Meirionnydd is a coastal and mountainous region of Wales. It has been a cantref, a district and, as Merionethshire, a county. Meirionnydd was a sub-kingdom of Gwynedd, founded according to legend by Meirion, a grandson of Cunedda, a warrior-prince who brought his family to Wales from the'Old North' in the early 5th century, his dynasty seems to have ruled there for the next four hundred years. The kingdom lay between the River Mawddach and the River Dovey, spreading in a north-easterly direction; the ancient name of the cantref was Cantref Orddwy. The familiar name coming from Meiron's kingdom; the cantref of Meirionnydd held the presumed boundaries of the previous kingdom but now as a fief of the Kingdom of Gwynedd where it continued to enjoy long spells of relative independence. It was divided into the commotes of Talybont, it was abolished in 1284 following the Statute of Rhuddlan and reorganised with the addition of some neighbouring cantrefi to form the county of Merionethshire. The borders of Meirionnydd were expanded as a county to include the old cantrefi of Penllyn and Ardudwy.
It took the name Merionethshire under English Law. In 1974 the administrative county was merged with those of Caernarfon and Anglesey to create a new Gwynedd. Meirionnydd was one of five districts of Gwynedd from 1974 to 1996; the district comprised the majority of the administrative county of Merionethshire and reverted to the Welsh spelling of the county's name. The district was created by the Local Government Act 1972, replaced the following local government areas of Merionethshire: The urban districts of Bala, Dolgellau, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Tywyn The rural districts of Deudraeth and PenllynMeirionnydd District was abolished in 1996 by the Local Government Act 1994, becoming part of the unitary authority of'Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire', renamed Gwynedd as the first act of the new council. An area committee of Gwynedd Council now covers the area
Dumnonia is the Latinised name for the Brythonic kingdom in Sub-Roman Britain between the late 4th and late 8th centuries, in what is now the more westerly parts of South West England. It was centred in the area called Devon, but included modern Cornwall and part of Somerset, with its eastern boundary changing over time as the gradual westward expansion of the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex encroached on its territory; the spelling Damnonia is sometimes encountered, but is used for the land of the Damnonii part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, in what is today southern Scotland. Domnonia occurs and shares a linguistic relationship with the Breton region of Domnonée, Breton: Domnonea; the kingdom is named after the Dumnonii, a British Celtic tribe living in the southwest at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain, according to Ptolemy's Geography. Variants of the name Dumnonia include Domnonia and Damnonia, the latter being used by Gildas in the 6th century as a pun on "damnation" to deprecate the area's contemporary ruler Constantine.
The name has etymological origins in the proto-Celtic root word *dubno-, meaning both "deep" and "world". Groups with similar names existed in Ireland; the area became known to the English of neighbouring Wessex as the kingdom of West Wales, its inhabitants were known to them as Defnas. In Welsh, in the Southwestern Brythonic languages, it was Dyfneint and this is the form which survives today in the name of the county of Devon. There is evidence, based on an entry in the Ravenna Cosmography, that there may have been a sub-tribe in the western part of the territory known as the Cornovii from whose name the first element of the present-day name of Cornwall is derived. Following a period of emigration from southwestern Britain to northwestern Gaul in the 5th and 6th centuries, a sister kingdom, was established on the north-facing Atlantic coast of the continent in the region, to become known as Brittany. Historian Barbara Yorke has speculated that the Dumnonii may have seen the end of the Roman empire as an opportunity to establish control in new areas.
Before the arrival of the Romans, the Dumnonii seem to have inhabited the southwest peninsula of Britain as far east as the River Parrett in Somerset and the River Axe in Dorset, judging by the coin distributions of the Dobunni and Durotriges. In the Roman period there was a provincial boundary between the area governed from Exeter and those governed from Dorchester and Ilchester. Julius Caesar's Comentarii de Bello Gallico, Book III notes the close trading and military relationship between the continental Veneti of Armorica and the southwestern insular British. In the post Roman period the kingdom of Dumnonia covered Cornwall and parts of west Somerset, it had close cultural and religious links with Brittany and Ireland. The cultural connections of the pre-Roman Dumnonii, as expressed in their ceramics, are thought to have been with the peninsula of Armorica across the Channel, with Wales and Ireland, rather than with the southeast of Britain; the people of Dumnonia would have spoken a Brythonic dialect, the ancestor of modern Cornish and Breton.
Irish immigrants, the Déisi, are evidenced by the inscribed stones they have left behind – sometimes written in Ogham, sometimes in Latin, sometimes in both and supplemented by place-name studies. Apart from fishing and agriculture, the main economic resource of the Dumnonii was tin mining, the tin having been exported since ancient times from the port of Ictis. Tin working continued throughout Roman occupation and appears to have reached a peak during the 3rd century AD; the area maintained trade links with Gaul and the Mediterranean after the Roman withdrawal, it is that tin played an important part in this trade. Post-Roman imported pottery has been excavated from many sites across the region. An apparent surge in late 5th century Mediterranean imports is thought to be related to the trade in metals from Cornwall and Wales to the Byzantine empire. Christianity seems to have survived in Dumnonia after the Roman departure from Britain, with a number of late Roman Christian cemeteries extending into the post-Roman period.
In the 5th and 6th centuries the area was evangelised by the children of Brychan and saints from Ireland, like Saint Piran. There were important monasteries at Glastonbury. Sporadically, Cornish bishops are named in various records until they submitted to the See of Canterbury in the mid-9th century. Parish organisation was a development of Normanised times. Around AD 55, the Romans established a legionary fortress at Isca Dumnoniorum, modern Exeter, but west of Exeter the area remained un-Romanized. Most of Dumnonia is notable for its lack of a villa system, though there were substantial numbers south of Bath and around Ilchester, for its many settlements that have survived from the Romano-British period; as in other Brythonic areas, Iron Age hillforts, such as Hembury and Cadbury Castle, were refortified in post-Roman times for the use of chieftains or kings, other high-status settlements such as Tintagel seem to have been reconstructed during the period. Local archaeology has revealed that the isolated enclosed farmsteads known locally as rounds seem to have survived the Roman departure from Britain.
The 7th century is the period from 601 to 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Common Era. The Muslim conquests began with the unification of Arabia by Muhammad starting in 622. After Muhammad's death in 632, Islam expanded beyond the Arabian Peninsula under the Rashidun Caliphate and the Umayyad Caliphate; the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century led to the downfall of the Sassanid Empire. Conquered during the 7th century were Syria, Armenia and North Africa; the Byzantine Empire continued suffering setbacks during the rapid expansion of the Muslim Empire. In the Iberian Peninsula, the 7th century was the Siglo de Concilios, that is, century of councils, referring to the Councils of Toledo. In China, the Sui dynasty was replaced by the Tang dynasty, which set up its military bases from Korea to Central Asia, was next to the Umayyad's later. China began to reach its height. Silla allied itself with the Tang Dynasty, subjugating Baekje and defeating Goguryeo to unite the Korean Peninsula under one ruler.
The Asuka period persisted in Japan throughout the 7th century. Harsha united Northern India, which had reverted to small republics and states after the fall of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century. Islam begins in Arabia; the first known Croatian archon Porga establishes the Duchy of Croatia. The world's population shrinks to about 208 million people; the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy emerges at the last in England. Sutton Hoo ship burial, East Anglia. Xuanzang traveled from China to India, before returning to Chang'an in China to translate Buddhist scriptures. Timgad, Algeria, is destroyed by Berbers. End of sporadic Buddhist rule in the Sindh. Croats enter their present territory early in the 7th century, settling in six distinct tribal delimitations. Teotihuacan is sacked; the political and religious buildings are burned. The religion of Shugendo evolves from Buddhism, Taoism and other influences in the mountains of Japan; the Bulgars arrive in the Balkans. Arab traders penetrate the area of Lake Chad. Earliest attested English poetry.
Side panels, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, are made. Main compound, Horyu-ji, Nara Prefecture, is built. Asuka period. 7th and 9th century – Mosaics above apse, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, are made. 600: Smallpox spreads from India into Europe. 602: The Third Chinese domination of Vietnam starts following the collapse of the Early Lý dynasty. 603: Last mention of the Roman Senate in Gregorian Register. It mentions that the senate empress Leontia. 606: Boniface elected papal successor on the death of Pope Sabinian. He sought and obtained a decree from Byzantine Emperor Phocas which stated that "the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle should be the head of all the Churches"; this ensured that the title of "Universal Bishop" belonged to the Bishop of Rome. 607: Hōryū-ji temple believed to have been completed by 607 in Ikaruga, Japan. 610: Heraclius arrives by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrows East Roman Emperor Phocas and becomes Emperor. His first major act is to change the official language of the East Roman Empire from Latin to Greek.
615: The Sassanid Empire under Shah Khosrau II sacks Jerusalem, taking away the relic of the True cross. 615: Pacal the Great becomes king of the Mayan city-state of Palenque 616: Shah Chosroes II invades Egypt. 616: Aethelfrith of Northumbria defeats the Welsh in a battle at Chester in England. 618: Tang Dynasty of China do initiated by Li Yuan. 618: The Chenla kingdom absorbed Funan. Guangzhou, becomes a major international seaport, hosting maritime travelers from Egypt, East Africa, Persia, Sri Lanka, South East Asia, including Muslims, Jews and Nestorian Christians. 622: Year one of the Islamic calendar begins, during which the Hijra occurs—Muhammad and his followers emigrate from Mecca to Medina in September. 623: The Frankish merchant Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting their Avar rulers, becomes the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe. 626: The Avars and the Persians jointly besiege but fail to capture Constantinople. 627: Emperor Heraclius defeats the Persians, ending the Roman-Persian Wars.
629: The Byzantine-Arab Wars begin. Much of the Roman Empire is conquered by Muslim Arabs led by Khalid ibn al-Walid. 629–630: Emperor Taizong's campaign against Eastern Tujue, Chinese Tang Dynasty forces under commanders Li Jing and Li Shiji destroy the Göktürk Khanate. 632: The Muslim conquests begin. 635-649: Alopen, a Persian Christian priest introduces Nestorian Christianity into China. 636: Around this time the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah resulted in a decisive victory for Muslims in the Islamic conquest of Persia, the Persian Empire is conquered by Muslim Arabs led by Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas. 638: Emperor Taizong issues an edict of universal toleration of religions. 639: Muslim conquest of Egypt and Armenia. 639: Unsuccessful revolt of Ashina Jiesheshuai of the Turkic people against Tang China. 641: The Coptic period, in its more specific definition, ends when Islam is introduced into Egypt. 649-683: Chinese Emperor Gaozong permits establishment of Christian monasteries in each of 358 prefectures.
650: The Khazar-Arab Wars begin. Mid-7th century – Durga Mahishasura-mardini, rock-cut relief, Tamil Nadu, India, is made. Pallava period, it is now kept at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mid-7th century - Portrait of Lord Pacal, from his tomb, Temple of the Inscripti
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301. Since the 14th century, the title has been a dynastic title granted to the heir apparent to the English or British monarch, but the failure to be granted the title does not affect the rights to royal succession; the title is granted to the heir apparent as a personal honour or dignity, is not heritable, merging with the Crown on accession to the throne. The title Earl of Chester is always given in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales; the Prince of Wales has other titles and honours. The current and longest-serving Prince of Wales is Prince Charles, the eldest son of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other independent Commonwealth realms as well as Head of the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations; the wife of the Prince of Wales is entitled to the title Princess of Wales.
Prince Charles's first wife, used that title but his second wife, uses only the title Duchess of Cornwall because the other title has become so popularly associated with Diana. The Prince of Wales is the heir apparent of the monarch of the United Kingdom. No formal public role or responsibility has been legislated by Parliament or otherwise delegated to him by law or custom, either as heir apparent or as Prince of Wales; the current Prince now assists the Queen in the performance of her duties, for example, representing the Queen when welcoming dignitaries to London and attending State dinners during State visits. He has represented the Queen and the United Kingdom overseas at state and ceremonial occasions such as state funerals; the Queen has given the Prince of Wales the authority to issue royal warrants. For most of the post-Roman period, Wales was divided into several smaller states. Before the Norman conquest of England, the most powerful Welsh ruler at any given time was known as King of the Britons.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, this title evolved into Prince of Wales. In Latin, the new title was Princeps Walliae, in Welsh it was Tywysog Cymru; the literal translation of Tywysog is "leader". Only a handful of native princes had their claim to the overlordship of Wales recognised by the English Crown; the first known to have used such a title was Owain Gwynedd, adopting the title Prince of the Welsh around 1165 after earlier using rex Waliae. His grandson Llywelyn the Great is not known to have used the title "Prince of Wales" as such, although his use, from around 1230, of the style "Prince of Aberffraw, Lord of Snowdon" was tantamount to a proclamation of authority over most of Wales, he did use the title "Prince of North Wales" as did his predecessor Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd. In 1240, the title was theoretically inherited by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn, though he is not known to have used it. Instead he styled himself as "Prince of Wales" around 1244. In 1246, his nephew Llywelyn ap Gruffudd succeeded to the throne of Gwynedd, used the style as early as 1258.
In 1267, with the signing of the Treaty of Montgomery, he was recognised by both King Henry III of England and the representative of the Papacy as Prince of Wales. In 1282, Llywelyn was killed during Edward I of England's invasion of Wales and although his brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd succeeded to the Welsh princeship, issuing documents as prince, his principality was not recognised by the English Crown. Three Welshmen, claimed the title of Prince of Wales after 1283; the first was Madog ap Llywelyn, a member of the House of Gwynedd, who led a nationwide revolt in 1294-5, defeating English forces in battle near Denbigh and seizing Caernarfon Castle. His revolt was suppressed, after the Battle of Maes Moydog in March 1295, the prince was imprisoned in London. In the 1370s, Owain Lawgoch, an English-born descendant of one of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's brothers, claimed the title of Prince of Wales, but was assassinated in France in 1378 before he could return to Wales to claim his inheritance, it is Owain Glyndŵr, whom many Welsh people regard as having been the last native Prince.
On 16 September 1400, he was proclaimed Prince of Wales by his supporters, held parliaments at Harlech Castle and elsewhere during his revolt, which encompassed all of Wales. It was not until 1409 that his revolt in quest of Welsh independence was suppressed by Henry IV; the tradition of conferring the title "Prince of Wales" on the heir apparent of the monarch is considered to have begun in 1301, when King Edward I of England invested his son Edward of Caernarfon with the title at a Parliament held in Lincoln. According to legend, the king had promised the Welsh that he would name "a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of English" and produced his infant son, born at Caernarfon, to their surprise. However, the story may well be apocryphal, as it can only be traced to the 16th century, and, in the time of Edward I, the English aristocracy spoke Norman French, not English. William Camden wrote in his 1607 work Britannia that the title "Prince of Wales" was not conferred automatically upon the eldest living son o
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
The Welsh are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to, or otherwise associated with, Welsh culture, Welsh history and the Welsh language. Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom, the majority of people living in Wales are British citizens; the language, which falls within the Insular Celtic family, has been spoken throughout Wales, with its predecessor Common Brittonic once spoken throughout most of the island of Great Britain. Prior to the 20th century, large numbers of Welsh people spoke only Welsh, with little or no fluent knowledge of English. Welsh remains the predominant language in parts of Wales in North Wales and West Wales. English is the predominant language in South Wales. Many Welsh people in predominately English-speaking areas of Wales, are fluent or semi-fluent in Welsh or, to varying degrees, capable of speaking or understanding Welsh at limited or conversational proficiency levels. Although the Welsh language and its ancestors have been spoken in what is now Wales since well before the Roman incursions into Britain, historian John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure.
The term "Welsh people" applies to people from Wales and people of Welsh ancestry perceiving themselves or being perceived as sharing a cultural heritage and shared ancestral origins. In 2016, an analysis of the geography of Welsh surnames commissioned by the Welsh Government found that 718,000 people have a family name of Welsh origin, compared with 5.3% in the rest of the United Kingdom, 4.7% in New Zealand, 4.1% in Australia, 3.8% in the United States, with an estimated 16.3 million people in the countries studied having at least partial Welsh ancestry. Over 300,000 Welsh people live in London alone; the names "Wales" and "Welsh" are traced to the Proto-Germanic word "Walhaz" meaning "foreigner", "stranger", "Roman", "Romance-speaker", or "Celtic-speaker", used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former Roman Empire, who were romanised and spoke Latin or Celtic languages. The same etymological origin is shared by the names of various other Celtic or Latin peoples such as the Walloons and the Vlachs, as well as of the Swiss canton of Valais.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen". Thus, they carry a sense of "land of fellow-countrymen", "our country", notions of fraternity; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the post-Roman Era relationship of the Welsh with the Brythonic-speaking peoples of northern England and southern Scotland, the peoples of "Yr Hen Ogledd". The word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century, it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1100. 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.
During their time in Britain, the ancient Romans encountered tribes in present-day Wales that they called the Ordovices, the Demetae, the Silures and the Deceangli. The people of what is now Wales were not distinguished from the rest of the peoples of southern Britain. Celtic language and culture seems to have arrived in Britain during the Iron Age, though some archaeologists argue that there is no evidence for large-scale Iron Age migrations into Great Britain; the claim has been made that Indo-European languages may have been introduced to the British Isles as early as the early Neolithic, with Goidelic and Brythonic languages developing indigenously. Others hold that the close similarity between the Goidelic and Brythonic branches, their sharing of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age terminology with their continental relatives, point to a more recent introduction of Indo-European languages, with Proto-Celtic itself unlikely to have existed before the end of the 2nd millennium BC at the earliest.
The genetic evidence in this case would show that the change to Celtic languages in Britain may have occurred as a cultural shift rather than through migration as was supposed. Some current genetic research supports the idea that people living in the British Isles are mainly descended from the indigenous European Paleolithic population, with a smaller Neolithic input. Paleolithic Europeans seem to have been a homogeneous population due to a population bottleneck on the Iberian peninsula, where a small human population is thought to have survived the glaciation, expanded into Europe during the Mesolithic; the assumed genetic imprint of Neolithic incomers is seen as a cline, with stronger Neolithic representation in the east of Europe and stronger Paleolithic representation in the west of Europe. Most in Wales today regard themselves as modern Celts, claiming a heritage back to the Iron Age tribes, which themselves, based on modern genetic analysis, would appear to have had a predominantly Paleolithic and Neolithic indigenous ancestry.
When the Roman legions departed Britain around
North Wales is a region of Wales. Retail and educational infrastructure are centred on Wrexham, Colwyn Bay and Bangor, it is bordered to the rest of Wales with the counties of Ceredigion and Powys, to the east by the English counties of Shropshire and Cheshire. North Wales was traditionally divided into three regions: Upper Gwynedd, defined as the area north of the River Dyfi and west of the River Conwy); the division with the rest of Wales depends on the particular use being made. For example, the boundary of North Wales Police differs from the boundary of the North Wales area of the Natural Resources Wales and the North Wales Regional Transport Consortium; the historic boundary follows the pre-1996 county boundaries of Merionethshire and Denbighshire which in turn follows the geographic features of the river Dovey to Aran Fawddwy crossing the high moorlands following the watershed until reaching Cadair Berwyn and following the river Rhaeadr and river Tanat to the Shropshire border. Montgomeryshire, one of the historic counties of Wales, is sometimes referred to as being in North Wales.
The region is steeped in history and was for a millennium known as the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The mountainous stronghold of Snowdonia formed the nucleus of that realm and would become the last redoubt of independent Wales — only overcome in 1283. To this day it remains a stronghold of the Welsh language and a centre for Welsh national and cultural identity; the area is home to two of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Wales. These are Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and canal and, the Edwardian castles and town walls of the region which comprise those at Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Harlech, it shares with Powys and Ceredigion the distinction of hosting the only UNESCO Biosphere reserve in Wales, Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere. The region is made up of the following administrative areas: the county borough of Wrexham the county of Flintshire the county of Denbighshire the county borough of Conwy the county of Gwynedd the county of the Isle of Anglesey In addition to the six Local Authority divisions, North Wales is divided into the following preserved counties for various ceremonial purposes: the preserved county of Clwyd the preserved county of Gwynedd North Wales was a European Parliament constituency until 1999.
There is an electoral region for the National Assembly for Wales with the name, which covers the northeast of Wales as well as the northern-most coastal areas of north-western Wales. The area is rural with many mountains and valleys. This, in combination with its coast, means. Farming, once the principal economic force in the area, is now much reduced in importance; the average income per capita of the local population is the lowest in the UK and much of the region has EU Objective 1 status. The eastern part of North Wales contains the most populous areas, with more than 300,000 people living in the areas around Wrexham and Deeside. Wrexham, with a population of 63,084 in 2001 is the largest town; the total population of North Wales is 687,937. The majority of other settlements are along the coast, including some popular resort towns, such as Rhyl, Llandudno and Tywyn; the A55 road links these towns to cities like Manchester and Birmingham and the port of Holyhead for ferries to Ireland. There are two cathedral cities – Bangor and St. Asaph – and a number of mediaeval castles The area of North Wales is about 6,172 square kilometres, making it larger than the country of Brunei, or the island of Bali.
The highest mountain in Wales and Ireland, is Snowdon in northwest Wales. North Wales has a diverse and complex geology with Precambrian schists along the Menai Strait and the great Cambrian dome behind Harlech and underlying much of western Snowdonia. In the Ordovician period much volcanism deposited a range of minerals and rocks over the north western parts of Gwynedd whilst to the east of the River Conwy lies a large area of upland rolling hills underlain by the Silurian mudstones and grits comprising the Denbigh and Migneint Moors. To the east, around Llangollen, to the north on Halkyn Mountain and the Great Orme and in eastern Anglesey are beds of limestone from which metals have been mined since pre-Roman times. Added to all this are the complexities posed by Parys Mountain and the outcrops of unusual minerals such as Jasper and Mona Marble which make the area of special interest to geologists. North Wales has a distinct regional identity, its dialect of the Welsh language differs from that of other regions, such as South Wales, in some ways: for example llefrith is used in most of the North instead of llaeth for "milk".