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Wales (Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəm.rɨ] (listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, Celtic Sea to the south west and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2021 of 3,107,500 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 (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate. The capital and largest city is Cardiff.

Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. The conquest of Wales by Edward I of England was completed by 1283, though Owain Glyndŵr rebelled against English rule in the early 15th century and briefly re-established an independent Welsh principality. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by David Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; a nationalist party, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925, and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the Senedd (the Welsh Parliament, formerly known as the National Assembly for Wales) is responsible for a range of devolved policy matters. (Full article...)

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A narrow canal lock with the bottom gate open.
The Neath and Tennant Canals are two independent but linked canals in South Wales, usually regarded as a single canal. The Neath Canal was opened from Glynneath to Melincryddan, to the south of Neath, in 1795 and extended to Giants Grave in 1799, in order to provide better shipping facilities. With several small later extensions it reached its final destination at Briton Ferry. The canal was 13.5 miles (21.7 km) long and included 19 locks.

The Tennant Canal was a development of the Glan-y-wern Canal, which was built across Crymlyn Bog to transport coal from a colliery on its northern edge to a creek on the River Neath. It closed after 20 years, but was enlarged and extended by George Tennant in 1818, to link the River Neath to the River Tawe at Swansea docks. To increase trade, he built an extension to Aberdulais basin, where it linked to the Neath Canal.

Use of the canals for navigation ceased in the 1930s, but because they supplied water to local industries and to Swansea docks, they were retained as water channels. The first attempts at restoration began in 1974; the section north of Resolven was restored in the late 1980s, and the canal from Neath to Abergarwed has been restored more recently. This project involved the replacement of Ynysbwllog aqueduct, which carries the canal over the river Neath, with a new 32-metre (35 yd) plate girder structure, believed to be the longest single-span aqueduct in Britain.

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ThreeCliffsBay.jos.500pix.jpg
Credit: Jamieo

Tor Bay and Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Glamorgan

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Wales was in ancient times divided into three parts nearly equal, consideration having been paid, in this division, more to the value than to the just quantity or proportion of territory. — Giraldus Cambrensis

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A bronze Arthur plate armour with visor raised and with jousting shield wearing Kastenbrust armour (early 15th century) by Peter Vischer, typical of later anachronistic depictions of Arthur.
King Arthur was a fabled British leader and a prominent figure in Britain's legendary history. A real individual may have been the inspiration of the legend, but any core of history is deeply submerged in the later fictional narratives of Arthur. In these he appears as the ideal of kingship both in war and peace; even in modern times he has been ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Britons of all time. Over time, the stories of King Arthur have captured such widespread interest that he is no longer identified as the legendary hero of a single nation. Countless new legends, stories, revisions, books, and films have been produced in Europe and the United States that unabashedly enlarge on and expand the fictional accounts of King Arthur.

The scarce historical background to Arthur is found in the works of Nennius and Gildas and in the Annales Cambriae. The legendary Arthur developed initially through the pseudo-history of Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Welsh collection of anonymous tales known as the Mabinogion.

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  • Crib Goch, Snowdonia, Wales - August 2007
    Crib Goch, Snowdonia, Wales - August 2007
  • Ivor Novello
    Ivor Novello
  • Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
    Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

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1899 recording of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

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Welsh national identity · English rule in Wales · Military history of Wales · Welsh pop and rock music · Wales in the World Wars · Carmarthen Bay · Clwydian Range · Glyn Daniel · List of places in Anglesey · List of places in Ceredigion · List of places in Gwynedd · List of places in Monmouthshire · List of places in Pembrokeshire · List of places in Powys · Pembroke River · River Cothi · River Dwyryd · River Ebbw · River Honddu · River Ithon · River Llynfi · River Mawddach · River Mynach · River Neath · River Ogwen · River Rheidol · River Taff · River Vyrnwy · River Ystwyth  · Aberfan Cemetery · East Glamorgan General Hospital · Welsh traditional music · River Gyffin Other pages that need expansion: Wales stubs

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cy:Capel Seion, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant (Capel Seion, Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant), Grade II* listed building · cy:Trefeurig (Trefeurig)

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