Introduction to the british isles
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Introduction to the British Isles. Wales. Some facts and figures. Just over 20 000 km² 200 km east to west 250 km north to south Population: 2.94 million (2001 census) 80% of the land dedicated to agriculture Highest mountain: Mt. Snowdon (1,085 m) 1,300 kilometres of coastline.

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Some facts and figures l.jpg
Some facts and figures

  • Just over 20 000 km²

  • 200 km east to west

  • 250 km north to south

  • Population: 2.94 million (2001 census)

  • 80% of the land dedicated to agriculture

  • Highest mountain: Mt. Snowdon (1,085 m)

  • 1,300 kilometres of coastline



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Longest place name

  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch

    (St. Mary’s Church in a hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and St. Tysill’s Church of the red cave)

    aka Llanfair PG



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Important dates

  • 750 AD Offa’s Dyke boundary between Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms


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  • 1536 Act of Union with England under Henry VIII Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • 1770s Religious refugees flee to Wales, including French Huguenots

  • 1788 Welsh convicts sent to Australia

  • 1841 Irish flee to mainland Britain as a result of the Great Famine. Nearly 30 000 settle in Wales

  • 1850s Rural Welsh move to the cities: by 1900, 63% of the population concentrated in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire


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Who are the Welsh? Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • Celtic tribes from Europe came to settle the whole of the British Isles 500-100 BC, alongside the original Iron Age population.

  • Celtic language behind the modern Welsh language

  • Roman and Saxon invasions pushed the original Britons into the land area of Wales

  • Inward and outward migration has added new layers of population


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The origin of the word Wales Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • Variation on Anglo-Saxon word meaning foreigners. Cf. Walloon

  • The Welsh word for the country is Cymru (friends/comrades) cf Cumbria


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Symbols of Wales Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

Y Ddraig Goch


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Daffodils – narcissus obvallaris Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests


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Leeks Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests


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  • St. David (1st March) Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • Male voice choirs

  • National anthem: Land of my Fathers

  • Rugby

  • Pobol Y Cwm

  • Food: laverbread, welsh tea cakes, bara brith

  • Welsh lovespoon


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Famous Welsh people Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • Henry VII

  • Dylan Thomas

  • RS Thomas

  • Tom Jones

  • Max Boyce

  • Catherine Zeta Jones

  • Anthony Hopkins


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Cool Cymru Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • 1990s – Music: Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia, Stereophonics, Super Furry Animals (Newport as the “new Seattle”)

  • - Films: Justin Kerrigan (Human Traffic)

  • - Fashion: Julien Macdonald


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Manic Street Preachers Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests


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Welsh language Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English InterestsCymraeg

  • 20% of the population consider Welsh as their mother tongue

  • Concentration in the north-west

  • Welsh and English official languages

  • Welsh medium education

  • Welsh compulsory in schools

  • Welsh language radio and television

  • Bilingual roadsigns


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Industry in Wales Wales. Castles such as Caernarfon built to protect English Interests

  • Early 20th century – coal, steel (south), slate (north), fishing, maritime industry

  • Main industries today are tourism and public services

  • Manufacturing: less heavy industry, more electronics, technology-related industry


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Leisure activities mining areas)

  • Visiting the pub (58% say it’s their favourite activity)

  • Sport (35% do sport on a regular basis)

  • DIY, Gardening

  • Music – Welsh festivals such as Eisteddfod


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Devolution in Wales mining areas)

  • 1925: Plaid Cymru founded

  • 1979: referendum rejected by 80%

  • 1997: referendum 50.3% in favour (Assembly, not parliament), 49.7% against

  • 1999 Welsh Assembly 60 AMs (40 constistuency; 20 from party lists, using alternative party vote)

  • Main responsibilities: health, education, economic development, rural affairs

  • No power over: defence, foreign affairs, taxation, policing

  • Welsh Assembly elections 2003: Labour 30 AMs, PC 12, Conservatives 11


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  • Still 40 MPs at Westminster, Secretary of State for Wales a member of the cabinet

  • Budget of 14 billion GBP

  • Different policy decisions from Westminster include abolition of Key Stage 1 and 2 tests for school children (at 6-7 and 10-11); free prescription charges for under – 25s; plans to abolish prescription charges completely by 2007; appointment of Children’s Commissioner



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Quiz by Lord Richard Rogers, opened on St. David’s Day, 2006

  • What is the capital of Wales?

  • What is the Welsh flag called?

  • What is the population of Wales?

  • What percentage of the population speak Welsh?

  • Where is the Welsh Assembly?

  • What percentage of the population voted in favour of the Assembly in 1997?

  • How big is Wales?

  • Who annexed Wales to England?

  • Under which monarch was the Act of Union in 1536?

  • Which two counties home the majority of the population?

  • What is the population of Wales?

  • What percentage of Welsh land is dedicated to agriculture?

  • Who designed the new chamber at the Welsh Assembly?

  • Who is the patron saint of Wales and which date is his feast day?

  • What are the national emblems of Wales?


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  • Cardiff by Lord Richard Rogers, opened on St. David’s Day, 2006

  • Y Draig Goch

  • 2.94 million

  • 20%

  • Cardiff Bay

  • 50.3%

  • 20 000 km²

  • Edward I

  • What is the capital of Wales?

  • What is the Welsh flag called?

  • What is the population of Wales?

  • What percentage of the population speak Welsh?

  • Where is the Welsh Assembly?

  • What percentage of the population voted in favour of the Assembly in 1997?

  • How big is Wales?

  • Who annexed Wales to England?


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  • Henry VIII by Lord Richard Rogers, opened on St. David’s Day, 2006

  • Glamorgan and Monmouthshire

  • 80%

  • Tourism

  • Lord Richard Rogers

  • St. David – 1st March

  • Leeks and daffodils

  • Under which monarch was the Act of Union in 1536?

  • Which two counties home the majority of the population?

  • What percentage of Welsh land is dedicated to

    agriculture?

  • What is the largest industry today?

  • Who designed the new chamber at the Welsh Assembly?

  • Who is the patron saint of Wales and which date is his feast day?

  • What are the national emblems of Wales?


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