gate entrance was used for'temporary' government offices, several ranges of these single story, brick built and spur buildings still stand. After the war, this area became home to the Region 6 War Room responsible for civil defence in south-central England.

The resulting nuclear bunker constructed in the 1950s still stands in a little visited corner of the campus, although demolition had been proposed in the 2007 campus development plan. However, in March 2009 the threatened building was given Grade II listed status, so demolition seems unlikely; the bunker is maintained and used by the campus library as a storage and cataloguing facility for books not present in the library itself. In the years after the second World War some traces of the gardens of the Marquess of Blandford have been discovered. There were a few old exotic trees and part of a fountain was found on a skip; the University of Reading purchased Whiteknights Park in 1947, today it is the home of the university's administration, most of the academic departments and six halls of residence. The halls of residence are all along Whiteknights Road and Upper Redlands Road sides of the campus, with their own vehicular access off those roads and with only pedestrian access to the core of the campus.

Along the Wilderness Road and Pepper Lane sides of the campus, the campus is screened from the outside by undeveloped woodland and by the Harris Garden, the university's botanical garden. The campus core is therefore only visible from outside in the area around the main entrance on the Shinfield Road and the adjacent Elmhurst Road; the centre of the campus is bisected into two unequal halves by a chain of lakes which are crossed by several pedestrian bridges but with no vehicular link. To the west of the lakes can be found most of the academic departments, catering services, the university administration and the students union building. With the exception of a couple of surviving Victorian residences, including Foxhill House, all of these are housed in purpose built buildings dating from the 1950s to the 2000s; the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading Herbarium and the Cole Museum of Zoology are both found in this area. The largest building on the campus, the Edith Morley Building, forms one end of the central courtyard.

Known as the HumSS building before being renamed in commemoration of Edith Morley in 2017, it is sometimes nicknamed "The Maze" due to its significant size and complex layout of corridors. The RUSU building comprises the students' union itself, a small parade of shops including a bookstore