Snowdonia is a mountainous region in northwestern Wales and a national park of 823 square miles in area. It was the first to be designated of the three national parks in Wales, in 1951, it contains the highest peaks in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland. The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 3560 ft. In Welsh, the area is named Eryri. A held belief is that the name is derived from eryr, thus means'the abode/land of eagles', but recent evidence is that it means Highlands, is related to the Latin oriri as leading Welsh scholar Sir Ifor Williams proved; the term Eryri first appeared in a manuscript in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, in an account of the downfall of the semi-legendary 5th-century king Gwrtheyrn. In the Middle Ages the title Prince of Wales and Lord of Snowdonia was used by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Before the boundaries of the national park were designated, "Snowdonia" was used to refer to a smaller area, namely the upland area of northern Gwynedd centred on the Snowdon massif, whereas the national park covers an area more than twice that size extending far to the south into Meirionnydd.
This is apparent in books published prior to 1951, such as the classic travelogue Wild Wales by George Borrow and The Mountains of Snowdonia by H. Carr & G. Lister. F. J. North, as editor of the book Snowdonia, states "When the Committee delineated provisional boundaries, they included areas some distance beyond Snowdonia proper." The traditional Snowdonia thus includes the ranges of Snowdon and its satellites, the Glyderau, the Carneddau and the Moel Siabod group. It does not include the hills to the south of Maentwrog; as Eryri, this area has a unique place in Welsh history and culture. Snowdonia National Park was established in 1951 as the third national park in Britain, following the Peak District and the Lake District, it covers 827 square miles, has 37 miles of coastline. The Snowdonia National Park covers parts of the counties of Conwy; the park is governed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority, made up of local government and Welsh representatives, its main offices are at Penrhyndeudraeth.
Unlike national parks in other countries, Snowdonia are made up of both public and private lands under central planning authority. The makeup of land ownership at Snowdonia is as follows: More than 26,000 people live within the park. 58.6% of the population could speak Welsh in 2011. While most of the land is either open or mountainous land, there is a significant amount of agricultural activity within the park. Since the local government re-organisation of 1998, the park lies in the county of Gwynedd, in the county borough of Conwy, it is governed by the 18-member Snowdonia National Park Authority. Unusually, Snowdonia National Park has a hole in the middle, around the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, a slate quarrying centre; this was deliberately excluded from the park when it was set up to allow the development of new light industry to replace the reduced slate industry. The Snowdonia Society is a registered charity formed in 1967, it is a voluntary group of people with an interest in its protection.
Amory Lovins led the successful 1970s opposition to stop Rio Tinto digging up the area for a massive mine. Research indicates that there were 3.67 million visitors to Snowdonia National Park in 2013, with 9.74 million tourist days spent in the park during that year. Total tourist expenditure was £433.6 million in 2013. Snowdonia may be divided into four areas: The northernmost area is the most popular with tourists, includes Moel Hebog, Mynydd Mawr and the Nantlle Ridge; these last three groups are the highest mountains in Wales, include all Wales' mountains higher than 3000 feet. The second area includes peaks such as Moel Siabod, the Moelwynion, the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog; the third area includes the Rhinogydd in the west as well as the Arenig and the Migneint, Rhobell Fawr. This area is not as popular with tourists as the other areas, due to its remoteness; the southernmost area includes Cadair Idris, the Tarren range, the Dyfi hills, the Aran group, including Aran Fawddwy, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom south of Snowdon.
The Berwyn range to the south east, has the western part of it in the park, but the highest summits to the east have been omitted. Many of the hikers in the area concentrate on Snowdon itself, it is regarded as a fine mountain, but at times gets crowded. The other high mountains with their boulder-strewn summits—as well as Tryfan, one of the few mountains in the UK south of Scotland whose ascent needs hands as well as feet—are very popular. However, there are some spectacular walks in Snowdonia on the lower mountains, they tend to be unfrequented. Among hikers' favourites are Y Garn along the ridge to Elidir Fawr.
Roman roads were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, were built from about 300 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. They provided efficient means for the overland movement of armies and civilians, the inland carriage of official communications and trade goods. Roman roads were of several kinds, ranging from small local roads to broad, long-distance highways built to connect cities, major towns and military bases; these major roads were stone-paved and metaled, cambered for drainage, were flanked by footpaths and drainage ditches. They were laid along surveyed courses, some were cut through hills, or conducted over rivers and ravines on bridgework. Sections could be supported over marshy ground on piled foundations. At the peak of Rome's development, no fewer than 29 great military highways radiated from the capital, the late Empire's 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great roads; the whole comprised more than 400,000 kilometres of roads, of which over 80,500 kilometres were stone-paved.
In Gaul alone, no less than 21,000 kilometres of roadways are said to have been improved, in Britain at least 4,000 kilometres. The courses of many Roman roads survived for millennia. Livy mentions some of the most familiar roads near Rome, the milestones on them, at times long before the first paved road—the Appian Way. Unless these allusions are just simple anachronisms, the roads referred to were at the time little more than levelled earthen tracks. Thus, the Via Gabina is mentioned in about 500 BC. In the Itinerary of Antoninus, the description of the road system, after the death of Julius Caesar and during the tenure of Augustus, is as follows: "With the exception of some outlying portions, such as Britain north of the Wall and certain provinces east of the Euphrates, the whole Empire was penetrated by these itinera. There is hardly a district to which we might expect a Roman official to be sent, on service either civil or military, where we do not find roads, they reach the Wall in Britain.
A road map of the empire reveals that it was laced with a dense network of prepared viae. Beyond its borders there were no paved roads. There were, for instance, some pre-Roman ancient trackways in Britain, such as the Ridgeway and the Icknield Way. For specific roads, see Roman road locations below; the Laws of the Twelve Tables, dated to about 450 BC, required that any public road be 8 Roman feet wide where straight and twice that width where curved. These were the minimum widths for a via. Actual practices varied from this standard; the Tables command Romans to build public roads and give wayfarers the right to pass over private land where the road is in disrepair. Building roads that would not need frequent repair therefore became an ideological objective, as well as building them as straight as possible in order to build the narrowest roads possible, thus save on material. Roman law defined the right to use a road as liability; the ius eundi established a claim to use an footpath, across private land.
A via combined both types of servitutes, provided it was of the proper width, determined by an arbiter. The default width was the latitudo legitima of 8 feet. Roman law and tradition forbade the use of vehicles except in certain cases. Married women and government officials on business could ride; the Lex Iulia Municipalis restricted commercial carts to night-time access in the city within the walls and within a mile outside the walls. Roman roads varied from simple corduroy roads to paved roads using deep roadbeds of tamped rubble as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water would flow out from between the stones and fragments of rubble, instead of becoming mud in clay soils. According to Ulpian, there were three types of roads: Viae publicae, praetoriae or militares Viae privatae, glareae or agrariae Viae vicinales The first type of road included public high or main roads and maintained at the public expense, with their soil vested in the state; such roads led either to a town, or to a public river, or to another public road.
Siculus Flaccus, who lived under Trajan, calls them viae publicae regalesque, describes their characteristics as follows: They are placed under curatores, repaired by redemptores at the public expense. These roads bear the names of their constructors. Roman roads were named after the censor who had ordered their reconstruction; the same person served afterwards as c
The Afon Dulas is a river forming the border between Merionethshire/Gwynedd and Montgomeryshire/Powys in Wales. It rises from a source in the hills above Aberllefenni and passes through Corris and Pantperthog before joining the Afon Dyfi at Ffridd Gate near Machynlleth; the A487 trunk road follows the valley from Ffridd Gate to Corris The Roman road Sarn Helen followed the valley from Aberllefenni to Ffridd Gate The Corris Railway ran through the valley from Aberllefenni to Ffridd Gate Nant Ralltgoed Afon Llefenni Afon Deri Nant y Goedwig Afon Glesyrch Nant y Cadian Nant y Darren Another river called the Afon Dulas joins the Dyfi from the south, upstream of its confluence with the North Dulas. Locally this is referred to as the South Dulas, it rises in Glaslyn, below the slopes of Foel Fadian, passes the hamlet of Forge and Plas Dolguog before joining the Dyfi
Dolgellau is a market town and community in Gwynedd, north-west Wales, lying on the River Wnion, a tributary of the River Mawddach. It is traditionally the county town of the historic county of Merionethshire, which lost its administrative status when Gwynedd was created in 1974. Dolgellau is the main base for climbers of Cadair Idris; the site of Dolgellau was, in the pre-Roman Celtic period, part of the tribal lands of the Ordovices, who were conquered by the Romans in AD 77–78. Although a few Roman coins from the reigns of Emperors Hadrian and Trajan have been found near Dolgellau, the area is marshy and there is no evidence that it was settled during the Roman period. There are, three hill forts in the vicinity of Dolgellau, of uncertain origin. After the Romans left, the area came under the control of a series of Welsh chieftains, although Dolgellau was not inhabited until the late 11th or 12th century, when it was established as a "serf village" by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn — it remained a serf village until the reign of Henry Tudor.
A church was built in the 12th century, although Cymer Abbey, founded in 1198 in nearby Llanelltyd, remained the most important religious centre locally. Dolgellau gained in importance from this period onwards, was mentioned in the Survey of Merioneth ordered by Edward I. In 1404 it was the location of a council of chiefs under Owain Glyndŵr. After a visit by George Fox in 1657, many inhabitants of Dolgellau converted to Quakerism. Persecution led a large number of them to emigrate to Pennsylvania in 1686, under the leadership of Rowland Ellis, a local gentleman-farmer; the Pennsylvanian town of Bryn Mawr, home to a prestigious women's liberal arts college, is named after Ellis's farm near Dolgellau. The woollen industry was long of the greatest importance to the town's economy; the industry declined in the first half of the 19th century, owing to the introduction of mechanical looms. Another important contributor to the local economy was tanning, which continued into the 1980s in Dolgellau, though on a much reduced scale.
The town was the centre of a minor gold rush in the 19th century. At one time the local gold mines employed over 500 workers. Clogau St. David's mine in Bontddu and Gwynfynydd mine in Ganllwyd have supplied gold for many royal weddings. Dolgellau was the county town of Merionethshire until 1974 when, following the Local Government Act of 1972, it became the administrative centre of Meirionnydd, a district of the county of Gwynedd; this was abolished in 1996 by the Local Government Act 1994. Today, the economy of Dolgellau relies chiefly on tourism, it is believed that Dolgellau Cricket Club, founded in 1869 by Frederick Temple, is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Wales. For nearly a century Dolgellau was the home of Dr Williams School, a pioneering girls' secondary school; this was funded from the legacy of Daniel Williams the Welsh nonconformist of the 17th/18th century. The name of the town is of uncertain origin, although dôl is Welsh for "meadow" or "dale", gelli means "grove" or "spinney", is common locally in names for farms in sheltered nooks.
This would seem to be the most derivation, giving the translation "Grove Meadow". It has been suggested that the name could derive from the word cell, meaning "cell", translating therefore as "Meadow of cells", but this seems less considering the history of the name; the earliest recorded spelling is "Dolkelew", although a spelling "Dolgethley" dates from 1285. From until the 19th century, most spellings were along the lines of "Dôlgelly" "Dolgelley", "Dolgelly" or "Dolgelli". Thomas Pennant used the form "Dolgelleu" in his Tours of Wales, this was the form used in the Church Registers in 1723, although it never had much currency. In 1825 the Registers had "Dolgellau", which form Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt adopted in 1836. While this form may derive from a false etymology, it became standard in Welsh and is now the standard form in both Welsh and English, it was adopted as the official name by the local rural district council in 1958. Shortly before the closure of the town's railway station it displayed signs reading variously Dolgelly and Dolgellau.
Dolgellau is home to Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor. The site it occupies was home to Dr Williams' School, a direct grant grammar school for girls aged 7–18 established in 1875, it was named after its benefactor Dr Daniel Williams, a Nonconformist minister from Wrexham, who gave his name to Dr Williams's Library in Euston, London. The school closed in 1975. Dolgellau Grammar School, a boys' school, had been established in 1665 by the Rector of Dolgellau, Dr John Ellis, at Pen Bryn, before moving to its present site on the Welshpool road. In 1962, it became a comprehensive school under the name Ysgol y Gader, it has 310 pupils and, according to the latest inspection report by Estyn, it has a GCSE pass rate of 75%, which puts it in joint 11th place in Wales, makes it o
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
Slate industry in Wales
The existence of a slate industry in Wales is attested since the Roman period, when slate was used to roof the fort at Segontium, now Caernarfon. The slate industry grew until the early 18th century expanded until the late 19th century, at which time the most important slate producing areas were in northwest Wales, including the Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, the Dinorwic Quarry near Llanberis, the Nantlle Valley quarries, Blaenau Ffestiniog, where the slate was mined rather than quarried. Penrhyn and Dinorwig were the two largest slate quarries in the world, the Oakeley mine at Blaenau Ffestiniog was the largest slate mine in the world. Slate is used for roofing, but is produced as thicker slab for a variety of uses including flooring and headstones. Up to the end of the 18th century, slate was extracted on a small scale by groups of quarrymen who paid a royalty to the landlord, carted slate to the ports, shipped it to England and sometimes France. Towards the close of the century, the landowners began to operate the quarries themselves, on a larger scale.
After the government abolished slate duty in 1831, rapid expansion was propelled by the building of narrow gauge railways to transport the slates to the ports. The slate industry dominated the economy of north-west Wales during the second half of the 19th century, but was on a much smaller scale elsewhere. In 1898, a work force of 17,000 men produced half a million tons of slate. A bitter industrial dispute at the Penrhyn Quarry between 1900 and 1903 marked the beginning of its decline, the First World War saw a great reduction in the number of men employed in the industry; the Great Depression and Second World War led to the closure of many smaller quarries, competition from other roofing materials tiles, resulted in the closure of most of the larger quarries in the 1960s and 1970s. Slate production continues on a much reduced scale; the slate industry in North Wales is on the tentative World Heritage Site list whilst Welsh slate has been designated by the International Union of Geological Sciences as a Global Heritage Stone Resource.
The slate deposits of Wales belong to three geological series: Cambrian and Silurian. The Cambrian deposits run south-west from Conwy to near Criccieth. There are smaller outcrops elsewhere, for example on Anglesey; the Ordovician deposits run south-west from Betws-y-Coed to Porthmadog. There is another band of Ordovician slate further south, running from Llangynnog to Aberdyfi, quarried in the Corris area, with a few outcrops in south-west Wales, notably Pembrokeshire; the Silurian deposits are further east in the Dee valley and around Machynlleth. The virtues of slate as a building and roofing material have been recognized since the Roman period; the Roman fort at Segontium, was roofed with tiles, but the levels contain numerous slates, used for both roofing and flooring. The nearest deposits are about five miles away in the Cilgwyn area, indicating that the slates were not used because they were available on-site. During the mediaeval period, there was small-scale quarrying of slate in several areas.
The Cilgwyn quarry in the Nantlle Valley dates from the 12th century, is thought to be the oldest in Wales. The first record of slate quarrying in the neighbourhood of the Penrhyn Quarry was in 1413, when a rent-roll of Gwilym ap Griffith records that several of his tenants were paid 10 pence each for working 5,000 slates. Aberllefenni Slate Quarry may have started operating as a slate mine as early as the 14th century; the earliest confirmed date of operating dates from the early 16th century when the local house Plas Aberllefenni was roofed in slates from this quarry. Transport problems meant that the slate was used close to the quarries. There was some transport by sea. A poem by the 15th century poet Guto'r Glyn asks the Dean of Bangor to send him a shipload of slates from Aberogwen, near Bangor, to Rhuddlan to roof a house at Henllan, near Denbigh; the wreck of a wooden ship carrying finished slates was discovered in the Menai Strait and is thought to date from the 16th century. By the second half of the 16th century, there was a small export trade of slates to Ireland from ports such as Beaumaris and Caernarfon.
Slate exports from the Penrhyn estate are recorded from 1713 when 14 shipments totalling 415,000 slates were sent to Dublin. The slates were carried to the ports by pack-horses, by carts; this was sometimes done by women, the only female involvement in what was otherwise an male industry. Until the late 18th century, slate was extracted from many small pits by small partnerships of local men, who did not own the capital to expand further; the quarrymen had to pay a rent or royalty to the landlord, though the quarrymen at Cilgwyn did not. A letter from the agent of the Penrhyn estate, John Paynter, in 1738 complains that competition from Cilgwyn was affecting the sales of Penrhyn slates; the Cilgwyn slates could be sold at a higher price. Penrhyn introduced larger sizes of slate between 1730 and 1740, gave these sizes the names which became standard; these ranged from "Duchesses", the largest at 24 inches by 12 inches, through "Countesses", "Ladies" and "Doubles" to the smallest "Singles". Methusalem Jones a quarryman at Cilgwyn, began to work the Diffwys quarry at Blaenau Ffestiniog in the 1760s, which became the first large quarry in the area.
The large landowners were content to issue "take notes", allowing individuals to quarry slates on their lands for a yearly rent
Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Assembly constituency)
Dwyfor Meirionnydd is a constituency of the National Assembly for Wales, created for the 2007 Assembly election. It elects one Assembly Member by the first past the post method of election. However, it is one of eight constituencies in the Mid and West Wales electoral region, which elects four additional members, in addition to nine constituency members, to produce a degree of proportional representation for the region as a whole; the constituency shares the boundaries of the Dwyfor Meirionnydd Westminster constituency, which came into use for the 2010 United Kingdom general election, created by merging into one constituency areas which were within the Caernarfon and Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituencies. Caernarfon was a Gwynedd constituency within the preserved county of Gwynedd, one of nine constituencies in the North Wales region. Meirionnydd Nant Conwy was a Gwynedd constituency and a Clwyd constituency within the preserved county of Gwynedd and within the preserved county of Clwyd, one of eight constituencies in the Mid and West Wales electoral region.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd is a Gwynedd constituency, one of three constituencies within the preserved county of Gwynedd, one of eight constituencies in the Mid and West Wales electoral region. The other Gwynedd constituencies, however and Ynys Môn, are within the North Wales electoral region; the Mid and West Wales region consists of the constituencies of Brecon and Radnorshire, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Llanelli and Preseli Pembrokeshire. In general elections for the National Assembly for Wales, each voter has two votes; the first vote may be used to vote for a candidate to become the Assembly Member for the voter's constituency, elected by the first-past-the-post system. The second vote may be used to vote for a regional closed party list of candidates. Additional member seats are allocated from the lists by the d'Hondt method, with constituency results being taken into account in the allocation; the seat has been represented since its creation in 2007 by Dafydd Elis-Thomas of Plaid Cymru, the Assembly's former Presiding Officer.
He represented the former constituency of Meirionnydd Nant Conwy from 1999 to 2007, was the Westminster MP for the area from 1974 to 1992