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Welsh: Cwmbrân
Cwmbran (United Kingdom)

Cwmbran shown within the United Kingdom
Population 50,000+
OS grid reference ST295955
Principal area Torfaen
Ceremonial county Gwent
Constituent country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CWMBRAN
Postcode district NP44
Dialling code 01633
Police Gwent
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
European Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Torfaen
List of places: UKWalesTorfaen

Coordinates: 51°39'13?N 3°01'16?W? / ?51.6536, -3.021

Cwmbran (Welsh: Cwmbrân) is a new town in southern Wales within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire. It was established in 1949 to provide new employment in the south eastern portion of the South Wales Coalfield. 'Cwmbran' means valley of the crow in the Welsh language. Based around the villages of Old Cwmbran, Pontnewydd, Upper Cwmbran [1], Croesyceiliog, Llantarnam and Llanyrafon, its population had grown to 47,254 by 2001.[1]. Historically, Neolithic and Bronze Age people used the area with the Iron Age Silures tribe also occupying the region before being subdued by the Romans.

Around 1179, Hywel Lord of Caerleon gave a gift of money and land to found the Cistercian Abbey at Llantarnam in Cwmbran. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the Abbey was closed and was bought by a succession of wealthy landowners.

By the 18th Century the Abbey had passed into the Blewitt family who were to become key figures in the early industrialization of Cwmbran. Brick-making, lime kilns; iron ore, quarrying and coal-mining were established during this period along with a canal to transport goods to the docks at Newport. In 1833 the Ordnance Survey of Monmouthshire shows Cwmbran as a farm situated in the area now known as Upper Cwmbran, in the valley named Cwm Bran. Cwmbran covers approximately 3000 acres and has a population around the 50,000 mark


[edit] Location

Sitting as it does on the corner of the South Wales Coalfield it has a hilly aspect to its western and northern edges, with the surrounding hills climbing to over 1,000 feet. The Afon Llwyd forms the major river valley; although the most significant water course is probably the remains of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. To the east of Cwmbran the land is less hilly, forming part of the Usk valley.

[edit] Cwmbran Shopping Centre

Cwmbran Shopping Centre
Cwmbran Shopping Centre

Main article: Cwmbran Shopping Centre

Cwmbran Shopping Centre is advertised as the largest under-cover shopping centre in Wales. Unlike most shopping centres, which are usually situated on the outskirts of towns and cities, Cwmbran's town centre is formed wholly by the shopping centre [2].

[edit] Education

The town is home to three comprehensive schools: Croesyceiliog School, Llantarnam School and Fairwater High School. There are numerous primary [3] and nursery schools as well as the Welsh medium school, Ysgol Gynradd Cymraeg. The town centre also boasts a 'Learn-IT' centre (part of Coleg Gwent).

The tower block in Cwmbran
The tower block in Cwmbran

[edit] Sport

The town is perhaps most widely known now for its international sports stadium [4], home to international athletics events in the 1970s and 1980s. The stadium is also the home the football teams, Cwmbran Town and Cwmbran Celtic. Separate grounds at Pontnewydd and Croesyceiliog house the town's two senior rugby teams, Cwmbran and Croesyceiliog, although many more of the town's residents owe their allegiances to the rugby sides in the older, adjacent town of Pontypool, and city of Newport. The town has three athletic clubs Cwmbran Harriers [5], Fairwater Runners [6], and Griffithstown Harriers [7].

[edit] Transport

Cwmbran railway station [8] is served by trains on the Welsh Marches Line [9].

[edit] Miscellaneous

Cwmbran is twinned with Bruchsal, Germany and Carbonne, France.

It is often joked that Cwmbran has the most roundabouts per square mile than any other town, hence its nickname as 'Home of the Roundabout'.

[edit] Famous locals

[edit] References

  • Village Publishing (1985). 'The trains don't stop here anymore....' - A pictorial history of Cwmbrân from the 1930s to the present day. Village Publishing. ISBN 0-946043-07-8. 
  • Cwmbrân & District Writers (2004). Cwmbrân - And other Routes as the crow flies. ISBN 1-872730-34-5. 
  • Philip Riden (1988). Rebuilding a Valley. Cwmbran Development Corporation. ISBN 0-9510548-1-3. 

[edit] External links

(Source: Wikipedia)
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