10 AMAZING Facts About WALES
Wales is a country like no other. By visiting this small landmass to the west of England, you would think sheep are one step closer to ruling the world. What’s more, some four hundred crazy Welsh beachgoers set a short-lived world record for the most skinny dippers at a single venue! Be sure to buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Skinny Dipping World Record
On Sunday June 19th, 2011 around four hundred people stripped down to their birthday suits and plunged into the frigid waters of Rhossili beach. This was done in an attempt to break the world record of the largest skinny dip at a single venue. The swimmers reportedly came from across the UK and Europe to Rhossili beach, which is situated at the lower tip of the country. The previous record is believed to be held by approximately 250 brave individuals. This event in Wales was organized by Alison Powell, as a unique way to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity and the National Trust. Amazingly, the group waded waist deep in the freezing water for a minimum of ten minutes, smashing the record held previously. Sadly the title wouldn’t stick. In early March of 2015, a new record of 790 was set in Perth, Australia.
The Arts, Alive And Well In Wales
Wales is correctly dubbed “the land of song.” One source claims that this is “a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs.” The country has had a rich history of music, making singing such a major part of their identity as a nation. Sporting events and the arts closely coincide in Wales. The tradition of choral singing, male in particular, has been highlighted at such events. Brass bands have flourished in Wales ever since the Victorian era. Cory Band is one of the most successful in the world; they formed in 1884 and are among the oldest to still play today – with different members of course. As early as 1187, people have been documented to sing and harmonize as a way of communication rather than typical speech in Welsh territory. This is taken from the writings of medieval chronicler Geraldus Cambrensis.
Origins of the Modern Day Mail Order System
British entrepreneur Pryce Pryce-Jones was born in Llanllwchaiarn, Wales on November 16th, 1834. He began his career working as an apprentice to the local draper in Newton, Wales. In 1856, he took over the business and renamed it ‘Royal Welsh Warehouse,’ where he sold local flannel products. With the establishment of a national post office, and the extension of the railway network, Jones came up with a concept that would forever change the world. In 1861, he began distributing catalogues across the country and allowing customers abroad to order their items via the post. Thus modern day mail order was born! Without Pryce Pryce-Jones’ invention, informercials and companies such as Amazon.com may have never existed.
Famous People From Wales
Colonel Sir George Everest was born on July 4th, 1790 in Crickhowell, Wales. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and was appointed assistant to Colonel William Lambton in 1818. Lambton had started the Great Trigonometrical Survey of the subcontinent of India in 1806. Upon the Colonel’s death in 1823, Everest took up his predecessors work. He is credited with several important geographical breakthroughs. It was because of the Great Trigonometrical Survey that the three Himalayan giants: Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga’s heights were measured. In 1865, Mount Everest was named by the Royal Geographical Society in his honor despite objections coming from Sir George Everest himself. Other famous people from Wales include movie actor Christian Bale, singer Tom Jones, movie actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and movie actor Anthony Hopkins.
The Seven Wonders of Wales
The poem, or nursery rhyme as some call it that follows was written anonymously by a believed English visitor sometime in the late 18th or early 19th century. In it, the Seven Wonders of Wales are listed. It goes as follows: Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple, Snowdon’s mountain without its people, Overton Yew-trees, St. Winifred wells, Llangollen Bridge and Gresford bells. As Britannia.com summarizes quite nicely, many would argue with the author’s choice of so called “wonders.” They are all found in the same general location and can all be viewed within one or two days’ time. It should be noted that St. Winifred’s Well is also referenced to in the late 14th century poem, ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.’ It speaks of a knight from King Arthur’s Round Table and his journey and struggles to remain chivalrous and loyal.
Sports In Wales
Sporting events are one of the greatest ways to showcase Welsh national pride. Rugby is one of the most enjoyed of all sports in Wales, with football, or soccer as it is referred to in some areas, acting as a very close rival in terms of popularity. Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium is the largest in Europe to feature a fully retractable roof. It can hold approximately 75,000 people and hosts a wide range of sports events. World Championship boxing matches have been held under its roof, along with cricket and motorcycle racing. Golf is another sport often played in Wales, this is more unique to the country than a majority of Europe. The country is home to over two hundred courses, and has hosted the Ryder Cup at the Celtic-Manor Resort, among one of the world’s largest sporting events.
Ehm, uhm… Hmm.. Can any from Wales help me on this one? “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” is a large village located on the Menai Strait and next to the Britannia Bridge as one source clearly puts it. A census conducted in 2001 shows that just around 3,040 people live in the community. Although it is called many different things for simplicity’s sakes, the long version as dictated earlier is comprised of 58 characters and 51 letters. It is officially recognized as the longest place name in the United Kingdom, and among the longest in the world as well. This absurdly lengthy label for the town was thought up by a local tailor in the 19th century as a way to commercialize the area and open it up to tourism. In English, it quite literally means: “St. Mary’s Church In The Hollow Of The White Hazel Near The Rapid Whirlpool Of Llantysilio Of The Red Cave.”
The Caernarfon Castle
The Caernarfon Castle is an enormous medieval fortress located in Gwynedd, Wales. It was built by King Edward I in the late 13th century during a period when he replaced outdated structures, such as the castle, which was originally constructed in the 11th century, but at the time of King Edward, it was far behind the times. This stronghold acted as the administrative center of north Wales. As a result, many defenses were built in the area on a grand scale. The Caernarfon Castle is considered to be the most impressive and preserved castles in Europe. Thirteen separate towers and two gates remain in excellent shape for their age. Many Welsh families visit the fortress, which is open to the public. In 1969, it was the scene of Prince Charles investiture as Prince of Wales by Queen Elizabeth II.
Traditional Welsh cuisine hails from the working man such as the farmer, fisherman, coal miner and laborer. Fresh garden vegetables, with leeks being the most famous, are a known staple of Welsh and Irish cuisine. Because of the countries close proximity to St. Georges Channel, among others, fish have also made their way onto the dinner table. Some of the more popular catches include: Bass, Mullet, Flounder and Tope. During the winter, your best bet in Welsh waters is catching a Whiting or Cod. Lamb is the best source of protein enjoyed by the great majority. In earlier days, lamb was reserved for Holy days and other holidays. During those times, pig was the most common everyday meat. Wales’s cuisine has been heavily influenced by that of its neighbor, England. A well-known food associated with Wales is Shepherd’s Pie. This extraordinarily simple meal is prepared by cooking meat, often lamb, in a crust of mashed potatoes. A more traditional way to top off any Shepherd’s Pie in Wales is to add a layer of cheese and leeks to its crust.
More Sheep Than Humans
Wales is a somewhat smaller West-European country. Because of this, its human population is just over three million inhabitants. This is nothing unusual and rather expected. What is so interesting is that the food many of them eat actually outnumbers the Welsh population, three to one. A survey conducted in 2012 shows that 8.9 million sheep and lambs live in the countryside. This number has slowly been rising ever since and can be attributed to the 1840’s ‘population boom.’ In one decade, the number of sheep tripled from four million to approximately thirteen million. Sheep serve as an important part of Wales’s economy. The Black Welsh Mountain is a breed of black sheep with adequately soft fleece used in combination with other wools.