HOME
The Info List - Gwynedd


--- Advertisement ---



(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

GWYNEDD (/ˈɡwɪnᵻð/ ; Welsh pronunciation: ) is an area in north-west Wales
Wales
, named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd
Kingdom of Gwynedd
. As a local government area , it is the second biggest in Wales
Wales
in terms of geographical area and also one of the most sparsely populated. A majority of the population are Welsh-speaking . The name Gwynedd
Gwynedd
is also used for a preserved county , covering the two local government areas of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
and the Isle of Anglesey
Isle of Anglesey
. Culturally and historically, the name can also be used for most of North Wales
Wales
(for instance, the area covered by the Gwynedd
Gwynedd
Constabulary), roughly corresponding to the territory of the Kingdom of Gwynedd
Kingdom of Gwynedd
at its greatest extent. The current area is 2,548 square km (983.78 sq miles, slightly smaller than Luxembourg
Luxembourg
) with a population as measured in the 2011 Census of 121,874.

Gwynedd
Gwynedd
is the home of Bangor University
Bangor University
and includes the scenic Llŷn Peninsula
Llŷn Peninsula
, and most of Snowdonia National Park .

The largest settlements are Bangor , Caernarfon
Caernarfon
, Bethesda and Ffestiniog . The largest settlement in the south is Tywyn
Tywyn
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 History * 3 Economy * 4 Welsh speakers * 5 Towns, cities and major villages * 6 Notable people from Gwynedd
Gwynedd
* 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links

ETYMOLOGY

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
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
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.

HISTORY

View of Tremadog
Tremadog
bay. Gwynedd
Gwynedd
as a county from 1974 to 1996 when it included the Island of Anglesey
Anglesey
See also: Kingdom of Gwynedd
Gwynedd

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
Gwynedd
was one of eight Welsh counties created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972
. It covered the entirety of the former counties of Anglesey
Anglesey
and Caernarfonshire
Caernarfonshire
, and all of Merionethshire apart from Edeirnion
Edeirnion
Rural District (which went to Clwyd ); and also a few parishes in Denbighshire : Llanrwst , Llansanffraid Glan Conwy , Eglwysbach , Llanddoged, Llanrwst and Tir Ifan.

The county was divided into five districts : Aberconwy , Arfon , Dwyfor , Meirionnydd and Anglesey
Anglesey
.

The 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 Isle of Anglesey
Isle of 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 CAERNARFONSHIRE AND MERIONETHSHIRE, as it covers most of the areas of those two historic counties. As one of its first actions, the Council renamed itself Gwynedd
Gwynedd
on 2 April 1996. The present Gwynedd
Gwynedd
local government area is governed by Gwynedd Council . As a unitary authority , the modern entity no longer has any districts, but Arfon, Dwyfor and Meirionnydd remain 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 Clwyd was adjusted to match the modern local government boundary, so that the preserved county now covers the two local government areas of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
and Anglesey, and the area of Conwy county borough is now entirely within Clwyd.

A Gwynedd Constabulary was formed in 1950 by the merger of the Anglesey, Caernarfonshire
Caernarfonshire
and Merionethshire forces. A further amalgamation took place in the 1960s when Gwynedd Constabulary was merged with the Flintshire and Denbighshire county forces, retaining the name Gwynedd. In one proposal for local government reform in Wales, Gwynedd
Gwynedd
had been proposed as a name for a local authority covering all of north Wales, but the scheme as enacted divided this area between Gwynedd
Gwynedd
and Clwyd. To prevent confusion, the Gwynedd Constabulary was therefore renamed the North Wales
Wales
Police .

The 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
Gwynedd
County Council. After the 1996 local government reorganisation, part of the park fell under Conwy County Borough , and the park's administration separated from the Gwynedd
Gwynedd
council. Gwynedd Council still appoints nine of the eighteen members of the Snowdonia National Park Authority; Conwy County Borough Council appoints three; and the National Assembly for Wales
Wales
appoints the remaining six.

ECONOMY

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
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
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, including Bangor University
Bangor University
and Menai College.

WELSH SPEAKERS

The proportion of respondents in the 2011 census who said they could speak Welsh.

Gwynedd
Gwynedd
has the highest proportion of people in Wales
Wales
who can speak Welsh. According to the 2011 Census , 65.4% of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
residents aged three and over stated that they could speak Welsh. The proportion of Welsh speakers in Gwynedd
Gwynedd
declined between 1991 and 2001, from 72.1% to 68.7%— even though the proportion of Welsh speakers in Wales
Wales
as a whole increased during that decade, to 20.5%. The Annual Population Survey conducted in 2016 estimates that 71.0% of people three years old and above in Gwynedd
Gwynedd
can 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
Gwynedd
are within the 5-15 age group, with 92.3% of those people stating that they could speak Welsh.

TOWNS, CITIES AND MAJOR VILLAGES

* Bangor (pop. 18,808) * Caernarfon
Caernarfon
(9,615) * Blaenau Ffestiniog (4,875) * Bethesda (4,735) * Porthmadog
Porthmadog
(4,185) * Pwllheli
Pwllheli
(4,076) * Tywyn
Tywyn
(3,264) * Dolgellau
Dolgellau
(2,688) * Nefyn
Nefyn
(2,602) * Barmouth
Barmouth
(2,522) * Penrhyndeudraeth (2,150) * Llanberis (2,026) * Bala (1,980) * Criccieth (1,753) * Harlech (1,447) * Aberdyfi
Aberdyfi
(1,282)

NOTABLE PEOPLE FROM GWYNEDD

* Wayne Hennessey , footballer, current Welsh national team goalkeeper, playing for Crystal Palace * T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
, "Lawrence of Arabia" * David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
, statesman and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom , born in Manchester
Manchester
but lived in Llanystumdwy from infancy * Owain Fôn Williams , footballer, currently playing for Inverness Caledonian Thistle * Elin Fflur , singer * Duffy , soul singer-songwriter * Chico Slimani
Chico Slimani
, of X Factor fame, resided for a short time in Llanystumdwy * Opera
Opera
singer Sir Bryn Terfel * Opera
Opera
singer Gwyn Hughes Jones (Llanbedrgoch, 25-10-1969) * Hedd Wyn , born Ellis Evans; poet, from the village of Trawsfynydd

* Bryn Fôn