Wales 2017: The Year of The Dragon

Wales & Glanusk

VIDEO: Welcome to Wales
Glanusk Park and Estate

Wales – never to be confused with England, is a country which is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It has a population of just over 3 million and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq. mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the North Temperate Zone and has a changeable, maritime climate, so one can expect rain and wind.


Wales has its own elected parliament situated in the capital – Cardiff. Although Wales closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and the vast majority of the population speaks English, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh Language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west

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Glanusk Park and Estate is privately owned by the Legge-Bourke family. It is situated in the countryside of the Usk Valley, South Wales in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and is one of the largest privately owned Estates in Wales.

The park and estate contains 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of common land, 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of farmland and a five-mile (8 km) stretch of the River Usk. The mansion that was built by the founder was demolished in 1952, due to fire damage which took place during the Army’s requisition of the building.glanusk2780x440px

However the family still live in the Dower house (Penmyarth) and numerous other buildings are acknowledged as of either grade II or grade III architectural importance. These include the Tower Bridge, the gamekeeper’s cottage, numerous farm buildings dating from 1826 and a private chapel. There are also some Celtic standing stones.

There are 400 acres (160 ha) of private parkland and 800 acres (320 ha) of forest which also includes a collection of 120 different species of oak trees.

Today the estate is used for angling and pheasant shooting and for events and festivals, including the Green Man music festival.


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Glanusk is situated only 1km from the attractive town of Crickhowell.

The name Crickhowell is taken from that of the nearby Iron Age hill fort of Crug Hywel above the town, the Welsh language name being anglicised by map-makers and local English-speaking people. The town lies on the River Usk, on the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The town has a population of around 2,800 people.

 John Evans described Crickhowell as the "Glittering Jewel of the Vale" in his 19c book, The Garden of Wales. Crickhowell is a small market town with many individual shops, ancient inns and plenty to do for visitors and residents.

Crickhowell is a small market town with many individual shops, ancient inns and plenty to do for visitors and residents.

Crickhowell is a popular tourist destination. In 2005 a Tourist Information centre was built in the centre of town and during summer the town is notably busier. Most people visit Crickhowell to see the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, and maybe enjoy some mountain-biking, camping, hillwalking, rock climbing, fly-fishing, hang-gliding, caravanning or simply tour the area by car staying at Bed-and-breakfasts.

Notable features in Crickhowell include the seventeenth-century stone bridge over the River Usk with its odd arches (twelve on one side, thirteen on the other) and its seat built into the walls, the 14th-century parish church of St Edmund, and the ruins of Crickhowell Castle on the green “tump” beside the A40 Brecon to Abergavenny road.

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