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Merionethshire
Merionethshire
or Merioneth (Welsh: Meirionnydd
Meirionnydd
or Sir Feirionnydd) is one of thirteen historic counties of Wales, a vice county and a former administrative county.

Contents

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 8 Further reading

Name[edit] The spelling of the Welsh name in standard modern orthography is Meirionnydd
Meirionnydd
(for the geographical area) or Sir Feirionnydd (for the county), with a double <nn>, but the variant with a single <n> is sometimes found in older works.[2][3] Geography[edit] Merionethshire
Merionethshire
is a maritime county, bounded to the north by Caernarfonshire, to the east by Denbighshire, to the south by Montgomeryshire
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 of 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
Snowdonia National Park
lies within it. The greatest heights are Aran Fawddwy
Aran Fawddwy
905 m (2,970 ft) and Cadair Idris
Cadair Idris
893 m (2,929 ft). The chief rivers are the Dwyryd, the Mawddach
Mawddach
and the Dyfi. Waterfalls such as Pistyll Cain
Pistyll Cain
and small lakes are numerous, the largest being Bala Lake
Bala Lake
(4 miles long and 1-mile (1.6 km) broad). History[edit] The county was formed in 1284 under the terms of the Statute of Rhuddlan from the Cantrefi of:

Meirionnydd Dunoding
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
Blaenau Ffestiniog
in the north of the county and Corris
Corris
in the south. Administration[edit] 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.[4] The county was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972
on 1 April 1974. The bulk formed the Meirionnydd
Meirionnydd
district of Gwynedd, with a small area in the north east, Edeirnion
Edeirnion
Rural District, becoming part of the Glyndŵr
Glyndŵr
district of Clwyd. As a result of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, which came into force on 1 April 1996, the Glyndŵr
Glyndŵr
area was made a part of the new Denbighshire
Denbighshire
principal area, with the rest forming a new Caernarfonshire
Caernarfonshire
and Merionethshire
Merionethshire
principal area. The latter area was, however, renamed Gwynedd
Gwynedd
almost immediately.[5] Main towns[edit] The main towns are

Dolgellau
Dolgellau
(former county town, and administrative centre) Aberdyfi Bala Barmouth Blaenau Ffestiniog Corwen Ffestiniog Harlech Tywyn

The main industries today are agriculture, forestry and tourism. Places of special interest (with grid reference)[edit]

Cadair Idris
Cadair Idris
(SH711130) Castell y Bere
Castell y Bere
(SH667085) Cymer Abbey
Cymer Abbey
(SH721195) Harlech
Harlech
Castle (SH5731) Portmeirion
Portmeirion
Italianate village (SH589372) Rhug
Rhug
Chapel (SJ063439) Tomen-y-mur Roman Fort (SH7038) Ffestiniog
Ffestiniog
Railway (SH6946) Corris
Corris
Railway (SH7507) Talyllyn Railway
Talyllyn Railway
(SH5800) Fairbourne Railway
Fairbourne Railway
(SH6112)

See also[edit]

List of Lord Lieutenants of Merioneth List of Custodes Rotulorum of Merioneth List of Sheriffs of Merioneth List of MPs for Merioneth

References[edit]

^ 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 Wales
Wales
Press, Cardiff 1969. ^ "Merioneth County Council Elections". Cambrian News. 25 January 1889. p. 8. Retrieved 8 July 2015.  ^ "The County of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
(Electoral Changes) Order 2002, Welsh Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 3274 (W.312)". Office of Public Sector Information. 2002. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 

Further reading[edit]

Bowen, E. G. & Gresham, C. A. (1967) History of Merioneth. Vol 1 From the earliest times to the age of the native princes. Dolgellau: Merioneth Historical and Record Society Beverley Smith, J. & L., eds. (2001) History of Merioneth. Vol. 2 The Middle Ages. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press

v t e

Historic counties of Wales

Anglesey Brecknockshire Caernarfonshire Cardiganshire Carmarthenshire Denbighshire Flintshire Glamorganshire Merionethshire Monmouthshire Montgomeryshire Pembrokeshire Radnorshire

Coordinates: 52°50′N 3°50′W / 52.833°N 3.833°W / 52

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