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Brynmawr is a market town in South Wales with a population of 5,530. It is famously the highest town in the country, situated at 1,250 to 1,500 feet above sea level at the head of the South Wales Valleys. Brynmawr was originally a small village called Gwaun Helygen (which means "marsh of the willow") but grew in size as Wales became an increasingly important region for coal mining. The Nantyglo Ironworks were built in the early 19th century and employed over 3,000 men and 500 women and children at their peak, requiring more local housing for the workers, and turning Brynmawr into a prosperous town. A mining museum at Big Pit in nearby Blaenavon tells the story of Brynmawr's mining history. Famous residents of Brynmawr include Adrian Street, a wrestler and author known for his colourful, androgynous persona, and Marina Diamandis, the lead singer of award winning pop group Marina and the Diamonds. According to a 2001 census, 5.75% of the 16-65 age group in Brynmawr can speak Welsh.

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