Glamorgan (Morgannwg) is an industrialised, urbanised county lying along the northern coast of the Bristol Channel: is the southernmost and most populous county in Wales, containing the great cities of Cardiff and Swansea amongst many smaller towns.
The northern part of the County is a mountainous area, dissected by deep narrow valleys, with urbanisation typified by ribbon development. The coal industry shaped these valleys and their communities, and though it has disappeared nevertheless this area remains heavily populated with light industry and the service sector now providing the economic base. In contrast, the Vale of Glamorgan in the very south of the county is a lowland area mainly comprising farmland and small villages stretches across most of the south of the county from Porthcawl to Cardiff. In contrast to the cities and valleys, much of the Vale remains unspoilt and rural.
Further west, beyond Swansea, lies the Gower peninsula, a place of renowned scenic beauty and sea air.
Cardiff, at the south-eastern end of Glamorgan, is the cultural centre of Wales, and its capital, It sits on a wide bay, now barraged. The city is undergoing ambitious redevelopment. One of its suburbs, the village of Llandaff, is the seat of an ancient bishopric. Swansea, Wales’ second city and Cardiff’s great rival, lies in the south-west of the county, around the grand sweep of Swansea Bay, immortalised in Bryan Martin Davies’ Glas. Both cities were horribly mauled in the Blitz and the entirety of Swansea’s town centre was destroyed.
The County has a wide and diverse economic base including: public administration, agriculture, light industry, manufacturing, service sector, tourism.
County Town: Cardiff Main Towns: Aberavon, Aberdare, Barry, Caerphilly, Llantrisant, Maesteg, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, Pontypridd, Port Talbot, Swansea.
Main Rivers: Taff, Ely, Rumney, Daw, Ogmore.
Highlights: Cardiff Castle; Caerphilly Castle; Castell Coch; Glamorgan Heritage Coast; Gower; Tinkinswood burial chamber.
Highest Point: Craig-y-llyn, 1,969 feet. Area: 845 sq miles
County Flower: Yellow Whitlowgrass