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The ancient county of Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535. The county bordered Gloucestershire to the east, Herefordshire to the northeast, Brecknockshire to the north, and Glamorgan to the west. Historically there is some ambiguity as to whether the county was part of Wales or England, but since 1974 the area has been placed definitively in Wales. The eastern and southern boundaries of the historic county and principal area are the same; however, the western two-fifths of the historic county are now administered by the other unitary authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, and Newport. The administrative county of Monmouthshire, and associated Lieutenancy were abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The area largely became part of the new local government and ceremonial county of Gwent.

[edit] Principal area

Main article: Monmouthshire Council

The current unitary authority was created on April 1, 1996 as a successor to the district of Monmouth along with the Llanelly community from Blaenau Gwent, both of which were districts of Gwent. The use of the name "Monmouthshire" rather than "Monmouth" for the area was mildly controversial, being supported by the MP for Monmouth, Roger Evans, but being opposed by Paul Murphy, MP for Torfaen (inside the historic county of Monmouthshire but being reconstituted as a separate unitary authority). [1] By area it covers some 60% of the historic county, but only 20% of the population. The council's administrative headquarters are at the former Gwent County Hall at Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran — outside of its own jurisdiction in the neighbouring borough of Torfaen. It is the only principal area in Wales administered from outside its boundaries. In comparison to the pre-1974 areas it covers:

[edit] Places of interest

Raglan Castle
Raglan Castle
See List of places in Monmouthshire for a list of settlements in the principal area.

[edit] Schools

Top performing secondary schools in Monmouthshire, 5 GCSEs, grades A-C, according to the latest inspection report from Estyn:

64% Chepstow School, Chepstow
59% Monmouth Comprehensive School, Monmouth
53% King Henry VIII School, Abergavenny

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