Cowbridge

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Coordinates: 51°27′38″N 3°26′53″W / 51.4605°N 3.4480°W / 51.4605; -3.4480

Cowbridge (Welsh: Y Bont-faen) is a market town in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of Cardiff. Cowbridge is twinned with Clisson in the Loire-Atlantique department in northwestern France.

Contents

History

Roman times

The town lies on the site of a Roman settlement identified by some scholars as the fort of Bovium (cow-place). Recent excavations have revealed extensive Roman settlement;[1] the town lies alongside a Roman road. There are 17th century references to a 'cow-bridge' over a tributary of the river Thaw (which flows through the town) but Cowbridge's Welsh name, Y Bont-faen, means literally 'the stone bridge'.[2]

Middle Ages

The town centre is still arranged on its medieval plan, with one long street divided into "burgage plots". It is one of very few medieval walled towns in Wales, and substantial portions of the walls, together with the south gate, are still standing. On 13 March 1254, Cowbridge received its first borough charter from Richard de Clare[3], the Lord of Glamorgan. Richard de Clare was one of the most powerful Barons of the day, having huge estates stretching across much of South Wales and also lands in southern and eastern England.

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