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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

County of Monmouthshire Sir Fynwy
WalesMonmouthshire.png
Geography
Area
- Total
- % Water
Ranked 7th
850 km2
? %
Admin HQ Cwmbran
ISO 3166-2 GB-MON
ONS code 00PP
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2007 est.)
- Density
 
Ranked 18th
88,200
Ranked 15th
104 / km2
Ethnicity 97.5% White
Welsh language
- Any skills
Ranked 22nd
12.9%
MP
AM

Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy) is a county in south east Wales. The name derives from the historic county of Monmouthshire which covered a larger area.

Contents

Historic county

The historic county of Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535. It bordered Gloucestershire to the east, Herefordshire to the northeast, Brecknockshire to the north, and Glamorgan to the west. Between the 16th and 20th centuries there was some ambiguity as to whether the county was part of Wales or England, but since 1974 the area has been placed definitively in Wales. The eastern and southern boundaries of the historic county and the current principal area are the same, along the River Wye and Severn estuary; however, the western two-fifths of the historic county are now administered by the other unitary authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Newport. The administrative county of Monmouthshire, and associated lieutenancy were abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The area largely became part of the new local government and ceremonial county of Gwent.

Modern county

The current unitary authority was created on April 1, 1996 as a successor to the district of Monmouth along with the Llanelly community from Blaenau Gwent, both of which were districts of Gwent. The use of the name "Monmouthshire" rather than "Monmouth" for the area was mildly controversial, being supported by the MP for Monmouth, Roger Evans, but being opposed by Paul Murphy, MP for Torfaen (inside the historic county of Monmouthshire but being reconstituted as a separate unitary authority). [1] By area it covers some 60% of the historic county, but only 20% of the population. The council's administrative headquarters are at the former Gwent County Hall at Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran — outside of its own jurisdiction in the neighbouring borough of Torfaen. It is the only principal area in Wales administered from outside its boundaries. In comparison to the pre-1974 areas it covers:

  • the former boroughs of Abergavenny and Monmouth
  • the former urban districts of Chepstow and Usk
  • the former rural districts of Abergavenny, Chepstow and Monmouth
  • the former rural district of Pontypool, except the community of Llanfrechfa Lower
  • the parish of Llanelly from the former Crickhowell Rural District in Brecknockshire

Places of interest

Raglan Castle
See List of places in Monmouthshire for a list of settlements in the principal area.

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Monmouthshire is a historic county in the south east of Wales, near the English border. It is sometimes known as "Gwent". It is well known for its pastoral scenery and historic towns, such as Monmouth and Tintern, the site of a 12th century Cistercian abbey.

Map of Monmouthshire
Map of Monmouthshire

Cities

Towns

Understand

Gwent no longer exists as an administrative area, though the name is preserved for certain ceremonial and sporting titles, such as Gwent Police and Royal Gwent Hospital. Currently, the county is divided into the following five administrative districts: Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Monmouthshire and Torfaen

Get in

Monmouthshire is well served by the motorway system and can easily be accessed by junctions 23a to 28 of the M4 and junction 2 of the M48. It also lies on the A40/A449 trunk road from the Midlands and the A465 Heads of the Valleys road between Hereford and the Glamorgan valleys.

The Great Western main railway line passes through the county affording easy access to Cardiff, Swansea and Pembrokeshire in the west and Bristol and London in the east. The Welsh Marches railway line also connects with the Midlands and the rest of Great Britain.

  • Tintern Abbey, Tintern. Ruined 12th century Cistercian Abbey  edit
  • Tredegar House, Newport. 17th century Charles II country house mansion  edit
  • Newport Transporter Bridge, Newport. Grade I listed aerial ferry bridge, one of only eight in the world.  edit
  • Caerleon Roman Fortress, Caerleon. Headquarters of the 2nd Legion Augusta in from AD 75. Remains include bath house, barrack blocks and an amphitheatre.  edit
  • Big Pit mining museum, Blaenavon. Big Pit was a working coal mine, until closure in 1980. It reopened for visitors in 1983.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MONMOUTHSHIRE, a western border county of England, bounded E. by Gloucestershire, N. E. by Herefordshire, N.W. by Brecknock, W. and S.W. by Glamorganshire (Wales), and S. by the estuary of the river Severn. The area is 534 sq. m. The surface is varied, and in many districts picturesque, especially along the valley of the Wye, and between that river and the Usk. In the west and north the hills rise to a considerable height, and this mountain region encircles a finely undulating country. The highest summits are Sugar Loaf (1955 ft.), Blorenge (1838), and Skirrid Fawr (1601), summits of the hills which almost encircle the town of Abergavenny. On the other hand, along the shore of the Severn estuary on either side of the Usk, are two extensive tracts of marshland, called the Caldicot and Wentlloog levels, stretching from Cardiff to Portskewet, and protected from inundations by strong embankments. The principal rivers are the Wye, which forms the greater part of the eastern boundary of the county with Gloucestershire, and falls into the Severn; the Monnow, which forms a portion of its boundary with Herefordshire, and falls into the Wye at the town of Monmouth; the Usk, which rises in Brecknock, and flows southward through the centre of the county; the Ebbw, which rises in the north-west, and enters the estuary of the Usk below Newport; and the Rhymney, which rises in Brecknock, and, after forming the boundary between Monmouth and Glamorgan, enters the Bristol Channel a little east of Cardiff. Salmon abound especially in the Wye and the Usk, and trout are plentiful in many of the streams.

Table of contents

Geology

The oldest rocks in the county are the Silurian strata (Wenlock Shale and Limestone, and Ludlow Beds) which form an extensive anticline at Usk; a smaller inlier appears at Rumney on the south-west borders of the county near Cardiff. These beds dip under the Old Red Sandstone, a great series of red marls, sandstones and concretionary limestones (cornstones) which occupies the north-eastern part of the county; the highest beds contain grits and conglomerates which give rise to bold escarpments and lofty plateaux (e.g. the Sugar Loaf and Skirrid Fawr) alongside the outcrop of the Carboniferous Limestone. The western part of the county, between Pontypool and the river Rhymney, is occupied by the eastern end of the great South Wales coal-field, where the Carboniferous Limestone, Millstone Grit and Coal Measures (Lower Coal Series, Pennant Sandstone and Upper Coal Series) dip westward and succeed each other from east to west. The Coal Measures abound in coal-seams and ironstone, and their densely populated valleys offer a marked contrast to the agricultural and pastoral districts of the rest of the county. The Carboniferous Limestone comes in again in the south-east near Chepstow, and has imparted its characteristic scenery to the lower reaches of the Wye. After a prolonged interval, during which these older formations were folded, faulted, upheaved and finally carved by erosion into hills and valleys, the southern portion of the region was submerged beneath the waters of the Triassic lake in which the Keuper Marls were deposited. These consist of red conglomerates and marls which wrap round the heights and fill up the hollows among the older rocks to the south-west of Chepstow, and the subsidence continuing, admitted the waters of the Jurassic sea which deposited the fossiliferous Rhaetic and Lias limestones and shales of Llanwern and Goldcliff near Newport. Glacial gravel and boulder-clay are found in the valleys and a broad tract of alluvium borders the shores of the Bristol Channel.

Agriculture

Along the Severn shore the soil is deep and loamy, and admirably suited for the growth of trees. The most fertile land is that resting on the Red Sandstone, especially along the banks of the Usk, where wheat of fine quality is raised. In the mountainous regions more attention is paid to grazing than to the raising of crops. There are a considerable number of dairy farms, but sheep-farming is much more largely followed. Only about seven-tenths of the total area of the county is under cultivation. There is a large extent of hill pasture, and a considerable acreage under orchards.

Mining

The coal-mines and iron-works which Monmouthshire shares with South Wales are very important. They occur in the wild and mountainous western part of the county, where a series of upland valleys, running parallel from N.N.W. to S., has each its populous mining townships and railways, which have in many cases necessitated remarkable engineering works - such as the great Crumlin viaduct. These valleys, in order from east to west, with the principal townships in each, are as follows: Afon Lwyd (Panteg, Pontypool, Abersychan and Blaenavon); Ebbw Fach (Abertillery, Nantyglo and Blaina), joining the Ebbw (Risca, Ebbw Vale); Sirhowy (Bedwellty and Tredegar); Rhymney (New Tredegar and Rhymney). Besides coal, a considerable quantity of fire-clay and some iron are raised.

Communications

The principal railway serving the county is the Great Western, but in the mining districts there are also various branches of the London and North-Western, Rhymney and Brecon and Merthyr systems. The Crumlin Canal from the Ebbw Valley, and the Monmouthshire Canal from Pontypool converge upon Newport, which is the principal port in the county. The Brecon Canal runs north from Pontypool into the valley of the Usk.

Population and Administration

The area of the ancient county is 341,688 acres, with a population in 1891 of 252,416, and in 1901 of 292,317. The area of the administrative county is 349,712 acres. The county comprises 6 hundreds. The municipal boroughs are Abergavenny (pop. 7795), Monmouth (5095), and Newport, a county borough (67,270). The following are urban districts: Abercarn (12,607), Abersychan (17,768), Abertillery (21,945), Bedwellty (9988), Blaenavon (10,869), Caerleon (1367), Chepstow (3067), Ebbw Vale (20,994), Llanfrechfa, Upper (2979), Llantarnam (5287), Mynyddislwyn (3337), Nantyglo and Blaina (13,489), Panteg (7484), Pontypool (6126), Rhymney (7915), Risca (9661), Tredegar (18,497), and Usk (1476). Monmouthshire is in the Oxford circuit, and assizes are held at Monmouth. It has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into II petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Monmouth and Newport have commissions of the peace, but no separate court of quarter sessions. The parliamentary divisions are the northern, western and southern, each returning one member; and the Monmouth district of parliamentary boroughs, consisting of the towns of Monmouth, Newport and Usk, returns one member.

History

The district which is now Monmouthshire formed the Welsh kingdom of Gwent at the time of the Heptarchy, and, owing to the extraordinary courage of the Gwentians in resisting the repeated inroads of the Saxons, no permanent English settlement was effected in the district until close upon the middle of the 11th century. The incursions of the West Saxons began in the 7th century, and, during the reign of Alfred, Brochmael and Fermael, kings of Gwent, acknowledged Alfred as their lord, and sought his protection against their enemies. In the 9th and 10th centuries the district was frequently harried by the Danes, who in 915, under Ohter and Hwald, sailed round Wessex and Cornwall to the mouth of the Severn and plundered all along the banks of the Wye, finally taking prisoner the bishop of Llandaff, whom they only released on a ransom of £40. In 926 Æthelstan obliged the kings of the north Britons to meet him at Hereford and fixed the Wye as the limit of their territory. In 976 the Danes destroyed Caerleon, at this time the chief town of the district. The early 11th century was taken up with a series of interminable contests between the Welsh princes for the succession in South Wales, as a result of which the Welsh Chronicle relates that in 1047 the whole of South Wales lay waste, and in 1049, when a fleet of Irish pirates entered the Severn estuary, Griffith, the king of South Wales, assisted them in plundering the neighbourhood. In 1065 Harold conquered the whole district between the lower reaches of the Wye and the Usk, and gave orders for the construction of a hunting-box at Portskewet for Edward the Confessor, but very shortly after Caradoc ap Griffith, with a large body of followers, killed all the workmen engaged in the building and carried away the provisions prepared for the king's reception.

After the Conquest the district conquered by Harold was bestowed on William Fitz Osborne, earl of Hereford, who built Monmouth Castle, and continued the line of defence against the Welsh frontier along the Wye, while a second line of fortifications along the Usk Valley marked the continued advance of the Normans, who by 1085 had subjugated almost the whole of Gwent. The lordship of Overwent fell to Hamelin de Baladun, who founded the castle and priory of Abergavenny, and from him passed to Brian Fitz Count and later to Walter Fitz Miles, earl of Hereford. The lordship of Netherwent remained for many centuries with the Clare family. Penhow Castle was a stronghold of the family of St Maur or Seymour, from whom are descended the present dukes of Somerset, and Grosmont and Skenfrith Castles of the family of Braose. Gwent still ranked as Welsh territory at the time of the Domesday Survey, but the town of Monmouth, the castle of Caerleon, and the district of Archenfeld, are assessed under Herefordshire, and the three hardwicks of Llanwern, Portskewet and Dinam under Gloucestershire. The Norman lords of the present county held their lands "per baroniam," so that the king's writ did not run in them, and the lives and property of the poorer inhabitants were entirely at the mercy of these lords marchers as they were termed. The county still exhibits remains of no less than twenty-five Norman castles. The province of Gwent was formerly divided into four cantrefs, each comprising several commotes. Cantref Uwchcoed, or Upper Gwent, comprised the commotes of Erging and Ewyas, now principally in Herefordshire, and the greater part of the present hundreds of Skenfrith, Abergavenny and Usk; Cantref Iscoed, or Lower or Nether Gwent, comprised the present hundred of Raglan and parts of Caldecote and Usk; Cantref Gwentlwg comprised the present hundred of Wentlwg; while the fourth cantref, Cantref Coch, now forms the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Leland, writing in the 16th century, describes Gwent as comprising the three divisions of low, middle and high "Venteland," and at this period it included no less than 24 lordship marches, each governed by its own ancient laws and customs and ruled by its own lord. Under the act of 1536 for the abolition of the marches, these 24 lordships were united to form a shire; Monmouth was constituted the shire town, and the sheriff's court was ordered to be held alternately at Monmouth and Newport. A commission was also appointed to divide the shire into hundreds, which were made 6 in number: Abergavenny, Caldecote, Raglan, Skenfrith, Usk and Wentlwg, the bounds being subsequently ratified by act of parliament of 1542-1543. No sheriffs were actually appointed for Monmouthshire until 1541, and the legal authority of the lords marchers was not finally abolished until 1689. The act of 1536 did not expressly separate the county from Wales, and it was only gradually that Monmouthshire came to be regarded as an English county, being included in the Oxford circuit for the first time in the reign of Charles II.

Ecclesiastically Monmouthshire has been almost entirely included in the diocese of Llandaff since the foundation of that diocese in the 6th century. Monmouth, however, was in the diocese of Hereford, and a few parishes formed part of the diocese of St Davids, until under the statute of 1836 the whole county was placed under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Llandaff. It contains, wholly or in part, 134 ecclesiastical parishes.

The river fisheries of Monmouthshire have been famed from very early times, Caerleon with seven fisheries in the Wye and the Usk yielding a return of 7, ros. at the time of the Domesday Survey. Coal is said to have been worked in the reign of Edward I., but the industry lapsed altogether until it received new life from the construction of the canal between Blaenavon and Newport, begun in 1792 and completed in 1795. The first iron-workers at Pontypool were a family of the name of Grant, who were succeeded in 1565 by Mr Richard Hanbury. In 1740, however, Monmouthshire contained only two furnaces, making 900 tons annually. Fifty years later three new furnaces were constructed at Blaenavon, and from that date the industry steadily improved.

By the act of 1536 two knights were to be returned for the shire and one burgess for the borough of Monmouth, but the first returns for the county were made in 1547 and for the borough in 1553.

From 1698 the boroughs of Newport and Usk returned one member each. Under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 the county now returns three members in three divisions.

Antiquities

Of Norman fortresses in Monmouthshire, either built or taken possession of by the lords of the marches, there are remains of no less than twenty-five. The more interesting and important are: Caldicot, the seat of the De Bohuns, with a round keep of the 13th century, gatehouse and other portions, still partly inhabited; Chepstow, one of the finest examples of the Norman fortress extant, in an imposing situation on a cliff above the Wye; Newport, Abergavenny, the gateway and hall of Grosmont, once the residence of the dukes of Lancaster; and Usk Castle, rebuilt by the Clares in the time of Edward IV. Raglan Castle, begun in the reign of Henry V., is a very extensive ruin, still in good preservation, and of special interest as a very late example of the feudal stronghold. Charles I. resided in it after the battle of Naseby, and in 1646 it was delivered up to the parliamentary forces after a stubborn resistance of ten weeks against Colonel Morgan and General Fairfax.

At the Reformation there were in Monmouth two hospitals and fifteen other religious houses; but of these there are now important remains of only two - Llanthony Abbey and Tintern Abbey, both Cistercian. Llanthony Abbey in the Black Mountains was founded by William de Lacy in 1103, and the church, dating from about 1200, is one of the earliest examples in England of the Pointed style. The ruins consist of portions of the nave, transept, central tower and choir. Tintern Abbey (q.v.), founded by Walter de Clare in 1131, occupies a position of great beauty on the Wye, and is among the finest monastic ruins in England. Of the churches, those chiefly worthy of mention are at Abergavenny, belonging to a Benedictine priory, and containing a number of old tombs; Chepstow, partly Norman, and possessing a richly moulded doorway; St Woolos' Church, Newport, also Norman; the Norman chapel of St Thomas, Monmouth; Christchurch, principally Norman; Mathern, Early English, with a tablet to Tewdrig, king of Gwent in the 6th century; and Usk, formerly attached to a Benedictine priory.

See Victoria County History, Monmouthshire; William Coxe, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire, 2 pts. (London, 1801); N. Rogers, Memoirs on Monmouthshire (London, 1708); David Williams, History of Monmouthshire (1796); George Ormerod, Strigulensia. Archaeological Memoirs relating to the District adjacent to the Confluence of the Severn and the Wye; M. E. Bagnall-Oakeley, Account of the Rude Monuments in Monmouthshire (Newport, 1889); J. A. Bradney, A History of Monmouthshire (1904, &c.); also the publications of the Caerleon Antiquarian Association.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

English

Proper noun

Singular
Monmouthshire

Plural
-

Monmouthshire

  1. A maritime traditional county of Wales, bordered by to the east by Gloucestershire, to the northeast by Herefordshire, to the north by Brecknockshire, to the west by Glamorganshire and to the south by the Bristol Channel.
  2. A local government principal area, bordered by the Forest of Dean, Herefordshire, Powys, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Newport.

Translations

  • Breton: Menoe
  • Welsh: Sir Fynwy f.

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..
Monmouthshire principal area
File:WalesMonmouthshire.png
Geography
Area
- Total
- % Water
Ranked 7th
850 km²
? %
Admin HQ Cwmbran
ISO 3166-2 GB-MON
ONS code 00PP
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2006 est.

)
- Density
 

Ranked 18th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
87,900


Ranked 15th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
103

/ km²
Ethnicity 97.5% White
Welsh language
- Any skills
Ranked 22nd
12.9%
MP
AM

Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy ) is both a historic county and principal area in south-east Wales. The eastern and southern boundaries of the historic county and principal area are the same; however, the western two-fifths of the historic county are covered by other unitary authorities.

Contents

Historic county

Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535. The county borders Gloucestershire to the east, Herefordshire to the northeast, Brecknockshire to the north, and Glamorgan to the west. Historically there is some ambiguity as to whether the county was part of Wales or England, but since 1974 it has been placed definitively in Wales.

The administrative county of Monmouthshire, and associated Lieutenancy were abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The area largely became part of the new local government and ceremonial county of Gwent.

The principal area

Main article: Monmouthshire Council

The current unitary authority was created on April 1, 1996 as a successor to the district of Monmouth along with the Llanelly community from Blaenau Gwent, both of which were districts of Gwent. The use of the name "Monmouthshire" rather than "Monmouth" for the area was mildly controversial, being supported by the MP for Monmouth, Roger Evans, but being opposed by Paul Murphy, MP for Torfaen (inside the historic county of Monmouthshire but being reconstituted as a separate unitary authority). [1] By area it covers some 60% of the historic county, but only 20% of the population. The council's administrative headquarters are at the former Gwent County Hall in Cwmbran — outside of its own jurisdiction in the neighbouring borough of Torfaen. It is the only principal area in Wales administered from outside its boundaries.

In comparison to the pre-1974 areas it covers:

Places of interest

See List of places in Monmouthshire for a list of settlements in the principal area.

References

  1. ^ Hansard, House of Commons, March 15, 1994, Column 782
This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Monmouthshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

This article uses material from the "Monmouthshire" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

[[File:|right|200px]] Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy) is a county in the south-east of Wales. From the end of the Middle Ages until the year 1974 Monmouthshire was a part of Wales for some things and a part of England for other things. Then in 1972 Parliament decided that it going to be in Wales from 1974 onwards.

The chief town in the area is Newport. Other important towns are Cwmbran, where the county council meets, Monmouth, the county town and Abergavenny.


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