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Gwent was originally the name of a medieval kingdom in Britain, roughly equivalent to the eastern half of the county of Monmouthshire. Its name literally means 'place', or 'the place'. It came into existence after the Romans had left Britain in 430 AD and survived in various forms until the Norman invasion in 1090 AD.

During the local government reorganisation exercise of 1974, the name Gwent was bizarrely given to one of the eight new administrative counties of Wales, covering almost exactly the same area as Monmouthshire (i.e. twice the original kingdom's area).

This led to the confusing situation where it seemed that Monmouthshire itself had somehow been renamed. Further administrative reorganisation has occurred since, so that Monmouthshire is now governed by unitary authorities. The name 'Gwent' survives in various titles, e.g., Gwent Police, Royal Gwent Hospital, Gwent Theatre.

The unitary authorities are: