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Monmouthshire (traditional)

Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy), along with the other traditional counties of Wales, came into existence as a result of the 1536 Act of Union. Because of the odd number of counties, Monmouthshire was included in the English legal circuit, even though it was part of Wales, leading to confusion about which country it officially belonged to. Within living memory even official documents sometimes referred to "England, Wales and Monmouthshire". The Local Government Act of 1888 created the administrative county of Monmouthshire using the same boundaries as the traditional county, but local government changes in 1974 and 1996 mean the traditional county and local government areas are no longer the same.

The city of Newport is the largest settlement and traditionally the administrative and cultural centre of the county


Known in Welsh as Sir Fynwy. A maritime County bounded N. by Herefordshire and Brecknockshire, E. by Gloucestershire, S. by the Bristol channel and W. by Glamorgan. Area 341,688 acres. Population 474,000. The N. and NW. of the County is mountainous, the Black Mountains extend into the County. The highest point is Chwarel-y-Fan (2,226 ft). The former coal mining valleys of the NW of the County remain heavily populated, although there is no longer a working pit in the County. Towards the seaboard the land is flatter and lowland farming predominates. The main towns are Abergavenny, Abertillery, Blackwood, Blaenavon, Chepstow, Cwmbran, Ebbw Vale, Monmouth, Newport, Pontypool, Rhymney and Tredegar. The chief rivers are the Wye (much of which forms the border with Gloucestershire), the Usk and the Rhymney (which forms the border with Glamorgan). The County has a diverse industrial base including agriculture, electronics, engineering, tourism and service industries.

Places of special interest (with national grid references):