Some more Facts and Trivia
Jack Daniels of American whiskey fame was of Welsh descent, his family came from Aberystwyth!
Our turbulent history involved battles with the Romans,Saxons,Vikings, Normans, followed by the English. In the middle ages our battles with the English took hold and dragged on for centuries (and still does, but only on the rugby fields).
Wales comes from the Anglo-saxon word Waleas meaning "foreigner"
Charles Stewart Rolls, of "Rolls Royce" was born in Monmouth.
A Welshman Harri Tudur founded the Tudor dynasty, and later became Henry V11.
There are more castles per sq mile than any country in Western Europe!
In Wales, May13th 1897, Marconi made the world's first wireless broadcast between Lavernock near Penarth, and Flat Holm island in the Bristol channel
The Welsh Society of Philadelpha claims to be the oldest ethnic society in the United States. In 1729 a group of Welsh people living in the city founded the society of ancient Britons to honour St David, patron saint of Wales. Benjamin Franklin often attended their banquets. After the revolution in which many Welshman fought for independance,the group reorganised under it's present name, and has been active in Welsh / American affairs for the past 260 years
The letters K, Q, V and Z do not appear in the Welsh alphabet.
Robert Recorde of Pembrokeshire, invented the equals = sign.
Mount Everest is named after Welshman surveyor
Sir George Everest pictured right from Gwernvale, Breconshire.
There is a colony in the Chubut Province of Argentina named Y Wladfa (“The Colony”)
this Welsh settlement began in 1865. Today, it is believed that approximately 2,000 – 5,000 speak
Welsh as their first language!
Cardiff became the capital of Wales in 1955, previously there was no capital city since Wales was a Principality of England
The Welsh Dragon
The exact origin of the Welsh Dragon is shrouded in the mists of time,and there is still much debate as to it's source.
One of the earliest mentions of the Dragon dates to about 800A.D when it was linked with Wales in the writings of Nennius. References to the Dragon frequently occur in Welsh medieval poetry,where the creature was used to symbolise the country.
The Red Dragon was recognised as the badge of Wales on 10th December,1901, at which time it was added to the arms of the Prince of Wales.On 11th March,1953,the Dragon was again sanctioned, this time being made the official badge of Wales. It was only after this, that it became the authorised Welsh National flag.
Village names in Wales are normally descriptive eg: Mynydd Bach means small mountain. The longest village name in Wales is on Anglesey and is:-
LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYNDROBWYLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH. Try saying that after a few drinks! In English it means :- The church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave.
But it is normally known as Llanfair PG.
Wales is a small Principality of the U.K. It covers an area of 20,000 sq km, 250km North to South, and 200km East to West.
The population is approx 2,798,200 at my last count, 20% of whom speak Welsh. The capital city is Cardiff in the south east. Near the city is Cardiff Wales Airport, but the majority of visitors arrive via London Heathrow airport or cross channel ferries from mainland Europe.
There is one thing that drivers from the continent find strange and possibly rather difficult is that all road signs and public building signs are bi-lingual English/Welsh, but I can assure tourists that after about 2 years you will find them easy to understand.
Wales may be a small country, but it is rich in natural beauty from the rugged coastline of Pemrokeshire in the South, to the mountains of Snowdonia in the North, Mt Snowden itself at 3,560ft being the highest mountain in England and Wales.
There are 732 miles of coastline of unspoilt beaches, coves and rugged cliffs to explore, and over 400 castles and ancient monuments to visit.
There are forests, woodlands, canals and lakes, and there are also magnificent gardens including the National Botanic Garden of Wales which boasts the largest single span glass house in the world.There are many museums to visit one of the most popular being the Museum of Welsh Life near Cardiff.
There is a variety of accomodation from self catering seaside cottages, farmhouses, country house hotels, to the luxury of 5 star city hotels..
The Welsh National
The leek had been recognised as the emblem of Wales since the middle of the 16th century. Its association with Wales can in fact be traced back to the battle of Heathfield in 633 AD, when St. David persuaded his countrymen to distinguish themselves from their Saxon foes by wearing a leek in their caps.
It was decided that from 1984, British £1 coins would feature different reverse designs for each of the four parts of the United Kingdom. All £1 coins dated 1985 feature on the reverse the Welsh Leek.
Nowadays, the leek is worn on March 1 (St. David's Day—the Welsh national holiday) and at international rugby matches.
In comparison with the ancient Welsh associations of the leek, the daffodil has only recently assumed a position of national importance. An increasingly popular flower during the 19th century, especially among women, its status was elevated by the Welsh-born prime minister David Lloyd George, who wore it on St David's Day and used it in ceremonies in 1911 to mark the investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon.
The popular image of Welsh 'national' dress, of a woman in a red cloak and tall black hat, is one which largely developed during the nineteenth century. It was part of a conscious revival of Welsh culture during a period when traditional values were under threat.
The costume regarded as national dress is based on clothing worn by Welsh countrywomen during the early nineteenth century, whch was a striped flannel petticoat, worn under a flannel open-fronted bedgown, with an apron, shawl and kerchief or cap. Style of bedgown varied, with loose coat-like gowns, gowns with a fitted bodice and long skirts and also the short gown, which was very similar to a riding habit style.
The hats generally worn were the same as hats worn by men at the period. The tall 'chimney' hat did not appear until the late 1840s and seems to be based on an amalgamation of men's top hats and a form of high hat worn during the 1790-1820 period in country areas.
Some Interesting Facts about Wales
The Smallest House in Great Britain, pictured right is also known as the Quay House, is in Conwy, Wales. The 3.05 metre by 1.8 metre (10 feet by 6 feet) structure was used as a residence from the 16th century until 1900; as its name indicates, it is reputed to be Britain's smallest house.
The house was lived in until 1900, when the owner was a 6ft 3 inch (1.9 meters) fisherman named Robert Jones. The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully and he was eventually forced to move out when the council declared the house unfit for human habitation. The house is still owned by his descendants.
This house is currently red. It stands nearby the Conwy Castle walls and people can enter for £1.00 (or 50p for children). There is information about the house inside. A Welsh lady stands outside most days. The upstairs is so minute that there is room only for one bed and a bedside cabinet. Visitors can't walk about on the 2nd floor, but can view it from the step ladder.
There's just about enough room for one stove, a water tap, a bedside cabinet and a bed.