|Area: 190 km²|
Newport (Welsh: Casnewydd) is the third-largest city in Wales (after Cardiff and Swansea). Standing on the banks of the River Usk, it is the cultural capital and largest urban area of the traditional county of Monmouthshire and governed by the unitary Newport City Council. The population of the Newport urban area is in excess of 160,000 inhabitants (est. 2006).
The name Newport comes from the the fact that that Caerleon was the 'old port' on the river Usk, but as ships became bigger, they could no longer navigate the river to Caerleon so a new port/dock was built near to where the Riverfront Arts Centre stands today.
The Welsh name for the city, Casnewydd-ar-Wysg (IPA: [kas'n???ð ar 'w?sk]) means 'New castle-on-Usk' (this is a shortened version of Castell Newydd ar Wysg). This refers to the twelfth-century castle ruins near the city centre. The original Newport Castle was a small Motte-and-bailey castle in the park opposite St. Woolos Cathedral. It was buried in rubble excavated from the railway tunnels that were dug under Stow Hill in the 1840s and no part of it is currently visible.
Newport also has the Latin name Novus Burgus, meaning new borough or new town. It is sometimes labelled Newport-on-Usk on old maps.
The city's importance as a trading port in the Middle Ages was emphasised when a 15th century ship, referred to locally as the Newport ship, was uncovered from the bank of the Usk in 2002, during the construction of the Riverfront Arts Centre.
The city is home to the world-class Celtic Manor Resort, Europe's leading five-star conference resort and home of the Celtic Manor Wales Open, the annual European Tour golf tournament. The resort is also venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup.
The River Usk at Newport has always proved an attractive place to make a home. Bronze Age fishermen settled around its fertile estuary and later the Celtic Silures built hill forts overlooking it. In AD 75, on the very edge of their empire, the Roman legions built a fortress at Caerleon to defend the river crossing. The Normans arrived in 1090 to build a castle and river crossing downstream. Around the settlement, the New Town grew to be become Newport, and was granted a charter by Hugh, Earl of Stafford in 1385.
Newport was the focal point of a major Chartist uprising in 1839, where John Frost and 3,000 others marched on the Westgate Hotel. John Frost Square, in the centre of the city, is named in his honour.
The county borough of Newport was granted city status in 2002 to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.
Other key dates:
864: St. Woolos church founded by St. Gwynllyw, later to become St. Woolos Cathedral.
1140: The first wooden castle is built on Stow Hill.
1672: Tredegar House completed.
1796: Opening of the Monmouthshire canal.
1842: Town Dock opens — able to accommodate the largest ships in the world.
1870: W. H. Davies, renowned poet born in Portland Street, Pillgwenlly.
1877: Athletic grounds at Rodney Parade opens.
1894: Belle Vue Park opens.
1906: Transporter Bridge opens.
1937: King George VI visits Newport and cuts first sod of new Civic Centre building.