Gwynedd (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈɡʊɨnɛð]; English:
/ˈɡwɪnɪð/) is a county in Wales, sharing borders with Powys,
Anglesey over the Menai Strait, and
Ceredigion over the River
Dyfi. The scenic
Llŷn Peninsula and most of Snowdonia National Park
are in Gwynedd. Bangor is the home of Bangor University. In the
northern part of the county, the other main settlements are
Caernarfon, Bethesda, Ffestiniog, Llanddeiniolen, Llanllyfni,
Porthmadog and Pwllheli. The largest settlement in the south is Tywyn.
As a local government area, it is the second largest in
Wales in terms
of land area and also one of the most sparsely populated. A majority
of the population is Welsh-speaking.
Gwynedd also refers to being one
of the preserved counties of Wales, covering the two local government
Gwynedd and Anglesey. Named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd,
both culturally and historically,
Gwynedd can also be used for most of
North Wales, such as the area that is policed by the Gwynedd
Constabulary. The current area is 2,548 square km (983.78 sq miles)
slightly smaller than Luxembourg, with a population of 121,874 as
measured in the 2011 Census.
4 Welsh speakers
5 Towns, cities and communities
6 Notable people from Gwynedd
7 See also
9 External links
In the past, historians such as
J. E. Lloyd assumed that the Celtic
source of the word "Gwynedd" meant "collection of tribes" - the same
root as the Irish fine, meaning "tribe". Further, a connection is
recognised between the name and the Irish Féni, an early ethonym for
the Irish themselves, related to fían, "company of hunting and
fighting men, company of warriors under a leader". Perhaps *u̯en-,
u̯enə (strive, hope, wish) is the Indo-European stem. The Irish
settled in NW Wales, and in Dyfed, at the end of the Roman era.
Venedotia was the Latin form, and in
Penmachno there is a memorial
stone from c. AD 500 which reads: Cantiori Hic Iacit Venedotis ("Here
lies Cantiorix, citizen of Gwynedd"). The name was retained by the
Brythons when the kingdom of
Gwynedd was formed in the 5th century,
and it remained until the invasion of Edward I. This historical name
was revived when the new county was formed in 1974.
Gwynedd as a county from 1974 to 1996 when it included the Island of
See also: Kingdom of Gwynedd
Gwynedd was an independent kingdom from the end of the Roman period
until the 13th century, when it was conquered by England. The modern
Gwynedd was one of eight Welsh counties created on 1 April 1974 under
the Local Government Act 1972. It covered the entirety of the historic
Anglesey and Caernarfonshire, and all of Merionethshire
Edeirnion Rural District (which went to Clwyd); and also a
few parishes of Denbighshire: Llanrwst, Llansanffraid Glan Conwy,
Llanrwst and Tir Ifan.
The county was divided into five districts: Aberconwy, Arfon, Dwyfor,
Meirionnydd and Anglesey.
Local Government (Wales) Act 1994
Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 abolished the 1974 county (and
the five districts) on 1 April 1996, and its area was divided: the
Anglesey became an independent unitary authority, and
Aberconwy (which included the former
Denbighshire parishes) passed to
the new Conwy County Borough. The remainder of the county was
constituted as a principal area, with the name
Merionethshire, as it covers most of the areas of those two historic
counties. As one of its first actions, the Council renamed itself
Gwynedd on 2 April 1996. The present
Gwynedd local government area is
Gwynedd Council. As a unitary authority, the modern entity
no longer has any districts, but Arfon,
as area committees.
The pre-1996 boundaries were retained as a preserved county for a few
purposes such as the Lieutenancy. In 2003, the boundary with
adjusted to match the modern local government boundary, so that the
preserved county now covers the two local government areas of Gwynedd
and Anglesey. Conwy county borough is now entirely within Clwyd.
Gwynedd Constabulary was formed in 1950 by the merger of the
Merionethshire forces. A further
amalgamation took place in the 1960s when
Gwynedd Constabulary was
merged with the
Denbighshire county forces, retaining
the name Gwynedd. In one proposal for local government reform in
Gwynedd had been proposed as a name for a local authority
covering all of north Wales, but the scheme as enacted divided this
Gwynedd and Clwyd. To prevent confusion, the Gwynedd
Constabulary was therefore renamed the North
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park was formed in 1951. After the 1974 local
authority reorganisation, the park fell entirely within the boundaries
of Gwynedd, and was run as a department of
Gwynedd County Council.
After the 1996 local government reorganisation, part of the park fell
under Conwy County Borough, and the park's administration separated
Gwynedd Council still appoints nine of the
eighteen members of the
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park Authority; Conwy
County Borough Council appoints three; and the National Assembly for
Wales appoints the remaining six.
The county has a mixed economy. An important part of the economy is
based on tourism: many visitors are attracted by the many beaches and
the mountains. A significant part of the county lies within the
Snowdonia National Park, which extends from the north coast down to
the district of Merioneth in the south; it is much larger than
Snowdonia proper. But tourism provides seasonal employment and thus
there is a shortage of jobs in the winter. Another problem with
tourism is the demand that it creates for second homes. This pushes
house prices out of reach of local people, to the detriment of the
position of the
Welsh language in rural areas.
Agriculture is less important than in the past, especially in terms of
the number of people who earn their living on the land, but it remains
an important element of the economy.
The most important of the traditional industries is the slate
industry, but these days only a small percentage of workers earn their
living in the slate quarries.
Industries which have developed more recently include TV and sound
studios: the record company
Sain has its HQ in the county. There are
also two nuclear power stations in Gwynedd:
Trawsfynydd has closed but
Wylfa is currently open.
The education sector is also very important for the local economy,
Bangor University and Menai College.
The proportion of respondents in the 2011 census who said they could
Gwynedd has the highest proportion of people in
Wales who can speak
Welsh. According to the 2011 Census, 65.4% aged three and over stated
that they could speak Welsh. It is estimated that 83% of the
county's Welsh-speakers are fluent, the highest percentage of all
counties in Wales. The highest percentages of Welsh speakers in
Gwynedd are within the 5-15 age group, with 92.3% of those people
stating that they could speak Welsh.
The proportion of Welsh speakers in
Gwynedd declined between 1991 and
2001, from 72.1% to 68.7%, even though the proportion of Welsh
Wales as a whole increased during that decade to 20.5%.
Annual Population Survey conducted in 2016, estimates that 71.0%
of those in
Gwynedd who are three-years-old and above can speak
Towns, cities and communities
Bangor (pop. 18,808)
Notable people from Gwynedd
Wayne Hennessey, footballer, current[when?] Welsh national team
goalkeeper, playing for Crystal Palace
T. E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia"
David Lloyd George, statesman and former Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom, born in
Manchester but lived in
Llanystumdwy from infancy
Owain Fôn Williams, footballer, currently[when?] playing for
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Elin Fflur, singer
Duffy, soul singer-songwriter
Chico Slimani, of X Factor fame, resided for a short time in
Opera singer Sir Bryn Terfel
Gwyn Hughes Jones (Llanbedrgoch, 25-10-1969)
Hedd Wyn, born Ellis Evans; poet, from the village of Trawsfynydd
Bryn Fôn, popular Welsh singer and actor
Group Captain Leslie Bonnet, RAF officer, writer and originator of the
Welsh Harlequin duck; and his wife Joan Hutt, artist
Clough Williams-Ellis, architect of Portmeirion
Sasha, disc jockey
List of High Sheriffs of Gwynedd
List of Lord Lieutenants of Gwynedd
List of places in Gwynedd
List of schools in Gwynedd
Snowdonia National Park
^ "Authority population 2011". Retrieved 18 May 2015.
^ a b Bedwyr Lewis Jones. Enwau (Llyfrau Llafar Gwlad) (Llanrwst,
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1991), p. 5–6.
^ Template:Dyf GPC
^ "Welsh speakers by local authority and broader age groups, 2001 and
2011 census". StatsWales. Welsh Government. Retrieved 31 October
^ a b "
Gwynedd Joint Local Development Plan Topic Paper
10: Welsh Language & Culture" (PDF).
Gwynedd County Council.
Gwynedd County Council. February 2015. Retrieved 21 November
^ a b Census shows
Welsh language rise. 14 February 2003. Retrieved 12
Annual Population Survey estimates of persons aged 3 and over who
say they can speak Welsh by local authority and measure". StatsWales.
Welsh Government. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gwynedd.
Gwynedd at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Gwynedd Lleol 'Local'
Towns and villages
Cwm y Glo
Tal-y-bont (near Bangor)
Tal-y-bont (near Barmouth)
Castles and forts
Castell y Bere
St Tudwals Islands
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
Principal areas of Wales
Neath Port Talbot
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Vale of Glamorgan
Preserved counties of Wales
Coordinates: 52°50′N 3°55′W / 52.833°N 3.917°W /