Dating new south wales
The Severn and Wye, two of Britain’s longest rivers, lie partly within central and eastern Wales and drain into the Bristol Channel via the Severn estuary.
The main river in northern Wales is the Dee, which empties into Liverpool Bay.
However, glaciers during the Pleistocene blanketed most of the landscape with till (boulder clay), scraped up and carried along by the underside of the great ice sheets, so that few soils can now be directly related to their parent rock.
Acidic, leached podzol soils and brown earths predominate throughout Wales.
Famed for its strikingly rugged landscape, the small nation of Wales—which comprises six distinctive regions—was one of Celtic Europe’s most prominent political and cultural centres, and it retains aspects of culture that are markedly different from those of its English neighbours.
Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) had topography, history, and current events alike in mind when he observed that Wales is a “country very strongly defended by high mountains, deep valleys, extensive woods, rivers, and marshes; insomuch that from the time the Saxons took possession of the island the remnants of the Britons, retiring into these regions, could never be entirely subdued either by the English or by the Normans.” In time, however, Wales was in fact subdued and, by the Act of Union of 1536, formally joined to the kingdom of England.
Explore the State Library's incredible maps, journals, drawings and books to understand how the pieces of our continent were gradually put together.
In the face of constant change, Wales continues to seek both greater independence and a distinct place in an integrated Europe.
Wales is bounded by the Dee estuary and Liverpool Bay to the north, the Irish Sea to the west, the Severn estuary and the Bristol Channel to the south, and England to the east.
Among the lesser rivers and estuaries are the Clwyd and Conwy in the northeast, the Tywi in the south, and the Rheidol in the west, draining into Cardigan Bay (Bae Ceredigion).
The country’s natural lakes are limited in area and almost entirely glacial in origin.