MERIONETHSHIRE or MERIONETH (Welsh :
Meirionnydd or Sir Feirionnydd)
is one of thirteen historic counties of
Wales , a vice county and a
former administrative county.
* 1 Name
* 2 Geography
* 3 History
* 3.1 Administration
* 4 Main towns
* 5 Places of special interest (with grid reference)
* 6 See also
* 7 References
The spelling of the Welsh name in standard modern orthography is
Meirionnydd (for the geographical area) or Sir Feirionnydd (for the
county), with a double , but the variant with a single is sometimes
found in older works.
Merionethshire is a maritime county, bounded to the north by
Caernarfonshire , to the east by
Denbighshire , to the south by
Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire , and to the west by
Cardigan Bay .
With a total area of 1,731 km² (668 sq miles), it is one of the more
sparsely populated counties in
Great Britain .
The Merioneth area remains one of the strongest Welsh-speaking parts
Wales . The coastline consists alternately of cliffs and stretches
of sand and the area generally is the most mountainous in Wales; a
large part of the
Snowdonia National Park lies within it. The greatest
Aran Fawddwy 905 m (2,970 ft) and
Cadair Idris 893 m
(2,929 ft). The chief rivers are the Dwyryd , the
Mawddach and the
Dyfi . Waterfalls and small lakes are numerous, the largest being Bala
Lake (4 miles long and 1-mile (1.6 km) broad).
The county was formed in 1284 under the terms of the Statute of
Rhuddlan from the Cantrefi of:
Dunoding (but only the larger
Ardudwy commote )
* Penllyn and the Lordship of Dinmael
Merioneth was an important part of the Welsh slate industry in the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with major quarrying centres at
Blaenau Ffestiniog in the north of the county and
Corris in the south.
An administrative county of Merioneth was created under the Local
Government Act 1888 on 1 April 1889. The first election to the new
authority was held in January 1889. The county was abolished under
Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974. The bulk formed the
Meirionnydd district of
Gwynedd , with a small area in the north east,
Edeirnion Rural District , becoming part of the
Glyndŵr district of
As a result of the
Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 , which came
into force on 1 April 1996, the
Glyndŵr area was made a part of the
Denbighshire principal area, with the rest forming a new
Merionethshire principal area. The latter area
was, however, renamed
Gwynedd almost immediately.
The main towns are
Dolgellau (former county town, and administrative centre)
The main industries today are agriculture, forestry and tourism.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST (WITH GRID REFERENCE)
Cadair Idris (SH711130)
Castell y Bere (SH667085)
Cymer Abbey (SH721195)
Harlech Castle (SH5731)
Portmeirion Italianate village (SH589372)
Rhug Chapel (SJ063439)
* Tomen-y-mur Roman Fort (SH7038)
Ffestiniog Railway (SH6946)
Corris Railway (SH7507)
Talyllyn Railway (SH5800)
Fairbourne Railway (SH6112)
* List of Lord Lieutenants of Merioneth
* List of Custodes Rotulorum of Merioneth
* List of Sheriffs of Merioneth
* List of MPs for Merioneth
* ^ Vision of Britain - 1831 Census
* ^ Double 'nn' is found in the title of a number of Welsh-language
books, e.g. Crwydro Meirionnydd, a companion to the area by T. I.
Ellis (Llandybie, 1954), and the county atlas published by the old
county council (Atlas Merionnydd, Y Bala, 1972).
* ^ For the single 'n' variant see, for example, Melville Richards,
Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units. University of
* ^ "Merioneth County Council Elections". Cambrian News. 25 January
1889. p. 8. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
* ^ "The County of
Gwynedd (Electoral Changes) Order 2002, Welsh
Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 3274 (W.312)". Office of Public Sector
Information. 2002. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
Historic counties of Wales
Coordinates : 52°50′N 3°50′W / 52.833°N 3.833°W