Gwent

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Click to go Back to Inns in Gwentormer county of south Wales, 1974 -1996, now divided between Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen unitary authorities.

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Local Links Caerphilly County Borough Council - Monmouthshire Council - Newport County Borough Council - Torfaen County Borough Council

owns and cities The administrative centre of Blaenau Gwent is Ebbw Vale. The area no longer depends on coal, iron, and steel industries, and former industrial land is being redeveloped. The other main towns are Tredegar, which has a tourist industry, and Abertillery.

The administrative centre of Caerphilly is Hengoed. Other principal towns are Bargoed, Newbridge, and  Rhymney.

The administrative centre of Torfaen is Pontypool.

rea 1,518 sq km / 585 sq miles.
opulation 549,400 (1996)
opography The area around Blaenau Gwent is undulating, and includes Mynydd Carn-y-Cefn (550 m / 1,800 ft). The chief rivers are the Sirhowy and Ebbw.

The chief rivers of Caerphilly are the Rhymney and Sirhowy.

The main rivers of Monmouthshire are the Wye and Usk, which are famous for salmon and trout fishing.

The lowlands of Monmouthshire have rich mixed farming, with arable crops, including wheat, being important. The coast of Monmouthshire is exposed to high spring tides which rush up the Severn in a `bore´ from the Bristol Channel, rising at Chepstow sometimes to 18 m / 60 ft. The southern part, east and west of the Usk, comprises the Caldecot and Wentloog levels, which are protected from the sea by sea walls. North of the Caldecot level, between the Usk and the Wye, the surface is undulating. The north of the county is more mountainous. About 7 km / 4.3 miles from Abergavenny is the peaked mountain called Pen-y-Fal or Sugar Loaf (596 m/1,955 ft), over 8.1 sq km/3.1 sq mi of which have been presented to the National Trust. Between Abergavenny and Usk is the wooded hill-fort of Coed-y-Bonedd, one of several Monmouthshire camps. Skirrid Fawr (486 m/1,595 ft), known locally as the Holy Mountain, has views of the Black Mountains, the Usk valley, and the Sugar Loaf.

Coity Mountain is situated in the north of Torfaen, and the chief river is the Afon Llwyd.

ommerce Iron and steel production and coal mining have been replaced by a wide range of light industries. There are steel works at Llanwern, east of Newport, and an aluminium factory at Rogerstone to the west.
amous people  
ttractions The walled town of Chepstow, situated on the River Wye, is a good base for discovering the splendid ruins of Tintern Abbey, the inspiration of poets and artists.
Raglan Castle, the last medieval castle is a fine example and the nearby market town of Abergavenny in the shadow of the Black Mountains.

During the Roman occupation the only Roman town in Wales was built at Caerwent. There are also ruins of feudal strongholds at Chepstow, Caldicot, Raglan, and elsewhere, and the remains of Tintern Abbey and the Cistercian abbey of Llanthony are here. Medieval Monmouthshire was undoubtedly Welsh.