Glamorgan

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Three counties of south Wales - Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan, and West Glamorgan - created in 1974 from the former county of Glamorganshire.

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Local Links Vale of Glamorgan Council - Rhondda-Cynon-Taff Council - Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council - Bridgend County Borough Council - Cardiff County Council - Neath & Port Talbot County Borough Council - City and County of Swansea

Back to topMid Glamorgan

owns and cities Former county of south Wales, 1974 -1996, now divided between Rhondda Cynon Taff (The administrative centre is Clydach Vale), Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, and Vale of Glamorgan unitary authorities.

Other principal towns include Porthcawl, a resort and residential area, and Maesteg.

The Royal Mint is at Llantrisant.

rea 591 sq km / 228 sq miles.
opulation 420,900 (1996)
opography Rhondda Cynon Taff consists of a series of linear settlements following the two rivers, Rhondda Fawr and Rhondda Fach. To the south is the lowland plateau, or Bro Morgannwg, a rich agricultural area of mixed farming and large villages which is traversed by the M4 motorway.

Merthyr Tydfil area has the largest land-reclamation scheme in Europe, and includes part of the  Brecon Beacons National Park. The authority is based mainly around the upper valley of the River Taff.

Most of Bridgend consists of the western end of a lowland plateau, Bro Morgannwg, a rich agricultural area of mixed farming and large villages. In the north is the Cymer Forest and Mynydd Caerau (556 m / 1,824 ft). The southern area is traversed by the M4 motorway.

ommerce A variety of new light industries have been attracted to Rhondda Cynon Taff and there are two major industrial estates, one at Treforest near Pontypridd and the other at Hirwaun near Aberdare.

Merthyr Tydfil was formerly a centre of the Welsh coal and steel industries, its industries now include light engineering and electrical goods.

Industries in Bridgend include civil engineering and chocolate manufacture.

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ttractions Caerphilly Castle, a massive fortress surrounded by a moat.

Back to topSouth Glamorgan

owns and cities Millennium Stadium - CardiffFormer county of south Wales, 1974 -1996, now divided between Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan unitary authorities

The city of Cardiff dates from Roman times, the later town being built around a Norman castle. The castle was the residence of the earls and marquises of Bute from the 18th century and was given to the city in 1947 by the fifth marquis. Coal was exported until the 1920s. As the coal industry declined, iron and steel exports continued to grow, and an import trade in timber, grain and flour, tobacco, meat, and citrus fruit developed. Cardiff grew into a major city when the docks on the Bristol Channel were opened in 1839. They were greatly extended by the second Marquis of Bute (1793-1848), and have now been redeveloped for industry. Cardiff thus became the largest Welsh town in 1881, and has remained thus. In Cathays Park is a group of public buildings including the Law Courts, City Hall, the National Museum of Wales

The administrative centre of the Vale of Glamorgan is Barry, which is a also major port.

rea 476 sq km / 184 sq miles.
opulation 426,000 (1996)
opography

Nash Point Lighthouse

Nash PointLlandaff, on the right bank of the river Taff 3 km / 1.9 mi to the northwest, was included in Cardiff in 1922

Nash Point: There are some barely visible remains in the car park of a Long Cairn in an egg-shape and now covered in grass and gorse. It was described in 1811 as an ancient cromlech and was according to tradition the place of worship of the old village, known locally as Hen Eglwys, (Old Church). The Iron Age promontory fort is one of several along the Heritage coast, protecting a potential landing point from coastal raiders. These were built between around 700 BC and the Roman invasion. Most of the fort has been destroyed by cliff erosion. 

Nash Point Lighthouse Nash Point Lighthouses: A public outcry in 1832 followed the loss of 40 lives when the passenger steamer Frolic ran aground on Nash Point sandbank. The two lighthouse towers were built 1,000 feet apart and carefully positioned so that they could be aligned by ships sailing up the channel. Navigation buoys were anchored on the sandbank at the same time. The grassy area around the lighthouses is covered in cowslips in late Spring.

ommerce Industries in Cardiff include car components, flour milling, ship repairs, electrical goods, paper, and cigars; there are also high-tech industries. The Vale of Glamorgan is a lowland area where agriculture and sheep farming are important.
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Cardiff cathedral, virtually rebuilt in the 19th century and restored between 1948 and 1957 after air-raid damage in World War II, contains Jacob Epstein's sculpture Christ in Majesty. At St Fagan's 5 km / 3 miles to the west is the Welsh National Folk Museum, containing small, rebuilt historical buildings from rural Wales in which crafts are demonstrated. The city is the headquarters of the Welsh National Opera.

There is a tidal basin of 360,000 sq m / 3,875,000 sq ft between the mainland and Barry Island in the Bristol Channel. Within the area are the church of St Cadoc at Cadoxton and the remains of Barry Castle (13th -15th century), which may stand on the site of an earlier Norman earthwork castle owned by the de Barri family. At Barry Island are the remains of the church of St Baruch.

Back to topWest Glamorgan

owns and cities Former county of southwest Wales, 1974 -1996, now divided into Neath Port Talbot, and Swansea unitary authorities.
rea 819 sq km / 327 sq miles.
opulation 371,400 (1996)
opography The terrain around Neath Port Talbot is dominated by the alternation of river valleys and high moorland interfluves. The county is mainly industrial with coal mining predominating, including anthracite in the upper valleys and metallurgical industries at coastal sites.

The western boundary of the authority of Swansea is determined by the River Loughor and its estuary. The main river is the Tawe. The Gower Peninsula remains mainly rural and its coastal scenery makes it a tourist area, but the suburbs of Swansea have spread west into Gower. The area has natural resources in limestone, silica, brick-earth, shales, and sand. Its metallurgical importance was founded on copper ore, and copper works multiplied from the early 18th century. The scientific process of refining the ore was initiated in the region.

ommerce Industries in Neath Port Talbot include chemicals, various metalworks, and a variety of light industry.

Industries in Swansea include tinplate manufacture and chemicals, and there are oil refineries.

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ttractions Rhossili BayWorms HeadThe Gower Peninsula, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the 11th century the area was overrun by the Normans, who built castles and churches, and was thoroughly anglicized in the west and south. It has notable scenery and contains picturesque ruins. As the coastline is principally composed of limestone, there are numerous caves, including Paviland Cave, the site of the important discovery of a skeleton of an old Stone Age man. The old Welsh kingdom of Gwyr was much more extensive and included land to the north.
The Roman fort of Nidum is near Neath.