Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Free the Monmouth 1

I had an interesting discussion recently about the ancient county of Monmouthshire, currently residing in the South East corner of Wales. It’s not, strictly speaking, a typically Welsh county – it’s not really Welsh at all.

Monmouthshire was an English Marcher county until 1968 when it was formally absorbed into Wales. Most of its inhabitants have always thought of themselves as being of English extraction. The county town of Monmouth is a quintessentially English town - and the County voted very heavily against a Welsh Assembly in 1997.

As Wikipedia says ‘The modern border between Wales and England is highly arbitrary; it was largely defined in the 16th century, based on medieval feudal boundaries. It has apparently never been confirmed by referendum or reviewed by any Boundary Commission (except to confirm Monmouthshire as part of Wales in 1968).’

So, if we ever do get an English parliament, do you think we should ask for our county back? After all, we’re not talking hundreds of years – the boundary change took place less than 40 years ago.

Maybe we should ask the inhabitants what they would like to do?

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