TODAY'S news that Newport is working with Cardiff and Bristol to create a 'Great Western Cities' region prompted us to look at some things the three cities share.

Spectacular bridges

Newport Transporter Bridge

South Wales Argus: Newport Transporter Bridge group seeks UNESCO status

Newport's Transporter Bridge is one of eight remaining in use worldwide. The bridge's great height (73.6 metres/241.5 ft) was needed  to allow ships to pass under. Refurbished and re-opened in July 2010, the bridge was chosen to symbolise Newport on the logo of the Nato summit held in the city in 2014.

Clifton Suspension bridge

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The Clifton Suspension Bridge opened in 1864 and spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the original bridge but died in 1859, without seeing it completed. The bridge was then built by William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw, based on Brunel's design.

Cardiff Barrage

South Wales Argus: LONG TREK: The bike ride started from the Penarth side of the Cardiff Bay Barrage

Although it's not exactly a bridge, the Cardiff Bay Barrage has spanned the mouth of the Taff since it was opened in 2001.

Hollywood Stars

Cardiff - Ioan Gruffudd

South Wales Argus: IN WELSH TEAM: Ioan Gruffudd will take part in a star-studded golf tournament at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort

Brought up in Cardiff, the Welsh-speaking actor came to fame as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the film Titanic, and as Lt John Beales in Black Hawk Down. He also played the title role in Horatio Hornblower series and Mister Fantastic in Fantastic Four and the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Newport - Michael Sheen

South Wales Argus: SYMBOL: Michael Sheen called for action to replace the Chartist Mural destroyed on October 3

The Newport-born actor has taken a number of big-screen roles, including Tron: Legacy and Woody Allen's romantic comedy Midnight in Paris. He also starred in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon and as the outspoken football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United.

Bristol - Cary Grant

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Born as Archibald Alexander Leach in Horfield, Bristol, he was expelled from the Fairfield Grammar School in 1918 and went to the US in 1920 when he was 16. His best-known films include Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, North by Northwest and Charade.


Cardiff docks

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Cardiff docks opened in October 1839 and at its peak, the port had one of the largest dock systems in the world, with 9.7 million tons of coal exported in 1913. Around 2.1 million tonnes are handled annually now.

Newport docks

South Wales Argus: NEWPORT DOCKS: A picture from 1926

Opened in 10 October 1842, Newport's docks were built when the wharves on the Usk became unable to cope with increased volume of trade. With the opening of the new south lock on the Alexandra South Dock, the docks had the largest lock gates in the world and today around 1.5 million tonnes are handled each year.

Bristol and Avonmouth docks

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Since the 13th century, the Rivers Avon and Frome had been modified for use as docks, but new docks further upriver at Avonmouth were opened in 1877 when Bristol's own docks became too small to handle the larger cargo ships of the day. Today it covers 2,600 acres and now handles 12 million tonnes annually.

Stately Homes

Cardiff Castle

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Most famously the home of the Bute family, 'Capability' Brown landscaped the grounds and modernised the lodgings in the 1770s. In 1860s Lord Bute employed architect William Burges who transformed the castle into a Neo-Gothic dream palace. It was given to the city of Cardiff in 1947.

Tredegar House

South Wales Argus: SWA NICK MORRISH 24-06-06

The 17th-century mansion was home to the Morgan family, later Lords Tredegar and the house stands in a landscaped garden of 90 acres. Godfrey Morgan who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade had his horse, Sir Briggs, buried in the grounds. In 1951, Tredegar House was stripped, the remaining contents were auctioned, and the estate was sold. Newport council owned and managed the house until the National Trust took over the running of the house in 2011.

Ashton Court

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Owned by the Smyth family from the 16th to 20th centuries, Humphry Repton landscaped much of the grounds in the early 19th century and the house was used as a military hospital in the First World War. In 1946 the last of the Smyth family died and the house fell into disrepair before its purchase in 1959 by Bristol City Council.