The Wales Portal

Wales (Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəm.rɨ] (About this soundlisten)) 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, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. 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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The slate industry in Wales began during the Roman period when slate was used to roof the fort at Segontium. Slate is mainly used for roofing, but is also produced as thicker slab for a variety of uses including flooring, worktops and headstones.

Towards the end of the 18th century, landowners began to operate quarries on a larger scale. After the government abolished slate duty in 1831, rapid expansion was propelled by the building of narrow gauge railways to transport the slates to the ports. The most important slate producing areas were in northwest Wales, including the Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, the Dinorwic Quarry near Llanberis, the Nantlle Valley quarries, and Blaenau Ffestiniog, where the slate was mined rather than quarried. Penrhyn and Dinorwig were the two largest slate quarries in the world, and the Oakeley mine at Blaenau Ffestiniog was the largest slate mine in the world. The slate industry dominated the economy of north-west Wales during the second half of the 19th century. In 1898, a work force of 17,000 men produced half a million tons of slate.

A bitter industrial dispute at the Penrhyn Quarry between 1900 and 1903 marked the beginning of its decline, and the First World War saw a great reduction in the number of men employed in the industry. The Great Depression and Second World War led to the closure of many smaller quarries, and competition from other roofing materials, particularly tiles, resulted in the closure of most of the larger quarries in the 1960s and 1970s. Slate production continues, but on a much reduced scale.

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Gregynog Hall is a large country mansion in the village of Tregynon, 4 miles northwest of Newtown, Powys. The Blayney and Hanbury-Tracy families lived on the site from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries; in 1920 the current house was bought by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, who turned it into an important cultural centre. During their ownership Gregynog hosted music festivals, gave its name to a printing press and, until the sisters' respective bequests to the National Museum of Wales, a housed significant collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. In 1960 the house was transferred to the University of Wales as a conference and study centre.

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There is no greater mistake than to try to leap an abyss in two jumps. — David Lloyd George, in .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}Lloyd George, David (1933). "XXIV: Disintegration of the Liberal Party". War Memoirs. 2 (1st ed.). London: Ivor Nicholson & Watson. p. 740.
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Caffo was a sixth-century Christian in Anglesey, north Wales, who is venerated as a saint and martyr. Little is known for certain about Caffo; his dates of birth and death are not given in the sources. He is said to have been one of the sons of St Caw, a king in northern Britain who lost his lands and sought safety with his family in Anglesey. Caffo was a companion of St Cybi, and is mentioned as carrying a red-hot coal in his clothes to Cybi without his clothes getting burnt. After leaving Cybi, Caffo was killed by shepherds in the south of Anglesey, possibly acting in retaliation for insults Caffo's brother had paid to the local ruler. The area of Caffo's death became known at some point as Llangaffo, and a church was established there: the Welsh word "llan" originally meant "enclosure" and then "church", and "-gaffo" is a modified form of the saint's name.
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