Conwy County Borough (Welsh: Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy) is a county borough in the north of Wales. It borders Gwynedd to the west and south and Denbighshire to the east. The largest settlement is Colwyn Bay, and Conwy is the administrative centre.

Conwy County Borough
Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy (Welsh)
View across the Conwy estuary from the Great Orme to Penmaenmawr and Snowdonia (Eryri)
View across the Conwy estuary from the Great Orme to Penmaenmawr and Snowdonia (Eryri)
Coat of arms of Conwy County Borough Council
Location of Conwy County Borough
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Wales
Preserved countyClwyd
Established1 April 1996
Admin HQConwy
Largest townColwyn Bay
 • TypePrincipal council
 • BodyConwy County Borough Council
 • ControlTBA (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSs
 • Total1,126 km2 (435 sq mi)
 • Rank6th
 • Total114,828
 • Rank15th
 • Density102/km2 (260/sq mi)
  • Rank16th
 • Ethnicity
98.2% White
Welsh language
 • Rank5th
 • Any skills25.9%
Geocode00NE (ONS)
W06000003 (GSS)
ISO 3166 codeGB-CWY

Conwy has an area of 435 square miles (1,130 km2) and a population of 114,800, making it sparsely populated. The population is concentrated along the coast, along which are several seaside resorts and the county's largest towns: Colwyn Bay (34,284), Llandudno (20,701), and Conwy (14,753). Inland is much less populous, and the only town is Llanrwst (3,323).

The geography of Conwy is shaped by the River Conwy, which forms a wide valley down the western half of the county, bordered by the Denbigh Moors to the east and the mountains of Snowdonia National Park to the west. The River Elwy, a tributary of the Clwyd, drains the eastern half of the moors. The Conwy forms a wide estuary as it reaches the coast, which has by wide, sandy beaches and the limestone headlands of the Great Orme and the Little Orme. The highest peak within the county is Carnedd Llewelyn, at 1,064 metres (3,491 ft), which is on the boundary with Gwynedd and is the third-highest summit in Wales. Around Betws-y-Coed is the Gwydir Forest, which is mainly given over to plantations. There are several reservoirs in the valleys, the largest of which is Llyn Brenig, which has an area of 3.7 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi) and extends into Denbighshire.

Geography edit

The River Conwy, after which the county borough is named, lies wholly within the area: rising in Snowdonia and flowing through Llanrwst and Trefriw en route to the Irish Sea by Conwy. The river here marks the border between the historic counties of Caernarfonshire and Denbighshire.

One third of the land area of the county borough lies in the Snowdonia National Park, and the council appoint three of the 18 members of the Snowdonia National Park Authority. Its total area is 1,126 km2 (435 sq mi), making it slightly larger than Hong Kong.[1] The eastern part includes the larger section of Denbigh Moors.

The vast majority of the population live on the coast; the only settlement of any size inland is Llanrwst.

Welsh language edit

According to the 2001 census 39.7% of the population of the county borough have "one or more skills" in Welsh.[2] In 2021 census 25.9% reported being able to speak Welsh, which ranks Conwy 5th out of 22 principal areas in Wales.[3] The amount of Welsh spoken in the county borough greatly varies from location to location, with generally the least being spoken on the coastal fringe, in which English is mainly spoken.

Examples of the percentage of people age 3+ speaking Welsh by electoral ward, as of the 2011 census:[4]

Ward Percentage of
Welsh speakers
Mostyn 18.4%
Colwyn 20.7%
Conwy 28.7%
Trefriw 45.6%
Eglwysbach 54.3%
Uwch Conwy 60.7%
Llangernyw 65.8%

Government edit

The county borough was formed on 1 April 1996 by merging the districts of Aberconwy and Colwyn. It was originally named Aberconwy and Colwyn, but its council renamed the district a day later, on 2 April 1996, to Conwy.

Politics edit

Conwy is represented in the UK Parliament by Conservative Party politicians Robin Millar and David Jones, though the Clwyd West seat also includes part of southern Denbighshire. In the Senedd, it is represented by Conservative Party politicians Janet Finch-Saunders and Darren Millar.

Coat of arms edit

Arms of Nefydd Hardd, Chirk Castle

Conwy County Borough Council was granted a coat of arms by the College of Arms in 2001.[5] The new arms recall those of both Aberconwy and Colwyn Borough Councils. The main part of the shield depicts blue and silver waves for the river from which the county borough takes its name, and also recalls the gold and blue wavy field of Colwyn's arms. On top of the waves is placed a symbolic red tower, representing Conwy Castle. The chief or upper third of the shield is coloured green, the main colour in Aberconwy's arms. In the centre of the chief is a severed head from the heraldry of Marchudd ap Cynan, Lord of Abergele and Rhos. On either side are two black spears embrued, or having drops of blood on their points. These come from the reputed arms of Nefydd Hardd, associated with the Nant Conwy area. In front of each spear is a golden garb or wheatsheaf, for the rural areas of the county borough.

Above the shield, placed on the steel helm usual in British civic arms, is the crest. This takes the form of the Welsh red dragon supporting a Bible, rising from a wreath of oak leaves and acorns. The Bible is to commemorate the first Welsh language translation of the book, which originated in the area, while the oak circlet recalls that an oak tree formed the main charge in the arms of Colwyn Borough Council, and its predecessor the municipal borough of Colwyn Bay.

The motto adopted is Tegwch i Bawb, meaning "Fairness to All".

Railway edit

The Conwy Valley Line, from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog, runs through the borough.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – CONWY COUNTY population (W06000003)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  2. ^ "2011 Census – ONS".
  3. ^ "How life has changed in Conwy: Census 2021".
  4. ^ "2011 Census - area profiles - wards (electoral divisions)".
  5. ^ Letters Patent dated 27 August 2001

External links edit

53°08′26″N 3°46′14″W / 53.14056°N 3.77056°W / 53.14056; -3.77056