Cardigan Bay is a large inlet of the Irish Sea, indenting the west coast of Wales between Bardsey Island, Gwynedd in the north, Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire at its southern end. It is the largest bay in Wales. Cardigan Bay has numerous beaches, a unique marine life. Much of the coast surrounding the bay is fertile farmland, dotted with towns and seaside resorts such as Fishguard, New Quay, Llanon, Borth, Tywyn, Porthmadog and Pwllheli on the Cambrian Coast. Smaller coastal villages include Cwmtydu and Llangrannog. Major rivers flowing into the bay include the Afon Glaslyn, Rheidol, Aeron and Mawddach; until the early 20th century, Cardigan Bay supported a strong maritime industry. Cardigan is located at the mouth of the River Teifi – hence the Welsh name, at the turn of the 19th century, the heyday of the port, it was a more important port than Cardiff. At this time more than 300 ships were registered at Cardigan—seven times as many as Cardiff, three times as many as Swansea; the central and northern areas of the Bay are the location of the legendary Cantre'r Gwaelod, the drowned "Lowland Hundred" or "Hundred under the Sea".
During the winter storms of 2014, parts of the lost ancient forest of Borth, which 4,500 years ago stretched on the boggy land to Ynyslas, reappeared on the shoreline in the form of preserved exposed tree stumps. Due to climate change and rising sea levels, the forest was buried under layers of peat and saltwater; the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation was set up to preserve the natural wildlife in the area, both in the sea and on the surrounding foreshore. From the Ceredigion Coast Path it is possible to observe the Bay's "Big Three" species of harbour porpoise, grey seals, bottlenose dolphins, of which the Bay has the largest population in the UK. Other mammals, such as minke whales, Risso's dolphins and common dolphins, together with many species of sea birds, such as puffin, sharks, including basking sharks, can be seen. Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Bay has been invaded by spider crabs. Not a seafood consumed by British people, since 2010 the local fishermen have supplied the Michelin-starred restaurants of Raymond Blanc.
A military testing range was first established in Cardigan Bay during the Second World War. The range is controlled from a main operating base located near Aberporth, known as MOD Aberporth; the Range has played a significant part in the development and testing of a variety of military weapons. Today the Ministry of Defence range within Cardigan Bay provides a large secure safety area for the testing of air launched weapons and unmanned aerial systems; the Range is a significant employer in the West Wales area, employing some 200 people who work in direct support of the Range operation. The staff work with the local communities to foster good relationships, which are vital to ensure the successful operation of the Range; the Range Danger Area covers some 6,500 km2 of Cardigan Bay from sea level to unlimited height. To supplement the safe operation of the Range, there are a number of small outposts located on the edge of Cardigan Bay and the Llŷn Peninsula; these outposts contain equipment that enables the Range to assess the performance of weapons.
Qinetiq operates the Cardigan Bay/Aberporth Range on behalf of the MOD under the terms of a Long Term Partnering Agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to deliver defence test and training support services to ensure air launched weapon systems, associated sub-systems and UAS are safe and fit for purpose. Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation Cemaes Head General information Ceredigion coast path walks and Cardigan Bay information Dolphin video and pictures Atlantic Grey Seals and pictures MOD Aberporth - further details of the range programme Map showing extent of Aberporth Range Danger Area in Cardigan Bay
The Normans are an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans, Norse Viking settlers. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark and Iceland, they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia; the distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged in the first half of the 10th century, it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries. The Norman dynasty had a major political and military impact on medieval Europe and the Near East; the Normans were famed for their martial spirit and for their Catholic piety, becoming exponents of the Catholic orthodoxy of the Romance community into which they assimilated. They adopted the Gallo-Romance language of the Frankish land they settled, their dialect becoming known as Norman, Normaund or Norman French, an important literary language, still spoken today in parts of Normandy and the nearby Channel Islands.
The Duchy of Normandy, which they formed by treaty with the French crown, was a great fief of medieval France, under Richard I of Normandy was forged into a cohesive and formidable principality in feudal tenure. The Normans are noted both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture and musical traditions, for their significant military accomplishments and innovations. Norman adventurers played a role in founding the Kingdom of Sicily under Roger II after conquering southern Italy and Malta from the Saracens and Byzantines, during an expedition on behalf of their duke, William the Conqueror, which led to the Norman conquest of England at the historic Battle of Hastings in 1066. In the ninth century, the Normans captured Seville in Southern Spain, Norman and Anglo-Norman forces contributed to the Iberian Reconquista from the early eleventh to the mid-thirteenth centuries. Norman cultural and military influence spread from these new European centres to the Crusader states of the Near East, where their prince Bohemond I founded the Principality of Antioch in the Levant, to Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, to Ireland, to the coasts of north Africa and the Canary Islands.
The legacy of the Normans persists today through the regional languages and dialects of France, England and Sicily, as well as the various cultural and political arrangements they introduced in their conquered territories. The English name "Normans" comes from the French words Normans/Normanz, plural of Normant, modern French normand, itself borrowed from Old Low Franconian Nortmann "Northman" or directly from Old Norse Norðmaðr, Latinized variously as Nortmannus, Normannus, or Nordmannus to mean "Norseman, Viking"; the 11th century Benedictine monk and historian, Goffredo Malaterra, characterised the Normans thus: Specially marked by cunning, despising their own inheritance in the hope of winning a greater, eager after both gain and dominion, given to imitation of all kinds, holding a certain mean between lavishness and greediness, uniting, as they did, these two opposite qualities. Their chief men were specially lavish through their desire of good report, they were, moreover, a race skillful in flattery, given to the study of eloquence, so that the boys were orators, a race altogether unbridled unless held down by the yoke of justice.
They were enduring of toil and cold whenever fortune laid it on them, given to hunting and hawking, delighting in the pleasure of horses, of all the weapons and garb of war. In the course of the 10th century, the destructive incursions of Norse war bands going upstream into the rivers of France penetrated further into interior Europe, evolved into more permanent encampments that included local French women and personal property; the Duchy of Normandy, which began in 911 as a fiefdom, was established by the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and the famed Viking ruler Rollo known as Gaange Rolf, from Scandinavia, was situated in the former Frankish kingdom of Neustria. The treaty offered Rollo and his men the French coastal lands along the English Channel between the river Epte and the Atlantic Ocean coast in exchange for their protection against further Viking incursions; as well as granting to protect the area of Rouen from Viking invasion, Rollo had to swear not to invade further Frankish lands himself, accept baptism and conversion to the Roman Catholic faith of Christianity becoming Christian and swear fealty to King Charles III.
He became the first Duke of Count of Rouen. The area corresponded to the northern part of present-day Upper Normandy down to the river Seine, but the Duchy would extend west beyond the Seine; the territory was equivalent to the old province of Rouen, reproduced the old Roman Empire's administrative structure of Gallia Lugdunensis II. Before Rollo's arrival, Normandy's populations did not differ from Picardy or the Île-de-France, which were considered "Frankish". Earlier Viking settlers had begun arriving in the 880s, but were divided between colonies in the east around the low Seine valley and in the west in the Cotentin Peninsula, were separated by traditional pagii, where the population remained about the same with no foreign settlers. Rollo's contingents from Scandinavia who raided and settled Normandy and parts of the European Atlantic coast included Danes, Norse–Gaels, Orkney Vikings, p
Flag of Merionethshire
The Merionethshire flag is the flag of the historic Welsh county of Merioneth. It was registered with the Flag Institute as the official flag of the county on 2 January 2015; the design is adapted from the seal used by the former county council. This in turn derived from the description of a banner borne by the men of Merioneth at the Battle of Agincourt, in the 17th century poem of the same name by Michael Drayton. Here he wrote of “three goats dancing "gainst a rising sun". Speculation regarding this unusual arrangement suggests a connection with Cader Idris, where goats browsed and behind which the sun rose; the flag therefore both maintains a theme associated with Merioneth for six centuries and is a distinctive design – no other flag features a sun in this position and the arrangement is uniquely Merioneth. Flag Institute – Merionethshire
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
Pistyll Cain written as Pistill Cain and Pistill Y Caen, is a renowned waterfall in Merionethshire, a county in north Wales. It lies north-east of Ganllwyd off the A470 trunk road between Trawsfynydd. Prints made from engravings based on various artists' drawings were made of the falls in the first half of the 19th century during the Romantic period
Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock. Foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering, but instead is in planes perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression; the foliation in slate is called "slaty cleavage". It is caused by strong compression causing fine grained clay flakes to regrow in planes perpendicular to the compression; when expertly "cut" by striking parallel to the foliation, with a specialized tool in the quarry, many slates will display a property called fissility, forming smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing, floor tiles, other purposes. Slate is grey in color when seen, en masse, covering roofs. However, slate occurs in a variety of colors from a single locality. Slate is not to schist; the word "slate" is used for certain types of object made from slate rock.
It may mean a writing slate. They were traditionally a small, smooth piece of the rock framed in wood, used with chalk as a notepad or noticeboard, for recording charges in pubs and inns; the phrases "clean slate" and "blank slate" come from this usage. Before the mid-19th century, the terms slate and schist were not distinguished. In the context of underground coal mining in the United States, the term slate was used to refer to shale well into the 20th century. For example, roof slate referred to shale above a coal seam, draw slate referred to shale that fell from the mine roof as the coal was removed. Slate is composed of the minerals quartz and muscovite or illite along with biotite, chlorite and pyrite and, less apatite, kaolinite, tourmaline, or zircon as well as feldspar; as in the purple slates of North Wales, ferrous reduction spheres form around iron nuclei, leaving a light green spotted texture. These spheres are sometimes deformed by a subsequent applied stress field to ovoids, which appear as ellipses when viewed on a cleavage plane of the specimen.
Slate can be made into roofing slates, a type of roof shingle, or more a type of roof tile, which are installed by a slater. Slate has two lines of breakability – cleavage and grain – which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets; when broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining flat and easy to stack. A "slate boom" occurred in Europe from the 1870s until the first world war, allowed by the use of the steam engine in manufacturing slate tiles and improvements in road and waterway transportation systems. Slate is suitable as a roofing material as it has an low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making the material waterproof. In fact, this natural slate, which requires only minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy of all roofing materials. Natural slate is used by building professionals as a result of its durability. Slate is durable and can last several hundred years with little or no maintenance, its low water absorption makes it resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing.
Natural slate is fire resistant and energy efficient. Slate roof tiles are fixed either with nails, or with hooks as is common with Spanish slate. In the UK, fixing is with double nails onto timber battens or nailed directly onto timber sarking boards. Nails were traditionally of copper, although there are modern alloy and stainless steel alternatives. Both these methods, if used properly, provide a long-lasting weathertight roof with a lifespan of around 80–100 years; some mainland European slate suppliers suggest that using hook fixing means that: Areas of weakness on the tile are fewer since no holes have to be drilled Roofing features such as valleys and domes are easier to create since narrow tiles can be used Hook fixing is suitable in regions subject to severe weather conditions, since there is greater resistance to wind uplift, as the lower edge of the slate is secured. The metal hooks are, however and may be unsuitable for historic properties. Slate tiles are used for interior and exterior flooring, stairs and wall cladding.
Tiles are grouted along the edges. Chemical sealants are used on tiles to improve durability and appearance, increase stain resistance, reduce efflorescence, increase or reduce surface smoothness. Tiles are sold gauged, meaning that the back surface is ground for ease of installation. Slate flooring can be slippery. Slate tiles were used in 19th century UK building construction and in slate quarrying areas such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda, Wales there are still many buildings wholly constructed of slate. Slates can be set into walls to provide a rudimentary damp-proof membrane. Small offcuts are used as shims to level floor joists. In areas where slate is plentiful it is used in pieces of various sizes for building walls and hedges, sometimes combined with other kinds of stone. In modern homes slate is used as table coasters; because it is a good electrical insulator and fireproof, it was used to construct early-20th-century electric switchboards and relay controls for large electric motors.
Fine slate can be used as a whe
The River Dwyryd is a river in Gwynedd, Wales which flows principally westwards. The Dwyryd rises in the hills to the north of Ffestiniog. At its most northern extent, water draining from Moelwyn Mawr drains into the Tanygrisiau Reservoir, the outflow of which forms the source of the Afon Goedol; this is joined by the River Bowydd at grid reference: SH695438. Below Rhyd y Sarn, the river is joined by the Afon Cynfal which flows from the east down a deep wooded gorge which includes the spectacular Rhaeadr Cynfal south of Ffestiniog; the main river flows through a wide valley formed by glaciation, with a broad flat base formed from glacial moraines and riverine gravel deposits. The valley, the Vale of Ffestiniog, is subject to routine winter flooding; the Afon Tafarn-helyg has its confluence about one mile further downstream. This tributary rises south of Gellilydan and just north of the reservoir of Llyn Trawsfynydd but does not receive any water from the reservoir. There are a number of small lakes and reservoirs in the woodlands north of Plas Tan y Bwlch which drain south into the river.
These lakes include Llyn Hafod y Llyn and Llyn Mair. At Maentwrog the Dwyryd becomes a long tidal estuary. Llyn Trawsfynydd, a large reservoir close to the A470, is the only inland water in the UK, used as a source of cooling water for a nuclear power station; the spill flow from the reservoir, the Afon Prysor, flows down the steeply wooded valley of Ceunant Llennyrch before joining the tidal Dwyryd. Most of the flow from the reservoir is channelled through the hydro-electric power station close to Maentwrog; the Dwyryd flows under the road and railway line at Pont Briwet. South of Portmeirion the river is joined by the Afon y Glyn which drains the south west catchment from Llyn Tecwyn Uchaf and Llyn Tecwyn Isaf; the confluence is adjacent to Glastraeth - a large extent of salt marsh. The estuary of the Dwyryd meets the River Glaslyn close to the low water mark; the whole of the river drains off igneous and ancient rocks of the Cambrian and Ordovician which are all base-poor. Much of the catchment has been used for commercial forestry during the last hundred years.
As a consequence, many of the tributaries are acidic as a result of atmospheric acidification. This has constrained the quality of the bio-diversity in many tributaries; some of these problems have been exacerbated by past industrial actions including metal mining, slate mining, animal skin processing and the use by the army of a gunnery range with large amounts of implaced metal cartridge shells. At no point is the river deep enough to accommodate sea-going ships, but in the second half of the 18th century a number of quays were constructed west of Maentwrog from which small vessels took cargoes of timber and slate to be transferred to sea-going ships in deeper water south west of what would become Porthmadog, transferring to Porthmadog itself when its harbour was opened in 1824; the river remains so shallow that viable cargoes could only be carried at spring tides. Some of the quays remain to this day, used by anglers; the opening of the Ffestiniog Railway in 1836 dealt a mortal blow to the Dwyryd traffic, which ended by 1860.
The river on navigable OS maps with satellite overlays National Library of Scotland