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Glamorgan

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Glamorgan or Glamorganshire (Welsh: Morgannwg) is one of thirteen historic counties and former administrative counties of Wales. It was previously a medieval kingdom or principality Glamorgan contains the two largest Welsh cities — Cardiff, the capital, and Swansea.

Glamorgan is latterly represented by the three preserved counties of West Glamorgan (containing Swansea), Mid Glamorgan, and South Glamorgan (containing Cardiff).

Geography
The county is bounded to the north by Brecknockshire, east by Monmouthshire, south by the Bristol Channel, and west by Carmarthenshire and Carmarthen Bay. Its total area is 2,100 km˛, and total population around 1,220,000. Its highest point is at Craig y Llyn (600 m).

Glamorgan is the most populous and industrialised county in Wales. The northern part of the county is a mountainous area, dissected by deep narrow valleys, with urbanisation typified by ribbon development. At one time the coal industry was dominant, but now there are only two deep mines remaining, Tower Colliery at Hirwaun and the much smaller Aberpergwm Colliery at Glynneath. A third pit, Unity Mine, formerly Pentreclwydau Colliery, is currently being reopened. Despite the decline in the coal industry, the area remains heavily populated with light industry and the service sector now providing the economic base.

The Vale of Glamorgan, a lowland area mainly comprising farmland and small villages stretches across most of the south of the county from Porthcawl to Cardiff. Further west, beyond Swansea, lies the Gower Peninsula, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The major rivers of Glamorgan include the River Taff, the Ely, the Ogmore, the Neath, Dulais, the Tawe, the Rhymney (which forms the border with Monmouthshire), and the Loughor (which forms the border with Carmarthenshire). The main towns include Aberdare, Barry, Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Cowbridge, Maesteg, Merthyr Tydfil, Mountain Ash, Neath, Penarth, Pontypridd, Porthcawl, Port Talbot, and Swansea.

The county has a wide and diverse economic base including public administration, agriculture, light industry, manufacturing, service sector, and tourism.

History
Initially it was founded as an independent petty kingdom named Morgannwg after a founding king called Morgan. It was at times united with the neighbouring kingdoms of Gwent and Ergyng. By virtue of its location and geography, Morgannwg was the second part of Wales, after Gwent, to be overrun by the Normans and was frequently the scene of fighting between the Marcher Lords and Welsh princes.

Administration
The county of Glamorgan falls into several distinct regions: the industrial valleys, the agricultural Vale of Glamorgan, and the scenic Gower Peninsula.

An administrative county of Glamorgan was created under the Local Government Act 1888, excluding Swansea and Cardiff, which were independent county boroughs. They were soon joined by Merthyr Tydfil

Under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative county of Glamorgan was abolished on April 1, 1974, with three new counties being established, each containing a former county borough - West Glamorgan, Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan.

It has now been further subdivided into several unitary authorities. The South Wales Police force covers an area that is similar to Glamorgan.

The coat of arms is: Or, three chevrons gules, and is taken from those of the De Clare marcher lords. The county motto is: A Ddioddefodd A Orfu (He Who suffered has conquered).


 

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