Aberystwyth is an ancient market town, administrative centre and holiday resort in Ceredigion, Wales. It is located near the confluence of the Afon Rheidol. Part of Cardiganshire, since the late 19th century, Aberystwyth has been a major Welsh educational centre, with the establishment of a university college there in 1872. At the 2001 census, the town's population was 15,935. During nine months of the year, there is an influx of students—to a total number of 10,400 as of September 2012. Including the suburbs of Llanbadarn Fawr, the population is 16,420; the built-up area having a population of 18,093. The town is situated near the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol, on the west coast of Wales. Although the name may seem to suggest otherwise, only the River Rheidol passes through the town. Aberystwyth has a pier and a seafront which stretches from Constitution Hill, at the north end of the Promenade, to the mouth of the harbour at the south, taking in two separate beach stretches divided by the castle.
Today, it comprises a number of different areas: Aberystwyth town, Llanbadarn Fawr, Llanbadarn, Penparcau. Aberystwyth is an isolated town; the nearest substantial settlements are located at least 1 hour 45 minutes' drive away: Swansea, to the south, is 70 miles away. The Welsh capital, Cardiff, is over 100 miles away. London is 210 miles distant from Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth experiences an oceanic climate similar to all of the United Kingdom; this is pronounced due to its west coast location facing the Irish Sea. Air undergoes little land moderation and so temperatures reflect the sea temperature when winds are coming from the predominant onshore direction; the nearest Met Office weather station is Gogerddan, 3 miles to the northeast, at a similar elevation. The absolute maximum temperature is 34.6 °C, set during July 2006. This is the July record maximum for all of Wales, suggesting that the area's low lying situation, aided by a possible föhn effect when winds are offshore can act to achieve high temperatures on occasion.
The warmest day will average 28.0 °C and 5.6 days will achieve a maximum of 25.1 °C or above. The absolute minimum temperature is −13.5 °C, set in January 2010. 39.8 days will register an air frost. Rainfall averages 1,112 mm a year, with over 1mm recorded on 161 days. All averages refer to the 1971–2000 period. Aberystwyth is a university town and tourist destination, forms a cultural link between North Wales and South Wales. Constitution Hill, scaled by the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway, gives access to panoramic views and to other attractions at the summit, including a camera obscura. Scenic Mid Wales landscape within easy reach of the town includes the wilderness of the Cambrian Mountains, whose valleys contain forests and meadows which have changed little in centuries. A convenient way to access the interior is by the preserved narrow-gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway. Although the town is modern, there are a number of historic buildings, including the remains of the castle and the Old College of Aberystwyth University nearby.
The Old College was built and opened in 1865 as a hotel, but after the owner's bankruptcy the shell of the building was sold to the university in 1867. The new university campus overlooks Aberystwyth from Penglais Hill to the east of the town centre; the station, a terminus of the main railway, was built in 1924 in the typical style of the period in a mix of Gothic, Classical Revival, Victorian architecture. The town is the unofficial capital of Mid Wales, several institutions have regional or national offices there. Public bodies located in the town include the National Library of Wales, which incorporates the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, one of six British regional film archives; the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales maintains and curates the National Monuments Record of Wales, providing the public with information about the built heritage of Wales. Aberystwyth is the home to the national offices of UCAC and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the site of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research.
The Welsh Books Council and the offices of the standard historical dictionary of Welsh, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, are located in the town. There is evidence that during the Mesolithic Age the area of Tan-y-Bwlch at the foot of Pen Dinas was used as a flint knapping floor for hunter-gatherers making weapons from flint, deposited as the ice retreated; the remains of a Celtic fortress on Pen Dinas, a hill in Penparcau overlooking Aberystwyth, indicates that the site was inhabited before 700 BC. On a hill south of the present town, across the River Ystwyth, are the remains of a medieval ringfort believed to be the castle from which Princess Nest was abducted; this rare survival can only be accessed by arrangement. The recorded history of Aberystwyth may be said to date from the building of a fortress in 1109 by Gilbert Fitz Richard (grandfather of Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow, the Cambro-Norman lord notable for his leading role in the Norman invasion of Ire
Carmarthen is the county town of Carmarthenshire in Wales and a community. It lies on the River Towy 8 miles north of its estuary in Carmarthen Bay. Carmarthen has a claim to be the oldest town in Wales – Old Carmarthen and New Carmarthen became one borough in 1546. Carmarthen was the most populous borough in Wales in the 16th–18th centuries, described by William Camden as "the chief citie of the country". Growth was stagnating by the mid-19th century, as new economic centres developed in the South Wales coalfield; the population in 2011 was 14,185, down from 15,854 in 2001. Dyfed–Powys Police headquarters, Glangwili General Hospital and a campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are located in Carmarthen; when Britannia was a Roman province, Carmarthen was the civitas capital of the Demetae tribe, known as Moridunum. It is the oldest town in Wales, recorded by Ptolemy and in the Antonine Itinerary; the Roman fort is believed to date from about AD 75. A Roman coin hoard was found nearby in 2006.
Near the fort is one of seven surviving Roman amphitheatres in Britain and only two in Roman Wales. It was excavated in 1968; the arena itself is 50 by 30 yards. Veprauskas has argued for its identification as the Cair Guorthigirn listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britains. Evidence of the early Roman town has been investigated for a number of years, uncovering urban sites to date from the second century. During the Middle Ages, the settlement was known as Llanteulyddog and accounted one of the seven principal sees in Dyfed; the strategic importance of Carmarthen was such that the Norman William fitz Baldwin built a castle there about 1094. The current castle site is known to have been used since 1105; the castle itself was destroyed by Llywelyn the Great in 1215 but rebuilt in 1223, when permission was granted to build a town wall and crenellate the town, making it one of the first medieval walled towns in Wales. In 1405, the town was captured and the castle was sacked by Owain Glyndŵr.
The Black Book of Carmarthen, written about 1250, is associated with the town's Priory of SS John the Evangelist and Teulyddog. The Black Death of 1347–49 arrived in Carmarthen through the thriving river trade, it devastated villages such as Llanllwch. Local historians site the plague pit for the mass burial of the dead in the graveyard that adjoins the Maes-yr-Ysgol and Llys Model housing at the rear of St Catherine Street; the ancient Clas church of Llandeulyddog was an independent, pre-Norman religious community which became in 1110 the Benedictine Priory of St Peter, only to be replaced 15 years by the Augustianian Priory of St John the Evangelist and St Teulyddog. This stood at what is now Priory Street; the site is now a scheduled monument. During the 13th century, Franciscan Friars became established in the town, by 1284 had their own Friary buildings on Lammas Street, on a site now occupied by a shopping centre; the Franciscan emphasis on poverty and simplicity meant the Church was smaller and more austere than the older foundations, but this did not prevent the accumulation of treasures, it became a much sought after location for burial.
In 1456 Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond died of plague in Carmarthen, three months before the birth of his son, the future King Henry VII. Edmund was buried in a prominent tomb in the centre of the choir of the Grey Friars Church. Other notable burials were of Rhys ap Tudur Aled; the Friary was dissolved in 1538, many unsuccessful plans were made for the building. Before the friars had left, in 1536, William Barlow campaigned to have the cathedral moved into it, from St David's, where the tomb and remains of Edmund Tudor were moved after the Carmarthen buildings were deconsecrated. There were repeated abortive attempts to turn the buildings into a grammar school, they became ruined, although the church walls were still recognisable in the mid-18th century. By 1900 all the stonework had been stripped away and there were no traces above ground; the site remained undeveloped until the 1980s and 1990s, after extensive archaeological excavations of first the monastic buildings and the nave and chancel of the church.
These confirmed that the former presence of a church, a chapter house and a large cloister, with a smaller cloister and infirmary added subsequently. Over 200 graves were found in 60 around the friars' choir. According to some variants of the Arthurian legend, Merlin was born in a cave outside Carmarthen; the town's Welsh name, Caerfyrddin, is claimed to mean "Merlin's fort", but it is suggested the reality may be the other way around, that the name Merlin may have originated from the town's name in the anglicised form of Myrddin.. An alternative explanation is. Furthermore, many areas surrounding Carmarthen still allude to this, such as nearby Bryn Myrddin. Legend had it that if a particular tree called Merlin's Oak fell, it would be the downfall of the town. Translated from Welsh, it reads: "When Merlin's Oak comes tumbling down, down shall fall Carmarthen Town." To obstruct this, the tree was dug up when pieces of it remain in the town museum. The Black Book
Haverfordwest is the county town of Pembrokeshire and the most populous urban area in Pembrokeshire with a population of 13,367 in 2001, though its community boundaries made it the second-most populous settlement in the county, with 10,812 people. The 2011 census quoted a population of only 12,042 living within the confines of the parish; this agreed with the total population of all five wards involved: Castle, Portfield and Garth. Merlin's Bridge is a separate community situated to the south; the suburbs include the former parish of Prendergast, Albert Town and the residential and industrial area of Withybush. Haverfordwest has held a strategic position from the Roman era to the opening of the Cleddau Bridge because of being the lowest fordable point of the Western Cleddau. Haverfordwest is a market town, the county town of Pembrokeshire and an important road network hub between Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock, Fishguard and St David's as a result of its position at the tidal limit of the Western Cleddau.
The majority of the town, comprising the old parishes of St. Mary, St. Martin and St. Thomas, lies on the right bank of the river. On the left bank are the suburbs of Prendergast and Cartlett. At this point, a pair of sandstone ridges extending east-west and separated by a deep, narrow valley, are cut through by the Western Cleddau; this leaves two high spurs on the west side of the river. On the northern spur, the castle and its surrounding settlement form the core of St Martin's parish. On the southern spur, the High Street ascends steeply from the river and forms the core of St Mary's parish. From the foot of each spur, ancient bridges cross the river to Prendergast: St Martin's Bridge and St Mary's Bridge. St Thomas's parish occupies the south side of the southern spur. From these core areas, the town has spread along the ridges. In addition to the four ancient parish churches, the remains of an Augustinian priory are visible at the southern edge of the town; the name of the town means "ford used by heifers" or "ford used by goats" from Old English hæfer.
In local dialect, it is pronounced "Harford". "West" was added in the 15th century. The Welsh name is said by B. G. Charles to be "merely a corruption of the English name"; the town has been English-speaking for centuries, but because the town markets traded the goods of Welsh farmers to the north and east, there has always been a significant Welsh-speaking influence. The suburb of Prendergast seems to have originated as an extramural Welsh dormitory, dating from the times when all agricultural trade had to pass through the borough, the fearful Normans before the destruction of Anglo-Norman power in 1136 tried to prevent Welshmen bearing arms from entering within the castle walls after nightfall, it seems that such an obvious strategic location would have been settled in some way from an early date. Some have asserted that there is no documentary or archaeological evidence of a settlement on the site before the 12th century, when the first Norman architecture castle was established; however archaeological discoveries in Pembrokeshire suggest otherwise.
Edward Llwyd's note to Camden's Britannia refers to a valuable find of silver coins at Llanboidy, the latest coin being one of Domitian struck in AD 91. In the 1920s Sir Mortimer Wheeler excavated a Roman dwelling or villa at Wolfscastle; the scores of Iron Age and Roman coinage and artefact discoveries, excavations by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust under the direction of Heather James at Carmarthen in the 1980s, point convincingly to significant Roman penetration to this westernmost part of Wales. In 1992 aerial photography identified a Roman road running west of Carmarthen past Wiston to Poyston Cross, raising the possibility of Roman fortlets at strategic river crossings at Whitland and Haverfordwest; the strategic position of Haverfordwest with its defensive bluff overlooking the lowest fordable point on the western Cleddau and accessible to sea traffic would have required a Roman presence modest in scale, from the 1st century AD to protect supplies to and from the coast. The Roman legionary headquarters at Caerleon were roofed with slates from the lower slopes of the Preseli Hills.
James Phillips, in The History of Pembrokeshire, records a find of Roman silver coins in Haverfordwest, the earliest dated coin a Valerian and the latest a Claudius Gothicus. The museum in which the coins were deposited has been "scattered to the winds" and the whereabouts of the coins is unknown. Phillips claimed that the pre-Norman name of Haverfordwest was Caer Alun, so named by the Emperor Maximus, his sources are not given but the Cambro-Briton in 1822 recorded that Maximus, the last Roman Emperor of Britain, a man who for a time divided the Roman Empire with Theodosius I, on withdrawing Roman legions from Britain granted civic status and Celtic names to a number of pacified Romano-British settlements, including Southampton, Old Sarum near Salisbury and Haverfordwest. Maximus had married Elen, a Welsh noblewoman, they had three sons. Phillips claims that the name given to the town was Caer Elen, in honour of his wife; the ecclesiastical centre of the area was one of the several churches of the local St Ismael, most St. Ishmael's.
This occurred around 1110. The proposition th
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain at a length of 220 miles, the second longest in the British Isles after the River Shannon in Ireland. It rises at an altitude of 2,001 feet on Plynlimon, close to the Ceredigion/Powys border near Llanidloes, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales, it flows through Shropshire and Gloucestershire, with the county towns of Shrewsbury and Gloucester on its banks. With an average discharge of 107 m3/s at Apperley, the Severn is by far the greatest river in terms of water flow in England and Wales; the river is considered to become the Severn Estuary after the Second Severn Crossing between Severn Beach, South Gloucestershire and Sudbrook, Monmouthshire. The river discharges into the Bristol Channel which in turn discharges into the Celtic Sea and the wider Atlantic Ocean; the Severn's drainage basin area is 4,409 square miles, excluding the River Wye and Bristol Avon which flow into the Severn Estuary. The major tributaries to the Severn are the Vyrnwy, Teme and Stour.
The name Severn is thought to derive from a Celtic original name *sabrinnā, of uncertain meaning. That name developed in different languages to become Sabrina to the Romans, Hafren in Welsh, Severn in English. A folk etymology developed, deriving the name from a mythical story of a nymph, who drowned in the river. Sabrina is the goddess of the River Severn in Celtic mythology; the story of Sabrina is featured in Milton's 1634 masque Comus. There is a statue of Sabrina in the Dingle Gardens at the Quarry, Shrewsbury, as well as a metal sculpture erected in 2013 in the town; as the Severn becomes tidal the associated deity changed to Nodens, represented mounted on a seahorse, riding on the crest of the Severn bore. The River Stour rises in the north of Worcestershire in the Clent Hills, near St Kenelm's Church at Romsley, it flows north into the adjacent West Midlands at Halesowen. It flows westwards through Cradley Heath and Stourbridge where it leaves the Black Country, it is joined by the Smestow Brook at Prestwood before it winds around southwards to Kinver, flows back into Worcestershire.
It passes through Wolverley and Wilden to its confluence with the Severn at Stourport-on-Severn. The River Vyrnwy, which begins at Lake Vyrnwy, flows eastwards through Powys before forming part of the border between England and Wales, joining the Severn near Melverley, Shropshire; the Rea Brook joins the Severn at Shrewsbury. The River Tern, after flowing south from Market Drayton and being joined by the River Meese and the River Roden, meets the Severn at Attingham Park; the River Worfe joins the Severn, just above Bridgnorth. The River Stour rising on the Clent Hills and flowing through Halesowen and Kidderminster, joins the Severn at Stourport. On the opposite bank, the tributaries are only brooks, Borle Brook, Dowles Brook draining the Wyre Forest, Dick Brook and Shrawley Brook; the River Teme flows eastwards from its source in Mid Wales, straddling the border between Shropshire and Herefordshire, it is joined by the River Onny, River Corve and River Rea before it joins the Severn downstream of Worcester.
Shit Brook near Much Wenlock was culverted to flow into the Severn. One of the several rivers named Avon, in this case the Warwickshire Avon, flows west through Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon, it is joined by its tributary the River Arrow, before joining the Severn at Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. The port of Bristol is on the Severn Estuary, where another River Avon flows into it through the Avon Gorge; the River Wye, from its source in Plynlimon in Wales, flows south east through the Welsh towns of Rhayader and Builth Wells. It enters Herefordshire, flows through Hereford, is shortly afterwards joined by the River Lugg, before flowing through Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth, southwards where it forms part of the boundary between England and Wales, it flows into the Severn near the town of Chepstow upstream of the Bristol Avon on the opposite bank. The River Usk flows into the Severn Estuary just south of Newport; the Rad Brook is a small river in England. It enters the River Severn there. Below is a list of major towns and cities that the Severn flows through: Through Powys: Llanidloes Newtown WelshpoolThrough Shropshire: Shrewsbury Ironbridge BridgnorthThrough Worcestershire: Bewdley Stourport-on-Severn Worcester Upton-upon-SevernThrough Gloucestershire: Tewkesbury Gloucester The Severn is bridged at many places, many of these bridges are notable in their own right, with several designed and built by the engineer Thomas Telford.
There is the famous Iron Bridge at Ironbridge, the world's first iron arch bridge. The two major road bridges of the Severn crossing link south eastern Wales with the southern counties of England. Severn Bridge — opened in 1966 carrying what is now the M48 Second Severn Crossing — opened in 1996 carrying the M4 motorwayPrior to the construction of the first bridge in 1966, the channel was crossed by the Aust Ferry. Other notable bridges include: Buttington Bridge — built in 1872 Montford Bridge — Thomas Telford's first bridge design, built between 1790 and 1792 Welsh Bridge — in the centre of Shrewsbury, built in 1795 at a cost of £8,000 English Bridge — in Shrewsbury and completed in 1774 by John Gwynn Atcham Bridges — the old one built in 1774, while the newer one in 1929 carries th
Preseli Pembrokeshire was one of six local government districts of Dyfed in West Wales from 1974 to 1996. Until 1987 the name of the district was Preseli; the district took its name from the Preseli Hills. It was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974 from the northern part of the administrative county of Pembrokeshire - the municipal borough of Haverfordwest, the urban districts of Fishguard and Goodwick, Milford Haven and Neyland, the rural districts of Cemaes and Haverfordwest. In 1981, a further 11 communities were transferred from South Pembrokeshire district. On 1 April 1996 the district was abolished by the Local Government Act 1994 and merged into a reconstituted county of Pembrokeshire. Preseli Hills Preseli Pembrokeshire Preseli Pembrokeshire Preseli District Council election, 1983
Kingdom of Dyfed
The Kingdom of Dyfed is one of several Welsh petty kingdoms that emerged in 5th-century sub-Roman Britain in southwest Wales based on the former territory of the Demetae. Following the Norman invasion of Wales between 1067–1100, the region was conquered by the Normans and by 1138 incorporated into a new shire called Pembrokeshire after the Norman castle built in the Cantref of Penfro and under the rule of the Marcher Earl of Pembroke. In the year 360, a sudden series of coordinated raids by the Irish, Anglo-Saxons and Picts began; these continued as the Irish colonised the Isle of Man and resulted in a short period lasting until the 5th century during which Old Irish was spoken in the region: twenty stones dated to this period have ogham inscriptions. One bilingual Latin-Irish stone in Castelldwyran, near Narberth, has the name Votecorigas written on it. Dyfed may have occupied the area that bordered the rivers Teifi and Tywi, included contemporary Pembrokeshire, the western part of contemporary Carmarthenshire, with the town of Carmarthen.
Dyfed comprised at least seven cantrefi: Cemais, Emlyn, Cantref Gwarthaf, Pebidiog and Rhos, with an approximate area of about 2,284 square kilometres. During times of strength, the kingdom expanded to additionally cover the Ystrad Tywi, including Cydweli and Gwyr, bordered Brycheiniog. Dyfed lost the Ystrad Tywi region to another petty kingdom, in the late 7th century. During the "Age of the Saints", Dyfed may have had as many as seven bishops, called in Latin sacerdotes one for each cantref. However, by the High Middle Ages the Diocese of St David's emerged as one of only three episcopal dioceses in Wales, with St. David's covering all of West Wales and part of Mid Wales. Dyfed was subject to extensive raids during the Viking Age between the 8th and 11th centuries, causing social and political instability, with the Vikings establishing settlements in southern Dyfed. By the latter part of the 9th century, the rulers of Dyfed had grown cautious of the influence of the sons of Rhodri the Great, sought out an alliance and the patronage of Alfred the Great of England.
The precise nature of the relationship between King Alfred and the rulers in Wales remains unclear, whether a transitory alliance or a formal mediatisation of the Welsh rulers to the king of England. Historical attempts have been made to cast the relationship as one as a confederation of Christian unity on the isle of Britain, under the leadership of Alfred, against the heathen Danes. However, there evolved a significant degree of coercion according to Davies. "The recognition by Welsh rulers that the king of England had claims upon them would be a central fact in the subsequent political history of Wales," according to Davies. In about 904, Dyfed's ruler, Llywarch ap Hyfaidd, leaving his daughter Elen ferch Lywarch as his heiress. Elen was married to Hywel Dda, ruler of neighbouring Seisyllwg and grandson of Rhodri the Great through his second son, Cadell ap Rhodri. Through his marriage to Elen, Hywel incorporated Dyfed into an enlarged realm to be known as Deheubarth, meaning the "south part", went on to conquer Powys and Gwynedd.
However, both Powys and Gwynedd returned to their native dynasties on Hywel's death in 950. Hwyel's grandson Maredudd ab Owain recreated the kingdom of his grandfather, but his rule was beset with increasing Viking raids during the latter part of the 10th century, it is during this period that Viking settlements increased in the area in the cantref of Penfro, with other Viking settlements and trading station at Haverfordwest and Caldey Island in Dyfed. Viking raids upon the Welsh were "relentless", according to Davies, Maredudd was compelled to raise taxes to pay the ransoms for Welsh hostages in 993, in 999 a Viking raiding party attacked St. David's and killed Morganau, the bishop. Dyfed remained an integral province within Deheubarth until the Norman invasions of Wales between 1068-1100. In the Dyfed region, the cantrefi of Penfro, Rhos and Pebidiog became occupied by Norman overlords; the Normans influenced the election of the Bishops of St. David's, from 1115 onwards; the Princes of Deheubarth, Llywelyn the Great as the Prince of a virtual Principality of Wales from 1216, fought to recover the region until the Conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 settled the matter.
The 1284 Statute of Rhuddlan established the English counties of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire out of the region formally known as Dyfed. Archaeological evidence and theories from this period are dealt with in depth by Dyfed Archaeological Trust. In 1974 an administrative area was established in south west Wales called Dyfed, incorporating Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. Déisi Charles-Edwards, Thomas. Wales and the Britons, 350-1064. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-821731-2; the Irish settlements in Wales, Myles Dillon, Celtica 12, 1977, p. 1-11
Royal Mail is a postal service and courier company in the United Kingdom established in 1516. The company's subsidiary, Royal Mail Group Limited, operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide. General Logistics Systems, an international logistics company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Mail Group; the company provides mail collection and delivery services throughout the UK. Letters are deposited in a pillar or wall box, taken to a post office, or collected in bulk from businesses. Deliveries are made at least once every day except Sundays and bank holidays at uniform charges for all UK destinations. Royal Mail aims to make first class deliveries the next business day throughout the nation. For most of its history, Royal Mail has been a public service, operating as a government department or public corporation. However, following the Postal Services Act 2011, a majority of the shares in Royal Mail were floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2013; the UK government retained a 30% stake in Royal Mail, but sold its remaining shares in 2015, ending 503 years of public ownership.
It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. As of 13 January 2019, Royal Mail share; the Royal Mail can trace its history back to 1516, when Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts", a position, renamed "Postmaster General" in 1710. Upon his accession to the throne of England at the Union of the Crowns in 1603, James VI and I moved his court to London. One of his first acts from London was to establish the royal postal service between London and Edinburgh, in an attempt to retain control over the Scottish Privy Council; the Royal Mail service was first made available to the public by Charles I on 31 July 1635, with postage being paid by the recipient. The monopoly was farmed out to Thomas Witherings. In the 1640s Parliament removed the monopoly from Witherings and during the Civil War and First Commonwealth the parliamentary postal service was run at great profit for himself by Edmund Prideaux. To keep his monopoly in those troubled times Prideaux improved efficiency and used both legal impediments and illegal methods.
In 1653 Parliament set aside all previous grants for postal services, contracts were let for the inland and foreign mails to John Manley. Manley was given a monopoly on the postal service, enforced by Protector Oliver Cromwell's government, thanks to the improvements necessitated by the war Manley ran a much improved Post Office service. In July 1655 the Post Office was put under the direct government control of John Thurloe, a Secretary of State, best known to history as Cromwell's spymaster general. Previous English governments had tried to prevent conspirators communicating, Thurloe preferred to deliver their post having surreptitiously read it; as the Protectorate claimed to govern all of Great Britain and Ireland under one unified government, on 9 June 1657 the Second Protectorate Parliament passed the "Act for settling the Postage in England and Ireland" that created one monopoly Post Office for the whole territory of the Commonwealth. The first Postmaster General was appointed in 1661, a seal was first fixed to the mail.
At the restoration of the monarchy, in 1660, all the ordinances and acts passed by parliaments during the Civil War and the Interregnum passed into oblivion, so the General Post Office was established by Charles II in 1660. Between 1719 and 1763, Ralph Allen, postmaster at Bath, signed a series of contracts with the post office to develop and expand Britain's postal network, he organised mail coaches which were provided by both Wilson & Company of London and Williams & Company of Bath. The early Royal Mail Coaches were similar with Post Office livery; the first mail coach ran in 1784, operating between London. Delivery staff received uniforms for the first time in 1793, the Post Office Investigation Branch was established; the first mail train ran on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The Post Office's money order system was introduced in 1838. In December 1839 the first substantial reform started when postage rates were revised by the short-lived Uniform Fourpenny Post. Greater changes took place when the Uniform Penny Post was introduced on 10 January 1840 whereby a single rate for delivery anywhere in Great Britain and Ireland was pre-paid by the sender.
A few months to certify that postage had been paid on a letter, the sender could affix the first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, available for use from 6 May the same year. Other innovations were the introduction of pre-paid William Mulready designed postal stationery letter sheets and envelopes; as Britain was the first country to issue prepaid postage stamps, British stamps are the only stamps that do not bear the name of the country of issue on them. By the late 19th century, there were between six and twelve mail deliveries per day in London, permitting correspondents to exchange multiple letters within a single day; the first trial of the London Pneumatic Despatch Company was made in 1863, sending mail by underground rail between postal depots. The Post Office began its telegraph service in 1870; the first Post Office pillar box was erected in 1852 in Jersey. Pillar boxes were introduced in mainland Britain the following year. British pillar boxes traditionally carry the Latin initials of the reigning monarch at the time of their installation, for example: VR for Victoria Regina or GR for Georgius Rex.
Such branding is not used in Scotland due to dispute over the current monarch's title. Some Scottish nati