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Cowbridge is a market town in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales. It is one of very few medieval walled towns in Wales, and substantial portions of the walls, together with the south gate, are still standing. The town centre is still arranged on its medieval plan, with one long street divided into "burgage plots". However, the town goes back further, to a Roman settlement of which many remains have been found during archaeological excavations. It is identified by some scholars as the site of the Roman fort of "Bovium", partly because of its name. However, the town's Welsh name, Y Bont Faen, literally means "the stone bridge".

The 18th century antiquary, Iolo Morganwg, inventor of the present-day rituals of the National Eisteddfod of Wales kept a bookshop in the High Street, the location of which is now marked with a plaque inscribed in Welsh and ogham script. It was just outside the town that he held the first meeting of the Gorsedd, an assembly of bards, in 1795. Cowbridge Grammar School was founded during the 17th century and had close links with Jesus College, Oxford through its founder, Dr Leoline Jenkins. Its famous pupils included the poet, Alun Lewis, and the actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins. It was eventually turned into a comprehensive school, and the buildings, having for some time lain derelict, are about to undergo refurbishment for an alternative use.