Portal:Wales

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Location of Wales highlighted within the United Kingdom
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Wales (Welsh: Cymru, pronounced [ˈkəmrɨ]) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 2,700 km (1,700 mi) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its highest 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.

Wales was an agricultural society for most of its early history, the country's terrain meaning that pastoral farming was the primary source of its wealth. In the 18th century, the introduction of the slate and metallurgical industries at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution began to transform the country into an industrial nation. The exploitation of the South Wales coalfield in the Victorian era caused a rapid expansion of the Welsh population. Two-thirds of Wales' inhabitants now live in South Wales, mainly in and around the capital city, Cardiff (Caerdydd), in the cities of Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd), and in the nearby valleys. Today, with the country's traditional heavy industries either gone or in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries, and tourism.

From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", attributable in part to the revival of the eisteddfod tradition. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in North Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. Wales is officially bilingual, with the Welsh and English languages having equal status. The Welsh language is an important element of Welsh culture, and is spoken by over 580,000 people, more than 20% of the population. Following annexation by England in the 16th century, English law has been the legal system of Wales and England; the National Assembly for Wales, created in 1999 following a referendum, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

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The Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal was a canal and tramroad system in Carmarthenshire, Wales, built to carry anthracite coal to the coast for onward transportation by coastal ships. It began life as the Kymer Canal in 1766, which linked pits at Pwll y Llygod to a dock near Kidwelly. Access to the dock gradually became more difficult as the estuary silted up, and an extension to Llanelli was authorised in 1812. Progress was slow, and the new canal was linked to a harbour at Pembury built by Thomas Gaunt in the 1820s, until the company's own harbour at Burry Port was completed in 1832. Tramways served a number of collieries to the east of Burry Port.

In 1832 engineer James Green advised on extending the system, and suggested a line with three inclined planes to reach Cwmmawr, further up the Gwendraeth Valley. Green underestimated the cost and could not complete the work. He was sacked in 1836, but the canal company finished the new route the following year. In 1865 the company changed its name to become the Kidwelly and Burry Port Railway, amalgamated with the company running Burry Port in the following year, and the canal became the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway in 1869. Kymer's Dock at Kidwelly continued to be used for the export of coal by coasters for another 50 years. It was used as a rubbish dump during the 1950s, but together with a short section of the canal was restored in the 1980s.

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Credit: Ezioman

A partial view of the ceiling of the "Arab Room" in Cardiff Castle, Cardiff

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Maxwell Boyce, MBE, (born 7 September 1945 in Glynneath) is a Welsh comedian, singer and former coal miner. He rose to fame in the United Kingdom during the mid-1970s with an act that combined musical comedy with his passion for rugby union and his origins in the mining communities of South Wales. Having sold more than two million albums in a career spanning four decades, and playing to full houses all around the world, Boyce is one of the most successful and enduring entertainers in Welsh history. Max Boyce has always lived in the town of Glynneath, but his family were originally from Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. Within days of Boyce's birth, his father died in an explosion in the coal pit where he was working. At the age of fifteen, Boyce left school, went to live with his grandfather, and followed his father's footsteps by working in a colliery "for nearly eight years". In his early twenties, he managed to find work in a factory instead, but his earlier mining experiences were to influence his music considerably in later years.

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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.

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Featured articles: King Arthur · Asser · William Cragh · John Dee · Rhys ap Gruffydd · Tom Pryce · Sasha (DJ) · Slate industry in Wales · Talyllyn Railway · Wales national rugby union team · Alfred Russel Wallace

Featured lists: List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Clergy · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Law and government · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Mathematics, medicine and science · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford · Friends of Friendless Churches · List of Honorary Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford · List of founding Fellows, Scholars and Commissioners of Jesus College, Oxford · List of county courts in England and Wales · List of former county courts in Wales · List of Principals and Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford


Good articles: A4232 road · Aberdaron · Anglesey Central Railway · Rakie Ayola · Norman Biggs · Bullet for My Valentine · Caernarfon Castle · Caernarfon town walls · Caffo · Capel Lligwy · Cardiff Arms Park · Cardiff Castle · Conwy town walls · Andrew Crofts (footballer) · (Drawing) Rings Around the World · Ebbw Valley Railway · Timothy Everest · Flat Holm · Golden Retriever (song) · Arthur Gould (rugby player) · Hello Sunshine · The Holy Bible (album) · It's Not the End of the World? · Herbert Armitage James · Barry John · Gethin Jones · Juxtapozed with U · Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal · Llanishen Reservoir · Llantwit Major · John McFall (athlete) · Milford Haven · Millennium Stadium · Neath and Tennant Canal · Old Bridge, Pontypridd · Old Church of St Gwenllwyfo, Llanwenllwyfo · Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Winefride, Amlwch · Parc Cwm long cairn · Penmon · Phantom Phorce · Phantom Power (Super Furry Animals album) · Pont-y-Cafnau · Guto Puw · Raglan Castle · Rhondda · Rings Around the World · Senedd · Sibyl de Neufmarché · Slow Life · Snowdon · St Caian's Church, Tregaian · St Beuno's Church, Trefdraeth · St Ceidio's Church, Rhodogeidio · St Cristiolus's Church, Llangristiolus · St Cwyllog's Church, Llangwyllog · St Deiniol's Church, Llanddaniel Fab · St Eleth's Church, Amlwch · St Fflewin's Church, Llanfflewin · St Gallgo's Church, Llanallgo · St Gwenllwyfo's Church, Llanwenllwyfo · St Iestyn's Church, Llaniestyn · St Llibio's Church, Llanllibio · St Mary's Church, Bodewryd · St Mary's Church, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf · St Mary's Church, Pentraeth · St Mary's Church, Rhodogeidio · St Mary's Church, Tal-y-llyn · St Pabo's Church, Llanbabo · St Peirio's Church, Rhosbeirio · St Peulan's Church, Llanbeulan · St Twrog's Church, Bodwrog · St Tyfrydog's Church, Llandyfrydog · The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies · Wales · Wales Millennium Centre · David Watts Morgan · Welsh Springer Spaniel · Y Gododdin

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