ormer county of south Wales, 1974 -1996, now divided between Blaenau
Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen unitary authorities.
Caerphilly County Borough Council
- Monmouthshire Council - Newport County Borough Council - Torfaen County Borough Council
|owns and cities
||The administrative centre of Blaenau Gwent is Ebbw Vale. The area no
longer depends on coal, iron, and steel industries, and former industrial land is being
redeveloped. The other main towns are Tredegar, which has a tourist industry, and
The administrative centre of Caerphilly is Hengoed. Other principal towns
are Bargoed, Newbridge, and Rhymney.
The administrative centre of Torfaen is Pontypool.
||1,518 sq km / 585 sq miles.
||The area around Blaenau Gwent is undulating, and includes Mynydd
Carn-y-Cefn (550 m / 1,800 ft). The chief rivers are the Sirhowy and Ebbw.
rivers of Caerphilly are the Rhymney and Sirhowy.
The main rivers of Monmouthshire are the Wye and Usk, which are famous for salmon and
The lowlands of Monmouthshire have rich mixed farming, with arable crops, including
wheat, being important. The coast of Monmouthshire is exposed to high spring tides which
rush up the Severn in a `bore´ from the Bristol Channel, rising at Chepstow sometimes to
18 m / 60 ft. The southern part, east and west of the Usk, comprises the Caldecot and
Wentloog levels, which are protected from the sea by sea walls. North of the Caldecot
level, between the Usk and the Wye, the surface is undulating. The north of the county is
more mountainous. About 7 km / 4.3 miles from Abergavenny is the peaked mountain called
Pen-y-Fal or Sugar Loaf (596 m/1,955 ft), over 8.1 sq km/3.1 sq mi of which have been
presented to the National Trust. Between Abergavenny and Usk is the wooded hill-fort of
Coed-y-Bonedd, one of several Monmouthshire camps. Skirrid Fawr (486 m/1,595 ft), known
locally as the Holy Mountain, has views of the Black Mountains, the Usk valley, and the
Coity Mountain is situated in the north of Torfaen, and the chief river is the Afon
||Iron and steel production and coal mining have been replaced by a wide
range of light industries. There are steel works at Llanwern, east of Newport, and an
aluminium factory at Rogerstone to the west.
||The walled town of Chepstow, situated on the River Wye, is a good base for
discovering the splendid ruins of Tintern Abbey, the inspiration of poets and artists.
Raglan Castle, the last medieval castle is a fine example and the nearby market town of
Abergavenny in the shadow of the Black Mountains.
During the Roman occupation the only
Roman town in Wales was built at Caerwent. There are also ruins of feudal strongholds at
Chepstow, Caldicot, Raglan, and elsewhere, and the remains of Tintern Abbey and the
Cistercian abbey of Llanthony are here. Medieval Monmouthshire was undoubtedly Welsh.