The full Welsh name for the city is Casnewydd-ar-Wysg (pronounced Cas-NEW-ith) ('e' as in 'men'; 'th' as in 'then'), which literally means 'New Castle-on-Usk'. This refers to the twelfth-century castle ruins near the city centre, which are 'new' compared to the Roman fortress at nearby Caerleon. Newport is also sometimes labelled Newport-on-Usk on old maps.
The city's importance as a trading port in the middle ages was re-emphasized when a 15th century ship, referred to locally as the Newport ship was recently uncovered from the bank of the Usk within Newport during the construction of a new arts centre.
The city is excellently served in communication terms - the M4 motorway comes within a mile of the city centre, and Newport has six junctions. The Great Western main railway line also passes right through the heart of the city, stopping at High Street station. Newport is also a major railway junction between the Great Western line and a line direct to the Midlands and north of England.
Founding of Newport
The facts of the matter are somewhat obscured by time; However it is widely regarded that Newport was founded by St. Gwynllyw (roughly "G-win-th-loo") who gives his name (albeit twisted out of recognition) to Newport's St. Woolos Cathedral.
Culture and arts
Newport is known for its many works of civic art, including the steel Wave on the banks of the Usk, and the mechanical clock in the city centre. It also has one of the few remaining working transporter bridges (the other British example being in Middlesbrough).
Set in a beautiful 90 acre (360,000 m≤) park, Tredegar House is one of the best examples of a 17th century Charles II mansion in Britain. The earliest surviving part of the building dates back to the early 1500s. For over five hundred years, it was home to one of the greatest of Welsh families, the Morgans - later Lords Tredegar - until they left in 1951. The house was then used as a girl's school until it was bought by the council in 1974, giving rise to its present status as the grandest council house in Britain!
The city is known for its nightlife, containing many pubs, bars and nightclubs in a relatively small area. The most famous of these is probably T.J.'s, an alternative music club where it is rumoured that Kurt Cobain proposed to Courtney Love.
Newport is home to the University of Wales, Newport which has two campuses in the city - one in Caerleon and the other in Allt-yr-yn. The university can trace its roots back to the founding of the Newport Mechanics Institute in 1841. The Newport School of Art was one of the first Schools to be awarded degree status in 1963 and enjoyed a high reputation in Painting and Sculpture throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Plans have been granted for the first phase of a new £60m city centre university campus as part of the riverside regeneration plans by the urban regeneration company Newport Unlimited. This phase will see the return of the renowned Newport School of Art and Design to the city centre.
Newport hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1897, 1988 and 2004.
Satirical rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain are based in Newport. Grant Nicholas, lead singer of Feeder grew up nearby and went to St Julians Comprehensive in the city. Fellow Feeder member Jon Lee, poet W. H. Davies, actress and television presenter Josie D'Arby, olympic sprinter Christian Malcolm, football freestyle performer Abbas Farid, stuntman and star of MTV show 'Dirty Sanchez' Lee Dainton, chartist John Frost, actor in James Bond movies Desmond Llewelyn, who played 'Q' and Wales' first billionaire Terry Matthews are all Newport natives. Olympic gold medal winning sprinter Darren Campbell is a resident of Newport.