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Arts and crafts in Monmouthshire

Monmouthshire is in South East Wales. It has a population of around 91,000 and covers approximately 85,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Newport, Powys.

County flag of MonmouthshireThe modern county of Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy in Welsh) was formed in 1996 and takes its name from the historic county of Monmouthshire, which had different borders to the west but also bordered the Severn estuary and the River Wye to the south and east. The council headquarters are in the town of Usk (Brynbuga in Welsh), which is overlooked by a 12th century Norman castle and the largest town in the county is Abergavenny (Y Fenni in Welsh), which is often called the Gateway to Wales. Part of the range of hills called the Black Mountains (Y Mynyddoedd Duon in Welsh) runs through Monmouthshire and on into the neighbouring English county of Herefordshire. Popular activities in the mountains include hiking, horse riding and hang gliding and the area has other attractions such as historic ruins and picturesque villages.

The market town of Monmouth (Trefynwy in Welsh) has drawn tourists for generations with attractions such as its castle, museum and the Savoy Theatre, considered to be the oldest working theatre in Wales. The town hosts annual events such as a regatta, music festival and the largest one day agricultural show in Wales. The arts centre has a gallery which exhibits locally made arts and crafts work, as well as running courses teaching a range of skills. The area is also popular with visitors who come to enjoy outdoor activities such as walking in the scenic landscape of the nearby Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Forest of Dean and Offas Dyke Path. Those looking to get a sense of life dating back to medieval times could visit Caldicot Castle, which has been largely restored and where themed events are held such as a Welsh medieval banquet. There is also a small museum in the castle with a collection of exhibits from local history and visitors can enjoy walking and picnicking in the surrounding country park.

Doris Hare MBE

(Born 1905 in Bargoed in Monmouthshire), Theatre

She is perhaps best known for playing the mum of Butler from On the Buses. She was acting in film between 1934 and 1995. However, she way also a successful West End and Broadway stage actress.

Angus McBean

(Born 1904 in Newbridge in Monmouthshire), Photography

Known as a photographer who was a photo-surrealism pioneer. He photographed many music and film stars including Laurence Olivier, Vivienne Leigh and The Beatles.