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Wales
Wales
(/ˈweɪlz/ ( listen); Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəmri] ( listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the island of Great Britain.[8] It is bordered by England
England
to the east, the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel
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 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
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
Roman withdrawal from Britain
in the 5th century, and Wales
Wales
is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I
Edward I
of 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
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, 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, 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 in most areas speaks English as a first language, 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
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, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales
Wales
has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union
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 2.5 Industrial Wales 2.6 Modern 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 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 11.2 Literature in 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-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.[9] The modern names for some Continental European lands (e.g. Wallonia, Wallachia
Wallachia
and Valais) and peoples (e.g. the Vlachs
Vlachs
via a borrowing into Old Church Slavonic) have a similar etymology.[9][10][11][12] Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern 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) and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Celtic Britons (e.g. Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire),[13] 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 [ˈkəm.rɨ]) are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen".[14] 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 were one people, different from other peoples.[15] 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.[16] It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan (Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan Ferddig) c. 633.[17] In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages
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.[14] The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh and the 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, which was once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd. The 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 Prehistoric origins See also: Prehistoric Wales

Bryn Celli Ddu, a late Neolithic
Neolithic
chambered tomb on Anglesey

Wales
Wales
has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years.[18] Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP), when Mesolithic
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, 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.[19][20] By the beginning of the Neolithic
Neolithic
(c. 6,000 BP) sea levels in the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
were still about 33 feet (10 metres) lower than today.[21][22][23] John Davies has theorised that the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod's drowning and tales in the Mabinogion, of the waters between Wales
Wales
and Ireland
Ireland
being narrower and shallower, may be distant folk memories of this time.[24] 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
Neolithic
Revolution.[24][25] 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, Bryn Celli Ddu
Bryn Celli Ddu
and Parc Cwm long cairn
Parc Cwm long cairn
between about 5,800 BP and 5,500 BP.[26][27][28][29] 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
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 developed.[30][31][32][33] This view, sometimes called "Atlantic-Celtic", stands against the view that the Celtic languages have their origins farther east with the Hallstatt culture.[34] 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.[24] Roman era Main article: Wales
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, east of the Gower Peninsula, where there is a legacy of Romanisation.[35] The only town in Wales
Wales
founded by the Romans, Caerwent, is in south east Wales. Both Caerwent
Caerwent
and Carmarthen, also in southern Wales, became Roman civitates.[36] 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.[37] Roman economic development was concentrated in south-eastern Britain, and no significant industries located in Wales.[37] This was largely a matter of circumstance, as Wales
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
Roman citizenship
to all free men throughout the Empire.[38] Further Roman influence came through the spread of 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.[38] Early historians, including the 6th-century cleric Gildas, have noted 383 as a significant point in Welsh history,[39] as it is stated in literature as the foundation point of several medieval royal dynasties. In that year the Roman general 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.[40][41] 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.[42][43] It was this transfer of power that has given rise to the belief that he was the father of the Welsh Nation.[39] He is given as the ancestor of a Welsh king on the Pillar of Eliseg, erected nearly 500 years after he left Britain, and he figures in lists of the Fifteen Tribes of Wales.[44] Post-Roman era See also: 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.[38] 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. Before extensive studies of the distribution of R1b Y-DNA subclades, some previously maintained that native Britons were displaced by the invaders.[45] 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, or at earliest Mesolithic
Mesolithic
origins with little contribution from Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
source areas.[46] However, by AD 500, the land that would become Wales
Wales
had divided into a number of kingdoms free from Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
rule.[38] The kingdoms of Gwynedd, Powys, Dyfed
Dyfed
and Seisyllwg, Morgannwg and Gwent emerged as independent Welsh successor states.[38] 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.[47] John Davies notes this as consistent with the British victory at Badon Hill, attributed to Arthur by Nennius.[47] 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
Mercia
and Northumbria, and later 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
Mercia
in the 6th and early 7th centuries, a resurgent late-7th-century Powys
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
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.[48] 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.[49] King Offa of Mercia
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
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."[48] However, Fox's interpretations of both the length and purpose of the Dyke have been questioned by more recent research.[50] 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.[51] 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.[52] This alliance later broke down and Anarawd came to an agreement with Alfred, king of 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."[53] Medieval Wales

North Wales
North Wales
Principalities, 1267–76

Hywel Dda
Hywel Dda
enthroned

See also: Norman invasion of Wales
Norman invasion of Wales
and Wales
Wales
in the Late 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
Mercia
originally and which came to refer to England
England
as a whole.[nb 1] The Germanic tribes who now dominated these lands were invariably called Saeson, meaning "Saxons". The Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
called the Romano-British 'Walha', meaning 'Romanised foreigner' or 'stranger'.[54] 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.[9] In Armes Prydain, believed to be written around 930–942, the words Cymry and Cymro are used as often as 15 times.[55] However, from the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
settlement onwards, the people gradually begin to adopt the name Cymry over Brythoniad.[56]

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

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
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
Powys
and then codified Welsh law
Welsh law
in the 940s.[57] Maredudd ab Owain
Maredudd ab Owain
(r. 986–99) of Deheubarth
Deheubarth
(Hywel's grandson) would, (again) temporarily oust the Aberffraw
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."[2] Owain Gwynedd
Gwynedd
(1100–70) of the Aberffraw
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.[58]

Statue of Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
(c. 1354 or 1359 – c. 1416) at Cardiff City Hall

Within four years of the Battle of Hastings, England
England
had been completely subjugated by the Normans.[2] 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 (where they met other feudal properties inside England).[59] Starting in the 1070s, these lords began conquering land in southern and eastern Wales, west of the River Wye. The frontier region, and any English-held lordships in Wales, became known as Marchia Wallie, the Welsh Marches, in which the Marcher Lords were subject to neither English nor Welsh law.[60][contradictory] The area of the March varied as the fortunes of the Marcher Lords and the Welsh princes ebbed and flowed.[61] Owain Gwynedd's grandson Llywelyn Fawr (the Great, 1173–1240), wrested concessions[which?] through the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
in 1215 and receiving the fealty of other Welsh lords in 1216 at the council at Aberdyfi, became the first Prince of Wales.[62] His grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd also secured the recognition of the title Prince of Wales from Henry III with the Treaty of Montgomery
Treaty of Montgomery
in 1267.[63] 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.[64] As a result of military defeat, the Treaty of Aberconwy
Treaty of Aberconwy
exacted Llywelyn's fealty to England
England
in 1277.[64] 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. Llywelyn's head was carried through London on a spear; his baby daughter Gwenllian was locked in the priory at Sempringham, where she remained until her death 54 years later.[65] The English interpretation of the treason of Llywelyn was that his fiefdom had escheated to the king. The Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 provided the constitutional basis for post-conquest government of the Principality
Principality
of North Wales
North Wales
from 1284 until 1535/6.[66] It defined all of Wales
Wales
as "annexed and united" to the English Crown, still separate from England
England
but under the same monarch. The king ruled directly in two areas: the Statute divided the north and delegated administrative duties to the Justice of Chester and Justiciar of North Wales, and further south in western Wales
Wales
the King's authority was delegated to the Justiciar of South Wales. The existing royal lordships of Montgomery and Builth
Builth
remained unchanged,[67] and the remainder of Wales
Wales
was still controlled by the marcher lords.

Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Castle, birthplace of Edward II of England

To help maintain his dominance, Edward constructed a series of great stone castles: Beaumaris, Caernarfon
Caernarfon
and Conwy. His son, the future King Edward II of England, was born at Edward's new castle at Caernarfon
Caernarfon
in 1284.[68] He became the first English "Prince of Wales" in 1301, which at the time provided an income from the north-west part of Wales
Wales
known as the Principality
Principality
of Wales.[69][70] The title is retained and merged with the monarch, and has traditionally been re-granted by each monarch to the next heir apparent. After the failed revolt in 1294–95 of Madog ap Llywelyn – who styled himself Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in the Penmachno Document – and the rising of Llywelyn Bren (1316), the next major uprising was that led by Owain Glyndŵr, against Henry IV of England. In 1404, Owain was reputedly crowned Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in the presence of emissaries from France, Spain and Scotland.[71] Glyndŵr went on to hold parliamentary assemblies at several Welsh towns, including Machynlleth. But the rebellion failed, and Owain went into hiding in 1412; peace was essentially restored in Wales
Wales
by 1415. The last remnants of Celtic-tradition Welsh law
Welsh law
were abolished and replaced by English law
English law
by the Laws in Wales
Wales
Acts 1535 and 1542.[72] All of Wales
Wales
became unified with the kingdom of England, in the legal jurisdiction of England
England
and Wales; the " Principality
Principality
of Wales" began to refer to the whole country, though it remained a "principality" only in a ceremonial sense.[66][73] The lordships of the Marches were abolished, and Wales
Wales
began electing members of the Westminster parliament. Industrial Wales See also: Glamorgan
Glamorgan
and Lower Swansea
Swansea
valley

Dowlais Ironworks
Dowlais Ironworks
(1840) by George Childs (1798–1875)

Prior to the British Industrial Revolution, which saw a rapid economic expansion between 1750 and 1850, there were signs of small-scale industries scattered throughout Wales.[74] These ranged from industries connected to agriculture, such as milling and the manufacture of woollen textiles, through to mining and quarrying.[74] 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.[74] 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 largest copper mine in the world at Parys Mountain
Parys Mountain
on Anglesey, Swansea
Swansea
developed into the world's major centre for non-ferrous metal smelting in the 19th century.[74] 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.[75] 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.[75] In the 1820s, south Wales
Wales
alone accounted for 40% of all pig iron manufactured in Britain.[75]

Penrhyn Slate Quarries, 1852

In the late 18th century, slate quarrying began to expand rapidly, most notably in north Wales. The Penrhyn Quarry, opened in 1770 by Richard Pennant, was employing 15,000 men by the late 19th century,[76] and along with Dinorwic Quarry, it dominated the Welsh slate trade. Although slate quarrying has been described as 'the most Welsh of Welsh industries',[77] 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, 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.[78] As 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.[75] 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.[75] 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 Valley recording a peak of 9.6 million tons of coal extracted in 1913.[79] 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.[80] Of these, roughly 35,000 were killed.[80] 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.[81] 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
Keir Hardie
of Merthyr Tydfil, represented a Welsh constituency at Westminster.[82] Yet by 1906, industrial dissension and political militancy had begun to undermine Liberal consensus in the southern coalfields.[82] 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.[83] 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.[84] The industrial workers of Wales
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.[85] 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.[85] 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.[85] 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.[86] 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.[87] 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.[88] Bombing raids brought major loss of life as the German Air Force targeted the docks at Swansea, Cardiff
Cardiff
and Pembroke.[88] 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.[88] Pacifist numbers during both World Wars were fairly low, especially in the Second World War, which was seen as a fight against fascism.[88] Of the political parties active in Wales, only Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru
took a neutral stance, on the grounds that it was an "imperialist war".[88] 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.[89] The term " England
England
and Wales" became common for describing the area to which English law
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.[90] 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.[91] 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
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.[92] 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.[93] In the years leading up to the investiture of Prince Charles
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 project in Montgomeryshire, being built to supply water to the English Midlands.[94][95] At a by-election in 1966, Gwynfor Evans
Gwynfor Evans
won the parliamentary seat of Carmarthen, Plaid Cymru's first Parliamentary seat.[96] In the following year, the Wales and Berwick Act 1746
Wales and Berwick Act 1746
was repealed and a legal definition of Wales
Wales
and of the boundary with England
England
was stated.[97] By the end of the 1960s, the regional policy of bringing businesses into disadvantaged areas of Wales
Wales
through financial incentives had proven very successful in diversifying the industrial economy.[98] This policy, begun in 1934, was enhanced by the construction of industrial estates and improvements in transport communications,[98] most notably the M4 motorway
M4 motorway
linking south Wales
Wales
directly to London. It was believed that the foundations for stable economic growth had been firmly established in Wales
Wales
during this period; but this view was shown to be wildly optimistic after the recession of the early 1980s saw the collapse of much of the manufacturing base that had been built over the preceding forty years.[99] Devolution In the first referendum, in 1979, the Welsh electorate voted against the creation of a Welsh assembly with an 80% majority for the "no" vote.[100] However in 1997, a second referendum on the same issue secured a "yes", although by a very narrow majority (50.3%).[100] The National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
(Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was set up in 1999 (under the Government of Wales
Wales
Act 1998) and has the power to determine how the central government budget for Wales
Wales
is spent and administered, although the UK parliament reserves the right to set limits on the powers of the Welsh Assembly. The governments of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and of Wales
Wales
almost invariably define Wales
Wales
as a country.[101][102] The Welsh Government
Welsh Government
says: "Wales is not a Principality. Although we are joined with England
England
by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales
Wales
is a country in its own right."[103] The title Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
is still conferred on the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. However, the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
has no constitutional role in modern Wales.[104] According to the Welsh Government: "Our Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
at the moment is Prince Charles, who is the present heir to the throne. But he does not have a role in the governance of Wales, even though his title might suggest that he does."[103] Government and politics Main article: Politics of Wales See also: Welsh Government; Politics of the United Kingdom; and National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
election, 2016

The Senedd
Senedd
(National Assembly building), designed by Richard Rogers, opened on St David's
St David's
Day (1 March) 2006

Wales
Wales
is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[8][105] Constitutionally, the UK is a de jure unitary state, its parliament and government in Westminster. In the House of Commons – the lower house of the UK parliament – Wales
Wales
is represented by 40 MPs (out of 650) from Welsh constituencies. At the 2017 general election, 28 Labour and Labour Co-op
Labour Co-op
MPs were elected, eight Conservative MPs and four Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru
MPs.[106] The Wales Office
Wales Office
is a department of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
government responsible for Wales, whose minister the Secretary of State for Wales
Secretary of State for Wales
sits in the UK cabinet. Alun Cairns
Alun Cairns
has been Secretary of State for Wales
Secretary of State for Wales
since March 2016.[107] Wales
Wales
held a referendum in 1997 and chose to establish a form of self-government. The consequent process of devolution began with the Government of Wales
Wales
Act 1998, which created the National Assembly for Wales
Wales
(Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru).[108] Powers of the Secretary of State for Wales
Secretary of State for Wales
were transferred to the devolved government on 1 July 1999, granting the Assembly the power to decide how the Westminster government's budget for devolved areas is spent and administered.[109] The 1998 Act was amended by the Government of Wales
Wales
Act 2006 which enhanced the Assembly's powers, giving it legislative powers akin to those of the Scottish Parliament
Parliament
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly. The Assembly has 60 members, known as Assembly Members (Aelodau y Cynulliad). Members (AMs (ACau)) are elected for four-year terms under an additional member system. Forty of the AMs represent geographical constituencies, elected under the First Past the Post system. The remaining twenty AMs represent five electoral regions, each including between seven and nine constituencies, using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation.[110] The Assembly must elect a First Minister, who selects ministers to form the Welsh Government.[111] Composition of the Assembly

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales
First Minister of Wales
since December 2009

Labour remained the largest Assembly party following the 2007 election, winning 26 of the 60 seats.[112] Having insufficient support to form a government, the Labour Party entered into the 'One Wales' agreement with Plaid Cymru, forming a coalition, with the Labour leader as First Minister.[113] Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Jones
has been First Minister and leader of Welsh Labour
Welsh Labour
since Rhodri Morgan
Rhodri Morgan
retired from office in December 2009, after nine years and ten months as First Minister.[114] Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister in the coalition government, was leader of Plaid Cymru, the second-largest party in the Assembly with 14 of the 60 seats. Under the 'One Wales' agreement, a referendum on giving the Welsh assembly full law-making powers was promised "as soon as practicable, at or before the end of the assembly term (in 2011)" and both parties have agreed "in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum".[115] Welsh Labour
Welsh Labour
remained the largest party in the Assembly following the National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
election, 2011, winning 30 of the 60 seats. Other parties represented in the assembly were the Welsh Conservatives (the loyal opposition) with 14 seats, Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru
who have 11 seats and the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Welsh Liberal Democrats
with five seats. Carwyn Jones remained First Minister following the election, this time leading a Welsh Labour
Welsh Labour
ministerial team. The Presiding Officer of the Assembly was Rosemary Butler of Welsh Labour. After the May 2016 election, Labour continues to form the largest group in the Assembly, with 29 AMs.[116] Following the election, the vote for First Minister initially resulted in a tie between incumbent Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Jones
(Labour) and Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru).[117] After discussions amongst the parties, a Labour government including the Liberal Democrat AM as Minister for Education was proposed with limited policy-based support from Plaid Cymru, and Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Jones
was re-elected as First Minister.[118] Initially, Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru
formed the official opposition, with twelve AMs and the Conservative Party were the third party with eleven AMs. In August 2016, one of the UKIP AMs left his group and continues to sit as an Independent member,[119] and in October 2016, former Plaid Cymru president and inaugural Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, left his party and also continues to sit as an Independent member.[120] In April 2017, a second UKIP AM left the party and joined the Conservative Assembly group without joining the party.[121] Areas of responsibility The twenty areas of responsibility devolved to the Welsh Government, known as "subjects", include agriculture, economic development, education, health, housing, local government, social services, tourism, transport and the Welsh language.[122][123] On its creation in 1999, the National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
had no primary legislative powers.[124] However, since the Government of Wales Act 2006
Government of Wales Act 2006
(GoWA 2006) came into effect in 2007, the Assembly has power to pass primary legislation as Assembly Measures on some specific matters within the areas of devolved responsibility. Further matters have been added subsequently, either directly by the UK Parliament
Parliament
or by the UK Parliament
Parliament
approving a Legislative Competence Order
Legislative Competence Order
(LCO, a request from the National Assembly for additional powers). The GoWA 2006 allows for the Assembly to gain primary lawmaking powers on a more extensive range of matters within the same devolved areas if approved in a referendum.[125] A referendum on extending the law-making powers of the National Assembly was accordingly held on 3 March 2011. It asked the question: "Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?" 63.49% of the voters voted 'yes', and 36.51% voted 'no'. Consequently, the Assembly is now empowered to make laws, known as Acts of the Assembly, on all matters in the subject areas, without needing the UK Parliament's agreement.[126] Foreign relations Wales
Wales
is also a distinct UK electoral region of the European Union represented by four Members of the European Parliament.[127] Relations between Wales
Wales
and the United States
United States
are primarily conducted through the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in addition to her Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States. Nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly
Welsh Assembly
has deployed their own envoy to America, primarily to promote Wales-specific business interests. The primary Welsh Government
Welsh Government
Office is based in the Washington British Embassy, with satellites in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Atlanta.[128] Commensurately, the United States
United States
has established a caucus to build direct relations with Wales.[129] Local government Main article: Local government in Wales See also: History of local government in Wales For the purposes of local government, Wales
Wales
has been divided into 22 council areas since 1996. These "principal areas"[130] are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services.[131]

Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent
Bridgend
Bridgend
(Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) † Caerphilly
Caerphilly
(Caerffili) † Cardiff
Cardiff
(Caerdydd) * Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
(Sir Gaerfyrddin) Ceredigion Conwy
Conwy
Denbighshire
Denbighshire
(Sir Ddinbych) Flintshire
Flintshire
(Sir y Fflint) Gwynedd Isle of Anglesey
Isle of Anglesey
(Ynys Môn) Merthyr Tydfil
Merthyr Tydfil
(Merthyr Tudful) † Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire
(Sir Fynwy) Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot
(Castell-nedd Port Talbot) † Newport (Casnewydd) * Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
(Sir Benfro) Powys Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taf † Swansea
Swansea
(Abertawe) * Torfaen
Torfaen
(Tor-faen) † Vale of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
(Bro Morgannwg) † Wrexham
Wrexham
(Wrecsam) †

Areas are Counties, unless marked * (for Cities) or † (for County Boroughs). Welsh-language forms are given in parentheses, where they differ from the English.

Note: Wales
Wales
has six cities. In addition to Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, the communities of Bangor, St Asaph
St Asaph
and St Davids
St Davids
also have city status in the United Kingdom. Law and order Main articles: Cyfraith Hywel, Welsh law, Law of the United Kingdom, and English law See also: Marcher Lord

The Old Court House, Ruthin, Denbighshire, built 1401, following Owain Glyndŵr's attack on the town

Illustration of a Welsh judge from the Laws of Hywel Dda

By tradition, Welsh Law was compiled during an assembly held at Whitland
Whitland
around 930 by Hywel Dda, king of most of Wales
Wales
between 942 and his death in 950. The 'law of Hywel Dda' (Welsh: Cyfraith Hywel), as it became known, codified the previously existing folk laws and legal customs that had evolved in Wales
Wales
over centuries. Welsh Law emphasised the payment of compensation for a crime to the victim, or the victim's kin, rather than punishment by the ruler.[132][133][134] Other than in the Marches, where law was imposed by the Marcher Lords, Welsh Law remained in force in Wales
Wales
until the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. Edward I
Edward I
of England
England
annexed the Principality
Principality
of Wales
Wales
following the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, and Welsh Law was replaced for criminal cases under the Statute. Marcher Law and Welsh Law (for civil cases) remained in force until Henry VIII of England
England
annexed the whole of Wales
Wales
under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542
Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542
(often referred to as the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1543), after which English law applied to the whole of Wales.[132][135] The Wales
Wales
and Berwick Act 1746 provided that all laws that applied to England
England
would automatically apply to Wales
Wales
(and the Anglo-Scottish border town of Berwick) unless the law explicitly stated otherwise; this Act was repealed with regard to Wales
Wales
in 1967. English law
English law
has been the legal system of England and Wales
England and Wales
since 1536,[136] although there is now a growing body of contemporary Welsh law
Welsh law
following Welsh devolution. English law
English law
is regarded as a common law system, with no major codification of the law and legal precedents are binding as opposed to persuasive.The court system is headed by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
which is the highest court of appeal in the land for criminal and civil cases. The Senior Courts of England and Wales
England and Wales
is the highest court of first instance as well as an appellate court. The three divisions are the Court of Appeal; the High Court of Justice and the Crown Court. Minor cases are heard by the Magistrates' Courts or the County Court. In 2007 the Wales
Wales
and Cheshire Region (known as the Wales
Wales
and Cheshire Circuit before 2005) came to an end when Cheshire was attached to the North-Western England
England
Region. From that point, Wales
Wales
became a legal unit in its own right, although it remains part of the single jurisdiction of England
England
and Wales.[137] The Welsh Assembly
Welsh Assembly
has the authority to draft and approve laws outside of the UK Parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
to meet the specific needs of Wales. Under powers approved by a referendum held in March 2011, it is empowered to pass primary legislation known as Acts of the Assembly in relation to twenty subjects listed in the Government of Wales
Wales
Act 2006 such as health and education. Through this primary legislation, the Welsh Government
Welsh Government
can then also enact more specific secondary legislation. Wales
Wales
is served by four regional police forces, Dyfed- Powys
Powys
Police, Gwent Police, North Wales Police
North Wales Police
and South Wales
South Wales
Police.[138] There are five prisons in Wales; four in the southern half of the country and one in Wrexham. Wales
Wales
has no women's prisons; female inmates are imprisoned in England.[139][140] Geography and natural history

Snowdon, Gwynedd, the highest mountain in Wales

Map of Wales. From Ortelius: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum c.1574.

Main article: Geography of Wales See also: List of settlements in Wales by population and List of towns in Wales Wales
Wales
is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain.[141] It is about 170 miles (270 km) north–south and 60 miles (97 km) east–west.[142] The oft-quoted 'size of Wales' is about 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi).[143][144] Wales
Wales
is bordered by England
England
to the east and by sea in all other directions: the Irish Sea to the north and west, St George's Channel
St George's Channel
and the Celtic Sea
Celtic Sea
to the southwest and the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
to the south.[145][146] Wales has about 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline (along the mean high water mark), including the mainland, Anglesey
Anglesey
and Holyhead.[147] Over 50 islands lie off the Welsh mainland; the largest being Anglesey, in the north-west. Much of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest mountains in Wales
Wales
are in Snowdonia
Snowdonia
(Eryri), of which five are over 1,000 m (3,300 ft). The highest of these is Snowdon
Snowdon
(Yr Wyddfa), at 1,085 m (3,560 ft).[148][149] The 14 Welsh mountains, or 15 if including Garnedd Uchaf – often discounted because of its low topographic prominence – over 3,000 feet (910 metres) high are known collectively as the Welsh 3000s
Welsh 3000s
and are located in a small area in the north-west.[150] The highest outside the 3000s is Aran Fawddwy, at 905 metres (2,969 feet), in the south of Snowdonia.[151] The Brecon Beacons
Brecon Beacons
(Bannau Brycheiniog) are in the south (highest point Pen y Fan, at 886 metres (2,907 feet)), and are joined by the Cambrian Mountains
Cambrian Mountains
in Mid Wales. The highest point being Pumlumon
Pumlumon
at 752 metres (2,467 feet).

Relief map of Wales:   Topography above 600 feet (180 m)   National Parks

Wales
Wales
has three national parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons
Brecon Beacons
and Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
Coast. It has five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; Anglesey, the Clwydian Range
Clwydian Range
and Dee Valley, the Gower Peninsula, the Llŷn Peninsula, and the Wye Valley.[152] The Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula
was the first area in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in 1956. Forty two percent of the coastline of south and west Wales
Wales
is designated as Heritage Coast, with 13 specific designated strips of coastline maintained by Natural Resources Wales
Wales
(successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales).[153] As from 2017, the coastline of Wales
Wales
has 45 Blue Flag beaches and three Blue Flag marinas.[154] Despite its heritage and award-winning beaches; the south and west coasts of Wales, along with the Irish and Cornish coasts, are frequently blasted by Atlantic westerlies/south westerlies that, over the years, have sunk and wrecked many vessels. On the night of 25 October 1859, over 110 ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales
Wales
when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic.[155] More than 800 lives were lost across Britain because of the storm, but the greatest tragedy was the sinking of the Royal Charter off the coast of Anglesey
Anglesey
in which 459 people died.[156] The number of shipwrecks around the coast of Wales
Wales
reached a peak in the 19th century with over 100 vessels lost and an average loss of life of about 78 sailors per year.[157] Wartime action caused losses near Holyhead, Milford Haven
Milford Haven
and Swansea.[157] Because of offshore rocks and unlit islands, Anglesey
Anglesey
and Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
are still notorious for shipwrecks, most notably the Sea Empress oil spill
Sea Empress oil spill
in 1996.[158] The first border between Wales
Wales
and England
England
was zonal, apart from around the River Wye, which was the first accepted boundary.[159] Offa's Dyke
Offa's Dyke
was supposed to form an early distinct line but this was thwarted by Gruffudd ap Llewellyn, who reclaimed swathes of land beyond the dyke.[159] The Act of Union of 1536 formed a linear border stretching from the mouth of the Dee to the mouth of the Wye.[159] Even after the Act of Union, many of the borders remained vague and moveable until the Welsh Sunday Closing act of 1881, which forced local businesses to decide which country they fell within to accept either the Welsh or English law.[159]

Llyn y Fan Fawr, Powys, within the Brecon Beacons
Brecon Beacons
National Park

The Seven Wonders of Wales
Seven Wonders of Wales
is a list in doggerel verse of seven geographic and cultural landmarks in Wales
Wales
probably composed in the late 18th century under the influence of tourism from England.[160] All the "wonders" are in north Wales: Snowdon
Snowdon
(the highest mountain), the Gresford
Gresford
bells (the peal of bells in the medieval church of All Saints at Gresford), the Llangollen
Llangollen
bridge (built in 1347 over the River Dee), St Winefride's Well
St Winefride's Well
(a pilgrimage site at Holywell) in Flintshire, the Wrexham
Wrexham
(Wrecsam) steeple (16th-century tower of St Giles' Church, Wrexham), the Overton yew trees (ancient yew trees in the churchyard of St. Mary's at Overton-on-Dee) and Pistyll Rhaeadr – a tall waterfall, at 240 ft (73 m).[161] The wonders are part of the rhyme:[161]

Pistyll Rhaeadr
Pistyll Rhaeadr
and Wrexham
Wrexham
steeple, Snowdon's mountain without its people, Overton yew trees, St Winefride's Wells, Llangollen
Llangollen
bridge and Gresford
Gresford
bells.

Geology See also: Geology
Geology
of Wales The earliest geological period of the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era, the Cambrian, takes its name from the Cambrian
Cambrian
Mountains, where geologists first identified Cambrian
Cambrian
remnants.[162][163] In evolutionary studies the Cambrian
Cambrian
is the period when most major groups of complex animals appeared (the Cambrian
Cambrian
explosion). The older rocks underlying the Cambrian
Cambrian
rocks in Wales
Wales
lacked fossils which could be used to differentiate their various groups and were referred to as Pre-cambrian. In the mid-19th century, two prominent geologists, Roderick Murchison and Adam Sedgwick
Adam Sedgwick
(who first proposed the name of the Cambrian period), independently used their studies of the geology of Wales
Wales
to establish certain principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology. The next two periods of the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era, the Ordovician
Ordovician
and Silurian, were named after ancient Celtic tribes from this area based on Murchison's and Sedgwick's work.[164][165] Climate

Köppen climate types in Wales

Wales

Climate chart (explanation)

J F M A M J J A S O N D

    159     7 1

    114     7 1

    119     9 2

    86     11 3

    81     15 6

    86     17 9

    78     19 11

    106     19 11

    124     16 9

    153     13 7

    157     9 4

    173     7 2

Average max. and min. temperatures in °C

Precipitation totals in mm

Source: Met Office

Imperial conversion

J F M A M J J A S O N D

    6.2     44 34

    4.5     44 34

    4.7     47 36

    3.4     52 38

    3.2     58 43

    3.4     62 47

    3.1     66 52

    4.2     66 51

    4.9     61 48

    6     55 44

    6.2     49 39

    6.8     45 36

Average max. and min. temperatures in °F

Precipitation totals in inches

Wales
Wales
lies within the north temperate zone. It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe.[166][167] Welsh weather is often cloudy, wet and windy, with warm summers and mild winters.[166][168] The long summer days and short winter days result from Wales' northerly latitudes (between 53° 43′ N and 51° 38′ N). Aberystwyth, at the midpoint of the country's west coast, has nearly 17 hours of daylight at the summer solstice. Daylight at midwinter there falls to just over seven and a half hours.[169] The country's wide geographic variations cause localised differences in sunshine, rainfall and temperature. Average annual coastal temperatures reach 10.5 °C (51 °F) and in low lying inland areas, 1 °C (1.8 °F) lower. It becomes cooler at higher altitudes; annual temperatures decrease on average approximately 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) each 100 metres (330 feet) of altitude. Consequently, the higher parts of Snowdonia
Snowdonia
experience average annual temperatures of 5 °C (41 °F).[166] Temperatures in Wales
Wales
remain higher than would otherwise be expected at its latitude because of the North Atlantic Drift, a branch of the Gulf Stream. The ocean current, bringing warmer water to northerly latitudes, has a similar effect on most of north-west Europe. As well as its influence on Wales' coastal areas, air warmed by the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
blows further inland with the prevailing winds.[170]

Tor Bay and Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Swansea

At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Average maximum temperatures range between 19 and 22 °C (66 and 72 °F). Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing. Spring and autumn feel quite similar and the temperatures tend to stay above 14 °C (57 °F) – also the average annual daytime temperature.[171] The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales, averaging over 1700 hours of sunshine annually. Wales' sunniest town is Tenby, Pembrokeshire. The dullest time of year tends to be between November and January. The least sunny areas are the mountains, some parts of which average less than 1200 hours of sunshine annually.[166][167] The prevailing wind is south-westerly. Coastal areas are the windiest, gales occur most often during winter, on average between 15 and 30 days each year, depending on location. Inland, gales average fewer than six days annually.[166]

Wales
Wales
pictured from the International Space Station

Rainfall patterns show significant variation. The further west, the higher the expected rainfall; up to 40% more.[167] At low elevations, rain is unpredictable at any time of year, although the showers tend to be shorter in summer.[171] The uplands of Wales
Wales
have most rain, normally more than 50 days of rain during the winter months (December to February), falling to around 35 rainy days during the summer months (June to August). Annual rainfall in Snowdonia
Snowdonia
averages between 3,000 millimetres (120 in) (Blaenau Ffestiniog) and 5,000 millimetres (200 in) (Snowdon's summit).[167] The likelihood is that it will fall as sleet or snow when the temperature falls below 5 °C (41 °F) and snow tends to be lying on the ground there for an average of 30 days a year. Snow falls several times each winter in inland areas but is relatively uncommon around the coast. Average annual rainfall in those areas can be less than 1,000 millimetres (39 in).[166][167]

Highest maximum temperature: 35.2 °C (95 °F) at Hawarden Bridge, Flintshire
Flintshire
on 2 August 1990.[172] Lowest minimum temperature: −23.3 °C (−10 °F) at Rhayader, Radnorshire
Radnorshire
(now Powys) on 21 January 1940.[172] Maximum number of hours of sunshine in a month: 354.3 hours at Dale Fort, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
in July 1955.[173] Minimum number of hours of sunshine in a month: 2.7 hours at Llwynon, Brecknockshire
Brecknockshire
in January 1962.[173] Maximum rainfall in a day (0900 UTC − 0900 UTC): 211 millimetres (8.3 in) at Rhondda, Glamorgan, on 11 November 1929.[174] Wettest spot – an average of 4,473 millimetres (176 in) rain a year at Crib Goch
Crib Goch
in Snowdonia, Gwynedd
Gwynedd
(making it also the wettest spot in the United Kingdom).[175]

Flora and fauna See also: Fauna of Great Britain, Flora of Great Britain, and List of birds of Wales

The red kite (Milvus milvus) – a national symbol of Welsh wildlife

Wales' wildlife is typical of Britain with several distinctions. Because of its long coastline, Wales
Wales
hosts a variety of seabirds. The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets, Manx shearwater, puffins, kittiwakes, shags and razorbills. In comparison, with 60% of Wales
Wales
above the 150m contour, the country also supports a variety of upland habitat birds, including raven and ring ouzel.[176][177] Birds of prey
Birds of prey
include the merlin, hen harrier and the red kite, a national symbol of Welsh wildlife.[178] In total, more than 200 different species of bird have been seen at the RSPB
RSPB
reserve at Conwy, including seasonal visitors.[179] The larger Welsh mammals died out during the Norman period, including the brown bear, wolf and the wildcat.[180] Today, mammals of note include shrews, voles, badgers, otters, hedgehogs and fifteen species of bat.[180] Two species of small rodent, the yellow-necked mouse and the dormouse, are of special Welsh note being found at the historically undisturbed border area.[180] Other animals of note include, otter, stoat and weasel. The pine marten which has had the occasional sighting, has not been officially recorded since the 1950s. The polecat was nearly driven to extinction in Britain, but hung on in Wales
Wales
and is now rapidly spreading. Feral goats can be found in Snowdonia.[181] The waters of south-west Wales
Wales
of Gower, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals, including basking sharks, Atlantic grey seals, leatherback turtles, dolphins, porpoises, jellyfish, crabs and lobsters. Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
and Ceredigion, in particular, are recognised as an area of international importance for bottlenose dolphins, and New Quay
New Quay
has the only summer residence of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of the UK. River fish of note include char, eel, salmon, shad, sparling and Arctic char, whilst the Gwyniad
Gwyniad
is unique to Wales, found only in Bala Lake.[182] Wales
Wales
is also known for its shellfish, including cockles, limpet, mussels and periwinkles.[182] Herring, mackerel and hake are the more common of the country's seafish.[182] The north facing high grounds of Snowdonia
Snowdonia
support a relict pre-glacial flora including the iconic Snowdon
Snowdon
lily – Gagea serotina – and other alpine species such as Saxifraga cespitosa, Saxifraga oppositifolia and Silene acaulis. Wales
Wales
also hosts a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK including the spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata
Tuberaria guttata
on Anglesey
Anglesey
and Draba aizoides[183] on the Gower. Economy Main article: Economy of Wales See also: Tourism in Wales
Tourism in Wales
and Agriculture in Wales

A profile of the economy of Wales
Wales
in 2012

Port Talbot Steelworks
Port Talbot Steelworks
– once the largest employer in Wales[184]

Over the last 250 years, Wales
Wales
has been transformed first from a predominantly agricultural country to an industrial, and now a post-industrial economy.[185][186] Since the Second World War, the service sector has come to account for the majority of jobs, a feature typifying most advanced economies.[187] Total headline Gross Value Added (GVA) in Wales
Wales
in 2016 was £59.6 billion, or £19,140 per head of population; 72.7 per cent of the average for the UK total, the lowest GVA per head in the UK.[188] In the three months to December 2017, the employment rate for working-age adults in Wales
Wales
was 72.7 per cent, compared to 75.2 per cent across the UK as a whole.[188] From the middle of the 19th century until the post-war era, the mining and export of coal was a dominant industry. At its peak of production in 1913, nearly 233,000 men and women were employed in the south Wales coalfield, mining 56 million tons of coal.[189] Cardiff
Cardiff
was once the largest coal-exporting port in the world and, for a few years before the First World War, handled a greater tonnage of cargo than either London or Liverpool.[190][191] In the 1920s, over 40% of the male Welsh population worked in heavy industry.[192] According to Professor Phil Williams, the Great Depression
Great Depression
"devastated Wales", north and south, because of its "overwhelming dependence on coal and steel".[192] From the mid-1970s, the Welsh economy faced massive restructuring with large numbers of jobs in traditional heavy industry disappearing and being replaced eventually by new ones in light industry and in services. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Wales
Wales
was successful in attracting an above average share of foreign direct investment in the UK.[193] However, much of the new industry was essentially of a "branch factory" ("screwdriver factory") type where a manufacturing plant or call centre is located in Wales
Wales
but the most highly paid jobs in the company are retained elsewhere.[194][195]

British £1 coin (reverse) depicting the Welsh dragon, 2000

Because of poor-quality soil, much of Wales
Wales
is unsuitable for crop-growing and livestock farming has traditionally been the focus of agriculture. The Welsh landscape (protected by three national parks) and 45 Blue Flag beaches, as well as the unique culture of Wales, attract large numbers of tourists, who play an especially vital role in the economy of rural areas.[196][197] Wales
Wales
has struggled to develop or attract high value-added employment in sectors such as finance and research and development, attributable in part to a comparative lack of 'economic mass' (i.e. population) – Wales
Wales
lacks a large metropolitan centre.[195] The lack of high value-added employment is reflected in lower economic output per head relative to other regions of the UK – in 2002 it stood at 90% of the EU25 average and around 80% of the UK average.[195] In June 2008, Wales made history by becoming the first nation in the world to be awarded Fairtrade Status.[198] The pound sterling is the currency used in Wales. Numerous Welsh banks issued their own banknotes in the 19th century. The last bank to do so closed in 1908; since then, although banks in Scotland
Scotland
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
continue to have the right to issue banknotes in their own countries, the Bank of England
England
has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in Wales.[199][200][201][202] The Commercial Bank of Wales, established in Cardiff
Cardiff
by Sir Julian Hodge in 1971, was taken over by the Bank of Scotland
Bank of Scotland
in 1988 and absorbed into its parent company in 2002.[203] The Royal Mint, who issue the coinage circulated through the whole of the UK, have been based at a single site in Llantrisant since 1980.[204] Since decimalisation, in 1971, at least one of the coins in UK circulation has depicted a Welsh design, e.g. the 1995 and 2000 one Pound coin (above). However, Wales
Wales
has not been represented on any coin minted from 2008.[205] Transport Main article: Transport in Wales

The Second Severn Crossing
Second Severn Crossing
– carrying the M4 Motorway

The main road artery along the south Wales
Wales
coast is the M4 motorway. It also provides a link to southern England, terminating in London. The section of the motorway managed by the Welsh Government
Welsh Government
runs from the Second Severn Crossing
Second Severn Crossing
to Pont Abraham, Carmarthenshire, connecting the cities of Newport, Cardiff
Cardiff
and Swansea. The A55 expressway has a similar role along the north Wales
Wales
coast, connecting Holyhead
Holyhead
and Bangor with Wrexham
Wrexham
and Flintshire. It also links to north-west England, principally Chester. The main north-south Wales link is the A470, which runs from Cardiff
Cardiff
to Llandudno.

An Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales
service at Llandudno
Llandudno
Junction railway station

Cardiff
Cardiff
International Airport is the only large and international airport in Wales. Providing links to European, African and North American destinations, it is about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Cardiff
Cardiff
city centre, in the Vale of Glamorgan. Intra- Wales
Wales
flights run between Anglesey
Anglesey
(Valley) and Cardiff, operated since 2017 by Eastern Airways. Other internal flights operate to northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Welsh Government
Welsh Government
manages those parts of the British railway network within Wales. Cardiff
Cardiff
Central is Wales' busiest railway station, with over four times as much passenger traffic as any other station in Wales.[206] The Cardiff
Cardiff
region has its own urban rail network. Beeching cuts in the 1960s mean that most of the remaining network is geared toward east-west travel connecting with the Irish Sea ports for ferries to Ireland. Services between north and south Wales
Wales
operate through the English towns of Chester
Chester
and Shrewsbury along the Welsh Marches
Welsh Marches
Line. All trains in Wales
Wales
are diesel-powered since no lines have been electrified. However, the South Wales
South Wales
Main Line branch of the Great Western Main Line
Great Western Main Line
used by services from London Paddington
London Paddington
to Cardiff
Cardiff
and Swansea, is undergoing electrification.[207][208] Wales
Wales
has four commercial ferry ports. Regular ferry services to Ireland
Ireland
operate from Holyhead, Pembroke and Fishguard. The Swansea
Swansea
to Cork service, cancelled in 2006, was reinstated in March 2010, but has been withdrawn again in 2012.[209][210] Education Main article: Education in Wales See also: List of universities in Wales
List of universities in Wales
and List of further education colleges in Wales

St. David's Building, Lampeter campus, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
Saint David
(Prifysgol Cymru, Y Drindod Dewi Sant). Founded in 1822, it is the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales.[211]

A distinct education system has developed in Wales.[212] Formal education before the 18th century was the preserve of the elite. The first grammar schools were established in Welsh towns such as Ruthin, Brecon and Cowbridge.[212] One of the first successful schooling systems was started by Griffith Jones, who introduced the circulating schools in the 1730s; believed to have taught half the country's population to read.[213] In the 19th century, with increasing state involvement in education, Wales
Wales
was forced to adopt an education system that was English in ethos even though the country was predominantly Non-conformist, Welsh-speaking and demographically uneven because of the economic expansion in the south.[213] In some schools, to ensure Welsh children spoke English at school, the Welsh Not was used; a policy seen as a hated symbol of English oppression.[214] The "not", a piece of wood hung round the neck by string, was given to any child overheard speaking Welsh, who would pass it to a different child if overheard speaking Welsh. At the end of the day, the wearer of the "not" would be beaten.[215][216] The extent of its practice, however, is difficult to determine.[217] State and local governmental edicts resulted in schooling in the English language which, following Brad y Llyfrau Gleision (the Treachery of the Blue Books), was seen as more academic and worthwhile for children.[218] The University College of Wales
Wales
opened in Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth
in 1872. Cardiff and Bangor followed, and the three colleges came together in 1893 to form the University of Wales.[213] The Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889 created 95 secondary schools. The Welsh Department for the Board of Education followed in 1907, which gave Wales
Wales
its first significant educational devolution.[213] A resurgence in Welsh-language schools in the latter half of the 20th century at nursery and primary level saw attitudes shift towards teaching in the medium of Welsh.[219] Welsh is a compulsory subject in all of Wales' state schools for pupils aged 5–16 years old.[220] While there has never been an exclusively Welsh-language college, Welsh-medium higher education is delivered through the individual universities and has since 2011 been supported by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
(Welsh National College) as a delocalised federal institution. In 2016–2017, there were 1,547 maintained schools in Wales.[221] In 2016–2017, the country had 466,508 pupils taught by 23,910 full-time equivalent teachers.[222][223] Healthcare Main article: NHS Wales

University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff

Public healthcare in Wales
Wales
is provided by NHS Wales
NHS Wales
(GIG Cymru), which was originally formed as part of the NHS structure for England
England
and Wales
Wales
created by the National Health Service Act 1946, but with powers over the NHS in Wales
Wales
coming under the Secretary of State for Wales
Secretary of State for Wales
in 1969.[224] In turn, responsibility for NHS Wales
NHS Wales
was passed to the Welsh Assembly
Welsh Assembly
and Executive under devolution in 1999. Historically, Wales
Wales
was served by smaller 'cottage' hospitals, built as voluntary institutions.[225] As newer more expensive diagnostic techniques and treatments became available through medical advancement, much of the clinical work of the country has been concentrated in newer, larger district hospitals.[225] In 2006, there were seventeen district hospitals in Wales, although none situated in Powys.[225] NHS Wales provides public healthcare in Wales
Wales
and employs some 90,000 staff, making it Wales' biggest employer.[226] The Minister for Health and Social Services is the person within the Welsh Government
Welsh Government
who holds cabinet responsibilities for both health and social care in Wales.[227] A 2009 Welsh health survey, conducted by the Welsh Assembly, reported that 51% of adults reported their health good or excellent, while 21% described their health as fair or poor.[228] The survey also recorded that 27% of Welsh adults had a long-term chronic illness, such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart disease.[227][229] Enquiries into health-related lifestyle choices report 27% of the adult population are smokers, 45% admit drinking alcohol above recommended guidelines at least once a week, while 29% undertake the recommended weekly physical activity.[227] Demography Population history

Year Population of Wales

1536 278,000

1620 360,000

1770 500,000

1801 587,000

1851 1,163,000

1911 2,421,000

1921 2,656,000

1939 2,487,000

1961 2,644,000

1991 2,811,865

2011 3,063,000

Source: John Davies (1993). A History of Wales. pp. 258–59, 319. ISBN 9780141926339. ; Census 2001, 200 Years of the Census in ... Wales
Wales
(2001) The population of Wales
Wales
doubled from 587,000 in 1801 to 1,163,000 in 1851 and had reached 2,421,000 by 1911. Most of the increase came in the coal mining districts, especially Glamorganshire, which grew from 71,000 in 1801 to 232,000 in 1851 and 1,122,000 in 1911.[230] Part of this increase can be attributed to the demographic transition seen in most industrialising countries during the Industrial Revolution, as death rates dropped and birth rates remained steady. However, there was also large-scale migration into Wales
Wales
during the Industrial Revolution. The English were the most numerous group, but there were also considerable numbers of Irish and smaller numbers of other ethnic groups,[231][232] including Italians, who migrated to South Wales.[233] Wales
Wales
also received immigration from various parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
in the 20th century, and African-Caribbean and Asian communities add to the ethnocultural mix, particularly in urban Wales. Many of these self-identify as Welsh.[234] Current Main articles: Demography of Wales
Demography of Wales
and Demography of the United Kingdom

Map of population density in Wales
Wales
at the 2011 census.

Swansea
Swansea
Bay and city centre. Swansea
Swansea
is Wales' second most populous city.

The 2011 census showed Wales' population to be 3,063,456, the highest in its history.[235] In 2011, 27% (837,000) of the total population of Wales
Wales
were not born in Wales,[236] including 636,000 people (21% of the total population of Wales) who were born in England.[237] The main population and industrial areas are in south Wales, including the cities of Cardiff, Swansea
Swansea
and Newport and the nearby valleys, with another significant population in the north-east around Wrexham
Wrexham
and Flintshire. According to the 2001 census, 96% of the population was White British, and 2.1% non-white (mainly of British Asian
British Asian
origin).[238] Most non-white groups were concentrated in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. Welsh Asian and African communities developed mainly through immigration after the Second World War.[239] In the early 21st century, parts of Wales
Wales
saw an increased number of immigrants settle from recent EU accession countries such as Poland;[240] though a 2007 study showed a relatively low number of employed immigrant workers from the former Eastern Bloc countries in Wales
Wales
compared to other regions of the United Kingdom.[241] The 2001 UK census was criticised in Wales
Wales
for not offering 'Welsh' as an option to describe respondents' national identity.[242] Partly to address this concern, the 2011 census asked the question "How would you describe your national identity?". Respondents were instructed to "tick all that apply" from a list of options that included Welsh. The outcome was that 57.5% of Wales' population indicated their sole national identity to be Welsh; a further 7.1% indicated it to be both Welsh and British. No Welsh national identity was indicated by 34.1%. The proportion giving their sole national identity as British was 16.9%, and another 9.4% included British with another national identity. No British national identity was indicated by 73.7%. 11.2% indicated their sole national identity as English and another 2.6% included English with another national identity.[243][244][245] The 2011 census showed Wales
Wales
to be less ethnically diverse than any region of England:[246] 93.2% classed themselves as White British (including Welsh, English, Scottish or Northern Irish), 2.4% as "Other White" (including Irish), 2.2% as Asian (including Asian British), 1% as Mixed, and 0.6% as Black (African, Caribbean, or Black British). The lowest proportion of White British (80.3%) was in Cardiff.[245][247] In 2001, a quarter of the Welsh population were born outside Wales, mainly in England; about 3% were born outside the UK. The proportion born in Wales
Wales
varies across the country, with the highest percentages in the south Wales
Wales
valleys and the lowest in mid Wales
Wales
and parts of the north-east. In both Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent
and Merthyr Tydfil, 92% were Welsh-born, compared to only 51% and 56% in the border counties of Flintshire
Flintshire
and Powys.[248] Just over 1.75 million Americans report themselves to have Welsh ancestry, as did 440,965 Canadians in Canada's 2006 census.[249][250]

The total fertility rate (TFR) in Wales
Wales
was 1.90 in 2011,[251] which is below the replacement rate of 2.1. The majority of births are to unmarried women (58% of births in 2011 were outside marriage).[252] About one in 10 births (10.7%) in 2011 were to foreign-born mothers, compared to 5.2% in 2001.[253] A 2010 study estimated that 35% of the Welsh population have surnames of Welsh origin (5.4% of the English and 1.6% of the Scottish population also bore 'Welsh' names).[254] However, many modern surnames derived from old Welsh personal names actually arose in England.[255]

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Wales Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
2011 Census[256]

Rank Name Council area Pop. Rank Name Council area Pop.

Cardiff

Swansea 1 Cardiff City & County of Cardiff 335,145 11 Caerphilly Caerphilly
Caerphilly
County Borough 41,402

Newport

Wrexham

2 Swansea City & County of Swansea 239,000 12 Port Talbot Neath
Neath
Port Talbot 37,276

3 Newport Newport City 128,060 13 Pontypridd Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taf 30,457

4 Wrexham Wrexham
Wrexham
County Borough 61,603 14 Aberdare Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taf 29,748

5 Barry Vale of Glamorgan 54,673 15 Colwyn Bay Conwy
Conwy
County Borough 29,405

6 Neath Neath
Neath
Port Talbot 50,658 16 Pontypool Torfaen 28,334

7 Cwmbran Torfaen 46,915 17 Penarth Vale of Glamorgan 27,226

8 Bridgend Bridgend
Bridgend
County Borough 46,757 18 Rhyl Denbighshire 25,149

9 Llanelli Carmarthenshire 43,878 19 Blackwood Caerphilly
Caerphilly
County Borough 24,042

10 Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil 43,820 20 Maesteg Bridgend
Bridgend
County Borough 18,888

Languages Main articles: Languages of Wales, Welsh language, and Welsh English

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

The National Eisteddfod, an annual celebration of Welsh culture, conducted in Welsh

In his 1707 work Archaeologia Britannica Edward Lhuyd, keeper of the 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). 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, evolved together for some time separately from Continental Celtic languages such as Gaulish and Celtiberian.) From the 18th century, the peoples of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
were known increasingly as Celts, and they are regarded as the modern Celtic nations
Celtic nations
today.[257][258] 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.[259] Both English and Welsh are considered official languages of Wales,[260] with Welsh further recognised in law as having "official status".[261] 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.[262] "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".[263][264] 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.[265][266] Although monoglotism in young children continues, life-long monoglotism in Welsh is recognised to be a thing of the past.[267] 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
Welsh Government
to ensure that all new or renewed road signs that use both languages to feature the Welsh language
Welsh language
first.[268] 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

The largest religion in Wales
Wales
is Christianity, with 57.6% of the population describing themselves as Christian in the 2011 census.[269] The Church in Wales
Church in Wales
with 56,000 adherents has the largest attendance of the denominations.[270] It is a province of the Anglican Communion, and was part of the Church of England
England
until disestablishment in 1920 under the Welsh Church Act 1914. The first Independent Church in Wales was founded at Llanvaches
Llanvaches
in 1638 by 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.[271] The second largest attending faith in Wales
Wales
is Roman Catholic, with an estimated 43,000 adherents.[270] Non-Christian religions are small in Wales, making up approximately 2.7% of the population.[269] The 2011 census recorded 32.1% of people declaring no religion, while 7.6% did not reply to the question.[269] The patron saint of Wales
Wales
is Saint David
Saint David
(Dewi Sant), with Saint David's Day (Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant) celebrated annually on 1 March.[272] 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.[273] Roberts' style of preaching became the blueprint for new religious bodies such as Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism
and the Apostolic Church.[274] 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.[269] 2 Glynrhondda Street in Cathays, Cardiff, is accepted as the first mosque in the United Kingdom[275][276][277] founded by Yemeni and Somali sailors on their trips between Aden
Aden
and Cardiff
Cardiff
Docks.[278] 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.[279] 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.[280] Culture Main article: Culture of Wales

Part of a series on the

Culture of Wales

History

People

Languages

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

Traditions

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

Mythology
Mythology
and folklore

Mythology

Cuisine

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

Festivals

Calennig Dydd Santes Dwynwen Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau Saint David's Day Calan Mai Calan Awst Calan Gaeaf Gŵyl Mabsant Gŵyl San Steffan 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 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 heraldry Celtic cross 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; Pontcysyllte Aqueduct; and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape.[281] 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).[282] 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
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).[282] The prose stories from the White and Red Books are known as the Mabinogion, a title given to them by their first translator, Lady Charlotte Guest, and also used by subsequent translators.[283] 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.[284][285][286] These texts also include the earliest forms of the Arthurian legend
Arthurian legend
and the traditional history of post-Roman Britain.[282] 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.[287][288] Literature in Wales Main articles: Literature of Wales
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

Wales
Wales
can claim one of the oldest unbroken literary traditions in Europe.[289] The literary tradition of Wales
Wales
stretches back to the sixth century and includes Geoffrey of Monmouth and Gerald of Wales, regarded by historian John Davies as among the finest Latin authors of the Middle Ages.[289] The earliest body of Welsh verse, by poets Taliesin
Taliesin
and Aneirin, survive not in their original form, but in medieval versions and have undergone significant linguistic changes.[289] 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.[290] The period is notable for producing one of Wales' greatest poets, Dafydd ap Gwilym.[291] After the Anglicisation of the gentry the tradition declined.[290]

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.[292] Renaissance scholars such as William Salesbury and John Davies brought humanist ideals from English universities when they returned to Wales.[292] While in 1588 William Morgan became the first person to translate the Bible into Welsh, from Greek and Hebrew.[292] 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.[292] By the 19th century the creation of a Welsh epic, fuelled by the eisteddfod, became an obsession with Welsh-language writers.[293] The output of this period was prolific in quantity but unequal in quality.[294] 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.[294] 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.[293] 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.[293] 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, for his political and reactionary views as much as his plays, poetry and criticism.[293] The careers of some 1930s writers continued after World War Two, including those of Gwyn Thomas, Vernon Watkins, and Dylan Thomas, whose most famous work Under Milk Wood
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.[295] 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
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.[296] 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",[297] 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.[298] Another novelist of the post-Second-World-War era was Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams
(1921–88). Born near Abergavenny, Williams continued the earlier tradition of writing from a left-wing perspective on the Welsh industrial scene in his trilogy "Border 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, Aberystwyth

National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum [of] Wales
Wales
was founded by royal charter in 1907 and is now a Welsh Government
Welsh Government
sponsored body. The National Museum is made up of seven sites across the country, including the National Museum 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.[299] Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth
is home to the 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.[300] 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.[300] Visual arts Main article: Welsh art Many works of Celtic art
Celtic art
have been found in Wales.[301] In the Early Medieval period, the Celtic Christianity
Christianity
of Wales
Wales
was part of the Insular art
Insular art
of the 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) is certainly Welsh, made in St David's, and shows a late Insular style with unusual Viking
Viking
influence.[302][303] 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. Then in the early 19th century, the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
preventing the Grand Tour
Grand Tour
to continental Europe, travel through Wales
Wales
came to be considered more accessible.[304][305]

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.[306] 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.[307][308] Sir Frank Brangwyn
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
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.[309] 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.[310] In the 18th and 19th centuries, with more scientific methods becoming available more refined ceramics were produced led by the Cambrian
Cambrian
Pottery
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.[310] Portmeirion
Portmeirion
Pottery, founded in 1960 by Susan Williams-Ellis, daughter of Clough Williams-Ellis, creator of the Italianate village of Portmeirion, Gwynedd, is based in Stoke-on-Trent, England.[311] National symbols Main article: 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.[312] 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.[312] 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.[313] 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
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.[314] This is attributed to confusion (or association) between the Welsh for leek, cenhinen, and that for daffodil, cenhinen Bedr or St. Peter's leek.[141] A report in 1916 gave preference to the leek, which has appeared on British pound coins.[314] 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, for example) use the badge or a stylised version of it. The Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
has claimed that only he has the authority to use the symbol.[315] "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.[316][317] "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.[318] Sport Main article: Sport in Wales

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

More than 50 national governing bodies regulate and organise their sports in Wales.[319] 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, Welsh athletes compete alongside those of Scotland, England
England
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
as part of a Great Britain
Great Britain
team. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.[320] The Wales
Wales
national rugby union team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship
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.[321][322] The Welsh regional teams play in the Pro14, the Anglo-Welsh Cup, the European Rugby Champions Cup
European Rugby Champions Cup
and the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Wales
Wales
has had its own football league, the Welsh Premier League, since 1992.[323] For historical reasons, six Welsh clubs play in the English football league system; Cardiff
Cardiff
City, Swansea
Swansea
City, Newport County, Wrexham, Colwyn Bay
Colwyn Bay
and Merthyr Town.[324] Famous Welsh players over the years include John Charles, John Toshack, Gary Speed, Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
and Gareth Bale.[325] At UEFA Euro 2016, the Wales
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) and the North Wales
Wales
Crusaders (based in Wrexham) compete in the Rugby Football League's League 1 competition. The Crusaders competed in the top level Super League
Super League
competition from 2009–2011. A professional 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'.[326] 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.[327] Wales
Wales
has produced several world-class participants of individual sports including snooker players Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.[328] 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
Tanni Grey-Thompson
who has won 11 Paralympic gold medals.[329][330] Cyclist Nicole Cooke
Nicole Cooke
won gold medals at the Commonwealth, Olympic and World championships.[331] Wales
Wales
also has a tradition of producing world-class boxers. Joe Calzaghe was WBO
WBO
world super-middleweight champion and then won the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super middleweight and Ring Magazine light-heavyweight titles.[332] Other former boxing world champions include Enzo Maccarinelli, Freddie Welsh, Howard Winstone, Percy Jones, Jimmy Wilde, Steve Robinson and Robbie Regan.[333] Tommy Farr, the "Tonypandy Terror", came close to defeating world heavyweight champion Joe Louis
Joe Louis
at the height of his fame in 1937.[334] Wales
Wales
has hosted several international sporting events.[335] These include the 1958 Commonwealth Games,[336] the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the 2010 Ryder Cup
2010 Ryder Cup
and the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final.[335][337] Media Main article: 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
Wales
became the UK's first digital nation.[338] Cardiff
Cardiff
is home to the television output of Wales. BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Cymru Wales
is the national broadcaster.[339] Based in Llandaff, Cardiff, it produces Welsh-oriented English and Welsh-language television for BBC
BBC
One Wales, BBC
BBC
TWO Wales
Wales
and S4C channels.[340] BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Cymru Wales
has also produced programmes, such as Life on Mars, Doctor Who
Doctor Who
and Torchwood, shown worldwide.[339][341] ITV the UK's main commercial broadcaster has a Welsh-oriented service branded as ITV Wales, whose studios are in Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff.[342] S4C, based in 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.[343]

A number of BBC
BBC
productions, such as Doctor Who
Doctor Who
and 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.[339] 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).[344] 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.[345] Wales-based regional daily newspapers include: Daily Post (which covers north Wales); South Wales Evening Post (Swansea); South Wales
South Wales
Echo (Cardiff); and South Wales Argus (Newport).[345] Y Cymro
Y Cymro
is a Welsh-language newspaper, published weekly.[346] Wales
Wales
on Sunday is the only Welsh Sunday newspaper to cover the whole of Wales.[347] The Welsh Books Council
Welsh Books Council
(WBC) is the Welsh Government
Welsh Government
funded body tasked with promoting Welsh literature.[348] The WBC provides publishing grants for qualifying English- and Welsh-language publications.[349] Around 600–650 books are published each year, by some of the dozens of Welsh publishers.[350][351] Wales' main publishing houses include Gomer Press, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Honno, the University of Wales
University of Wales
Press and Y Lolfa.[350] 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.[352] Titles published quarterly in English include Planet and Poetry Wales.[353][354] Welsh-language magazines include the current affairs titles Golwg (View) (published weekly) and Barn (Opinion) (monthly).[346] Among the specialist magazines, Y Wawr (The Dawn) is published quarterly by Merched y Wawr, the national organisation for women.[346] Y Traethodydd (The Essayist), a quarterly publication by The Presbyterian Church of Wales, first appeared in 1845; the oldest Welsh publication still in print.[346] Cuisine

Cawl, a traditional meat and vegetable dish from Wales

Main article: Welsh cuisine See also: Cuisine of Gower About 78% of the land surface of Wales
Wales
is given over to agricultural use.[355] 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.[356] 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, China and the United States.[357] Chicken tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala
is the country's favourite dish while hamburgers and Chinese food outsell fish and chips as a takeaway.[357] Performing arts Music Main article: Music of Wales See also: Music of Cardiff

Traditional Welsh folk singer and harpist Siân James, live on stage at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient

Wales
Wales
is often referred to as "the land of song",[358] and is notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists. The principal Welsh festival of music and poetry is the annual National 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.[359] Traditional instruments of Wales
Wales
include telyn deires (triple harp), fiddle, crwth, pibgorn (hornpipe) and other instruments.[360][361][362][363] 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.[364] 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, Mary Hopkin, Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins, 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, followed by the likes of the Stereophonics and Feeder; notable during this period were Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
who gained popular success as dual-language artists. Recently successful Welsh bands include Lostprophets, 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, 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.[365] Many of the historic choirs survive in modern Wales, singing a mixture of traditional and popular songs.[365] Drama See also: Cinema of Wales

Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter was named the number-one villain in cinema history by the AFI.[366]

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").[367] 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.[368] The larger Welsh towns began building theatres during the 19th century, and attracted the likes of James Sheridan Knowles and William Charles Macready
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.[369] The increasing competition from television in the 1950s and 1960s led to a need for greater professionalism in the theatre.[369] As a result, plays by Emlyn Williams
Emlyn Williams
and Alun Owen and others were staged, while Welsh actors, including Richard Burton, Rachel Roberts, Donald Houston
Donald Houston
and Stanley Baker, were establishing themselves as artistic talents.[369] Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
was an alumnus of the Royal Welsh
Royal Welsh
College of Music & Drama and has since starred in Hollywood
Hollywood
films.John Rhys-Davies is another well-known actor, famous for his portrayal of Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah
Sallah
in the Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
films. Other Welsh actors to have crossed the Atlantic more recently include: Ioan Gruffudd; Rhys Ifans; Matthew Rhys; Michael Sheen; and Catherine Zeta-Jones.[370] Wales
Wales
has also produced well known comedians including Tommy Cooper, Terry Jones, Harry Secombe, Rhod Gilbert
Rhod Gilbert
and Paul Whitehouse.[371] Dance Dancing is a popular pastime in Wales; traditional dances include folk dancing and clog dancing. The first mention of dancing in Wales
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.[372] 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.[372] 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.[373] Clog dancing, traditionally a male dominated art, is now a common part of eisteddfodau.[373] In 2010, a 30-year traditional dance festival held in Caernarvon came to an end due to a lack of participants,[374] though clog dancing has seen a revival in the 21st century.[375] The Welsh Folk Dance Society was founded in 1949;[373] 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.[373] Diversions was formed in 1983, eventually becoming the National Dance Company Wales, now the resident company at the Wales Millennium Centre.[376] Conversely, Wales
Wales
does not have its own national ballet company.[372] 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.[377] 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.[378] 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
Calan Mai
(May Day), celebrating the beginning of summer; Calan Awst
Calan Awst
(Lammas Day); and Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau (Candlemas Day).[379] See also

Wales
Wales
portal Celtic Studies portal

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, "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
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)

References

^ "Cymru am byth! The meaning behind the Welsh motto". WalesOnline. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2016.  ^ a b c Davies (1994) p. 100 ^ "Statute of Rhuddlan". legislation.gov.uk. doi:10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100419253 (inactive 2017-10-03). Retrieved 26 July 2014.  ^ " Laws in Wales Act
Laws in Wales Act
1535 (repealed 21.12.1993)". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2014.  ^ "Government of Wales
Wales
Act 1998". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2014.  ^ a b Office for National Statistics. "Regional gross value added (income approach), UK: 1997 to 2015, December 2015". Retrieved 24 April 2017.  ^ a b "Regional Gross Value Added (Income Approach) – Office for National Statistics". Ons.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-23.  ^ a b "The Countries of the UK". statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2008.  ^ a b c Davies (1994) p. 71 ^ (in French) Albert Henry, Histoire des mots Wallons et Wallonie, Institut Jules Destrée, Coll. "Notre histoire", Mont-sur-Marchienne, 1990, 3rd ed. (1st ed. 1965), footnote 13 p. 86. Henry wrote the same about Wallachia. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1963). Angles and Britons: O'Donnell Lectures. Cardiff: University of Wales
University of Wales
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Census 2001, 200 Years of the Census in ... Wales
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Argentina Effigies of Argentina Armenia Mother Armenia Australia Boxing kangaroo Little Boy from Manly Bangladesh Mother Bengal Belgium Leo Belgicus Brazil Efígie da República Cambodia Preah Thong and Neang Neak Canada Johnny Canuck China Yanhuang Czech Republic Čechie Czech Vašek Švejk Denmark Holger Danske Finland Finnish Maiden France Marianne Georgia Kartvlis Deda Germany Deutscher Michel Germania Greece Hellas Hungary Lady of Hungaria Iceland Lady of the Mountain India Bharat Mata Indonesia Ibu Pertiwi Ireland Ériu Hibernia Kathleen Ni Houlihan Israel Srulik Italy Italia turrita Japan Amaterasu Kenya Wanjiku Korea Dangun Ungnyeo Malta Melita Montenegro Fairy of Lovćen Netherlands Dutch Maiden New Zealand Zealandia Norway Ola Nordmann Philippines Juan dela Cruz Maria Clara Poland Polonia Portugal Efígie da República Zé Povinho Russia Mother Russia Serbia Mother Serbia Kosovo Maiden Spain Hispania Sweden Mother Svea Switzerland Helvetia Ukraine Cossack Mamay United Kingdom Britannia John Bull Dame Wales United States Brother Jonathan Columbia Lady Liberty Uncle Sam Billy Yank

Northern states

Johnny Reb

Southern states

Other symbols of Liberty

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English-speaking world

Click on a coloured area to see an article about English in that country or region

Further links

Articles

English-speaking world History of the English language British Empire English in the Commonwealth of Nations Anglosphere

Lists

List of countries by English-speaking population List of countries where English is an official language

 

Countries and territories where English is the national language or the native language of the majority

Africa

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Americas

Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados Belize Bermuda British Virgin Islands Canada Cayman Islands Dominica Falkland Islands Grenada Guyana Jamaica Montserrat Saba Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Trinidad and Tobago Turks and Caicos Islands United States United States
United States
Virgin Islands

Europe

Guernsey Ireland Isle of Man Jersey United Kingdom

Oceania

Australia New Zealand Norfolk Island Pitcairn Islands

 

Countries and territories where English is an official language, but not the majority first language

Africa

Botswana Cameroon The Gambia Ghana Kenya Lesotho Liberia Malawi Mauritius Namibia Nigeria Rwanda Sierra Leone Somaliland South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

Americas

Puerto Rico

Asia

Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Hong Kong Special
Special
Administrative Region India Pakistan Philippines Singapore

Europe

Gibraltar Malta

Oceania

American Samoa Cook Islands Fiji Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia Nauru Niue Northern Mariana Islands Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tokelau Tuvalu Vanuatu

Dependencies shown in italics.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 252978342 LCCN: n80014574 GND: 4064435-2 N

.