FACTOID # 15: A mere 0.8% of West Virginians were born in a foreign country.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Wye Valley
Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley, viewed from the Devil's Pulpit near Tidenham
Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley, viewed from the Devil's Pulpit near Tidenham

The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an internationally important protected landscape area straddling the border between England and Wales. It is renowned as one of the most dramatic and scenic landscape areas in southern Britain. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1728 × 2304 pixel, file size: 899 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) View of Tintern Abbey I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1728 × 2304 pixel, file size: 899 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) View of Tintern Abbey I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an area of countryside with significant landscape value in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, that has been specially designated by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the United Kingdom government. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... This article is about the country. ...


The [[River WYE] THIS WEB SITE IS GOOD DO MORE LIKE THIS language|Welsh]]: Afon Gŵy) is the sixth-longest river in the United Kingdom. The upper part of the river passes through the settlements of Rhayader, Builth Wells and Hay-on-Wye, but the area designated as an AONB surrounds only the 72-mile stretch lower down the river, from just south of the city of Hereford to Chepstow. This is a list of rivers of Great Britain. ... The A470 passing through Rhayader Rhayader (Welsh: ) is a busy and historic market town in Mid Wales. ... Builth Wells (Welsh: ) is a town in Powys, traditional county of Brecknockshire, mid Wales, lying on the River Wye. ... Second-hand bookshop at Hay-on-Wye Hay-on-Wye (Welsh: Y Gelli Gandryll or Y Gelli), often described as the town of books, is a market town in Brecknockshire, Wales, very close to the border with England, within the Brecon Beacons National Park. ... Statistics Population: 50,154 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: SO515405 Administration District: Herefordshire Region: West Midlands Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Herefordshire Historic county: Herefordshire Services Police force: West Mercia Fire and rescue: {{{Fire}}} Ambulance: West Midlands Post office and telephone Post town: HEREFORD Postal... Chepstow or the ham sandwch is my teacher Mr. ...


This area covers parts of the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, and is recognised in particular for its limestone gorge scenery and dense native woodlands, as well as its wildlife, archaeological and industrial remains. It is also historically important as one of the birthplaces of the modern tourism industry. The area is predominantly rural, and many people make a living from tourism, agriculture or forestry. Ross-on-Wye is the only town within the AONB itself, but Hereford, Monmouth, Coleford and Chepstow lie just outside its boundaries. Gloucestershire (pronounced ; GLOSS-ter-sher) is a county in South West England. ... Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county and unitary district (known as County of Herefordshire) in the West Midlands region of England. ... Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy) is both a principal area and a traditional county in south-east Wales. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... A gorge is a narrow passage between steep mountains or hills. ... Tourists on Oʻahu, Hawaii Tourism is travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes, and also refers to the provision of services in support of this act. ... Location within the British Isles. ... Monmouth (Welsh: Trefynwy) is a town in south Wales, county town of the traditional county of Monmouthshire. ... Map sources for Coleford, Gloucestershire at grid reference SO5710 Coleford is a small market town in Gloucestershire, England in the west of the Forest of Dean which has a population of 79,974 (2001 census). ...

Contents

Geology

The varied landscapes of the Wye Valley can be explained by underlying rocks and structures, and how ice and then the river and tributary streams have acted upon them through time.


Close to Hereford, the geology of the area around the village of Woolhope is largely made up of Silurian limestones, shales and sandstones. To the south of this, the Herefordshire lowlands are largely underlain by red mudstones and sandstones, producing a redder soil. These rocks are softer than the limestones elsewhere, so the river created more meanders, a wider floodplain, and a gentler and more rolling landscape. Around Symonds Yat, limestones and red sandstones meet. This leads to a landscape of hills and plains, as well as substantial meanders which have formed impressive river cliffs. Woolhope is a village in Herefordshire, England, about 7 miles east of Hereford. ... The Silurian is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Ordovician period, about 443. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... Mudstone is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... Meanders in a river A meander is a bend in a river, also known as an oxbow loop. ... Gravel floodplain of a glacial river near the Snow Mountains in Alaska, 1902. ... Symonds Yat is a village within the Forest of Dean and a popular tourist destination straddling the River Wye on the county border of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire in England. ...


The Lower Wye landscape was formed by the river acting on a series of layers of rock that dip towards the Forest of Dean. Here the river has incised into the margins of the Old Red Sandstone plateau to form a gorge with substantial river cliffs. The steepest parts of the Wye gorge are cut through the Carboniferous Limestone. Here the combined action of the river, natural joints in the rocks and quarrying have exposed many vertical faces, particularly between Tintern and Chepstow. The (Royal) Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the county of Gloucestershire, England. ... The Old Red Sandstone is a rock formation of considerable importance to early paleontology. ... Carboniferous Limestone is a type of limestone rock. ... The River Wye viewed from a former railway bridge with Tintern village in the background Tintern is a village on the River Wye in Monmouthshire, Wales, close to the border with England, at Grid reference SO530000. ...


Geological interest extends underground, and there are many rock shelters and solution caves in the area. These include King Arthur's Cave and many others in the area of Symonds Yat. At St Arvans, near Chepstow, the underground watercourses have carved out long cave systems, which exit at Otter Hole at the base of Piercefield cliffs — the only cave system in England or Wales which has to be reached through a tidal sump, making it a Mecca for experienced cavers. A rock shelter is a shallow cave-like opening at the base of a bluff or cliff. ... Alternate meanings: Cave (disambiguation) The outside world viewed from a cave A cave is a natural underground void. ...


Wildlife

The Wye Valley is important for its rich wildlife habitats. The area has three sites of international importance, designated as candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs) under the European Union's Habitats Directive. In national terms, the area is particularly important for Lesser Horseshoe Bats, Peregrine Falcons, ravens, rare whitebeam, nightjar and lesser known fish like the shad and twaite. A Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is defined in the European Commission Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), also known as the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora. ... The Habitats Directive (more formally known as Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) is a European Union directive adopted in 1992as an EU response to the Berne Convention. ... This article needs copyediting (checking for proper English spelling, grammar, usage, tone, style, and voice). ... Binomial name Falco peregrinus Tunstall, 1771 The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a medium-sized falcon about the size of a large crow: 38-53 cm (15 to 21 inches) long. ... Binomial name Corvus corax Linnaeus, 1758 Common Raven range The Common Raven (Corvus corax) is a large black bird in the crow family, with iridescent feathers. ... Species Sorbus subgenus Aria Sorbus aria - Common Whitebeam Sorbus arranensis - Arran Whitebeam Sorbus bristoliensis - Bristol Gorge Whitebeam Sorbus devoniensis - Devon Whitebeam Sorbus folgneri - Folgners Whitebeam Sorbus intermedia - Swedish Whitebeam Sorbus mougeotii - Vosges Whitebeam Sorbus rupicola - Rock Whitebeam Sorbus thibetica - Tibetan Whitebeam Sorbus vestita - Himalayan Whitebeam Plus many other species... Genera Nyctiprogne Podager Lurocalis Chordeiles Nyctidromus Phalaenoptilus Siphonorhis Nyctiphrynus Caprimulgus Macrodipteryx Hydropsalis Uropsalis Macropsalis Eleothreptus Eurostopodus Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. ... Species See text. ...


In September 2006 it was reported that one colony of lesser horseshoe bats in the area had reached record numbers, with some 890 bats in a small stone barn. This is believed to be the largest colony of lesser horseshoe bats in England, and one of the largest in Europe. [1]


Archaeology

The valley has been inhabited for at least 12,000 years. Caves near Symonds Yat and Chepstow provide evidence of settlement dating from Palaeolithic times, and finds from later stone ages have also been found. These have yielded evidence of how prehistoric human populations lived as nomadic hunters and traders. The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic – lit. ...


Standing stones at Huntsham, Staunton, and Trellech all have origins dating back to the Bronze Age. Later, Iron Age forts along the lower Wye Valley, and in the Woolhope area, took advantage of the natural hilltops and promontories to form well-defended settlements. It is likely that many of these marked the edges of disputed pre-Roman territories. Standing stones, orthostats, liths or more commonly, megaliths because of their large and cumbersome size, are solitary stones set vertically in the ground. ... Staunton may refer to several things: Places Staunton, Illinois Staunton Township, Illinois Staunton, Indiana Staunton Township, Ohio Staunton, Virginia Staunton, Gloucestershire People Imelda Staunton, a British actress Howard Staunton, an English chess master who lends his name to a style of chess pieces Sir George Staunton, an English botanist who... Trellech is a village in Monmouthshire, Wales at grid reference SO500054, and the location of an archaeological site. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... Iron Age Axe found on Gotland This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age, for the mythological Iron Age see Iron Age (mythology). ...


Watling Street ran through the Roman settlements of Ariconium (just north of Ross) and Blestium (Monmouth), and a number of other small Roman settlements are known. The first evidence of the exploitation of iron and coal in the valley is found in the Roman period, with iron working known from sites at Monmouth, Trellech and elsewhere, as well as in the adjoining Forest of Dean. The medieval boroughs of Goodrich and Chepstow, at each end of the Wye Gorge, may have originally been established at this time. The modern Watling Street crossing the Medway at Rochester near the Roman and Celt crossings Watling Street is the name given to a British ancient trackway which was first used by the Celts mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. ... Area under Roman control  Roman Republic  Roman Empire  Western Empire  Eastern Empire Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a city-state founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Goodrich is a village in south Herefordshire situated near the River Wye at grid reference SO574193 and is famous for its old red sandstone castle. ...


Closely following the River Wye, Offa's Dyke was built in the 8th century to mark out the boundary between England and Wales and is, today, the longest archaeological monument in Britain. Offas Dyke (in Welsh, Clawdd Offa) is a massive earthwork, ostensibly between England and Wales, running from the estuary of the River Dee in the north to the River Wye in the south (approximately 150 miles, or 240 km). ...


The medieval period

When the Normans conquered the region in the eleventh century they immediately built major castles at Chepstow and Monmouth to defend the territory. Smaller castles were built at Goodrich and St Briavels. Norman conquests in red. ... St Briavels is a medium sized village in the extreme west of Gloucestershire, on the border between England and Wales. ...


Tintern Abbey was founded in 1131 by Cistercian monks, and largely rebuilt in the thirteenth century. It is the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales and an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. Tintern Abbey, 1993 Tintern Abbey, interior, 2004 Tintern Abbey was founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, on May 9, 1131. ... The Order of Cistercians (OCist) (Latin Cistercenses), otherwise Gimey or White Monks (from the colour of the habit, over which is worn a black scapular or apron) are a Catholic order of monks. ... Interior of Cologne Cathedral Gothic architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. ...


Many of the smaller villages in the area probably date from the Middle Ages, and much of this expansion was probably associated with the iron industry. The medieval iron industry consumed large quantities of charcoal and much of the woodland was coppiced for this purpose. Trellech was one of the largest communities in Wales during this period. Charcoal is the blackish residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. ... Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management, by which young tree stems are cut down to a foot or less from ground level. ...


The development of industry

The Lower Wye Valley can claim to be a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. A Watt steam engine. ...


Iron has been made in the Wye Valley since Roman times, using the ready supply of timber, good quality ore and abundant charcoal from the Forest of Dean. The river provided transport for the raw materials and finished product, and with the introduction of the blast furnace in the 1500s, its tributaries began to be used for water power. Blast furnace in Sestao, Spain. ...


The first brass made in Britain was founded at Tintern in 1566. Wire-making followed, with water mills situated on all the tributaries of the lower Wye. The area resounded to the noise and smoke of heavy industry for the next 400 years and gave rise to many pioneering industries. For instance, Whitebrook became famous for paper milling, when wallpaper became a fashionable way to decorate houses. At Redbrook, copper works were established by 1691, and a century later the village became one of the world's major tinplate manufacturing centres. This industry survived until the 1960's and was renowned for producing the thinnest, highest quality plate in the world. The Lydbrook valley was also a thriving centre for metal industries, such as the manufacture of telegraph cables. Brass is any alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses, each of which has unique properties[1]. Note that in comparison bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Mary Cassatts painting of two ladies drinking tea in a room with red-blue striped wallpapers. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Standard atomic weight 63. ... Tinplate consists of sheet steel covered with a thin layer of tin. ... Lydbrook is a village in the Forest of Dean, a local government district in Gloucestershire, England. ...


The valley woodlands were carefully managed to produce mature trees for shipbuilding, or by coppicing for charcoal, and to provide bark for tanning. The valley industries were also massive consumers of timber. A ship of 150 tons, for example, required 3,000 wagonloads of timber to complete — and in 1824, 13 ships were launched at Brockweir alone. Men from Francisco de Orellanas expedition building a small brigantine, the San Pedro, to be used in the search for food Shipbuilding is the construction of ships. ... Charcoal is the blackish residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. ... Tanning is the process of conversion of putrescible skin into non putrescible leather. ...


The river was the economic backbone of the region, providing an important means of transport, trade and communication. In late medieval times, salmon weirs hindered free passage on the river, but the Wye Navigation Act in 1662 enabled the river's potential to be developed. By 1727 shallow draught boats could get upstream beyond Hereford, and a significant shipbuilding industry developed at Monmouth, Llandogo, Brockweir and Chepstow. However, by 1835 it was stated that the Wye "can scarcely be considered a commercial highway" above Monmouth, and by the 1880s Brockweir bridge was the effective upper limit of navigation. Illustration of a male Coho Salmon The Chinook or King Salmon is the largest salmon in North America and can grow to 1. ... Llandogo is a village in south Wales, set on a steep hillside overlooking the River Wye. ...


As the 19th century progressed, the valley's industries gradually declined, and management of the woodlands lessened when there was no longer a ready market for their products.


The origins of British tourism

The Wye Valley witnessed the birth of British tourism in the eighteenth century. The earliest known appreciation of the area's spectacular beauty can be dated to the beginning of the century, when John Kyrle developed the 'Prospect' at Ross-on-Wye, and it was later mentioned in verse by Alexander Pope. Tourists on Oʻahu, Hawaii Tourism is travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes, and also refers to the provision of services in support of this act. ... John Kyrle (22 May 1637 - 7 November 1724), known as the Man of Ross, was an English philanthropist, was born in the parish of Dymock, Gloucestershire. ... Alexander Pope, an English poet best known for his Essay on Criticism and Rape of the Lock Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) is generally regarded as the greatest English poet of the early eighteenth century, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. ...


In 1745, John Egerton, later Bishop of Durham, started taking friends on boat trips down the valley from the rectory at Ross. The area became more widely known following the publication of works by the poet Thomas Gray, and, in particular, Observations on the River Wye by the Reverend William Gilpin, published in 1782. The first illustrated tour guide to be published in Britain, it helped travellers locate and enjoy the most "Picturesque" aspects of the countryside. Regular excursions began to be established from Ross, the boat journey to Chepstow taking two days. John Egerton (30 November 1721–18 June 1787) was an Anglican bishop. ... Arms of the Bishop of Durham The Bishop of Durham is the officer of the Church of England responsible for the diocese of Durham, one of the oldest in the country. ... Thomas Gray Thomas Gray (December 26, 1716 – July 30, 1771), was an English poet, classical scholar and professor of history at Cambridge University. ... The Reverend William Gilpin (1724-1804) was an English clergyman, schoolmaster and author, best known as one of the originators of the idea of the picturesque. ... Though the concept of the sublime had roots in the connoisseurship of Antiquity, the picturesque was a new category in the incipient Romantic sensibility of the 18th century. ...


Some of the most famous poets, writers and artists of the day made the pilgrimage to the great sights of Goodrich, Tintern and Chepstow — among them Coleridge, Thackeray and Turner. Wordsworth was also captivated by the area, writing Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey in 1798. Samuel Taylor Coleridge(October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834) (pronounced ) was an English poet, critic, and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. ... William Makepeace Thackeray William Makepeace Thackeray (18 July 1811 – 24 December 1863) was an English novelist of the 19th century. ... Self portrait, oil on canvas, circa 1799 Joseph Mallord William Turner (April 23, 1775 (exact date disputed) – December 19, 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker, whose style can be said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism. ... William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads. ...


The first of Britain's great landscapes to be 'discovered', the Wye Valley's particular attraction was its river scenery, and the many guidebooks, engravings and paintings ensured a continuing steady stream of visitors. Viewpoints were specially constructed, including the Kymin above Monmouth, with its round house giving panoramic views across the town. Another highlight for travellers was the cliff ascent and walks at Piercefield. However, most of the truly 'Picturesque' scenes were sketched from river level, with the shimmering water as the foreground for the forests and cliffs behind, and the castle and abbey ruins. Piercefield House near Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Wales, resulted from a 1785 commission by George Smith to remodel his existing house in the neo-classical style. ...


Transport

In 1813 the Monmouth Tramroad linked Coalway (near Coleford), Redbrook and Monmouth. This was the world's first railed-way to make specific powers in its Act of Parliament to allow for the charging of fares to passengers.


The standard gauge railway line between Chepstow, Monmouth and Ross opened much later, in 1876. This made the valley more accessible and popular to tourists. In the early 1900s, crowds of up to 1300 would travel on a special train journey to see Tintern Abbey on the night of the harvest moon. The line closed to passengers in 1959, although sections remain as bridleways and footbridges.


The road network in the lower Wye valley remained essentially undeveloped during the rise of the Valley's industrialisation, until a series of Turnpike trusts were authorised during the 18th century. It was not until 1828 that the current Wye Valley road, the A466, was first constructed. The Hyde Park Toll Gate, London. ... The numbering zones for A-roads in Great Britain List of A roads beginning with 4 in Great Britain starting north of the A4 and south/west of the A5. ...


The area became more accessible to much of the country with the building of the M50 between the M5 and Ross-on-Wye, and the opening of the Severn Bridge (now part of the M48) in 1966. The M50 The M50 motorway in England & Wales runs for twenty-one miles westward from the M5 motorway just north of Tewkesbury, to meet the A40 road and A449 road at Ross-on-Wye. ... The M5 near J28, Devon This article concerns the M5 motorway in England. ... For the Ontario community, see Severn Bridge, Ontario. ... The M48 is a small motorway in England and Wales that includes the original Severn Bridge. ...


Management of the area

The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was first designated in 1971. The designation indicates the importance of recognising and preserving the area's distinctive qualities, for the benefit of present and future generations.


Administratively the area is very complex, being the only protected landscape to straddle the border between England and Wales. The Counties of Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire are each in a different government region.


Co-ordination of conservation across these political boundaries is undertaken by an AONB unit and Joint Advisory Committee. A Management Plan for the AONB enlists a range of partners in conserving and enhancing its beauty for the benefit of present and future generations.


External links

  • Official site for the Wye Valley AONB
  • Tourist information on the Wye Valley
Anglesey | Clwydian Range | Moel Famau | Gower | Lleyn | Wye Valley

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wye Not.com - A photographic tour of Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley (592 words)
See Ross on Wye both past and present by viewing photographs of events.
Visit caves, castles and places of both historic and scenic interest within the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, such as Symonds Yat and Yat Rock.
Above all, I hope you enjoy your virtual tour of Ross on Wye and the Wye Valley with it's scenic views and historical buildings.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m