The Cities and Towns of Wales – Part 1

The Cities and Towns of Wales – Part 1

Wales is famous for having Cardiff as its Capital City but there are a number of other cities and large towns that have been prominent in the rise of the country and are still important locations in modern day Wales. The sparest area of the country is in the middle which is dominated by the highlands. The only populations tends to be situated in the valley areas and many were created as a result of the minerals that were mined from the hills during the industrial revolution.

The West Coast is also sparsely populated but there are dense populations in fishing villages and ports, which are now popular tourist locations. The south of the country is where the main settlements are distributed and their growth is as a result of the economic boom that the region experienced to the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Wrexham the largest settlement in North Wales

North Wales however, also contains some large towns and influential cities. The largest population in the region is found in Wrexham with a population of just over 61,000, which makes it the 5th largest urban area in the country. It is a town and not a city, and original grew as an agricultural town as a result of being located on the floodplains of the River Gwenfro.

The town grew during the industrial revolution as a result of the discovery of local supplies of coal, the opening of Bersham iron works and the success of the local leather industry. As the town increased in size so did the number of breweries, who were attracted to the area as a result of the quality of the local water.

Many of these original industries have now disappeared and many people are employed in small businesses and also in local government. Wrexham is the center of Wrexham County Borough and has over 100,000 people under its jurisdiction.

The only city in North Wales is Bangor, which is the oldest city in Wales, and with a population of only 18,500 it is one of the smallest cities in the UK. With the University contributing over 10,000 students to the numbers, Bangor is not very big at all.

The regeneration of Rhyl

Bangor first started to grow as a result of a monastery that was built on the site that today contains the cathedral. This was then replaced by Bangor Cathedral which was dedicated to its founder Saint Deiniol. The city is located on the coast of the Menai Strait and faces Anglesey. The region benefits from tourists visiting Snowdonia National Park and the city itself is dwarfed by Bangor Mountain which lies just to the east.

The second largest settlement in the region is Colwyn Bay with a population of over 31,000. Colwyn Bay is a resort town on the north coast and overlooks the Irish Sea. The town is famous for its beach and its pier, and it started to grow during the 19th century as tourism started to become popular during the industrial revolution.

The town also has an important role as an administrative center for the region, with a large number of people being employed in the local services that it provides for the Bay of Colwyn Town Council. Colwyn Bay is in the middle of the North Wales Tourist area and just along the coast to the east is Rhyl.

Rhyl is located at the mouth of the River Clwyd as it enters the Irish Sea. The town has a population of 25,000 which is a mixture of people from Liverpool and Manchester plus the local north Wales population. Rhyl was a popular resort that fell into decline in the 1980s. Since then the town has been regenerated with money from the European Union and the Welsh Government. This has led to the resort becoming once again a popular destination with the patrons of the town benefiting economically with its resurgence.

North Wales is sometimes forgotten when Welsh matters are being discussed, but it is the most nationalistic region of the country having more welsh speakers than anywhere else.