Talk:England–Wales border

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Bold text in lead sentence[edit]

Debate copied from User talk:PeeJay2K3 and User talk:Ghmyrtle:
I know what the guidance WP:BOLDTITLE says. The problem is that, without a bold title in the lead paragraph, the article looks odd, unfinished and scrappy. You may not agree, but 99% at least of articles have that bold title. In my view, the best solution (contrary to guidance) is to have the words closest to the title emboldened, as in my original draft. The second best version is my last draft, to revise the paragraph so that it contains the actual words of the title, emboldened, and in my view reads almost as well as the original. Your version, reverting to the original wording but with no words emboldened, in my view reads fine but just looks bad. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

You may not think it looks good, but I think that having a more descriptive title is much more important than aesthetics. – PeeJay 11:48, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Hey ho. I'll copy this discussion to the article talk page to see if others have a view. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:01, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Excellent article - enjoyed reading it. I suggest a solution to the bold text problem would be to move the article to Anglo-Welsh border, to be consistent with Anglo-Scottish border. It would then be possible to rephrase the first sentence to use the article title. It means swapping the order of England and Wales in the title, but I think it's best to keep the best till last anyway! —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 22:57, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
That is a good solution, and probably a better title for the article. However, I still do not understand the necessity of matching the words in the lead to the article title just so that you can embolden the title. – PeeJay 23:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't like "Anglo-Welsh" personally, because I think it's less easily understood than the simple "Wales-England" (not every reader will be aware of the meaning of "Anglo-"), and because it makes it more awkward to add links to [[England]] and [[Wales]] which in my view should be in the opening sentence. Apart from PeeJay, does anyone else object to my suggestion of: The Wales-England border, between two of the countries of the United Kingdom, extends for...etc.  ? Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
If we do decide to keep the names of the countries in the article title, I would suggest the title England-Wales border, so that there can be no accusations that the Welsh are attempting to assert superiority. For the record, the suggested title has the advantage of ordering the countries' names alphabetically. – PeeJay 00:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Disagree - this would only lead to counter accusations of English supremacy. It can be argues that Wales-England is more logical as Wales is on the left and England on the right. I think in this situation, that while nobody owns articles, Ghmyrtle deserves to have final decision, at least for the time being, as they created it and have done so much work on it. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 06:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll wait a day or two to see any other views, but would like to sort it out before it hits the main page as a "Did You Know?". Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I will express a very weak preference for "England-Wales border", becasue the standard phrase for the jurisdiction is "England and Wales", but would not oppose "Wales-England border". Another alternative would be to bold, The border between England and Wales in the lead. Peterkingiron (talk) 13:03, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Technically that contravenes this guidance, because apparently search engines don't like bold text that is different from the article title, or something. My original wording was "The border between the two countries of England and Wales, within the United Kingdom, extends for..." Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:30, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

On the basis of the above discussion I've (tentatively? boldly!) changed it back to my Plan B wording, which uses the precise words of the article title even if it's not quite the flowing prose that we should aim for. Hope that's OK at least for the time being, to get it through the DYK process (assuming it's otherwise acceptable to the arbiters of that process). Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:40, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Descriptive titles, like this one, don't need to be repeated in boldface, but in fact there are often slight variants between the boldface and the article title (full forms of names, names in a different language, and so on). If it reads well, do it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Suggested merger[edit]

I had not appreciated that the article was so recently created when I added to it yesterday, and hope my addition has not harmed what the creator was intending. This is a very much more satisfactory article than Welsh Marches, which is trying to deal with several different topics and doing none of them well. Now we have got this article, can we between us take action to prune the other down? I do not suggest merging because doing so would spoil this fairly well-written article. Peterkingiron (talk) 12:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I'd be happy with that. I think we (? - I and someone else anyway!) agreed that the March as it existed from 1066 to 1535 needs its own article, which can be linked from the more general existing Marches article, suitably pruned down. Feel free to start something if you like - I'll probably be relatively inactive for the next few days at least. No problem with any of your changes here by the way. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:23, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Anglo-Welsh border[edit]


I like the wording in the actual section on Monmouthshire, which explains the problem; but the wording in the intro and elsewhere should probably be sharpened a tad. Since the border can be reasonably held to have passed west of Monmouthshire in the nineteenth century, saying it is essentially unchanged is a bit of an oversimplification.

This may not be worth an edit war with the Gwent Retrieval Squad; but it would be nice if the reader saw a somewhat stronger hint of complications ahead. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:20, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't quite understand your Gwent reference, but am happy to look at alternative wordings so long as it doesn't overcomplicate the text. North of Monmouthshire, the border was set in 1535, and the borders east and west of Mon were set at the same time - the issue was whether Monmouthshire itself was within or outside Wales, and for what purposes. In a sense that is not a "border" issue, it is a "status of Monmouthshire" issue. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:35, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
A small joke, at the expense of those so Welsh as to attempt to recruit Bertrand Russell, (b. Monmouthshire, in 1872). I regret not to be making this up. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:12, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Supposedly, "two borders"[edit]

I've removed the following text from the article:

Known by the Welsh as the Welsh-English Border, and by the English as the English-Welsh Border, the WalesEngland border........... is commonly referred to as "the borders". British author Chris Roberts notes that "it is a linguistic curiosity that in the UK the internal boundary regions between England and Wales (and England and Scotland) are referred to as 'the Borders' rather than 'the border'. He reasons that such is because there are two borders: a Welsh-English border for the Welsh, and an English-Welsh border for the English.

The reference for this "information" is Chris Roberts, Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind Rhyme, Thorndike Press,2006 (ISBN 0-7862-8517-6). Now, I'm sure he may have had a reason for writing that, but the problem is that it's total bollocks. The Scottish borders are called "The Borders", but I've never heard the Welsh border called that - "The Marches" perhaps. I know a reference was provided for the "information", and I know I shouldn't revert things simply because (I think) they are untrue, but I couldn't help myself on this occasion. Does anyone else think it helps the article to keep a reference to this alleged "linguistic curiosity" in there? Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:36, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Well done. The (Scottish) borders is a region of comparatively poor land where cattle raiding between rival clans (not quite the right word) on each side of the border continued at least until the Union of the Crown in 1603. In contrast, the Welsh border was generally pacified upon the English conquest of Gwynedd in the late 13th century. I have never heard "the borders" applied to the Welsh one. Roberts is wrong. The major differnece is that the Welsh border runs east of the mountains (or close their eastern edge), whereas the Scottish one runs along the high ridge of the Cheviots. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:20, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

@Ghmyrtle:, @Peterkingiron:: I ended up here because I was reviewing this edit by the same now blocked editor who added the above material from the same book by Chris Roberts. It was a strange edit because Roberts is not writing on law, so would not be the best WP:RS, and the WP:RS that was there from better legal sources was deleted in the same edit. I also noticed that Chris Roberts (author) was red suggesting it had been deleted, which is correct, having gone through two WP:AfDs: 1st with non-consenus, same editor vigorously defending it and then second kills it, even though we have this on NPR about the same book, which actually makes it sound like a "good read". I wondered if the now blocked editor was plugging the book, or just reading it and adding information from it as refs to our articles. It is hard to me to decipher whether the unhelpful edits are the result of the editor's poor judgment (or questionable purpose) or whether the book itself was shoddy scholarship (or both). (I saw one comment claiming it was self-published). Regardless of the cause(s), the same book is found in a number of our articles [1], and I am concerned that if these uses of the work as refs are questionable if that would also apply to other uses of the same book. If the purpose was to plug the book--it worked on me, as I do want to see for myself if it is as good as it sounds. Curious if either of you have any thoughts on it? I think I will post on WP:RS/N --David Tornheim (talk) 23:12, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I think the quote from the NPR review is pertinent: "In a brief note at the end, Roberts says there are many theories about nursery rhymes, and his "book has gone for the most interesting and plausible" of them. Thus, it is a work of scholarship only in the sense the Oxford English Dictionary defines scholarship as applying "to educational attainments of a more modest character." That is, the scholarship of a gentleman." I don't think that meets our criteria for using reliable sources. Some of what Roberts writes may be true, but, if unquestionably so, it's likely that better sources exist. So, I would advise against using Roberts' book. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:59, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:05, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • The Marches is used loosely about the area around the boundary. Formally there is today no such thing. 1536-1640s, there was the Council of the Marches, which governed Wales and certain adjacent English counties. Before 1536, it referred to those parts of east and south Wales where marcher lord had the regality (including exclusive civil and criminal jurisdiction, except treason), in contrast with the principality, north Wales, Cardiganshire and north Carmarthen, which were governed rather like an English colony. As an Englishman, I refer to the Welsh border, but England-Wales border (or vice versa) is a NPOV term for WP to use. The Scottish boundary is different, because there was a zone on either side of the boundary that was subject to the wardens of the marches. Ultimately, I regard this as a non-issue. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:25, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks also for your reply. Not to worry, I wasn't planning on reviving the discussion or changing the article or WP:RS--I have no background and trust the knowledge of both of you on the WP:RS, which I have no familiarity at this point. Do you think that editor might have misread the Roberts' book and thought it was still going on today, when it is actually a name might have been used in the past? Without the book, I have no idea what Roberts says. Again it is the question of whether the editor or Roberts had made the mistake. That might help me better understand the other strange edit that lead me here. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:05, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

No map of the current border?[edit]

I think this article could do with a map of the current border. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:44, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

We could add this map - [2] - but it is not that clear and wasn't designed to show any detail on the England side of the border. Views? Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:07, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that map would fit the article - as you say, it doesn't show any features on the English side. Pondle (talk) 15:57, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
An expanded version of that map (i.e. showing more to the east and showing more detail on the England side of the border) would be good though. The actual England-Wales border would also have to be highlighted somehow, perhaps as a red line or so. David (talk) 17:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I've asked the creator of that map for his views here. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:13, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As that request - over seven years (!!) ago - led to no action, I think we should make a new request for a map at WP:GL/MAP. In my view, a map needs to show the whole length of the border, with equal detail on both sides; some topographical detail (relief, rivers), major settlements, major transport routes (rail, road); and administrative divisions (council areas). What do others think? Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:30, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

If that is too complex, something similar to this - File:Anglo-Scottish.border.modern.png - would perhaps suffice. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:18, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Reasons for the actual line of the border?[edit]

Although this article explains where the line is, it does not explain why the border is "there"? For instance there are two huge salients on both sides of the border near Chirk (Wales) and Oswestry (England). Or for instance Churchstoke (English name) is in a salient formed by Powys. Yet only ⅔ mile to the west there is an isthmus that has England, to the West and Wales to the East! (here).

It's more fascinating when the irregular line of the border is examined more closely. It's often drawn straight from coast-to-coast but it isn't. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

The "reason" is that the border was not originally drawn as a national boundary. It follows the county boundaries which were (broadly - with some later minor changes) drawn up in 1535/42 on the basis of parish boundaries as they existed at that time. At the time, all the counties were part of the unified Kingdom of England, and only later did the fact that those to the west of the line were in fact Welsh become significant. Parish boundaries arose in the form that they did, incrementally over hundreds of years, for a myriad of reasons, and you would need to look at local histories in each case to try and ascertain why some follow certain lines. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:57, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I think it is manorial boundaries. I do not entirely understand how the process was applied to small manors near the boundary, where the Law in Wales Act assigned certain marcher lordships to English counties and others to new Welsh ones. I ssupect that the preference of the lord or even the local people may have had something to do with it. I recall that the 1535 Act placed Clun in Wales. Peterkingiron (talk) 19:31, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
The Encyclopedia of Wales article on the border says that "the principles underlying its delineation are unclear. It did not follow the boundaries of the Welsh dioceses... it did not follow the border of the March... It did not follow the linguistic frontier. Perhaps the delineation had no underlying principles."Pondle (talk) 21:46, 28 July 2012 (UTC)


This town appears only to be in Wales. Another, similarly-named, place is in England and the two settlements are contiguous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Or, to put it another way, there is a settlement called Saltney, part of which is on the Welsh side of the border, and part on the English side. Which is what the article says. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:00, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved per request. Favonian (talk) 12:50, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Wales–England borderEngland–Wales border – Though not codified in a policy or guideline, convention is pretty clear that border articles should be named alphabetically, as this is the most neutral way to avoid warring over favoritism. See, for example, this RM and the members of Category:Borders by country. BDD (talk) 18:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Why not re-name as Welsh border?
 – Gareth Griffith-Jones – The WelshBuzzard – 18:43, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I could live with that if Republic of Ireland–United Kingdom border is moved to Irish border. That RM has been ongoing for almost a month now. I oppose that move, because there are all sorts of borders that could be renamed in similar ways (such as Canada–United States border), and I really don't see how those names help readers. But if that move sets a new precedent, I could be willing to follow it. Perhaps the precedent could be confined to the relatively unique borders of the UK and Ireland. --BDD (talk) 18:57, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I would agree with that.
After all, the situation is different in North America—the USA has a border with Mexico as well as Canada — and Canada has two borders with the USA
 – Gareth Griffith-Jones – The WelshBuzzard – 21:40, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
The US-Canada situation can't be renamed to "American border" or "Canadian border", since Canada has sea borders with France and Greenland. The US has sea borders with Russia, and land border with Mexico. The France sea border is almost an exclave for France, with the exception of a sea lane that the United Nations specified for the islands of France. -- (talk) 23:07, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
"Why not re-name as Welsh border?" - Because it's a border between England and Wales, so it's the Welsh border to the English and English border to the Welsh (which I find interesting as your user name infers you're Welsh). Zarcadia (talk) 00:29, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Agree with BDD that the convention is to order alphabetically in border articles. Zarcadia (talk) 22:24, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment over the last year (2012) someone has been boldly renaming, or posting to WP:RM requests to rename various border articles. Is that actual practice in the real world or just some Wikipedian whim, to make things alphasorted? -- (talk) 23:04, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
We have a manual of style to help editors produce articles with consistent, clear, and precise language, layout, and formatting, and RM requests help towards that. What do you mean by "actual practice in the real world", borders don't have official names by their very definition. Zarcadia (talk) 23:28, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Rename to England-Wales border. The alphabetical order system is the only non-biased way this can be named. It is a border between two things, to call it after just one would be showing bias.John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:17, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
England has two borders; Wales has only one ... that's why Welsh border works
 – Gareth Griffith-Jones – The WelshBuzzard – 00:23, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
You could use that argument for any entity that has just one border, why confuse matters? Zarcadia (talk) 00:30, 9 February 2013 (UTC)Welsh
No need to "infer" — 100% Welsh.
What's there to "confuse"? How many countries can you think of that have one only?
Ghmyrtle (talk) makes an interesting and valid argument here on this page
 – Gareth Griffith-Jones – The WelshBuzzard – 00:54, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'll show you 17 here: List of countries that border only one other country. Zarcadia (talk) 01:14, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh! Thank you for that—Wikipedia never ceases to amaze! Well done!
... but a startling omission—Wales.
I shall attend to that now.
 – Gareth Griffith-Jones – The WelshBuzzard – 07:45, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: Borders these days are considered to be not purely land borders. Welsh border would, on that basis, also include the border of Wales which is patrolled by the UK Border Agency, including the ferry ports at Pembroke Dock, Holyhead and Fishguard, other commercial ports (such as Swansea or Milford Haven), and Cardiff Airport. Skinsmoke (talk) 10:52, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: Makes sense to avoid bias in this sort of title by naming them all alphabetically. Skinsmoke (talk) 10:52, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. No good reason to oppose change to alphabetical, for consistency. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Not "nonsense"[edit]

In this edit, User:Daicaregos described an unsourced but uncontentious statement as "nonsense". However, in many cases, towns and villages in Wales were founded as Anglo-Norman settlements; there is no evidence that their unpopulated locations had Welsh names previously. Prestatyn was originally an English village called Preston; Caergwrle was originally an English village called Corley; etc. Those specific examples are referenced from Hywel Wyn Owen's Place-names of Wales. I haven't reverted the edit because I haven't yet found a source for the general statement - but, it is certainly not "nonsense" to state that some places in Wales had English names before they had Welsh names. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:42, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

The whole of Great Britain had been inhabited for millenia by people who spoke Welsh (or proto-Welsh) before England, or the English language existed. To say that those people had no names in their own language for the places near where they lived is nonsense. Daicaregos (talk) 11:59, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
That is your opinion, and wholly unrelated to my point. Settlements like Prestatyn and Caergwrle (and many others) were founded by Anglo-Normans. Those settlements could not have had any previous names. It is the suggestion that those settlements had Welsh names before they had English names that is nonsense - because they did not exist as settlements. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:01, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
And your point is irrelevant to the sentence removed, which said “Although Welsh names exist for these places, they possibly came into use after the English names.” That is places not settlements. The places existed long before the Anglo-Norman settlements were founded. Daicaregos (talk) 19:33, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
"These places" are all settlements. Do you object to the sentence: "Although Welsh names exist for these settlements, they possibly came into use after the English names." ? Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:53, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
No objection ... if it were cited by a reliable source. However, above you note Prestatyn as an example of a settlement founded by the Anglo-Normans. Consider this, evidence of Iron Age and Roman occupation in what is now known as Prestatyn. Must have been rather tedious having to wait over 1200 years to give the place a proper name. Daicaregos (talk) 20:28, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
  • This raises a wider question of where the border was. The distinction between the English and the Welsh probably goes back to the establishment of Offa's Dyke. The distribution of English placenames in Wales seems to be related to the establishment of that border. I looked at this problem in the course of writing about Whittington Castle: it appeared that the Domesday boundary between the Norman lordships in England and the lands of Welsh princes was generally close to Offa's Dyke. The Welsh annexed some English lands along the border during the anarchy of Stephen. Some came back inot the hands of Norman (or English) lords not long after, but as Marcher Lordships, rather than as part of and English county. Whittington and Overton (in Maelor Saesneg) were subject to rival claims by a Norman lord (FitzWaren) and a Welsh one. This seems to have been resolved by giving Overton (and possibly the whole of the old South Flintshire) to the Welsh claimant and Whittington to the Norman one. A place called Newton occurs in Domesday Book. The Phillimore edition of DB Shropshire describes this as lost, but the name was obviously translated into Welsh as Dre newydd. The Shropshire volume of this certainly addresses the issue; I am not sure about the Cheshire one. Overton merely had a Welsh orthograthy imposed on it; and so on. Daicaregos's deletion is actually his WP:OR, based on his own prejudices. I do not think it is right to say that the places with English names were founded by Normans. It is far more likely that they were Saxon settlements and part of English counties until the time of Stephen. Most of these are quite close to the border. Prestatyn may be a slightly more difficult case. Peterkingiron (talk) 19:09, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
So, it's "actually [my] WP:OR, based on [my] own prejudices", is it? Have you "actually" read WP:OR? How can removing unsourced text possibly be original research? Please either strike your allegation, or report my "WP:OR" at the Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard. Daicaregos (talk) 19:47, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
My remarks about WP:OR referred to your wideranging comments about everything being originally Celtic. That is true, but is not relevant. I consider that Ghmyrtle would be thoroughly entitled to revert your edit, but he needs to find a source for the disputed statement. Unfortunately, I do not have one readily available, or I would have reverted it myself. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:33, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
@Peterkingiron: Don't let me stop you looking. I don't recall saying anything "about everything being originally Celtic", as you claim. Perhaps you could provide the diff. Daicaregos (talk) 20:52, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
You did, though I did not quote you precisely. You referred to "Great Britain had been inhabited for millenia by people who spoke Welsh (or proto-Welsh) before England, or the English language existed", which is true but does not help on the issue in hand. I will accept that my accusation of OR was too strong, I therefore withdraw it. I do not think the converstaion is going anywhere useful and I suggest that we both treat the issue as closed. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:56, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

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