81 Facts About Wales


Wales has over 1, 680 miles of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (), its highest summit.

FactSnippet No. 548,340

The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542.

FactSnippet No. 548,341

Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and the nearby valleys.

FactSnippet No. 548,342

The eastern region of North Wales has about a sixth of the overall population, with Wrexham being the largest northern city.

FactSnippet No. 548,343

Agriculture in Wales is largely livestock based, making Wales a net exporter of animal produce, contributing towards national agricultural self-sufficiency.

FactSnippet No. 548,344

Country has a distinct national and cultural identity and from the late 19th century onwards Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition.

FactSnippet No. 548,345

Wales was eventually defeated and taken to Rome where, following a famous speech to the Roman senate, his life was spared and he was allowed to live peacefully in Rome.

FactSnippet No. 548,346

Roman conquest of Wales began in AD 48 and took 30 years to complete; the occupation lasted over 300 years.

FactSnippet No. 548,347

Roman rule in Wales was a military occupation, save for the southern coastal region of south Wales, where there is a legacy of Romanisation.

FactSnippet No. 548,348

Wales is given as the ancestor of a Welsh king on the Pillar of Eliseg, erected nearly 500 years after he left Britain, and he figures in lists of the Fifteen Tribes of Wales.

FactSnippet No. 548,349

The Celtic Britons of Wales made peace with the Vikings and Anarawd ap Rhodri allied with the Norsemen occupying Northumbria to conquer the north.

FactSnippet No. 548,350

Originally king of Gwynedd, by 1057 he was ruler of Wales and had annexed parts of England around the border.

FactSnippet No. 548,351

Wales ruled Wales with no internal battles His territories were again divided into the traditional kingdoms.

FactSnippet No. 548,352

Wales's grandson secured the recognition of the title Prince of Wales from Henry III with the Treaty of Montgomery in 1267.

FactSnippet No. 548,353

Wales's son, the future Edward II, was born at in 1284.

FactSnippet No. 548,354

In 1536 Wales had around 278, 000 inhabitants which increased to around 360, 000 by 1620.

FactSnippet No. 548,355

The second metal industry to expand in Wales was iron smelting, and iron manufacturing became prevalent in both the north and the south of the country.

FactSnippet No. 548,356

Since 1865, the Liberal Party had held a parliamentary majority in Wales and, following the general election of 1906, only one non-Liberal Member of Parliament, Keir Hardie of Merthyr Tydfil, represented a Welsh constituency at Westminster.

FactSnippet No. 548,357

The term "England and Wales" became common for describing the area to which English law applied, and in 1955 Cardiff was proclaimed as Wales' capital.

FactSnippet No. 548,358

Government of Wales Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the National Assembly for Wales and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily.

FactSnippet No. 548,359

Wales is a country that is part of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom.

FactSnippet No. 548,360

Wales has a devolved, unicameral legislature known as the Senedd which holds devolved powers from the UK Parliament via a reserved powers model.

FactSnippet No. 548,361

Powers of the Secretary of State for Wales were transferred to the devolved government on 1 July 1999, granting the assembly the power to decide how the Westminster government's budget for devolved areas is spent and administered.

FactSnippet No. 548,362

The 1998 Act was amended by the Government of Wales Act 2006, which enhanced the institution's powers, giving it legislative powers akin to those of the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.

FactSnippet No. 548,363

In 2007, following passage of the Government of Wales Act 2006, the assembly developed powers to pass primary legislation known at the time as Assembly Measures on some specific matters within the areas of devolved responsibility.

FactSnippet No. 548,364

Edward I of England annexed the Principality of Wales following the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, and Welsh Law was replaced for criminal cases under the Statute.

FactSnippet No. 548,365

The Senior Courts of England and Wales is the highest court of first instance as well as an appellate court.

FactSnippet No. 548,366

From that point, Wales became a legal unit in its own right, although it remains part of the single jurisdiction of England and Wales.

FactSnippet No. 548,367

Wales has no women's prisons; female inmates are imprisoned in England.

FactSnippet No. 548,368

Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain.

FactSnippet No. 548,369

Wales is bordered by England to the east and by sea in all other directions: the Irish Sea to the north and west, St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea to the southwest and the Bristol Channel to the south.

FactSnippet No. 548,370

Wales has about 1, 680 miles of coastline (along the mean high water mark), including the mainland, Anglesey and Holyhead.

FactSnippet No. 548,371

Wales has three national parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast.

FactSnippet No. 548,372

In March 2021, Natural Resources Wales granted a licence to release up to six beavers in the Dyfi Valley, the first official beaver release in Wales.

FactSnippet No. 548,373

Wales is known for its shellfish, including cockles, limpet, mussels and periwinkles.

FactSnippet No. 548,374

Wales has a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK, including the spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata on Anglesey and Draba aizoides on the Gower.

FactSnippet No. 548,375

Wales pays twice the amount Ireland spends on the military.

FactSnippet No. 548,376

Poor-quality soil in much of Wales is unsuitable for crop-growing so livestock farming has been the focus of farming.

FactSnippet No. 548,377

In June 2008, Wales made history by becoming the first nation to be awarded Fairtrade Status.

FactSnippet No. 548,378

The Commercial Bank of Wales, established in Cardiff by Sir Julian Hodge in 1971, was taken over by the Bank of Scotland in 1988 and absorbed into its parent company in 2002.

FactSnippet No. 548,379

The A55 expressway has a similar role along the North Wales coast, connecting Holyhead and Bangor with Wrexham and Flintshire.

FactSnippet No. 548,380

The main north-south Wales link is the A470, which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno.

FactSnippet No. 548,381

Trains in Wales are mainly diesel-powered but the South Wales Main Line branch of the Great Western Main Line used by services from London Paddington to Cardiff is undergoing electrification, although the programme has experienced significant delays and costs-overruns.

FactSnippet No. 548,382

Intra-Wales flights used to run between Anglesey and Cardiff, and were operated since 2017 by Eastern Airways.

FactSnippet No. 548,383

Responsibility for NHS Wales passed to the Welsh Assembly under devolution in 1999, and is the responsibility of the Minister for Health and Social Services.

FactSnippet No. 548,384

NHS Wales employs some 80, 000 staff, making it Wales' biggest employer.

FactSnippet No. 548,385

The 2018 National Survey of Wales, which enquired into health-related lifestyle choices, reported that 19 per cent of the adult population were smokers, 18 per cent admitted drinking alcohol above weekly recommended guidelines, while 53 per cent undertook the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

FactSnippet No. 548,386

Population of Wales doubled from 587, 000 in 1801 to 1, 163, 000 in 1851 and had reached 2, 421, 000 by 1911.

FactSnippet No. 548,387

Wales received immigration from various parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations in the 20th century, and African-Caribbean and Asian communities add to the ethnocultural mix, particularly in urban Wales.

FactSnippet No. 548,388

Wales has seven cities, those being Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, and Wrexham, with the communities of Bangor, St Asaph and St Davids having city status in the United Kingdom.

FactSnippet No. 548,389

Code-switching is common in all parts of Wales and is known by various terms, though none is recognised by professional linguists.

FactSnippet No. 548,390

Northern and western Wales retain many areas where Welsh is spoken as a first language by the majority of the population, and English learnt as a second language.

FactSnippet No. 548,391

Since Poland joined the European Union, Wales has seen a significant increase in Polish immigrants.

FactSnippet No. 548,392

The first Independent Church in Wales was founded at Llanvaches in 1638 by William Wroth.

FactSnippet No. 548,393

The Presbyterian Church of Wales was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in 1811.

FactSnippet No. 548,394

The second largest attending faith in Wales is Roman Catholic, with an estimated 43, 000 adherents.

FactSnippet No. 548,395

Wales has a distinctive culture including its own language, customs, holidays and music.

FactSnippet No. 548,396

Wales has one of the oldest unbroken literary traditions in Europe going back to the sixth century and including Geoffrey of Monmouth and Gerald of Wales, regarded as among the finest Latin authors of the Middle Ages.

FactSnippet No. 548,397

The industrialisation of south Wales saw a further shift with the likes of Rhydwen Williams who used the poetry and metre of a bygone rural Wales but in the context of an industrial landscape.

FactSnippet No. 548,398

Wales "did not learn the Welsh language until he was 30 and wrote all his poems in English".

FactSnippet No. 548,399

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales was founded by royal charter in 1907 and is a Welsh Government sponsored body.

FactSnippet No. 548,400

Artists from outside Wales were drawn to paint Welsh scenery, at first because of the Celtic Revival.

FactSnippet No. 548,401

Wales was a figurative painter in international styles including Surrealism.

FactSnippet No. 548,402

Various artists have moved to Wales, including Eric Gill, the London-Welshman David Jones and the sculptor Jonah Jones.

FactSnippet No. 548,403

South Wales had several notable potteries, one of the first important sites being the Ewenny Pottery in Bridgend, which began producing earthenware in the 17th century.

FactSnippet No. 548,404

Today, Wales is widely regarded as a modern Celtic nation which contributes to Wales' national identity.

FactSnippet No. 548,405

Red dragon is an important symbol of national identity and pride in Wales and is said to personify the fearlessness of the Welsh nation.

FactSnippet No. 548,406

Wales is told by Ambrosius to dig up two dragons beneath the castle.

FactSnippet No. 548,407

Wales discovers a red dragon representing the Celtic Britons and a white dragon representing Anglo-Saxons.

FactSnippet No. 548,408

Wales is represented at major world sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, Rugby League World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

FactSnippet No. 548,409

Wales has had its own football league, the Welsh Premier League, since 1992.

FactSnippet No. 548,410

Wales has produced several notable participants of individual and team sports including snooker players Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.

FactSnippet No. 548,411

BBC Cymru Wales is the national broadcaster, producing both television and radio programmes in Welsh and English from its base in Central Square, Cardiff.

FactSnippet No. 548,412

The Books Council of Wales is the Welsh-Government-funded body tasked with promoting Welsh literature in Welsh and English.

FactSnippet No. 548,413

Wales' main publishing houses include Gomer Press, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Honno, the University of Wales Press and Y Lolfa.

FactSnippet No. 548,414

Wales is often referred to as "the land of song", notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists.

FactSnippet No. 548,415

Traditional instruments of Wales include telyn deires, fiddle, crwth (bowed lyre), pibgorn (hornpipe) and other instruments.

FactSnippet No. 548,416

Many of the historic choirs survive in modern Wales, singing a mixture of traditional and popular songs.

FactSnippet No. 548,417

Wales has a tradition of producing notable singers, including Geraint Evans, Gwyneth Jones, Anne Evans, Margaret Price, Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Bryn Terfel, Mary Hopkin, Charlotte Church, Donna Lewis, Katherine Jenkins, and Shirley Bassey.

FactSnippet No. 548,418

Wales has produced well known comedians including Rob Brydon, Tommy Cooper, Terry Jones, and Harry Secombe.

FactSnippet No. 548,419

The first mention of dancing in Wales is in a 12th-century account by Giraldus Cambrensis, but by the 19th century traditional dance had all but died out due to religious opposition.

FactSnippet No. 548,420