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Portal:Wales

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Wales (Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəm.rɨ] (About this soundlisten)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by David Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament, formerly known as the National Assembly for Wales – is responsible for a range of devolved policy matters. (Full article...)

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A green saddle-tank engine stands in front of a large brick station building. Behind the engine are four red coaches.
The Talyllyn Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Talyllyn) is a narrow-gauge preserved railway in Wales running for 7.25 miles (11.67 km)[1] from Tywyna on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage.[2][3] Despite severe under-investment,[4] the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers.[5][6]

Since preservation, the railway has operated as a tourist attraction, expanding its rolling stock through acquisition and an engineering programme to build new locomotives and carriages. In 1976, an extension was opened along the former mineral line from Abergynolwyn to the new station at Nant Gwernol. In 2001, the preservation society celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 2005 a major rebuilding and extension of Tywyn Wharf station took place, including a much-expanded facility for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.

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J. P. R. Williams
I used to say that I spent half my life breaking bones on the rugby field, then the other half putting them back together in the operating theatre.
J. P. R. Williams, JPR Given The Breaks – My Life In Rugby (2007).

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A bronze Arthur plate armour with visor raised and with jousting shield wearing Kastenbrust armour (early 15th century) by Peter Vischer, typical of later anachronistic depictions of Arthur.
King Arthur was a fabled British leader and a prominent figure in Britain's legendary history. A real individual may have been the inspiration of the legend, but any core of history is deeply submerged in the later fictional narratives of Arthur. In these he appears as the ideal of kingship both in war and peace; even in modern times he has been ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Britons of all time. Over time, the stories of King Arthur have captured such widespread interest that he is no longer identified as the legendary hero of a single nation. Countless new legends, stories, revisions, books, and films have been produced in Europe and the United States that unabashedly enlarge on and expand the fictional accounts of King Arthur.

The scarce historical background to Arthur is found in the works of Nennius and Gildas and in the Annales Cambriae. The legendary Arthur developed initially through the pseudo-history of Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Welsh collection of anonymous tales known as the Mabinogion.

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  1. ^ Boyd 1965, page 85
  2. ^ Mitchell and Eyres, 2005 page 7
  3. ^ Boyd 1988, page 44
  4. ^ Rolt 1965, page 50
  5. ^ Thomas 2002, page 32
  6. ^ Ransom 1996, page 139