Well, would ewe believe it?

  • Wales has only about three million people, but a sheep population three or four times larger!

ewegottalove sheep

  • The capital city, Cardiff was the first UK city to be twinned with a Chinese city, Xiamen in 1983. Today, Cardiff is also twinned with Stuttgart (Germany), Baltimore (USA), Nantes (France), Hordaland (Netherlands), and Lugansk (Ukraine).
  • The letters K, Q, V and Z do not appear in the Welsh alphabet.
  • Wales is the land of mythical King Arthur.
  • Saint David (in Wales, Dewi Sant) was a Welsh Bishop during the 6th Century, later regarded as a saint and as the Patron Saint of Wales.
  • Mount Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa), is the highest peak in Wales at 1085 m (3560 ft).
  • Wales is said to contain more castles per square mile than any other country in the world.
  • Wales was ruled by England from the year 1284 and officially incorporated into England by the ‘Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542’ or ‘Act of Union’. To symbolise this unification of the two countries since 1301, the Crown Prince of England has been referred to as the Prince of Wales.
  • Major Walter Clopton Wingfield is generally credited with inventing lawn tennis when in 1873 he designed and patented a similar game for his guests to play on his estate of Nantclwyd in Llanelidan.
  • The longest and fastest zip wire rides in Europe are in Bethesda, North Wales.
  • Caerleon possesses the only surviving Roman barracks in Europe.
  • Pembrokeshire-born Bartholomew Roberts is considered the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, and is thought to have been the first pirate to name his flag “Jolly Roger”, in June 1721.
  • In the 1970s Hay-on-Wye turned into the world’s first Book Town and holds Europe’s largest annual second-hand book market.
  • The Brecon Beacons National Park shelters Europe’s largest cave system, Mynydd Llangatwg, Britain’s longest and largest showcave, Dan-yr-Ogof, as well as Britain’s deepest cave, Ogof Fynnon Ddu (308m/1,010ft).
  • The Smithfield Livestock Market in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, is the largest one-day sheep market in Europe.
  • The Great Orme Mines in Llandudno are the only Bronze Age copper mines in the world open to the public.
  • In 1804, the world’s first railway steam locomotive, “The Iron Horse“, launched on its inaugural journey from from Penydarren to Abercynon in Glamorgan.
  • The monastery of Bangor-on-Dee, near Wrexham, is the oldest in Britain. It was founded in 560.
  • The Newport Transporter Bridge, constructed in 1906, is the largest of the nine surviving historic transport bridges in the world. Its span is of 196.5 metres.
  • The most common Welsh surname is Jones. Welsh villages used to have so many Joneses that they would distinguish them by adding an occupation to the name: Jones the Shop, Jones the Steam, Jones the Post etc. Other common Welsh surnames include Thomas, Williams, Evans and Davies.
  • Wales was heavily industrialised during the 18th and 19th centuries, with many communities in South Wales relying on the coal mining industry.
  • The Gower Peninsula was the first area of Great Britain to be declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956.
  • Wales’s national anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, or Land of my Fathers, was composed in 1856 by a father and son in Pontypridd. Evan James wrote the lyrics, his son John composed the music. The song was originally titled Glan Rhondda (Banks of the Rhondda).
  • In 1999 the Welsh band Super Furry Animals released an album (Mwng) that was entirely in Welsh. It was the first all-Welsh album to reach the Top 20 and the NME (New Musical Express) voted it number 11 in their top albums of the year 2000.
  • Welsh is a Celtic language. Like Cornish and Breton, it is of the Brythonic branch of Celtic; Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx belong to the other branch, Goidelic.
  • The Battle of Agincourt, on 25 October 1415, in which Henry V’s English forces defeated a much larger French army, has been immortalised in tales, plays and poetry. What is less well known is the role played by Wales in Henry’s stirring victory – 500 Welsh archers and 23 men-at-arms travelled to fight in France – many of them from the Breconshire and Monmouthshire region – along with a contingent of archers and miners from the Forest of Dean.
  • Former rugby union player Graham Price, MBE, a member of the famous Pontypool RFC front row known as the ‘Viet Gwent’ who won 41 caps for Wales and played a record 12 times for the British Lions as a prop forward, was born in Moascar, Egypt.