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Symonds Yat

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Symonds Yat is a village in the Forest of Dean and a popular tourist destination, straddling the River Wye and on the borders of the English counties of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, it is within a few miles of Monmouthshire and the Welsh border. The name is said to come from Robert Symonds, a 17th-century sheriff of Herefordshire and "yat" as an old word for a gate or pass.HistoryArchaeologists have uncovered bones from Hyenas, Sabre-Toothed Cats and a Mammoth in and around the caves of the valley and human inhabitation can be traced back to 12,000 years ago with findings of their tools and clothes.In Iron Age times the forts on the Great Doward and the Yat Rock provided secure, defensible settlements for the local residents.During Roman times these forts became focal points in the region and the importance of the iron here and in the Forest of Dean made this a valuable prize for the conquerors. Offa's Dyke was built in the 8th century directly above the Yat to separate England and Wales.The first recorded use of the word 'YAT' in connection with the area was made in 1265. 'Yat' is an old English word for Gate or Gorge. It is popularly believed that the addition of Symonds was made in the 17th century in reference to Robert Symonds of Sugwas and Evesfield who was indeed a member of the family who owned the lands from Wormelow near Hereford to the border regions in which the Yat stands. He was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1685. The area is also shown as Symons Yate on maps in 1665, Symons Yat in 1717 and Symmonds Gate in 1830.
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