38 Facts About Glamorgan


The area that became known as Glamorgan was both a rural, pastoral area, and a conflict point between the Norman lords and the Welsh princes.

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Glamorgan was the most populous and industrialised county in Wales, and was once called the "crucible of the Industrial Revolution", as it contained the world centres of three metallurgical industries and its rich resources of coal.

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Glamorgan contains two cities, Cardiff, the county town and from 1955 the capital city of Wales, and Swansea.

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Glamorgan's terrain has been inhabited by humankind for over 200,000 years.

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Excavations at Llanmaes, Vale of Glamorgan, indicate a settlement and "feasting site" occupied from the Late Bronze Age until the Roman occupation.

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Until the Roman conquest of Britain, the area that would become known as Glamorgan was part of the territory of the Silures – a Celtic British tribe that flourished in the Iron Age – whose territory included the areas that would become known as Breconshire and Monmouthshire.

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The Lordship of Morgannwg was split after it was conquered; the kingdom of Glamorgan had as its caput the town of Cardiff and took in the lands from the River Tawe to the River Rhymney.

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The area later known as the Gower Peninsula was not under the Lordship of Glamorgan, and became the Gower Lordship which had previously been the cantref of Gwyr.

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The lowlands of the Lordship of Glamorgan were manorialized, while much of the sparsely populated uplands were left under Welsh control until the late 13th century.

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The subjugation of Glamorgan, begun by Fitzhamon, was finally completed by the powerful De Clare family, and in 1486 the kingdom was granted to Jasper Tudor.

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Major families in Glamorgan included the Carnes at Ewenny, the Mansels at Margam, Williams of Neath, the Herberts at Cardiff and Swansea, Sir David Ap Mathew of Llandaff, and the Stradlings of St Donats.

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Early iron smelting within Glamorgan was a localised and minor industry, with historical evidence pointing to scattered ironworks throughout the county.

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Glamorgan, now falling under the protection of the crown, was involved in the conflicts of the crown.

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Glamorgan sent troops to join Charles I at the Battle of Edgehill, and their Member of Parliament Sir Edward Stradling was captured in the conflict.

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The old castles became abandoned throughout this period due to the new security brought by Glamorgan coming under the protection of the crown, with only the Stradlings of St Donat's Castle electing to remain in their old ancestral home.

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Glamorgan became the most populous and industrialised county in Wales and was known as the 'crucible of the Industrial Revolution'.

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Largest change to industrial Glamorgan was the opening up of the South Wales coalfield, the largest continuous coalfield in Britain, which occupied the greater part of Glamorgan, mostly north of the Vale.

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The coal now produced in Glamorgan far exceeded the interior demand, and in the later half of the 19th century the area became a mass exporter for its product.

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In Glamorgan, from the late 19th century, there was a significant reduction away from arable land towards pasture land.

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Industrial period of Glamorgan saw a massive building program throughout the uplands and in the coastal regions, reflecting the increasing population and the need for new cheap housing to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of workers coming into the area.

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In 1932, Glamorgan had an unemployment rate of more than 40 per cent, and one of the highest proportions of people receiving poor relief in the United Kingdom.

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Glamorgan suffered disproportionately during the Great Depression because of the high proportion of its workforce employed in primary production rather than the manufacture of finished products.

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However, the coastal ports, Cardiff and Swansea, managed to sustain a "reasonable" level of economic activity, and the anthracite coalfield in western Glamorgan managed to maintain production and exports above pre-war levels.

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Demands of modern living saw the growth of housing estates throughout Glamorgan, moving away from the Victorian terrace of Cardiff or the ribbon cottages of the valleys.

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The coast of the Vale of Glamorgan is mainly characterised by cliffs, while from Porthcawl to Swansea Bay wide sandy shores prevail.

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Port Talbot was one of the later industrial towns of Glamorgan, and grew out of the medieval village of Aberavon, a settlement built on the banks of the River Afan.

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The final stretch of Glamorgan coastline turns north-east to form the Burry Inlet, a shallow and sand-choked estuary which leads to a tract of salt marshes which stretch to the mouth of the River Loughor.

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Major rivers of Glamorgan include the Taff, the Ely, the Ogmore, the Neath, Dulais, the Tawe, the Rhymney, and the Loughor.

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The Diocese of Llandaff covered almost the entirety of Glamorgan and continued throughout the history of the county of Glamorgan, and through to modern times.

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In 1885, all ten of the Glamorgan seats were captured by the Liberal Party and this election represented the triumph of the nonconformist middle classes.

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At this election, all ten members returned for Glamorgan were Liberals, an event which marked the ascendancy of the nonconformist middle-class as a powerful political force.

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An administrative county of Glamorgan was created under the Local Government Act 1888, excluding Swansea and Cardiff, which became independent county boroughs.

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Since 2013, Glamorgan has had its own official flag, red with three white chevrons.

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In 1756, after the shire of Glamorgan had come under the rule of the crown, Wales adopted a toll system for the maintenance of the roads; with the governance falling under the control of the turnpike trusts.

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The South Wales Railway serviced Cardiff, Bridgend, Neath and Swansea, with its final destination within Glamorgan being Loughor, before continuing through Carmarthenshire.

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Glamorgan was served by several airports and airfields, with Cardiff Airport being the county's chief airport.

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One of the most popular sports in Glamorgan was rugby union, producing some of the oldest rugby clubs in the world.

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The late 19th century, with improving rail links, saw the coastal areas of Glamorgan that benefited from a beachfront grow as tourist destinations.

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