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WALES (/ˈweɪlz/ ( listen ); Welsh : Cymru ( listen )) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the island of Great Britain . It is bordered by England
England
to the east , the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales
Wales
has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate .

Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales
Wales
is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations . Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I
Edward I
of England
England
's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales
Wales
was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales
Wales
Acts 1535–1542 . Distinctive Welsh politics
Welsh politics
developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism , exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George , was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party . Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society
Welsh Language Society
in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998
Government of Wales Act 1998
, the National Assembly for Wales
Wales
holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters .

At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation; the South Wales Coalfield 's exploitation caused a rapid expansion of Wales' population. Two-thirds of the population live in south Wales
Wales
, mainly in and around Cardiff
Cardiff
(the capital), Swansea
Swansea
and Newport , and in the nearby valleys . Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector , light and service industries and tourism . Wales' 2010 gross value added (GVA) was £45.5 billion (£15,145 per head, 74.0% of the average for the UK, and the lowest GVA per head in Britain).

Although Wales
Wales
closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and a majority of the population speaks English , the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual . Over 560,000 Welsh language
Welsh language
speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games , Wales
Wales
has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain
Great Britain
team . Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Prehistoric origins * 2.2 Roman era * 2.3 Post-Roman era * 2.4 Medieval Wales
Wales
* 2.5 Industrial Wales
Wales

* 2.6 Modern Wales
Wales

* 2.6.1 Early 20th century * 2.6.2 Mid 20th century * 2.6.3 Late 20th century * 2.6.4 Devolution

* 3 Government and politics

* 3.1 Composition of the Assembly

* 3.2 Areas of responsibility

* 3.2.1 Foreign relations

* 3.3 Local government

* 4 Law and order

* 5 Geography and natural history

* 5.1 Geology
Geology
* 5.2 Climate * 5.3 Flora and fauna

* 6 Economy * 7 Transport * 8 Education * 9 Healthcare

* 10 Demography

* 10.1 Population history * 10.2 Current * 10.3 Languages * 10.4 Religion

* 11 Culture

* 11.1 Mythology
Mythology
* 11.2 Literature in Wales
Wales
* 11.3 Museums and libraries * 11.4 Visual arts * 11.5 National symbols * 11.6 Sport * 11.7 Media * 11.8 Cuisine

* 11.9 Performing arts

* 11.9.1 Music * 11.9.2 Drama * 11.9.3 Dance

* 11.10 Festivals

* 12 See also * 13 Footnotes * 14 References * 15 Bibliography * 16 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root (singular Walh , plural Walha), which was itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe known to the Romans as Volcae
Volcae
and which came to refer indiscriminately to all Celts. The Old English
Old English
-speaking Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, and Wēalas when referring to their lands. The modern names for some Continental European lands (e.g. Wallonia
Wallonia
, Wallachia and Valais ) and peoples (e.g. the Vlachs
Vlachs
via a borrowing into Old Church Slavonic ) have a similar etymology.

Historically in Britain , the words were not restricted to modern Wales
Wales
or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain (e.g. Cornwall
Cornwall
) and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Celtic Britons (e.g. Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
), as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut .

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: MOLIANT CADWALLON

The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words (both of which are pronounced ) are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen". The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era (after the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons) of the Welsh (Brythonic-speaking) people in modern Wales
Wales
as well as in northern England
England
and southern Scotland
Scotland
(Yr Hen Ogledd ) (English: The Old North). It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales
Wales
and in the Hen Ogledd
Hen Ogledd
were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan
Cadwallon ap Cadfan
(Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan Ferddig) c. 633. In Welsh literature , the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples (including the Welsh) and was the more common literary term until c. 1100. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh. Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland.

The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria , survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh and the Welsh people
Welsh people
. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains
Cambrian Mountains
(which cover much of Wales
Wales
and gave their name to the Cambrian
Cambrian
geological period ), the newspaper Cambrian
Cambrian
News , and the organisations Cambrian
Cambrian
Airways , Cambrian
Cambrian
Railways , Cambrian
Cambrian
Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian
Cambrian
Academy of Art . Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria
Cumbria
in North West England
England
, which was once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd. The Cumbric language
Cumbric language
, which is thought to have been closely related to Welsh, was spoken in this area until becoming extinct around the 12th century. This form also appears at times in literary references, as in the pseudohistorical "Historia Regum Britanniae " of Geoffrey of Monmouth , where the character of Camber is described as the eponymous King of Cymru.

HISTORY

Main article: History of Wales
History of Wales

PREHISTORIC ORIGINS

See also: Prehistoric Wales
Prehistoric Wales
Bryn Celli Ddu
Bryn Celli Ddu
, a late Neolithic chambered tomb on Anglesey
Anglesey

Wales
Wales
has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years. Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age , between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP) , when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from central Europe
Europe
began to migrate to Great Britain. At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Sea
North Sea
were dry land. The east coast of present day England
England
and the coasts of present day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were connected by the former landmass known as Doggerland
Doggerland
, forming the British Peninsula on the European mainland . Wales
Wales
was free of glaciers by about 10,250 BP, the warmer climate allowing the area to become heavily wooded. The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales
Wales
and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea . Doggerland
Doggerland
was submerged by the North Sea
North Sea
and, by 8,000 BP, the British Peninsula had become an island. By the beginning of the Neolithic
Neolithic
(c. 6,000 BP) sea levels in the Bristol Channel were still about 33 feet (10 metres) lower than today. John Davies has theorised that the story of Cantre\'r Gwaelod 's drowning and tales in the Mabinogion
Mabinogion
, of the waters between Wales
Wales
and Ireland
Ireland
being narrower and shallower, may be distant folk memories of this time.

Neolithic
Neolithic
colonists integrated with the indigenous people, gradually changing their lifestyles from a nomadic life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers about 6,000 BP – the Neolithic Revolution . They cleared the forests to establish pasture and to cultivate the land, developed new technologies such as ceramics and textile production, and built cromlechs such as Pentre Ifan
Pentre Ifan
, Bryn Celli Ddu and Parc Cwm long cairn
Parc Cwm long cairn
between about 5,800 BP and 5,500 BP. In common with people living all over Great Britain, over the following centuries the people living in what was to become known as Wales
Wales
assimilated immigrants and exchanged ideas of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and Iron Age
Iron Age
Celtic cultures. According to John T. Koch and others, Wales in the Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
was part of a maritime trading-networked culture that also included the other Celtic nations , England, France, Spain and Portugal where Celtic languages
Celtic languages
developed. This view, sometimes called "Atlantic-Celtic", stands against the view that the Celtic languages
Celtic languages
have their origins farther east with the Hallstatt culture . By the time of the Roman invasion of Britain the area of modern Wales
Wales
had been divided among the tribes of the Deceangli , Ordovices , Cornovii , Demetae
Demetae
and Silures
Silures
for centuries.

ROMAN ERA

Main article: Wales in the Roman era
Wales in the Roman era

The Roman conquest of Wales
Wales
began in AD 48 and took 30 years to complete. Roman rule lasted over 300 years. The campaigns of conquest are the most widely known feature of Wales
Wales
during the Roman era , because of the spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, defence of their homelands by two native tribes: the Silures
Silures
and the Ordovices . Roman rule in Wales
Wales
was a military occupation, save for the southern coastal region of south Wales
Wales
, east of the Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
, where there is a legacy of Romanisation. The only town in Wales
Wales
founded by the Romans, Caerwent
Caerwent
, is in south east Wales. Both Caerwent
Caerwent
and Carmarthen
Carmarthen
, also in southern Wales, became Roman civitates . Wales
Wales
had a rich mineral wealth. The Romans used their engineering technology to extract large amounts of gold , copper and lead , as well as modest amounts of some other metals such as zinc and silver . Roman economic development was concentrated in south-eastern Britain, and no significant industries located in Wales. This was largely a matter of circumstance, as Wales had none of the necessary materials in suitable combination, and the forested, mountainous countryside was not amenable to industrialisation. Although Latin became the official language of Wales, the people tended to continue to speak in Brythonic . While Romanisation was far from complete, the upper classes of Wales
Wales
began to consider themselves Roman, particularly after the ruling of 212 that granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Empire. Further Roman influence came through the spread of Christianity
Christianity
, which gained many followers when Christians were allowed to worship freely; state persecution ceased in the 4th century, as a result of Constantine I
Constantine I
issuing an edict of toleration in 313.

Early historians, including the 6th century cleric Gildas , have noted 383 as a significant point in Welsh history, as it is stated in literature as the foundation point of several medieval royal dynasties. In that year the Roman general Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
, or Macsen Wledig, stripped all of western and northern Britain of troops and senior administrators, to launch a successful bid for imperial power; continuing to rule Britain from Gaul
Gaul
as emperor. Gildas, writing in about 540, says that Maximus departed Britain, taking with him all of its Roman troops, armed bands, governors and the flower of its youth, never to return. Having left with the troops and Roman administrators, and planning to continue as the ruler of Britain in the future, his practical course was to transfer local authority to local rulers. The earliest Welsh genealogies give Maximus the role of founding father for several royal dynasties, including those of Powys and Gwent . It was this transfer of power that has given rise to the belief that he was the father of the Welsh Nation. He is given as the ancestor of a Welsh king on the Pillar of Eliseg
Pillar of Eliseg
, erected nearly 500 years after he left Britain, and he figures in lists of the Fifteen Tribes of Wales .

POST-ROMAN ERA

See also: Sub-Roman Britain
Sub-Roman Britain
Britain in AD 500: The areas shaded pink on the map were inhabited by the Celtic Britons , here labelled Welsh. The pale blue areas in the east were controlled by Germanic tribes , whilst the pale green areas to the north were inhabited by the Gaels
Gaels
and Picts .

The 400-year period following the collapse of Roman rule is the most difficult to interpret in the history of Wales. After the Roman departure from Britain in AD 410, much of the lowlands of Britain to the east and south-east was overrun by various Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
. Before extensive studies of the distribution of R1b Y-DNA subclades , some previously maintained that native Britons were displaced by the invaders. This idea has been discarded in the face of evidence that much of the population has, at the latest, Hallstatt era origins, but probably late Neolithic
Neolithic
, or at earliest Mesolithic origins with little contribution from Anglo-Saxon source areas. However, by AD 500, the land that would become Wales
Wales
had divided into a number of kingdoms free from Anglo-Saxon rule. The kingdoms of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
, Powys , Dyfed
Dyfed
and Seisyllwg
Seisyllwg
, Morgannwg and Gwent emerged as independent Welsh successor states . Archaeological evidence, in the Low Countries and what was to become England, shows early Anglo-Saxon migration to Great Britain
Great Britain
reversed between 500 to 550, which concurs with Frankish chronicles. John Davies notes this as consistent with the British victory at Badon Hill , attributed to Arthur by Nennius . This tenacious survival by the Romano-Britons
Romano-Britons
and their descendants in the western kingdoms was to become the foundation of what we now know as Wales. With the loss of the lowlands, England's kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria
Northumbria
, and later Wessex
Wessex
, wrestled with Powys, Gwent and Gwynedd
Gwynedd
to define the frontier between the two peoples.

Having lost much of what is now the West Midlands to Mercia in the 6th and early 7th centuries, a resurgent late-7th-century Powys checked Mercian advances. Aethelbald of Mercia , looking to defend recently acquired lands, had built Wat\'s Dyke . According to John Davies , this endeavour may have been with the agreement of Powys king Elisedd ap Gwylog , as this boundary, extending north from the valley of the River Severn to the Dee estuary, gave Oswestry
Oswestry
to Powys. Another theory, after carbon dating placed the dyke's existence 300 years earlier, is that it may have been built by the post-Roman rulers of Wroxeter
Wroxeter
. King Offa of Mercia seems to have continued this consultative initiative when he created a larger earthwork, now known as Offa\'s Dyke (Clawdd Offa). Davies wrote of Cyril Fox 's study of Offa's Dyke: "In the planning of it, there was a degree of consultation with the kings of Powys and Gwent. On the Long Mountain near Trelystan, the dyke veers to the east, leaving the fertile slopes in the hands of the Welsh; near Rhiwabon , it was designed to ensure that Cadell ap Brochwel retained possession of the Fortress of Penygadden." And, for Gwent, Offa had the dyke built "on the eastern crest of the gorge, clearly with the intention of recognizing that the River Wye
River Wye
and its traffic belonged to the kingdom of Gwent." However, Fox's interpretations of both the length and purpose of the Dyke have been questioned by more recent research. Offa's Dyke
Offa's Dyke
largely remained the frontier between the Welsh and English, though the Welsh would recover by the 12th century the area between the Dee (Afon Dyfrdwy) and the Conwy, known then as Y Berfeddwlad . By the 8th century, the eastern borders with the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
had broadly been set.

In 853, the Vikings raided Anglesey, but in 856, Rhodri Mawr defeated and killed their leader, Gorm. The Britons of Wales
Wales
later made their peace with the Vikings and Anarawd ap Rhodri allied with the Norsemen occupying Northumbria
Northumbria
to conquer the north. This alliance later broke down and Anarawd came to an agreement with Alfred , king of Wessex
Wessex
, with whom he fought against the west Welsh. According to Annales Cambriae , in 894, "Anarawd came with the Angles and laid waste Ceredigion
Ceredigion
and Ystrad Tywi."

MEDIEVAL WALES

North Wales
North Wales
Principalities , 1267–76 Hywel Dda enthroned See also: Norman invasion of Wales
Norman invasion of Wales
and Wales
Wales
in the Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages

The southern and eastern parts of Great Britain
Great Britain
lost to English settlement became known in Welsh as Lloegyr
Lloegyr
(Modern Welsh Lloegr), which may have referred to the kingdom of Mercia originally and which came to refer to England
England
as a whole. The Germanic tribes who now dominated these lands were invariably called Saeson, meaning "Saxons ". The Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
called the Romano-British ' Walha
Walha
', meaning 'Romanised foreigner' or 'stranger'. The Welsh continued to call themselves Brythoniaid (Brythons or Britons) well into the Middle Ages , though the first written evidence of the use of Cymru and y Cymry is found in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan
Cadwallon ap Cadfan
(Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan Ferddig) c. 633. In Armes Prydain
Armes Prydain
, believed to be written around 930–942, the words Cymry and Cymro are used as often as 15 times. However, from the Anglo-Saxon settlement onwards, the people gradually begin to adopt the name Cymry over Brythoniad. Dolwyddelan Castle
Dolwyddelan Castle
– built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth
Llywelyn ab Iorwerth
in the early 13th century to watch over one of the valley routes into Gwynedd
Gwynedd

From 800 onwards, a series of dynastic marriages led to Rhodri Mawr 's (r. 844–77) inheritance of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
and Powys . His sons in turn would found three principal dynasties ( Aberffraw for Gwynedd, Dinefwr for Deheubarth
Deheubarth
and Mathrafal
Mathrafal
for Powys). Rhodri's grandson Hywel Dda (r. 900–50) founded Deheubarth
Deheubarth
out of his maternal and paternal inheritances of Dyfed
Dyfed
and Seisyllwg
Seisyllwg
in 930, ousted the Aberffraw dynasty from Gwynedd
Gwynedd
and Powys and then codified Welsh law in the 940s. Maredudd ab Owain
Maredudd ab Owain
(r. 986–99) of Deheubarth
Deheubarth
(Hywel's grandson) would, (again) temporarily oust the Aberffraw line from control of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
and Powys.

Maredudd's great-grandson (through his daughter Princess Angharad ) Gruffydd ap Llywelyn
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn
(r. 1039–63) would conquer his cousins' realms from his base in Powys, and even extend his authority into England. Historian John Davies states that Gruffydd was "the only Welsh king ever to rule over the entire territory of Wales... Thus, from about 1057 until his death in 1063, the whole of Wales
Wales
recognised the kingship of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. For about seven brief years, Wales was one, under one ruler, a feat with neither precedent nor successor." Owain Gwynedd
Gwynedd
(1100–70) of the Aberffraw line was the first Welsh ruler to use the title princeps Wallensium (prince of the Welsh), a title of substance given his victory on the Berwyn Mountains , according to John Davies. Statue of Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
(c. 1354 or 1359 – c. 1416) at Cardiff
Cardiff
City Hall

Within four years of the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
, England
England
had been completely subjugated by the Normans
Normans
. William I of England established a series of lordships, allocated to his most powerful warriors along the Welsh border, the boundaries fixed only to the east. This frontier region, and any English-held lordships in Wales, became known as Marchia Wallie, the Welsh Marches
Welsh Marches
, in which the Marcher Lords were subject to neither English nor Welsh law . The area of the March varied as the fortunes of the Marcher Lords and the Welsh princes ebbed and flowed. The March of Wales, which existed for over 450 years, was abolished under the Acts of Union in 1536.

Owain Gwynedd's grandson Llywelyn Fawr (the Great, 1173–1240), wrested concessions through the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
in 1215 and receiving the fealty of other Welsh lords in 1216 at the council at Aberdyfi
Aberdyfi
, became the first Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
. His grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd also secured the recognition of the title Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
from Henry III with the Treaty of Montgomery
Treaty of Montgomery
in 1267. Later however, a succession of disputes, including the imprisonment of Llywelyn's wife Eleanor , daughter of Simon de Montfort , culminated in the first invasion by King Edward I
Edward I
of England
England
. As a result of military defeat, the Treaty of Aberconwy exacted Llywelyn's fealty to England in 1277. Peace was short lived and, with the 1282 Edwardian conquest , the rule of the Welsh princes permanently ended. With Llywelyn's death and his brother prince Dafydd 's execution, the few remaining Welsh lords did homage for their lands to Edward I
Edward I
. Llywelyn's head was carried through London on a spear; his baby daughter Gwenllian was locked in the priory at Sempringham
Sempringham
, where she remained until her death 54 years later. Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
, birthplace of Edward II of England
England

To help maintain his dominance, Edward constructed a series of great stone castles: Beaumaris , Caernarfon
Caernarfon
and Conwy
Conwy
. His son, the future King Edward II of England
England
, was born at Edward's new castle at Caernarfon
Caernarfon
in 1284. He became the first English Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
, not as an infant, but in 1301. The apocryphal story that Edward tricked the Welsh by offering them a Welsh-born Prince who could speak no English was first recorded in 1584. The title also provided an income from the north-west part of Wales
Wales
known as the Principality
Principality
of Wales
Wales
, until the Act of Union (1536), after which the term principality, when used, was associated with the whole of Wales. After the failed revolt in 1294–95 of Madog ap Llywelyn – who styled himself Prince of Wales
Wales
in the Penmachno Document – and the rising of Llywelyn Bren (1316), the next major uprising was that led by Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
, against Henry IV of England
England
. In 1404, Owain was reputedly crowned Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in the presence of emissaries from France, Spain and Scotland. Glyndŵr went on to hold parliamentary assemblies at several Welsh towns, including Machynlleth
Machynlleth
. But the rebellion failed, and Owain went into hiding in 1412; peace was essentially restored in Wales
Wales
by 1415. Although the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 provided the constitutional basis for post-conquest government of the Principality of north Wales
Wales
from 1284 until 1536, there was no formal Union until 1536. Shortly afterwards Welsh law, which had continued to be used in Wales
Wales
after the Norman conquest, was fully replaced by English law, under what would become known as the Act of Union .

INDUSTRIAL WALES

See also: Glamorgan
Glamorgan
and Lower Swansea
Swansea
valley Dowlais Ironworks (1840) by George Childs (1798–1875)

Prior to the British Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
, which saw a rapid economic expansion between 1750 and 1850, there were signs of small-scale industries scattered throughout Wales. These ranged from industries connected to agriculture, such as milling and the manufacture of woollen textiles , through to mining and quarrying. Until the Industrial Revolution, Wales
Wales
had always been reliant on its agricultural output for its wealth and employment and the earliest industrial businesses were small scale and localised in manner. The emerging industrial period commenced around the development of copper smelting in the Swansea
Swansea
area. With access to local coal deposits and a harbour that could take advantage of Cornwall's copper mines and the copper deposits being extracted from the then-largest copper mine in the world at Parys Mountain on Anglesey, Swansea
Swansea
developed into the world's major centre for non-ferrous metal smelting in the 19th century. The second metal industry to expand in Wales
Wales
was iron smelting, and iron manufacturing became prevalent in both the north and the south of the country. In the north of Wales, John Wilkinson 's Ironworks at Bersham
Bersham
was a significant industry, while in the south, a second world centre of metallurgy was founded in Merthyr Tydfil , where the four ironworks of Dowlais , Cyfarthfa , Plymouth and Penydarren became the most significant hub of iron manufacture in Wales. In the 1820s, south Wales
Wales
alone accounted for 40% of all pig iron manufactured in Britain. Penrhyn Slate Quarries, 1852

In the late 18th century, slate quarrying began to expand rapidly, most notably in north Wales. The Penrhyn Quarry
Penrhyn Quarry
, opened in 1770 by Richard Pennant , was employing 15,000 men by the late 19th century, and along with Dinorwic Quarry
Dinorwic Quarry
, it dominated the Welsh slate trade. Although slate quarrying has been described as 'the most Welsh of Welsh industries', it is coal mining which has become the single industry synonymous with Wales
Wales
and its people. Initially, coal seams were exploited to provide energy for local metal industries but, with the opening of canal systems and later the railways, Welsh coal mining saw a boom in its demand. As the south Wales
Wales
coalfield was exploited, mainly in the upland valleys around Aberdare
Aberdare
and later the Rhondda
Rhondda
, the ports of Swansea, Cardiff
Cardiff
and later Penarth, grew into world exporters of coal and, with them, came a population boom. By its height in 1913, Wales
Wales
was producing almost 61 million tons of coal. As well as in south Wales, there was also a significant coalfield in the north-east of the country, particularly around Wrexham
Wrexham
. As Wales
Wales
was reliant on the production of capital goods rather than consumer goods, it possessed few of the skilled craftspeople and artisans found in the workshops of Birmingham
Birmingham
or Sheffield
Sheffield
in England
England
and had few factories producing finished goods – a key feature of most regions associated with the Industrial Revolution. However, there is increasing support that the industrial revolution was reliant on harnessing the energy and materials provided by Wales
Wales
and, in that sense, Wales
Wales
was of central importance.

MODERN WALES

Early 20th Century

Battle at Mametz Wood by Christopher Williams (1918)

Historian Kenneth Morgan described Wales
Wales
on the eve of the First World War as a "relatively placid, self-confident and successful nation". Output from the coalfields continued to increase, with the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley recording a peak of 9.6 million tons of coal extracted in 1913. The outbreak of the First World War
First World War
(1914–1918) saw Wales, as part of the United Kingdom, enter hostilities with Germany. A total of 272,924 Welshmen served in the war, representing 21.5% of the male population. Of these, roughly 35,000 were killed. The two most notable battles of the War to include Welsh forces were those at Mametz Wood on the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele .

The first quarter of the 20th century also saw a shift in the political landscape of Wales. Since 1865, the Liberal Party had held a parliamentary majority in Wales
Wales
and, following the general election of 1906 , only one non-Liberal Member of Parliament, Keir Hardie of Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil
, represented a Welsh constituency at Westminster. Yet by 1906, industrial dissension and political militancy had begun to undermine Liberal consensus in the southern coalfields. In 1916, David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
became the first Welshman to become Prime Minister of Britain when he was made head of the 1916 coalition government . In December 1918, Lloyd George was re-elected at the head of a Conservative-dominated coalition government, and his poor handling of the 1919 coalminers' strike was a key factor in destroying support for the Liberal party in south Wales. The industrial workers of Wales began shifting towards a new political organisation, established by Hardie and others to ensure an elected representation for the working class, which is now called the Labour Party. When in 1908 the Miners\' Federation of Great Britain
Great Britain
became affiliated to the Labour Party, the four Labour candidates sponsored by miners were all elected as MPs. By 1922, half of the Welsh seats at Westminster were held by Labour politicians—the start of a Labour hegemony which would dominate Wales
Wales
into the 21st century.

Mid 20th Century

After economic growth in the first two decades of the 20th century, Wales' staple industries endured a prolonged slump from the early 1920s to the late 1930s, leading to widespread unemployment and poverty in the south Wales
Wales
valleys. For the first time in centuries, the population of Wales
Wales
went into decline; the scourge of unemployment only relented with the production demands of the Second World War
Second World War
. The Second World War
Second World War
(1939–1945) saw Welsh servicemen and women fight in all the major theatres of war, with some 15,000 of them killed. Bombing raids brought major loss of life as the German Air Force targeted the docks at Swansea
Swansea
, Cardiff
Cardiff
and Pembroke . After 1943, 10% of Welsh conscripts aged 18 were sent to work in the coal mines, where there were labour shortages; they became known as Bevin Boys . Pacifist numbers during both World Wars were fairly low, especially in the Second World War, which was seen as a fight against fascism. Of the political parties active in Wales, only Plaid Cymru took a neutral stance, on the grounds that it was an "imperialist war".

Late 20th Century

The 20th century saw a revival in Welsh national feeling. Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925, seeking greater autonomy or independence from the rest of the UK. The term " England and Wales
England and Wales
" became common for describing the area to which English law applied, and in 1955 Cardiff was proclaimed as capital city of Wales. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) was formed in 1962, in response to long-held fears that the language might soon die out. Nationalist sentiment grew following the flooding of the Tryweryn valley
Tryweryn valley
in 1965 to create a reservoir to supply water to the English city of Liverpool . Despite 35 of the 36 Welsh MPs voting against the bill (the other one abstained), Parliament
Parliament
passed the bill and the village of Capel Celyn was submerged, highlighting Wales' powerlessness in her own affairs in the face of the numerical superiority of English MPs in the Westminster Parliament. Both the Free Wales Army
Free Wales Army
and Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (Welsh Defence Movement, abbreviated as MAC) were formed as a direct result of the Tryweryn destruction, conducting campaigns from 1963. In the years leading up to the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in 1969, these groups were responsible for a number of bomb blasts—destroying water pipes, tax and other offices and part of the dam at the new Clywedog reservoir
Clywedog reservoir
project in Montgomeryshire, being built to supply water to the English Midlands. The proportion of respondents in the 2011 census who said they could speak Welsh. The National Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
, an annual celebration of Welsh culture, conducted in Welsh

In his 1707 work Archaeologia Britannica Edward Lhuyd
Edward Lhuyd
, keeper of the Ashmolean Museum
Ashmolean Museum
, noted the similarity between the two Celtic language families: Brythonic or P–Celtic (Breton , Cornish and Welsh ); and Goidelic or Q–Celtic (Irish , Manx and Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
). He argued that the Brythonic languages
Brythonic languages
originated in Gaul
Gaul
(France), and that the Goidelic languages
Goidelic languages
originated in the Iberian Peninsula . Lhuyd concluded that as the languages had been of Celtic origin, the people who spoke those languages were Celts. (According to a more recent hypothesis, also widely embraced today, Goidelic and Brythonic languages, collectively known as Insular Celtic languages
Celtic languages
, evolved together for some time separately from Continental Celtic languages such as Gaulish and Celtiberian .) From the 18th century, the peoples of Brittany
Brittany
, Cornwall
Cornwall
, Ireland
Ireland
, Isle of Man
Isle of Man
, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales were known increasingly as Celts, and they are regarded as the modern Celtic nations today.

The Bible translations into Welsh
Bible translations into Welsh
helped to maintain the use of Welsh in daily life. The New Testament
New Testament
was translated by William Salesbury in 1567 followed by the complete Bible by William Morgan in 1588.

The Welsh Language Act 1993
Welsh Language Act 1993
and the Government of Wales
Wales
Act 1998 provide that the English and Welsh languages be treated on a basis of equality, and both are used as working languages within the National Assembly. Both English and Welsh are considered official languages of Wales, with Welsh further recognised in law as having "official status". English is spoken by almost all people in Wales
Wales
and is the main language in most of the country. Code-switching is common in all parts of Wales
Wales
and is known by various terms, though none is recognised by professional linguists. "Wenglish " is the Welsh English language
English language
dialect. It has been influenced significantly by Welsh grammar and includes words derived from Welsh. According to John Davies, Wenglish has "been the object of far greater prejudice than anything suffered by Welsh". Northern and western Wales
Wales
retain many areas where Welsh is spoken as a first language by the majority of the population, and English learnt as a second language. The 2011 Census showed 562,016 people, 19.0% of the Welsh population, were able to speak Welsh, a decrease from the 20.8% returned in the 2001 census. Although monoglotism in young children continues, life-long monoglotism in Welsh is recognised to be a thing of the past.

Road signs in Wales
Wales
are generally in both English and Welsh; where place names differ in the two languages, both versions are used (e.g. "Cardiff" and "Caerdydd"). Under new regulations that came into force in 2016, the Welsh Language Commissioner requires local authorities and Welsh Government to ensure that all new or renewed road signs that use both languages to feature the Welsh language
Welsh language
first.

During the 20th century, a number of small communities of speakers of languages other than Welsh or English, such as Bengali or Cantonese , established themselves in Wales
Wales
as a result of immigration.

RELIGION

St. David\'s Cathedral , Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire

The largest religion in Wales
Wales
is Christianity, with 57.6% of the population describing themselves as Christian in the 2011 census. The Church in Wales
Church in Wales
with 56,000 adherents has the largest attendance of the denominations. It is a province of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
, and was part of the Church of England
England
until disestablishment in 1920 under the Welsh Church Act 1914
Welsh Church Act 1914
. The first Independent Church in Wales
Church in Wales
was founded at Llanvaches
Llanvaches
in 1638 by William Wroth
William Wroth
. The Presbyterian Church of Wales
Wales
was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival
Welsh Methodist revival
in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England
England
in 1811. The second largest attending faith in Wales
Wales
is Roman Catholic , with an estimated 43,000 adherents. Non-Christian religions are small in Wales, making up approximately 2.7% of the population. The 2011 census recorded 32.1% of people declaring no religion, while 7.6% did not reply to the question.

The patron saint of Wales
Wales
is Saint David (Dewi Sant), with Saint David\'s Day (Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant) celebrated annually on 1 March. In 1904, there was a religious revival (known by some as the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival , or simply The 1904 Revival) which started through the evangelism of Evan Roberts and saw large numbers of people converting to non-Anglican Christianity, sometimes whole communities. Roberts' style of preaching became the blueprint for new religious bodies such as Pentecostalism and the Apostolic Church . The Apostolic Church holds its annual Apostolic Conference in Swansea
Swansea
each year, usually in August.

Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in Wales, with 24,000 (0.8%) reported Muslims in the 2011 census. 2 Glynrhondda Street in Cathays
Cathays
, Cardiff, is accepted as the first mosque in the United Kingdom founded by Yemeni and Somali sailors on their trips between Aden
Aden
and Cardiff
Cardiff
Docks .

There are also communities of Hindus and Sikhs , mainly in the south Wales
Wales
cities of Newport, Cardiff
Cardiff
and Swansea, while the largest concentration of Buddhists is in the western rural county of Ceredigion
Ceredigion
. Judaism was the first non-Christian faith to be established in Wales
Wales
since Roman times, though by 2001 the community has declined to approximately 2,000.

CULTURE

Main article: Culture of Wales
Culture of Wales

Part of a series on the

CULTURE OF WALES

HISTORY

PEOPLE

Languages

* Welsh ( Y Fro Gymraeg
Y Fro Gymraeg
* History * Welsh placenames
Welsh placenames
* Welsh surnames
Welsh surnames
* Welsh medium education
Welsh medium education
) * Welsh English

Traditions

* Traditional Welsh costume
Traditional Welsh costume
* Welsh law * Land division ( Commote
Commote
* Cantref
Cantref
* Historic counties )

Mythology
Mythology
and folklore

* Mythology
Mythology

Cuisine

* Bara brith
Bara brith
* Bara Lafwr * Cawl
Cawl
* Cawl
Cawl
Cennin * Crempog
Crempog
* Gower cuisine * Selsig Morgannwg * Tatws Pum Munud
Tatws Pum Munud
* Welsh breakfast * Welsh cake
Welsh cake
* Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit
* List of Welsh dishes
List of Welsh dishes
* List of restaurants in Wales
List of restaurants in Wales

Festivals

* Calennig * Dydd Santes Dwynwen
Dydd Santes Dwynwen
* Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau * Saint David\'s Day * Calan Mai * Calan Awst
Calan Awst
* Calan Gaeaf
Calan Gaeaf
* Gŵyl Mabsant * Gŵyl San Steffan * Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod

RELIGION

ART

Literature

* in Welsh * in English * Medieval * Authors * Poets * Theatre

Music and performing arts

* Music

Media

* Radio * Television * Cinema

Sport

* Bando * Boxing * Cnapan
Cnapan
* Cricket
Cricket
* Soccer * Golf * Horse Racing * Pêl-Law * Rugby League * Rugby Union

Monuments

* World Heritage Sites

Symbols

* Flag * Coat of arms * Flag of Saint David * Other flags * Welsh Dragon
Welsh Dragon
* Welsh heraldry
Welsh heraldry
* Celtic cross
Celtic cross
* Celtic knot
Celtic knot

* * Wales
Wales
portal

* v * t * e

Wales
Wales
has a distinctive culture including its own language, customs, holidays and music.

Wales
Wales
has three UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites : The Castles and Town walls of King Edward I
Edward I
in Gwynedd
Gwynedd
; Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
; and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
.

MYTHOLOGY

Main article: Welsh mythology

The remnants of the native Celtic mythology of the pre-Christian Britons was passed down orally, in much altered form, by the cynfeirdd (the early poets). Some of their work survives in much later medieval Welsh manuscripts , known as: the Black Book
Book
of Carmarthen
Carmarthen
and the Book of Aneirin
Book of Aneirin
(both 13th-century); the Book of Taliesin and the White Book of Rhydderch
White Book of Rhydderch
(both 14th-century); and the Red Book
Book
of Hergest (c. 1400). The prose stories from the White and Red Books are known as the Mabinogion
Mabinogion
, a title given to them by their first translator, Lady Charlotte Guest
Lady Charlotte Guest
, and also used by subsequent translators. Poems such as Cad Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees) and mnemonic list-texts like the Welsh Triads
Welsh Triads
and the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain , also contain mythological material. These texts also include the earliest forms of the Arthurian legend and the traditional history of post- Roman Britain
Roman Britain
.

Other sources of Welsh folklore include the 9th-century Latin historical compilation Historia Britonum (the History of the Britons) and Geoffrey of Monmouth 's 12th-century Latin chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae (the History of the Kings of Britain), as well as later folklore, such as The Welsh Fairy Book
Book
by W. Jenkyn Thomas.

LITERATURE IN WALES

Main articles: Literature of Wales (Welsh language) , List of Welsh writers , and Literature of Wales
Literature of Wales
(English language) Welsh poetry from the 13th Century Black book of Carmarthen
Carmarthen

Wales
Wales
can claim one of the oldest unbroken literary traditions in Europe. The literary tradition of Wales
Wales
stretches back to the sixth century and includes Geoffrey of Monmouth and Gerald of Wales
Gerald of Wales
, regarded by historian John Davies as among the finest Latin authors of the Middle Ages. The earliest body of Welsh verse, by poets Taliesin and Aneirin , survive not in their original form, but in medieval versions and have undergone significant linguistic changes. Welsh poetry and native lore and learning survived the Dark Ages, through the era of the Poets of the Princes (c. 1100 – 1280) and then the Poets of the Gentry (c. 1350 – 1650). The Poets of the Princes were professional poets who composed eulogies and elegies to the Welsh princes while the Poets of the Gentry were a school of poets that favoured the cywydd metre. The period is notable for producing one of Wales' greatest poets, Dafydd ap Gwilym . After the Anglicisation of the gentry the tradition declined. Bishop William Morgan

Despite the extinction of the professional poet, the integration of the native elite into a wider cultural world did bring other literary benefits. Renaissance scholars such as William Salesbury and John Davies brought humanist ideals from English universities when they returned to Wales. While in 1588 William Morgan became the first person to translate the Bible into Welsh , from Greek and Hebrew. From the 16th century onwards the proliferation of the 'free-metre' verse became the most important development in Welsh poetry, but from the middle of the 17th century a host of imported accentual metres from England
England
became very popular. By the 19th century the creation of a Welsh epic, fuelled by the eisteddfod, became an obsession with Welsh-language writers. The output of this period was prolific in quantity but unequal in quality. Initially the eisteddfod was askance with the religious denominations, but in time these bodies came to dominate the competitions, with the bardic themes becoming increasingly scriptural and didactic. The period is notable for the adoption by Welsh poets of bardic names , made popular by the eisteddfod movement.

Major developments in 19th-century Welsh literature include Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, one of the most important medieval Welsh prose tales of Celtic mythology, into English. 1885 saw the publication of Rhys Lewis by Daniel Owen , credited as the first novel written in the Welsh language. The 20th century experienced an important shift away from the stilted and long-winded Victorian Welsh prose, with Thomas Gwynn Jones
Thomas Gwynn Jones
leading the way with his 1902 work Ymadawiad Arthur. The slaughter in the trenches of the First World War
First World War
had a profound effect on Welsh literature with a more pessimistic style of prose championed by T. H. Parry-Williams and R. Williams Parry . The industrialisation of south Wales
Wales
saw a further shift with the likes of Rhydwen Williams who used the poetry and metre of a bygone rural Wales
Wales
but in the context of an industrial landscape. Though the inter-war period is dominated by Saunders Lewis
Saunders Lewis
, for his political and reactionary views as much as his plays, poetry and criticism.

The careers of some 1930s writers continued after World War Two, including those of Gwyn Thomas , Vernon Watkins
Vernon Watkins
, and Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
, whose most famous work Under Milk Wood was first broadcast in 1954. Thomas was one of the most notable and popular Welsh writers of the 20th century and one of the most innovative poets of his time. Gwyn Thomas became the voice of the English-speaking Welsh valleys with his humorous take on grim lives.

The attitude of the post-war generation of Welsh writers in English towards Wales
Wales
differs from the previous generation, in that they were more sympathetic to Welsh nationalism and to the Welsh language. The change can be linked to the nationalist fervour generated by Saunders Lewis and the burning of the Bombing School on the Lleyn Peninsula
Lleyn Peninsula
in 1936, along with a sense of crisis generated by World War II. In poetry R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
(1913–2000) was the most important figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century. While he "did not learn the Welsh language
Welsh language
until he was 30 and wrote all his poems in English", he wanted the Welsh language
Welsh language
to be made the first language of Wales, and the official policy of bilingualism abolished.

The major novelist in the second half of the twentieth century was Emyr Humphreys (1919)., who during his long writing career published over twenty novels, which surveys the political and cultural history of twentieth-century Wales. Another novelist of the post-Second-World-War era was Raymond Williams (1921–88). Born near Abergavenny
Abergavenny
, Williams continued the earlier tradition of writing from a left-wing perspective on the Welsh industrial scene in his trilogy "Border Country
Country
" (1960), "Second Generation" (1964), and "The Fight for Manod" (1979). He also enjoyed a reputation as a cultural historian.

MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES

The National Library of Wales
National Library of Wales
, Aberystwyth National Museum Cardiff
Cardiff

The National Museum Wales
Wales
was founded by royal charter in 1907 and is now a Welsh Government sponsored body . The National Museum is made up of seven sites across the country, including the National Museum Cardiff
Cardiff
, St Fagans National History Museum
St Fagans National History Museum
and Big Pit National Coal Museum . In April 2001, the attractions attached to the National Museum were granted free entry by the Assembly, and this action saw the visitor numbers to the sites increase during 2001–2002 by 87.8% to 1,430,428.

Aberystwyth is home to the National Library of Wales
National Library of Wales
, which houses some of the most important collections in Wales, including the Sir John Williams Collection and the Shirburn Castle
Shirburn Castle
collection. As well as its printed collection the Library holds important Welsh art collections including portraits and photographs, ephemera such as postcards, posters and Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey
maps.

VISUAL ARTS

Main article: Welsh art
Welsh art

Many works of Celtic art
Celtic art
have been found in Wales. In the Early Medieval period, the Celtic Christianity
Christianity
of Wales
Wales
was part of the Insular art
Insular art
of the British Isles
British Isles
. A number of illuminated manuscripts from Wales
Wales
survive, of which the 8th century Hereford Gospels
Hereford Gospels
and Lichfield Gospels
Lichfield Gospels
are the most notable. The 11th century Ricemarch Psalter (now in Dublin
Dublin
) is certainly Welsh, made in St David\'s , and shows a late Insular style with unusual Viking
Viking
influence.

The best of the few Welsh artists of the 16th–18th centuries tended to leave the country to work, many of them moving to London or Italy. Richard Wilson (1714–82) is arguably the first major British landscapist. Although more notable for his Italian scenes, he painted several Welsh scenes on visits from London. By the late 18th century, the popularity of landscape art grew and clients were found in the larger Welsh towns, allowing more Welsh artists to stay in their homeland. Artists from outside Wales
Wales
were also drawn to paint Welsh scenery, at first because of the Celtic Revival
Celtic Revival
. Then in the early 19th century, the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
preventing the Grand Tour to continental Europe, travel through Wales
Wales
came to be considered more accessible. The Bard, 1774, by Thomas Jones (1742–1803)

An Act of Parliament
Parliament
in 1857 provided for the establishment of a number of art schools throughout the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the Cardiff School of Art opened in 1865. Graduates still very often had to leave Wales
Wales
to work, but Betws-y-Coed
Betws-y-Coed
became a popular centre for artists and its artists' colony helped form the Royal Cambrian
Cambrian
Academy of Art in 1881. The sculptor Sir William Goscombe John
Goscombe John
made many works for Welsh commissions, although he had settled in London. Christopher Williams , whose subjects were mostly resolutely Welsh, was also based in London. Thomas E. Stephens
Thomas E. Stephens
and Andrew Vicari had very successful careers as portraitists based respectively in the United States
United States
and France. Sir Frank Brangwyn was Welsh by origin but spent little time in Wales.

Many Welsh painters gravitated towards the art capitals of Europe. Augustus John
Augustus John
and his sister Gwen John
Gwen John
lived mostly in London and Paris. However, the landscapists Sir Kyffin Williams and Peter Prendergast lived in Wales
Wales
for most of their lives, while remaining in touch with the wider art world. Ceri Richards was very engaged in the Welsh art
Welsh art
scene as a teacher in Cardiff
Cardiff
and even after moving to London. He was a figurative painter in international styles including Surrealism . Various artists have moved to Wales, including Eric Gill , the London-Welshman David Jones and the sculptor Jonah Jones . The Kardomah Gang was an intellectual circle centred on the poet Dylan Thomas and poet and artist Vernon Watkins
Vernon Watkins
in Swansea, which also included the painter Alfred Janes
Alfred Janes
.

South Wales
South Wales
had several notable potteries , one of the first important sites being the Ewenny Pottery
Pottery
in Bridgend , which began producing earthenware in the 17th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, with more scientific methods becoming available more refined ceramics were produced led by the Cambrian
Cambrian
Pottery (1764–1870, also known as " Swansea
Swansea
pottery") and later Nantgarw Pottery
Pottery
near Cardiff, which was in operation from 1813 to 1822 making fine porcelain and then utilitarian pottery until 1920. Portmeirion Pottery
Pottery
, founded in 1960 by Susan Williams-Ellis , daughter of Clough Williams-Ellis , creator of the Italianate village of Portmeirion
Portmeirion
, Gwynedd
Gwynedd
, is based in Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent
, England.

NATIONAL SYMBOLS

Main article: National symbols of Wales
National symbols of Wales
Prince of Wales\'s feathers

The Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales
incorporates the red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) of Prince Cadwalader along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St. Paul\'s Cathedral . The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959. The British Union Flag
Union Flag
incorporates the flags of Scotland, Ireland
Ireland
and England, but has no Welsh representation. Technically Wales
Wales
is represented by the flag of England, as the Laws in Wales Act
Laws in Wales Act
of 1535 annexed Wales
Wales
to England, following the 13th-century conquest.

The daffodil and the leek are also symbols of Wales. The origins of the leek can be traced to the 16th century, while the daffodil became popular in the 19th century, encouraged by David Lloyd-George
David Lloyd-George
. This is attributed to confusion (or association) between the Welsh for leek, cenhinen, and that for daffodil, cenhinen Bedr or St. Peter's leek. A report in 1916 gave preference to the leek, which has appeared on British pound coins.

The Prince of Wales' heraldic badge is also sometimes used to symbolise Wales. The badge, known as the Prince of Wales\'s feathers , consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet. A ribbon below the coronet bears the German motto Ich dien (I serve). Several Welsh representative teams, including the Welsh rugby union, and Welsh regiments in the British Army
British Army
(the Royal Welsh
Royal Welsh
, for example) use the badge, or a stylised version of it. The Prince of Wales
Wales
has claimed that only he has the authority to use the symbol.

" Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
" (English: Land of My Fathers) is the National Anthem of Wales, and is played at events such as football or rugby matches involving the Wales
Wales
national team as well as the opening of the Welsh Assembly
Welsh Assembly
and other official occasions. "God Save the Queen", the national anthem of the United Kingdom, is sometimes played alongside Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
during official events with a royal connection.

SPORT

Main article: Sport in Wales
Sport in Wales
Millennium Stadium
Millennium Stadium
, Cardiff
Cardiff

More than 50 national governing bodies regulate and organise their sports in Wales. Most of those involved in competitive sports select, organise and manage individuals or teams to represent their country at international events or fixtures against other countries. Wales
Wales
is represented at major world sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup , Rugby World Cup , Rugby League World Cup
Rugby League World Cup
and the Commonwealth Games . At the Olympics Games
Olympics Games
, Welsh athletes compete alongside those of Scotland, England
England
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
as part of a Great Britain team.

Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales
Wales
, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Wales
Wales
national rugby union team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and has also competed in every Rugby World Cup , hosting the tournament in 1999 . The five professional sides that replaced the traditional club sides in major competitions in 2003 were replaced in 2004 by the four regions: Cardiff
Cardiff
Blues , Dragons , Ospreys and Scarlets
Scarlets
. The Welsh regional teams play in the Pro14 , the Anglo-Welsh Cup
Anglo-Welsh Cup
, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup
European Rugby Challenge Cup
.

Wales
Wales
has had its own football league , the Welsh Premier League
Welsh Premier League
, since 1992. For historical reasons, six Welsh clubs play in the English football league system
English football league system
; Cardiff
Cardiff
City , Swansea
Swansea
City , Newport County , Wrexham
Wrexham
, Colwyn Bay
Colwyn Bay
and Merthyr Town . Famous Welsh players over the years include John Charles
John Charles
, John Toshack
John Toshack
, Gary Speed
Gary Speed
, Ian Rush , Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
and Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
. At UEFA Euro 2016 , the Wales national team achieved their best ever finish, reaching the semi-finals where they were beaten by eventual champions Portugal.

Rugby league in Wales dates back to 1907. Currently two professional clubs, the South Wales
South Wales
Ironmen (based in Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil
) and the North Wales
North Wales
Crusaders (based in Wrexham
Wrexham
) compete in the Rugby Football League 's League 1 competition. The Crusaders competed in the top level Super League competition from 2009–2011. A professional Welsh League
Welsh League
existed from 1908 to 1910.

In international cricket , Wales
Wales
and England
England
field a single representative team, administered by the England and Wales
England and Wales
Cricket Board (ECB), called the England
England
cricket team , or simply 'England'. Occasionally, a separate Wales
Wales
team play limited-overs competitions. Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County Cricket
Cricket
Club is the only Welsh participant in the England and Wales
England and Wales
County Championship.

Wales
Wales
has produced several world-class participants of individual sports including snooker players Ray Reardon , Terry Griffiths , Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens
. Track athletes who have made a mark on the world stage, including the 110-metre hurdler Colin Jackson
Colin Jackson
who is a former world record holder and the winner of numerous Olympic, World and European medals as well as Tanni Grey-Thompson who has won 11 Paralympic gold medals. Cyclist Nicole Cooke
Nicole Cooke
won gold medals at the Commonwealth , Olympic and World championships.

Wales
Wales
also has a tradition of producing world-class boxers. Joe Calzaghe was WBO world super-middleweight champion and then won the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super middleweight and Ring Magazine light-heavyweight titles. Other former boxing world champions include Enzo Maccarinelli , Freddie Welsh
Freddie Welsh
, Howard Winstone
Howard Winstone
, Percy Jones , Jimmy Wilde
Jimmy Wilde
, Steve Robinson and Robbie Regan . Tommy Farr
Tommy Farr
, the "Tonypandy Terror", came close to defeating world heavyweight champion Joe Louis
Joe Louis
at the height of his fame in 1937.

Wales
Wales
has hosted several international sporting events. These include the 1958 Commonwealth Games , the 1999 Rugby World Cup , the 2010 Ryder Cup
2010 Ryder Cup
and the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final
2017 UEFA Champions League Final
.

MEDIA

Main article: Media in Wales
Media in Wales
See also: List of newspapers in Wales

All Welsh television broadcasts are digital . The last of the analogue transmitters ceased broadcasts in April 2010, and Wales became the UK's first digital nation. Cardiff
Cardiff
is home to the television output of Wales. BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Cymru Wales
is the national broadcaster. Based in Llandaff
Llandaff
, Cardiff, it produces Welsh-oriented English and Welsh-language television for BBC
BBC
ONE Wales
Wales
, BBC
BBC
TWO Wales
Wales
and S4C
S4C
channels. BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Cymru Wales
has also produced programmes, such as Life on Mars , Doctor Who
Doctor Who
and Torchwood
Torchwood
, shown worldwide. ITV the UK's main commercial broadcaster has a Welsh-oriented service branded as ITV Wales, whose studios are in Culverhouse Cross
Culverhouse Cross
, Cardiff. S4C, based in Llanishen
Llanishen
, Cardiff, first broadcast on 1 November 1982. Its output was mostly Welsh-language at peak hours, but shared English-language content with Channel 4
Channel 4
at other times. Since the digital switchover in April 2010, the channel has broadcast exclusively in Welsh. BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Cymru Wales
provide S4C
S4C
with ten hours of programming per week. Their remaining output is commissioned from ITV and independent producers. A number of BBC
BBC
productions, such as Doctor Who
Doctor Who
and Torchwood
Torchwood
, have been filmed in Wales.

BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Cymru Wales
is Wales' only national radio broadcaster. BBC
BBC
Radio Wales
Wales
is their English-language radio service, broadcasting throughout Wales
Wales
in English. BBC Radio Cymru
BBC Radio Cymru
is their Welsh-language radio service, broadcasting throughout Wales
Wales
in Welsh. A number of independent radio stations broadcast to the Welsh regions, predominantly in English. Several regional radio stations broadcast in Welsh: output ranges from two, two-minute news bulletins each weekday ( Radio Maldwyn ), through over 14 hours of Welsh-language programmes weekly ( Swansea
Swansea
Sound ), to essentially bilingual stations offering between 37% and 44% of programme content ( Heart Cymru
Heart Cymru
(formerly Champion 103) and Radio Ceredigion
Ceredigion
respectively).

Most of the newspapers sold and read in Wales
Wales
are national newspapers available throughout Britain, unlike in Scotland
Scotland
where many newspapers have rebranded into Scottish-based titles. The Western Mail is Wales' only national daily newspaper. Wales-based regional daily newspapers include: Daily Post (which covers north Wales); South Wales
South Wales
Evening Post (Swansea); South Wales
South Wales
Echo (Cardiff); and South Wales
South Wales
Argus (Newport). Y Cymro
Y Cymro
is a Welsh-language newspaper, published weekly. Wales
Wales
on Sunday is the only Welsh Sunday newspaper to cover the whole of Wales.

The Welsh Books Council (WBC) is the Welsh Government funded body tasked with promoting Welsh literature. The WBC provides publishing grants for qualifying English- and Welsh-language publications. Around 600–650 books are published each year, by some of the dozens of Welsh publishers. Wales' main publishing houses include Gomer Press , Gwasg Carreg Gwalch , Honno , the University of Wales
University of Wales
Press and Y Lolfa .

Magazines published in Welsh and English cover general and specialist subjects. Cambria, a Welsh affairs magazine published bi-monthly in English, has subscribers in over 30 countries. Titles published quarterly in English include Planet and Poetry Wales . Welsh-language magazines include the current affairs titles Golwg (View) (published weekly) and Barn (Opinion) (monthly). Among the specialist magazines, Y Wawr (The Dawn) is published quarterly by Merched y Wawr , the national organisation for women. Y Traethodydd (The Essayist), a quarterly publication by The Presbyterian Church of Wales
Wales
, first appeared in 1845; the oldest Welsh publication still in print.

CUISINE

Cawl
Cawl
, a traditional meat and vegetable dish from Wales
Wales
Main article: Welsh cuisine
Welsh cuisine
See also: Cuisine of Gower
Cuisine of Gower

About 78% of the land surface of Wales
Wales
is given over to agricultural use. However, very little of this is arable land; the vast majority consists of permanent grass pasture or rough grazing for herd animals such as sheep and cows. Although both beef and dairy cattle are raised widely, especially in Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
and Pembrokeshire, Wales
Wales
is more well known for its sheep farming and thus lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking.

Traditional dishes include laverbread (made from laver (Porphyra umbilicalis), an edible seaweed ); bara brith (fruit bread); cawl (a lamb stew); cawl cennin (leek soup ); Welsh cakes ; and Welsh lamb . Cockles are sometimes served as a traditional breakfast with bacon and laverbread.

Although Wales
Wales
has its own traditional food, and has absorbed much of the cuisine of England, Welsh diets now owe more to the countries of India
India
, China and the United States
United States
. Chicken tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala
is the country's favourite dish while hamburgers and Chinese food outsell fish and chips as a takeaway.

PERFORMING ARTS

Music

Main article: Music of Wales
Music of Wales
See also: Music of Cardiff
Cardiff
Traditional Welsh folk singer and harpist Siân James , live on stage at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient
Festival Interceltique de Lorient

Wales
Wales
is often referred to as "the land of song", and is notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists. The principal Welsh festival of music and poetry is the annual National Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
. The Llangollen
Llangollen
International Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
echoes the National Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
but provides an opportunity for the singers and musicians of the world to perform. Traditional music and dance in Wales
Wales
is supported by a myriad of societies. The Welsh Folk Song Society has published a number of collections of songs and tunes.

Traditional instruments of Wales
Wales
include telyn deires (triple harp ), fiddle, crwth , pibgorn (hornpipe) and other instruments. The Cerdd Dant
Cerdd Dant
Society promotes its specific singing art primarily through an annual one-day festival.

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
performs in Wales
Wales
and internationally. The Welsh National Opera
Welsh National Opera
is based at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff
Cardiff
Bay , while the National Youth Orchestra of Wales
Wales
was the first of its type in the world.

Wales
Wales
has a tradition of producing notable singers, including Sir Geraint Evans , Dame Gwyneth Jones , Dame Anne Evans , Dame Margaret Price , Sir Tom Jones , Bonnie Tyler , Bryn Terfel
Bryn Terfel
, Mary Hopkin
Mary Hopkin
, Charlotte Church
Charlotte Church
, Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins
, Meic Stevens
Meic Stevens
, Dame Shirley Bassey , Marina and the Diamonds
Marina and the Diamonds
and Duffy .

Popular bands that emerged from Wales
Wales
include the Beatles-nurtured power pop group Badfinger
Badfinger
in the 1960s, Man and Budgie in the 1970s and the Alarm in the 1980s. Many groups emerged during the 1990s, led by Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers
, followed by the likes of the Stereophonics and Feeder ; notable during this period were Catatonia , Super Furry Animals , and Gorky\'s Zygotic Mynci who gained popular success as dual-language artists. Recently successful Welsh bands include Lostprophets
Lostprophets
, Bullet for My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine
, Funeral for a Friend
Funeral for a Friend
and Kids in Glass Houses . The Welsh traditional and folk music scene is in resurgence with performers and bands such as Carreg Lafar
Carreg Lafar
, Fernhill , Siân James and the Hennessys .

Male voice choirs emerged in the 19th century and continue today. Originally these choirs where formed as the tenor and bass sections of chapel choirs, and embraced the popular secular hymns of the day. Many of the historic choirs survive in modern Wales, singing a mixture of traditional and popular songs.

Drama

See also: Cinema of Wales
Cinema of Wales
Anthony Hopkins ' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter was named the number-one villain in cinema history by the AFI .

The earliest surviving Welsh plays are two medieval miracle plays , Y Tri Brenin o Gwlen ("The three Kings from Cologne") and Y Dioddefaint a'r Atgyfodiad ("The Passion and the Resurrection"). A recognised Welsh tradition of theatre emerged during the 18th century, in the form of an interlude , a metrical play performed at fairs and markets. The larger Welsh towns began building theatres during the 19th century, and attracted the likes of James Sheridan Knowles
James Sheridan Knowles
and William Charles Macready to Wales. Along with the playhouses, there existed mobile companies at visiting fairs, though from 1912 most of these travelling theatres settled, purchasing theatres to perform in.

Drama in the early 20th century thrived, but the country failed to produce a Welsh National Theatre company. After the Second World War the substantial number of amateur companies that had existed before the outbreak of hostilities reduced by two thirds. The increasing competition from television in the 1950s and 1960s led to a need for greater professionalism in the theatre. As a result, plays by Emlyn Williams and Alun Owen and others were staged, while Welsh actors, including Richard Burton
Richard Burton
, Rachel Roberts , Donald Houston
Donald Houston
and Stanley Baker , were establishing themselves as artistic talents. Anthony Hopkins was an alumnus of the Royal Welsh
Royal Welsh
College of Music Rhys Ifans ; Matthew Rhys
Matthew Rhys
; Michael Sheen
Michael Sheen
; and Catherine Zeta-Jones .

Wales
Wales
has also produced well known comedians including Tommy Cooper
Tommy Cooper
, Terry Jones
Terry Jones
, Harry Secombe
Harry Secombe
, Rhod Gilbert
Rhod Gilbert
and Paul Whitehouse .

Dance

Dancing is a popular pastime in Wales; traditional dances include folk dancing and clog dancing . The first mention of dancing in Wales is in a 12th-century account by Giraldus Cambrensis , but by the 19th century traditional dance had all but died out; this is attributed to the influence of Nonconformists and their belief that any physical diversion was worthless and satanic, especially mixed dancing. These ancient dances, orally passed down, were almost single-handedly rescued by Lois Blake (1890–1974) who recorded them in numerous instruction pamphlets, recording both steps and music. In a similar vein, clog dancing was preserved and developed by the likes of Howel Wood (1882–1967) who perpetuated the art at local and national stages. Clog dancing, traditionally a male dominated art, is now a common part of eisteddfodau. In 2010, a 30-year traditional dance festival held in Caernarvon came to an end due to a lack of participants, though clog dancing has seen a revival in the 21st century.

The Welsh Folk Dance Society was founded in 1949; it supports a network of national amateur dance teams and publishes support material. Contemporary dance
Contemporary dance
grew out of Cardiff
Cardiff
in the 1970s; one of the earliest companies, Moving Being, came from London to Cardiff
Cardiff
in 1973. Diversions was formed in 1983, eventually becoming the National Dance Company Wales
Wales
, now the resident company at the Wales
Wales
Millennium Centre. Conversely, Wales
Wales
does not have its own national ballet company.

FESTIVALS

As well as celebrating many of the traditional religious festivals of Great Britain, such as Easter and Christmas, Wales
Wales
has its own unique celebratory days. An early festivity was Mabsant , when local parishes would celebrate the patron saint of their local church. This celebration died out in the 19th century, to be replaced by Saint David's Day, which is celebrated on 1 March throughout Wales, and by Welsh expats around the world.

Commemorating the patron saint of friendship and love, Dydd Santes Dwynwen 's popularity has been increasing recently. It is celebrated on 25 January in a similar way to St Valentine's Day: by exchanging cards and by holding parties and concerts.

Calan Gaeaf
Calan Gaeaf
, associated with the supernatural and the dead, is observed on 1 November (All Saints Day). It has largely been replaced by Hallowe'en. Other festivities include Calan Mai (May Day), celebrating the beginning of summer; Calan Awst
Calan Awst
(Lammas Day); and Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau (Candlemas Day).

SEE ALSO

* Wales
Wales
portal * Celtic Studies portal

* Outline of Wales
Outline of Wales
* Y Wladfa

FOOTNOTES

* ^ The earliest instance of Lloegyr
Lloegyr
occurs in the early 10th century prophetic poem Armes Prydein . It seems comparatively late as a place name, the nominative plural Lloegrwys
Lloegrwys
, "men of Lloegr", being earlier and more common. The English were sometimes referred to as an entity in early poetry (Saeson, as today) but just as often as Eingl (Angles), Iwys (Wessex-men), etc. Lloegr and Sacson became the norm later when England
England
emerged as a kingdom. As for its origins, some scholars have suggested that it originally referred only to Mercia – at that time a powerful kingdom and for centuries the main foe of the Welsh. It was then applied to the new kingdom of England
England
as a whole (see for instance Rachel Bromwich (ed.), Trioedd Ynys Prydein , University of Wales
University of Wales
Press, 1987). "The lost land" and other fanciful meanings, such as Geoffrey of Monmouth 's monarch Locrinus , have no etymological basis. (See also Discussion in Reference 40)

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Census 2001, 200 Years of the Census in ... Wales
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