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South Wales, BR (WR) poster, c 1950s.

South Wales (Welsh: De Cymru) is the region of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the southwest of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.2 million people. The region contains almost three-quarters of the population of Wales, including the capital city of Cardiff (population approximately 350,000), as well as Swansea and Newport, with populations approximately 240,000 and 150,000 respectively. The Brecon Beacons national park covers about a third of South Wales, containing Pen y Fan, the highest mountain south of Snowdonia.

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The region is loosely defined, but it is generally considered to include the historic counties of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, sometimes extending westwards to include Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. In the western extent, from Swansea westwards, local people would probably recognise that they lived in both South Wales and in West Wales — there is considerable overlap in these somewhat artificial boundaries. Areas to the north of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains are generally considered part of Mid Wales.

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History

The South Wales Valleys and upland mountain ridges were once a very rural area of great natural beauty, noted for its river valleys and ancient forests and lauded by romantic poets such as William Wordsworth as well as poets in the Welsh language, although the interests of the latter lay more in society and culture than in the evocation of natural scenery. This natural beauty changed to a considerable extent during the early Industrial Revolution when the Glamorgan and Monmouthshirevalley areas were exploited for coal and iron. By the 1830s, hundreds of tons of coal were being transported by barge to ports in Cardiff and Newport. In the 1870s, coal was transported by railway networks to Newport Docks, at the time the largest coal exporting docks in the world, and by the 1880s coal was being exported fromBarry in the Vale of Glamorgan.

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The Marquess of Bute, who owned much of the land north of Cardiff, built a steam railway system on his land that stretched from Cardiff into many of the South Wales Valleys where the coal was being found. Lord Bute then charged taxes per ton of coal that was transported out using his railways. With coal mining and iron smelting being the main trades of South Wales, many thousands of immigrants from the English Midlands, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and even Italy came and set up homes and put down roots in the region. Very many came from other coal mining areas such as Somerset, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and the tin mines of Cornwall such as Geevor Tin Mine, as a large but experienced and willing workforce was required. Whilst some of the migrants left, many settled and established in the South Wales valleysbetween Swansea and Abergavenny, English speaking communities with a unique identity. Industrial workers were housed in cottages and terraced houses close to the mines and foundries in which they worked. The large influx over the years caused overcrowding which led to outbreaks of Cholera, and on the social and cultural side, the near-loss of the Welsh language in the area.

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The 1930s inter-war Great Depression in the United Kingdom saw the loss of almost half of the coal pits in the South Wales coalfield and this number declined further in the years following World War II. This number is now very low, following the UK miners’ strike (1984–1985), and the last ‘traditional’ deep-shaft mine, Tower Colliery, closed in January 2008.

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Despite the intense industrialisation of the coal mining valleys, many parts of the landscape of South Wales such as the upper Neath valley, theVale of Glamorgan and the valleys of the River Usk and River Wye remain distinctly beautiful and unspoilt and have been designated SSSI, Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In addition to this, many once heavily industrialised sites have reverted to wilderness, some provided with a series of cycle tracks and other outdoor amenities. Large areas of forestry and open moorland also contribute to the amenity of the landscape.

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somerset

Somerset (Listeni/ˈsʌmərsɛt/ or /ˈsʌmərsɨt/) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire to the north,Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the River Severn, its coastline facing a1090_somerset_01south eastern Wales. Its traditional northern border is the River Avon.[1] Somerset’s county town is Taunton.

Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills such as the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, and large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Palaeolithic times, and of subsequent settlement in the Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The county played a significant part in the consolidation of power and rise of King Alfred the Great, and later in the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion.

Agriculture is a major business in the county. Farming of sheep and cattle, including for wool and the county’s famous cheeses (most notably Cheddar), are traditional and contemporary, as is the more unusual cultivation of willow a1090_somerset_02for basket weaving. Apple orchards were once plentiful, and Somerset is still known for the production of strong cider. Unemployment is lower than the national average; the largest employment sectors are retail, manufacturing, tourism, and health and social care. Population growth in the county is higher than the national average.

History

Main article: History of Somerset

The caves of the Mendip Hills were settled during the Palaeolithic period, and contain extensive archaeological sites such as those at Cheddar Gorge. Bones from Gough’s Cave have been dated to 12,000 BC, and a complete skeleton, a1090_somerset_03known as Cheddar Man, dates from 7150 BC. Examples of cave art have been found in caves such as Aveline’s Hole. Some caves continued to be occupied until modern times, including Wookey Hole.

The Somerset Levels—specifically the dry points such as Glastonbury and Brent Knoll— also have a long history of settlement, and are known to have been settled by Mesolithic hunters. Travel in the area was helped by the construction of one of the world’s oldest known engineered roadways, the Sweet Track, which dates from 3807 BC or 3806 BC.

The exact age of the henge monument at Stanton Drew stone circles is unknown, but it is believed to be Neolithic. There are numerous Iron Age hill forts, some of which, like Cadbury Castle and Ham Hill, were later reoccupied in the Early Middle Ages.

a1090_somerset_04On the authority of the future emperor Vespasian, as part of the ongoing expansion of the Roman presence in Britain, the Second Legion Augusta invaded Somerset from the south-east in AD 47. The county remained part of the Roman Empire until around AD 409, when the Roman occupation of Britain came to an end. A variety of Roman remains have been found, including Pagans Hill Roman Temple in Chew Stoke, Low Ham Roman Villa and the Roman Baths that gave their name to the city of Bath.

After the Romans left, Britain was invaded by Anglo-Saxon peoples. By AD 600 they had established control over much of what is now England, but Somerset was still in native British hands. The British held back Saxon advance into the a1090_somerset_05south-west for some time longer, but by the early eighth century King Ine of Wessex had pushed the boundaries of the West Saxon kingdom far enough west to include Somerset. The Saxon royal palace in Cheddar was used several times in the 10th century to host the Witenagemot. After the Norman Conquest, the county was divided into 700 fiefs, and large areas were owned by the crown, with fortifications such as Dunster Castle used for control and defence. Somerset contains HMP Shepton Mallet, England’s oldest prison still in use, which opened in 1610. In the English Civil War Somerset was largely Parliamentarian, with key engagements being the Siege of Taunton and the Battle of Langport. In 1685 the Monmouth Rebellion was played out in Somerset and neighbouring Dorset. The rebels landed at Lyme Regis and travelled north, hoping to capture Bristol and Bath, but they were a1090_somerset_06defeated in the Battle of Sedgemoor at Westonzoyland, the last pitched battle fought in England. Arthur Wellesley took his title, Duke of Wellington from the town of Wellington; he is commemorated on a nearby hill by a large, spotlit obelisk, known as the Wellington Monument.

The Industrial Revolution in the Midlands and Northern England spelled the end for most of Somerset’s cottage industries. Farming continued to flourish, however, and the Bath and West of England Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce was founded in 1777 to improve farming methods. Despite this, 20 years later John Billingsley conducted a survey of the county’s agriculture in 1795 and found that agricultural methods could still be improved. Coal mining was an important industry in north Somerset during the 18th and 19th centuries, and by 1800 it was prominent in Radstock. The Somerset Coalfield reached its peak production a1090_somerset_07by the 1920s, but all the pits have now been closed, the last in 1973. Most of the surface buildings have been removed, and apart from a winding wheel outside Radstock Museum, little evidence of their former existence remains. Further west, the Brendon Hills were mined for iron ore in the late 19th century; this was taken by rail to Watchet Harbour for shipment to the furnaces at Ebbw Vale.

Many Somerset soldiers died during the First World War, with the Somerset Light Infantry suffering nearly 5,000 casualties. War memorials were put up in most of the county’s towns and villages; only nine, described as the Thankful Villages, had none of their residents killed. During the Second World War the county was a base for troops preparing for the D-Day landings. Some of the hospitals which were built for the casualties of the war remain in use. The Taunton Stop Line was set up to repel a potential German invasion. The a1090_somerset_08remains of its pill boxes can still be seen along the coast, and south through Ilminster and Chard.

A number of decoy towns were constructed in Somerset in World War II to protect Bristol and other towns, at night. They were designed to mimic the geometry of “blacked out” streets, railway lines, and Bristol Temple Meads railway station, to encourage bombers away from these targets. One, on the radio beam flight path to Bristol, was constructed on Beacon Batch. It was laid out by Shepperton Film Studios, based on aerial photographs of the city’s railway marshalling yards. The decoys were fitted with dim red lights, simulating activities like the stoking of steam locomotives. Burning bales of straw soaked in creosote were used to simulate the effects of incendiary bombs dropped by the first wave of Pathfinder night a1090_somerset_09bombers; meanwhile, incendiary bombs dropped on the correct location were quickly smothered, wherever possible. Drums of oil were also ignited to simulate the effect of a blazing city or town, with the aim of fooling subsequent waves of bombers into dropping their bombs on the wrong location. The Chew Magna decoy town was hit by half-a-dozen bombs on 2 December 1940, and over a thousand incendiaries on 3 January 1941. The following night the Uphill decoy town, protecting Weston-super-Mare‘s airfield, was bombed; a herd of dairy cows was hit, killing some and severely injuring others.

Transport

Main article: Transport in Somerset

Somerset has 6,531 km (4,058 mi) of roads. The main arterial routes, which include the M5 motorway, A303, A37, A38 and A39, give good access across the a1090_somerset_10county, but many areas can only be accessed via narrow lanes. Rail services are provided by the West of England Main Line through Yeovil, the Bristol to Taunton Line,Heart of Wessex Line which runs from Bristol to Weymouth and the Reading to Taunton line. Bristol Airport provides national and international air services.

The Somerset Coal Canal was built in the early 19th century to reduce the cost of transportation of coal and other heavy produce. The first 16 kilometres (10 mi), running from a junction with the Kennet and Avon Canal, along the Cam valley, to a terminal basin at Paulton, were in use by 1805, together with several tramways. A planned 11.7 km (7.3 mi) branch to Midford was never built, but in 1815 a tramway was laid along its towing path. In 1871 the tramway was purchased by the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJ Rand operated until the 1950s.

a1090_somerset_11The 19th century saw improvements to Somerset’s roads with the introduction of turnpikes, and the building of canals and railways. Nineteenth-century canals included the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, Westport Canal, Glastonbury Canal and Chard Canal. The Dorset and Somerset Canal was proposed, but little of it was ever constructed and it was abandoned in 1803.

The usefulness of the canals was short-lived, though some have now been restored for recreation. The 19th century also saw the construction of railways to and through Somerset. The county was served by five pre-1923 Grouping railway companies: the Great Western Railway (GWR); a branch of the Midland Railway (MR) to Bath Green Park (and another one to Bristol); the Somerset and a1090_somerset_12Dorset Joint Railway, and the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR). The former main lines of the GWR are still in use today, although many of its branch lines were scrapped. The former lines of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway closed completely, as has the branch of the Midland Railway to Bath Green Park (and to Bristol St Philips); however, the L&SWR survived as a part of the present West of England Main Line. None of these lines, in Somerset, are electrified. Two branch lines, the West and East Somerset Railways, were rescued and transferred back to private ownership as “heritage” lines. The fifth railway was a short-lived light railway, the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway. The West Somerset Mineral Railway carried the iron ore from the Brendon Hills to Watchet.

a1090_somerset_13Until the 1960s the piers at Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, Portishead and Minehead were served by the paddle steamers of P and A Campbell who ran regular services to Barry and Cardiff as well as Ilfracombe and Lundy Island. The pier at Burnham-on-Sea was used for commercial goods, one of the reasons for the Somerset and Dorset Railway was to provide a link between the Bristol Channel and the English Channel. The pier at Burnham-on-Sea is the shortest pier in the UK. In the 1970s the Royal Portbury Dock was constructed to provide extra capacity for the Port of Bristol.

For long-distance holiday traffic travelling through the county to and from Devon and Cornwall, Somerset is often regarded as a marker on the journey. North–south traffic moves through the county via the M5 Motorway. Traffic to and from the east travels either via the A303 road, or the M4 Motorway, which runs east–west, crossing the M5 just beyond the northern limits of the county.

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snowdon
Snowdon (Welsh: Yr Wyddfa, pronounced [əɾ ˈwɨ̞ðva]) is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. It is located inSnowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri) in Gwynedd, and has been described as “probably the busiest mountain in Britain”. It is designated as a national nature reserve for its rare flora and fauna.

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Richard Wilson – View of Snowdon from Llyn Nantlle

The rocks that form Snowdon were produced by volcanoes in the Ordovician period, and the massif has been extensively sculpted by glaciation, forming the pyramidal peak of Snowdon and the arêtes of Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd. The cliff faces on Snowdon, including Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, are significant for rock climbing, and the mountain was used by Edmund Hillary in training for the 1953 ascent of Mount Everest.

Snowdon offers some of the best views in Britain. The summit can be reached by a number of well-known paths, and by the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack and pinion railway opened in 1896 which carries passengers the 4.7 miles (7.6 km) from Llanberis to the summit station. The summit also houses a cafe called Hafod Eryri, open only when the railway is operating and built in 2006 to replace one built in the 1930s. The railway generally operates to the summit station from Whitsun to October. The daily running schedule depends on weather and customer demand.

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The name Snowdon is from the Old English for “snow hill”, while the Welsh name – Yr Wyddfa – means “thetumulus“, which may refer to the cairn thrown over the legendary giant Rhitta Gawr after his defeat by King Arthur. As well as other figures from Arthurian legend, the mountain is linked to a legendary afanc (water monster) and the Tylwyth Teg (fairies).

Ascents

The first recorded ascent of Snowdon was by the botanist Thomas Johnson in 1639. However, the 18th-century Welsh historian Thomas Pennant mentions a “triumphal fair upon this our chief of mountains” following Edward I‘s conquest of Wales in 1284, which could indicate the possibility of earlier ascents.

Snowdon offers some of the most extensive views in the British Isles. On exceptionally clear days, Ireland, Scotland, England, and the Isle of Man are all visible, as well as 24 counties, 29 lakes and 17 islands. The view between Snowdon and Merrick (southern Scotland) is the longest theoretical line of sight in the British Isles at 144 miles (232 km).

Snowdon has been described as “probably the busiest mountain in Britain”; a number of well-established and engineered footpaths lead to Snowdon’s summit from all sides, and can be combined in various ways. The circular walk starting and ending at Pen-y-Pass and using the Crib Goch route and the route over Y Lliwedd is called the Snowdon Horseshoe, and is considered “one of the finest ridge walks in Britain”. The routes are arranged here anticlockwise, starting with the path leading from Llanberis. In winter conditions, all these routes become significantly more dangerous and crampons and ice axes should be carried. Many inexperienced walkers have been killed over the years attempting to climb the mountain via the main paths.

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Main article: Snowdon Mountain Railway

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a1085_snowdon_01The Snowdon Mountain Railway (SMR) (Welsh: Rheilffordd yr Wyddfa) is a narrow gauge rack and pinion mountain railway that travels for 4.75 miles (7.6 km) from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon. It is the only public rack and pinion railway in the United Kingdom, and after more than 100 years of operation it remains a popular tourist attraction. Single carriage trains are pushed up the mountain by either steam locomotives or diesel locomotives. It has also previously used diesel railcars as multiple units. The railway was constructed between December 1894, when the first sod was cut by Enid Assheton-Smith (after whom locomotive No.2 was named), and February 1896, at a total cost of £63,800 (£6,442,000 as of 2014).

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shrewsbury
Shrewsbury (Listeni/ˈʃrzbri/ or Listeni/ˈʃrzbri/) is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands of England, on theRiver Severn. It has a population of approximately 72,000 and is the second largest town in Shropshire, after Telford.

a1076_shrewsbury_02Shrewsbury is a historic market town whose town centre has a largely unaltered medieval street plan and over 660listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery.

The Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the largest horticultural events in the country of England.

Today, 9 miles (14 km) east of the Welsh border, Shrewsbury serves as the commercial centre for Shropshire and mid-Wales, with a retail output of over £299 million per year. There are some light industry and distribution centres, such as Battlefield Enterprise Park, mainly on the outskirts. The A5 and A49 trunk roads cross near to the town, as do five railway lines at Shrewsbury railway station.

Early history

a1076_shrewsbury_03The town was possibly the site of the capital of Powys, known to the ancient Britons as Pengwern, signifying "the alder hill";[ and in Old English as Scrobbesburh (dative Scrobbesbyrig), which has several meanings; "fort in the scrub-land region", "Scrobb’s fort", "shrubstown" or "the town of the bushes". This name gradually evolved in three directions, into Sciropscire, which became Shropshire; into Sloppesberie, which became Salop/Salopia (an alternative name for both town and county), and into Schrosberie, which eventually became the town’s name, Shrewsbury. Its Welsh name Amwythigmeans "fortified place".

a1076_shrewsbury_04It is believed that Anglo-Saxon Shrewsbury was most probably a settlement fortified through the use of earthworks comprising a ditch and rampart, which were then shored up with a wooden stockade.

Nearby is the village of Wroxeter, 5 miles (8 km) to the south-east, site of the now ruined Roman city of Viroconium Cornoviorum. Viroconium was the fourth largest civitas capital in Roman Britain. As Caer Guricon it may have served as the early Dark Age capital of the kingdom of Powys. The Shrewsbury area’s regional importance in the Roman era was recently underlined with the discovery of the Shrewsbury Hoard in 2009.

a1076_shrewsbury_05Over the ages, the geographically important town has been the site of many conflicts, particularly between the English and Welsh. Shrewsbury was the seat of the Princes of Powis for many years; however, the Angles, under King Offa of Mercia, took possession of it in 778.

There is evidence to show that by the beginning of the 900’s, Shrewsbury was home to a mint.

Medieval

The Welsh again besieged it in 1069, but were repelled by William the Conqueror. Roger de Montgomery was given the town as a gift from William, and built Shrewsbury Castle in 1074, taking the title of Earl. The 3rd Earl, Robert of Bellême was deposed in 1102, in consequence of taking part in the rebellion against Henry I.

a1076_shrewsbury_06In 1138, King Stephen successfully besieged the castle held by William FitzAlan for the Empress Maud during the period known as The Anarchy.

It was in the late Middle Ages (14th and 15th centuries) when the town was at its height of commercial importance. This was mainly due to the wool trade, a major industry at the time, with the rest of Britain and Europe, especially with the River Severn and Watling Street as trading routes.

In 1403 the Battle of Shrewsbury was fought a few miles north of the town centre, at Battlefield; it was fought between King Henry IV and Henry Hotspur Percy, with the King emerging victorious, an event celebrated in William Shakespeare‘s Henry IV, Part 1, Act 5.

a1076_shrewsbury_08Shrewsbury’s monastic gathering was disbanded with the Dissolution of the Monasteries and as such the Abbey was closed in 1540. However, it is believed that Henry VIII thereafter intended to make Shrewsbury a cathedral city after the formation of the Church of England, but the citizens of the town declined the offer. Despite this, Shrewsbury throve throughout the 16th and 17th centuries; largely due to the town’s fortuitous location, which allowed it to control the Welsh wool trade. As a resultant a number of grand edifices, including the 1575 Ireland’s Mansion and 1658 Draper’s Hall, were constructed. It was also in this period thatEdward VI gave permission for the foundation of a free school, which was later to become Shrewsbury School.

Early Modern

a1076_shrewsbury_09During the English Civil War, the town was a Royalist stronghold and only fell to Parliament forces after they were let in by a parliamentarian sympathiser at the St Mary’s Water Gate (now also known as Traitor’s Gate). Shrewsbury Unitarian Church was founded in 1662. By the 18th century Shrewsbury had become an important market town and stop off for stagecoaches travelling between London and Holyhead on their way to Ireland; this led to the establishment of a number of coaching inns, many of which, such as the Lion Hotel, are extant to this day.

Local soldier and statesman Robert Clive was Shrewsbury’s MP from 1762 until his death in 1774. Clive also served once as the town’s mayor in 1762.

a1076_shrewsbury_10St Chad’s Church collapsed in 1788 after attempts to expand the crypt compromised the structural integrity of the tower above; it was, however, rebuilt just four years later as a large neo-classical round church in a new location close to the Quarry Park.

In the period directly after Napoleon‘s surrender after Waterloo, the town’s own 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot was sent to guard him in his exile on St Helena. A locket containing a lock of the emperor’s hair (presented to an officer of the 53rd) remains, to this day, in the collections of the Shropshire Regimental Museum at Shrewsbury Castle.

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scotland 2scotland

Scotland (/ˈskɒt.lənd/; Scots: [ˈskɔt.lənd]; Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] ( listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, a1058_scotland_01and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Edinburgh, the country’s capital and second-largest city, was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual, and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, was a1058_scotland_03once one of the world’s leading industrial cities and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europe’s oil capital.

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, King James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a1058_scotland_04apersonal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. The Treaty of Union was agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union 1707 passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite some popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Great Britain itself subsequently entered into a political union with Ireland on 1 January 1801 to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

a1058_scotland_07Scotland’s legal system has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational and religious institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union. In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was reconvened with authority over many areas of home affairs following a referendum in 1997. In May 2011, the Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament; as a result a referendum on Scottish independence took place on 18 September a1058_scotland_052014, in which independence was rejected by a majority of the Scottish electorate.

Scotland is a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is represented in the European Union and the European Parliament with six MEPs

 

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scarborough

Scarborough (/ˈskɑrbrə/ or /ˈskɑrbərə/) is a town on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, England. Historicallypart of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town lies between 10–230 feet (3–70 m) above sea level, rising steeply northward and westward from the harbour on to limestone cliffs. The older part of the town lies around the harbour and is protected by a rocky headland.

With a population of around 50,000 Scarborough is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire coast. The town has fishing and service industries, including a growing digital and creative economy, as well as being a tourist destination. Inhabitants of the town are known as Scarborians.

Scarborough Beach, Yorkshire. LNER Vintage Travel Poster by Andrew Johnson. 1933

History

Origins

The town was reportedly founded around 966 AD as Skarðaborg by Thorgils Skarthi, a Viking raider, though there is no archaeological evidence to support these claims made during the 1960s, as part of a pageant of Scarborough events. The origin of this belief is a fragment of an Icelandic Saga. In the 4th century there had briefly been a Roman signal station on Scarborough headland ÔScarboroughÕ, BR poster, 1959.and there is evidence of much earlier Stone Age and Bronze Age settlements. However, any new settlement was soon burned to the ground by a rival band of Vikings under Tosti (Tostig Godwinson), Lord of Falsgrave, and Harald III of Norway. The destruction and massacre meant that very little remained to be recorded in the Domesday survey of 1085. The original inland settlement of Falsgrave was also a Saxon village rather than a Viking one.

Feudal and medieval

Scarborough recovered under King Henry II, who built an Angevin stone castle on the headland, and granted the town charters in 1155 and 1163, permitting a market on the sands, and establishing rule by burgesses. Edward II granted Scarborough Castle to his favoured friend, Piers Gaveston. The castle was subsequently besieged by forces led by the barons Percy, Warenne, Clifford and Pembroke. Gaveston was captured and transported to Oxford and then Warwick Castle for execution.

a1050_scarborough_05In the Middle Ages, Scarborough Fair, permitted in a royal charter of 1253, held a six-week trading festival attracting merchants from all over Europe. It ran from Assumption Day, 15 August, until Michaelmas Day, 29 September. The fair continued to be held for 500 years, from the 13th century to the 18th century, and is commemorated in the song Scarborough Fair:

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
—parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme….
Resort development

Scarborough and its castle changed hands seven times between Royalists and Parliamentarians during the English Civil War of the 1640s, enduring two lengthy and violent sieges. Following the civil war, much of the town lay in ruins.

In 1626, Elizabeth Farrow discovered a stream of acidic water running from one of the cliffs to the south of the town. This gave birth to Scarborough Spa, and Dr Wittie’s book about the spa waters published in 1660 attracted a flood of visitors to the town. Scarborough Spa became Britain‘s first seaside resort, though the first rolling bathing machines were not noted on the sands until 1735.

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The coming of the Scarborough–York railway in 1845 increased the tide of visitors. Scarborough railway station claims a record for the world’s longest platform seat.

© Tony Bartholomew 07802 400651
mail@bartpics.co.ukGrowing influx of visitors convinced a young architect (John Gibson) with an eye to the future to open Scarborough’s first purpose-built hotel. In 1841 a railway link between York and Scarborough was being talked of and he decided that the area above the popular Spa building could be developed. He designed and laid the foundations of a ‘hotel’. (This was a new name derived from the word ‘hostel’ which would serve the same purpose but would be bigger and finer than the traditional inns). Gibson then passed the construction of this hotel to the newly formed South Cliff Building Company. On Tuesday, 10 June 1845 Scarborough’s first hotel was opened—a marketing coup at the time, as the Grand Hotel, soon to be Europe’s largest, was not yet finished.

Architecture

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a1050_scarborough_067When the Grand Hotel was completed in 1867 it was one of the largest hotels in the world and one of the first giant purpose-built hotels in Europe. Four towers represent the seasons, 12 floors represent the months, 52 chimneys represent the weeks and originally 365 bedrooms represented the days of the year. A blue plaque outside marks where the novelist Anne Brontë died in 1849. She was buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church by the castle.

The town has a fine Anglican church, St. Martin-on-the-Hill, built in 1862–63 as the parish church of South Cliff. It contains works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown.

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saltburn

Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a seaside resort in Redcar and Cleveland, a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town is around 12 miles (19 km) east of Middlesbrough, and had a population of 5,912 at the 2001 Census.

'Saltburn-by-the-Sea', LNER poster, 1923-1947.The development of Middlesbrough and Saltburn was driven by the discovery of iron stone in the Cleveland Hills, the monies of the Pease family of Darlington, and the development of two railways to transport the minerals.

History

Old Saltburn

Old Saltburn is the original settlement, located in the Saltburn Gill. Records are scarce on its origins, but it was a centre for smugglers, and publican John Andrew is referred to as ‘king of smugglers’.

a1046598_saltburn_04In 1856, the hamlet consisted of the Ship Inn and a row of houses, occupied by farmers and fishermen. In the mid-18th century, authors Laurence Sterne and John Hall-Stevenson enjoyed racing chariots on the sands at Saltburn.

Early development

The Pease family developed Middlesbrough as an industrial centre and, after discovery of iron stone, the Stockton & Darlington Railway and the West Hartlepool Harbour and Railway Company developed routes into East Cleveland. By 1861, the S&DR reached Saltburn with the intention of continuing to Brotton, Skinningrove and Loftus but the WHH&RCo had already developed tracks in the area, leaving little point in the extending the S&DR tracks further.

a1046598_saltburn_01In 1858, while walking along the coast path towards Old Saltburn to visit his brother Joseph in Marske, Henry Pease saw a prophetic vision of a town arising on the cliff and the quiet, unfrequented and sheltered glen turned into a lovely garden. The Pease family owned Middlesbrough Estate and had control of the S&DR, and agreed to develop Henry’s vision by forming the Saltburn Improvement Company.

Land was purchased from the Earl of Zetland, and the company commissioned surveyor George Dickinson to lay out what became an interpretation of a gridiron street layout, detracted from by the railway which ran through the site. With as many houses as possible having sea views, the layout was added to by the so-called Jewel streets along the seafront—Coral, Garnet, Ruby, Emerald, Pearl, Diamond and Amber Streets, said to be a legacy of Henry’s vision.

a1046598_saltburn_02After securing the best positions for development by the SIC, money was raised for construction by selling plots to private developers and investors. Most buildings are constructed using ‘Pease’ brick, transported from Darlington by the S&DR, with the name Pease set into the brick. The jewel in Henry Pease’s crown is said to have been The Zetland Hotel with a private platform, one of the world’s earliest railway hotels.

a1046598_saltburn_06The parcel of land known as Clifton Villas was sold by the Saltburn Improvement Company (SIC) in 1865 to William Morley from London who built the property, but a stipulation on the land in the deed of covenant, was that any trees planted along Britannia Terrace (now Marine Parade) were not to exceed 1′ 6" above the footpath to preserve the view of Henry Pease’s vision to form Saltburn. However Pease owned a property on Britannia Terrace. The Redcar to Saltburn Railway opened in 1861 as an extension of the Middlesbrough to Redcar Railway of 1846. The line was extended to Whitby as part of the Whitby Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway.

Text from Wikipedia 

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