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Click here to find out more. Skiddle sells official, face-value tickets. Back to Top Showing events near: Sporting Event, Walks, Outdoor. If you're looking for more events, why not view our events in Twickenham guide. All Gigs Browse Gigs in: Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations.

The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts and Distinctive 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 and the Welsh Language Society in Established under the Government of Wales Act , the National Assembly for 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 , including Cardiff , Swansea , Newport and 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. Although 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 , Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition.

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Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. 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 Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples.

Wallonia , Wallachia and Valais and peoples e. 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 associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain e. Cornwall and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons e. Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire , [14] as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples.

The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian , Cambric and Cambria , survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh and the Welsh people.

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. Wales has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29, years.

At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Sea were dry land. The east coast of present-day 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. The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea. According to John T. Koch and others, Wales in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture that also included the other Celtic nations.

The Roman conquest of Wales began in AD 48 and took 30 years to complete. Roman rule lasted over years. The campaigns of conquest are the most widely known feature of Wales during the Roman era , because of the spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, defence of their homelands by two native tribes: Roman rule in 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.

Both Caerwent and Carmarthen , also in southern Wales, became Roman civitates. 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. 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 began to consider themselves Roman, particularly after the ruling of that granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Empire.

Early historians, including the 6th-century cleric Gildas , have noted as a significant point in Welsh history, [40] 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 as emperor.

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. The year period following the collapse of Roman rule is the most difficult to interpret in the history of Wales. Before extensive studies of the distribution of R1b Y-DNA subclades , some previously maintained that native Britons were displaced by the invaders.

With the loss of the lowlands, England's kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria , and later Wessex , wrestled with Powys, Gwent and Gwynedd to define the frontier between the two peoples. Having lost much of what is now the West Midlands to Mercia in the 6th and early 7th centuries, a resurgent late-7th-century Powys checked Mercian advances. Aethelbald of Mercia , looking to defend recently acquired lands, had built Wat's Dyke.

According to John Davies , this endeavour may have been with the agreement of Powys king Elisedd ap Gwylog , as this boundary, extending north from the valley of the River Severn to the Dee estuary, gave Oswestry to Powys. Davies wrote of Cyril Fox 's study of Offa's Dyke: 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.

By the 8th century, the eastern borders with the Anglo-Saxons had broadly been set. The southern and eastern parts of Great Britain lost to English settlement became known in Welsh as Lloegyr Modern Welsh Lloegr , which may have referred to the kingdom of Mercia originally and which came to refer to England as a whole. From onwards, a series of dynastic marriages led to Rhodri Mawr 's r.

His sons, in turn, would found three principal dynasties Aberffraw for Gwynedd, Dinefwr for Deheubarth and Mathrafal for Powys. Rhodri's grandson Hywel Dda r. Maredudd's great-grandson through his daughter Princess Angharad Gruffydd ap Llywelyn r. Historian John Davies states that Gruffydd was "the only Welsh king ever to rule over the entire territory of Wales Thus, from about until his death in , the whole of Wales recognised the kingship of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. For about seven brief years, Wales was one, under one ruler, a feat with neither precedent nor successor.

Within four years of the Battle of Hastings , England had been completely subjugated by the Normans. 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. Owain Gwynedd's grandson Llywelyn Fawr the Great, — , wrested concessions [ which? With Llywelyn's death and his brother prince Dafydd 's execution, the few remaining Welsh lords did homage for their lands to Edward I.

The English interpretation of the treason of Llywelyn was that his fiefdom had escheated to the king. The king ruled directly in two areas: The existing royal lordships of Montgomery and Builth remained unchanged, [68] and the remainder of Wales was still controlled by the marcher lords. To help maintain his dominance, Edward constructed a series of great stone castles: Beaumaris , Caernarfon and Conwy. But the rebellion failed, and Owain went into hiding in ; peace was essentially restored in Wales by The last remnants of Celtic-tradition Welsh law were abolished and replaced by English law by the Laws in Wales Acts and Prior to the British Industrial Revolution , which saw a rapid economic expansion between and , there were signs of small-scale industries scattered throughout Wales.

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 on Anglesey, Swansea developed into the world's major centre for non-ferrous metal smelting in the 19th century. In the late 18th century, slate quarrying began to expand rapidly, most notably in north Wales. The Penrhyn Quarry , opened in by Richard Pennant , was employing 15, men by the late 19th century, [77] and along with Dinorwic Quarry , it dominated the Welsh slate trade.

Although slate quarrying has been described as 'the most Welsh of Welsh industries', [78] it is coal mining which has become the single industry synonymous with 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.

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By its height in , 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. Historian Kenneth Morgan described 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. A total of , Welshmen served in the war, representing The first quarter of the 20th century also saw a shift in the political landscape of Wales.

Since , the Liberal Party had held a parliamentary majority in Wales and, following the general election of , only one non-Liberal Member of Parliament, Keir Hardie of Merthyr Tydfil , represented a Welsh constituency at Westminster. After economic growth in the first two decades of the 20th century, Wales' staple industries endured a prolonged slump from the early s to the late s, leading to widespread unemployment and poverty in the south Wales valleys. The 20th century saw a revival in Welsh national feeling.

Plaid Cymru was formed in , seeking greater autonomy or independence from the rest of the UK. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg The Welsh Language Society was formed in , in response to long-held fears that the language might soon die out. By the end of the s, the regional policy of bringing businesses into disadvantaged areas of Wales through financial incentives had proven very successful in diversifying the industrial economy. It was believed that the foundations for stable economic growth had been firmly established in Wales during this period, but this was shown to be wildly optimistic after the recession of the early s saw the collapse of much of the manufacturing base that had been built over the preceding forty years.

The governments of the United Kingdom and of Wales almost invariably define Wales as a country. Although we are joined with England by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right.

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But he does not have a role in the governance of Wales, even though his title might suggest that he does. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Wales held a referendum in and chose to establish a form of self-government. The consequent process of devolution began with the Government of Wales Act , which created the National Assembly for Wales Welsh: Members AMs ACau are elected to 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 20 AMs represent five electoral regions , each including between seven and nine constituencies, using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation.

Labour remained the largest Assembly party following the election , winning 26 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 " and both parties have agreed "in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum".

Welsh Labour remained the largest party in the Assembly following the National Assembly for Wales election, , winning 30 of the 60 seats. Other parties represented in the assembly were the Welsh Conservatives the loyal opposition with 14 seats, Plaid Cymru , who have 11 seats, and the Welsh Liberal Democrats , with five seats.

Carwyn Jones remained First Minister following the election, this time leading a Welsh Labour ministerial team. After the May election, Labour continues to form the largest group in the Assembly, with 29 AMs. 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. The GoWA 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.

A referendum on extending the lawmaking powers of the National Assembly was accordingly held on 3 March 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. Nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly has deployed their own envoy to America, primarily to promote Wales-specific business interests. For the purposes of local government, Wales has been divided into 22 council areas since These "principal areas" [] are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services.

Wales has six cities. By tradition, Welsh Law was compiled during an assembly held at Whitland around by Hywel Dda , king of most of Wales between and his death in 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 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. English law has been the legal system of England and Wales since , [] although there is now a growing body of contemporary Welsh law following Welsh devolution.

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 which is the highest court of appeal in the land for criminal and civil cases.

The Senior Courts of England and Wales is the highest court of first instance as well as an appellate court. Minor cases are heard by the Magistrates' Courts or the County Court. From that point, Wales became a legal unit in its own right, although it remains part of the single jurisdiction of England and Wales.

The Welsh Assembly has the authority to draft and approve laws outside of the UK Parliamentary system to meet the specific needs of Wales. Under powers approved by a referendum held in March , it is empowered to pass primary legislation known as Acts of the Assembly in relation to twenty subjects listed in the Government of Wales Act such as health and education. Through this primary legislation, the Welsh Government can then also enact more specific secondary legislation.

Wales has no women's prisons; female inmates are imprisoned in England. Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain. 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 outside the s is Aran Fawddwy , at metres 2, feet , in the south of Snowdonia. The highest point being Pumlumon at metres 2, feet. Wales has three national parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast.

Forty two percent of the coastline of south and west Wales is designated as Heritage Coast , with 13 specific designated strips of coastline maintained by Natural Resources Wales successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales. On the night of 25 October , over ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic. The first border between Wales and England was zonal, apart from around the River Wye, which was the first accepted boundary.

The Seven Wonders of Wales is a list in doggerel verse of seven geographic and cultural landmarks in Wales probably composed in the late 18th century under the influence of tourism from England. Snowdon the highest mountain , the Gresford bells the peal of bells in the medieval church of All Saints at Gresford , the Llangollen bridge built in over the River Dee , St Winefride's Well a pilgrimage site at Holywell in Flintshire , the Wrexham Wrecsam steeple 16th-century tower of St Giles' Church, Wrexham , the Overton yew trees ancient yew trees in the churchyard of St.

The earliest geological period of the Paleozoic era, the Cambrian , takes its name from the Cambrian Mountains , where geologists first identified Cambrian remnants. The older rocks underlying the Cambrian rocks in Wales lacked fossils which could be used to differentiate their various groups and were referred to as Pre-cambrian. In the midth century, two prominent geologists, Roderick Murchison and Adam Sedgwick who first proposed the name of the Cambrian period , independently used their studies of the geology of Wales to establish certain principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology.

The next two periods of the Paleozoic era, the Ordovician and Silurian , were named after ancient Celtic tribes from this area based on Murchison's and Sedgwick's work. Wales lies within the north temperate zone. It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe.

Average annual coastal temperatures reach It becomes cooler at higher altitudes; annual temperatures decrease on average approximately 0. 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 blows further inland with the prevailing winds. At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing. The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales, averaging over 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 hours of sunshine annually. 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. Rainfall patterns show significant variation.

Snow falls several times each winter in inland areas but is relatively uncommon around the coast. Wales' wildlife is typical of Britain with several distinctions. Because of its long coastline, Wales hosts a variety of seabirds. The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets , Manx shearwater , puffins , kittiwakes , shags and razorbills. The larger Welsh mammals died out during the Norman period, including the brown bear, wolf and the wildcat. The pine marten which has had the occasional sighting, has not been officially recorded since the s.

The polecat was nearly driven to extinction in Britain, but hung on in Wales and is now rapidly spreading. Feral goats can be found in Snowdonia. The waters of south-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals, including basking sharks , Atlantic grey seals , leatherback turtles, dolphins , porpoises , jellyfish, crabs and lobsters. Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, in particular, are recognised as an area of international importance for bottlenose dolphins , and 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 is unique to Wales, found only in Bala Lake. The north facing high grounds of Snowdonia support a relict pre-glacial flora including the iconic Snowdon lily — Gagea serotina — and other alpine species such as Saxifraga cespitosa , Saxifraga oppositifolia and Silene acaulis. Wales also hosts a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK including the spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata on Anglesey and Draba aizoides [] on the Gower.

Over the last years, Wales has been transformed first from a predominantly agricultural country to an industrial, and now a post-industrial economy. 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 , nearly , men and women were employed in the south Wales coalfield , mining 56 million tons of coal. In the late s and early s, Wales was successful in attracting an above average share of foreign direct investment in the UK.

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.


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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 ; since then, although banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to have the right to issue banknotes in their own countries, the Bank of England has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in Wales. However, Wales has not been represented on any coin minted from The A55 expressway has a similar role along the north Wales coast, connecting Holyhead and Bangor with Wrexham and Flintshire.

It also links to northwest England, principally Chester. The main north-south Wales link is the A , which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno. Cardiff Airport is the international airport of Wales. Other internal flights operate to northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Welsh Government manages those parts of the British railway network within Wales, through the Transport for Wales Rail train operating company. Cardiff Central is Wales' busiest railway station, with over four times as much passenger traffic as any other station in Wales.

Beeching cuts in the s mean that most of the remaining network is geared toward east-west travel connecting with the Irish Sea ports for ferries to Ireland. All trains in Wales are diesel-powered since no lines have been electrified. Wales has four commercial ferry ports. The Swansea to Cork service was cancelled in , reinstated in March , and withdrawn again in A distinct education system has developed in Wales.

The first grammar schools were established in Welsh towns such as Ruthin , Brecon and Cowbridge. At the end of the day, the wearer of the "not" would be beaten. The University College of Wales opened in Aberystwyth in Cardiff and Bangor followed, and the three colleges came together in to form the University of Wales. The Welsh Department for the Board of Education followed in , which gave Wales its first significant educational devolution.

In —, there were 1, maintained schools in Wales. Historically, Wales was served by smaller 'cottage' hospitals, built as voluntary institutions. The estimated pre and census post population figures recorded for Wales are: The population of Wales doubled from , in to 1,, in and had reached 2,, by Most of the increase came in the coal mining districts, especially Glamorganshire , which grew from 71, in to , in and 1,, in However, there was also large-scale migration into 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, [] [] including Italians , who migrated to South Wales. Many of these self-identify as Welsh. The census showed Wales' population to be 3,,, the highest in its history.


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  6. The UK census was criticised in Wales for not offering 'Welsh' as an option to describe respondents' national identity. Respondents were instructed to "tick all that apply" from a list of options that included Welsh. The outcome was that No Welsh national identity was indicated by The proportion giving their sole national identity as British was No SMS or social media content including Reddit. Social media content of any kind is not allowed. This includes anything from Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, or any other form of "comments section" on the Internet, as well as images accompanied by text from those platforms.

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