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Flintshire

Flintshire

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Flintshire is one of thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales, mostly based on Wales north-east coast.

Flintshire was notable as having one of the few large county exclaves (an area known as English Maelor) to survive most of the 20th century.

The administrative county of Flintshire was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972 on April 1, 1974, becoming part of the new county of Clwyd. The exclaves became part of Wrexham Maelor district - other parts formed the districts of Alyn and Deeside, Delyn and Rhuddlan. A principal area named Flintshire was formed in 1996 under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, consisting only of the Alyn and Deeside and Delyn districts - the Wrexham Maelor parts now form part of Wrexham county borough, with the former Rhuddlan district forming part of the Denbighshire principal area.

Geography
The traditional county does not have the same boundaries as administrative Flintshire; in particular it has a large exclave called Maelor Saesneg, it also includes Prestatyn, Rhyl and St Asaph which are now administered by Denbighshire, as well as Bangor-on-Dee and Overton-on-Dee, now administered as part of Wrexham county borough. Other exclaves of Flintshire included the manors of Marford and Hoseley, Abenbury Fechan and Bryn Estyn, all on the outskirts of Wrexham, and also a small part of the parish of Erbistock around the Boat Inn. These were all completely surrounded by Denbighshire. Additionally, a small part of Flintshire, including the village of Sealand, was isolated across the River Dee when its course was changed to improve navigation.

The county was formed in 1284 under the terms of the Statute of Rhuddlan and included Cantrefi formerly parts of Gwynedd Is Conwy and Powys Fadog:

  • Tegeingl
  • Maelor Saesneg

It also included the Lordships of Mold, Hawarden, Mostyn and Hope.

Flintshire is a maritime county bounded to the north by the Irish Sea, to the northeast by the Dee estuary, to the east by Cheshire and to the south and southwest by Denbighshire. The Maelor Saesneg, was bounded on the northwest by Denbighshire, on the northeast by Cheshire, and on the south by Shropshire.

Flintshire is the smallest historic county in Wales. The coast along the Dee estuary is heavily developed by industry and the north coast much developed for tourism. The Clwydian Mountains occupy much of the west of the county. The highest point is Moel Fammau (1,820 feet / 554 metres). The chief towns are Buckley, Connah's Quay, Flint, Hawarden, Holywell, Mold, Queensferry, and Shotton. The main rivers are the Dee (the estuary of which forms much of the coast) and the Clwyd. The main industries are manufacturing of aircraft components (Airbus), engines (Toyota), paper (Shotton Paper), steel processing (Tata Steel), agriculture and tourism.

Places of special interest include castles in Flint, Hawarden, Rhuddlan and Ewloe, and Wepre Country Park, Connah's Quay.


Flintshire - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
FLINTSHIRE, a maritime county of North Wales, the main body of which is bounded on the south, south-west, and west, by Denbighshire; on the north, by the Irish Sea; on the north-east, by the estuary of the river Dee; and on the east, by the English county of Chester. The chief part of the hundred of Maelor lies detached from the rest of the county, about seven miles to the south-east, and is bounded on the north by Cheshire, on the east and south by Shropshire, and on the west by Denbighshire. Exclusively of the detached portion, the county lies between 53° 2' and 53° 22' (N. Lat.), and 2° 55' and 3° 31' (W. Lon.). The detached portion of the hundred of Maelor is about nine miles long, and three and a half broad: the whole county, according to Evans' Map of North Wales, contains 172,790 acres, or nearly 270 square miles. The population, in 1841, was 66,919, of whom 33,808 were males, and 33,111 females; and the number of houses inhabited was 13,394, uninhabited 431, and in the course of erection 87. The annual value of real property assessed to the property and income tax, for the year ending April 1843, was as follows: lands, £193,505; houses, £27,617; tithes, £9835; manors, £6162; mines, £28,669; iron-works, £3531; railways, or tramways, £374; quarries, £289; other property, £4488; making a total of £274,470.

At the period of the conquest of this part of Britain by the Romans, Flintshire was a portion of the territory of the Ordovices, excepting only the detached part of it lying eastward of the Dee, which was occupied by the Cornavii; and, in Mr. Pennant's opinion, the principal part of the main county derived its ancient name of Tegeingl, or Tegangle, from a tribe of the former people, called Cangi, who attended the flocks and herds in different pastures, of various quality, according to the season of the year; teg importing fair; cang, the name of the people; and lle, a place. In support of this etymology he adduces the circumstance of a plain, in the parish of Caerwys, being at the present day called Maescan-hâvod, or "the plain of the hundred summer residences." By the Romans this district was called Tegenia; and under their dominion it contained the station Varis, either at Bôdvari, on the banks of the Clwyd, near Denbigh; or, as some say, at Caerwys. Banchorium, Bonium, or Bovium, was situated at Bangor-Iscoed, on the eastern bank of the Dee; and from the various traces of Roman occupation discovered at Caergwrle, that place also appears to have been an important post belonging to these conquerors. Flintshire was crossed by a branch of the northern Watling-street, which entered it near Chester, and passed by the station Varis to that at Caerhên, near Conway.

The Romans having withdrawn their forces, and left the native and partly civilized Britons to defend themselves against the northern barbarians, the latter in the year 448, were totally defeated by the Christian Britons, at Maes-y-Garmon, or "the field of Germanus," near the seat of Rhual, and not far from the present town of Mold. The British army was led on by Germanus and Lupus, two missionary bishops from Gaul, and, commanded by the former, the troops raised such vehement shouts of Alleluia, that the allied Picts and Scots fled in dismay, and were nearly all slain. This triumph, by most of the monkish historians, has been called Victoria Alleluiatica. At the beginning of the seventh century, ethelfrith, King of Northumbria, having gained some advantages over the northern Britons, turned his arms against the Welsh, and, at the commencement of the great battle of Chester, in which he was completely victorious, issued orders for the massacre of the monks of the monastery at Bangor-Iscoed, 1200 in number, who had come to offer up their prayers for the success of their countrymen, and of whom only fifty escaped. After the battle, Ethelfrith marched to Bangor, situated on the eastern banks of the Dee, in this county; he totally destroyed that ancient and celebrated seminary of learning, and committed to the flames its invaluable library. The Saxon prince then attempted to penetrate further into the Welsh territory, but his passage over the Dee, at Bangor, was successfully opposed by the Prince of Powys, until relieved by Cadvan, King of North Wales, Meredydd, King of South Wales, and Bledrus, sovereign of Cornwall. The confederate princes having joined their forces, Dunothus, the abbot of the lately destroyed monastery, made an oration to the army, and, before the action commenced, gave orders that the soldiers should kiss the ground, in commemoration of the communion of the body of Christ, and should take up water into their hands, out of the river Dee, and drink it, in remembrance of his sacred blood which was shed for them. Animated by this act of devotion, the British forces encountered their adversaries with great bravery, entirely defeated them, with the loss of above 10,000 men, and compelled Ethelfrith, with the remainder of his army, to retreat into Northumbria. Thus, the desolation of Bangor was severely punished within sight of its ruins.

OFFA, the powerful and warlike sovereign of Mercia, having, in the eighth century, driven the Cymry westward into the mountains, drew a conspicuous line of demarcation, along the western side of his dominions, consisting of a vast ditch and rampart, which extended from the sea near Prestatyn, in this county, to the banks of the Wye. Through Flintshire it took a direction from north-west to south-east, and the first visible traces of it, proceeding in the latter direction, are found near Golden Grove, whence it proceeds towards Marian, in the parish of Newmarket, and hence to the Holywell race-ground, below which it is lost until found again at Cae-dwn, near Tryddin, beyond which it soon enters Denbighshire. Mr. Pennant conceives that Offa's Dyke, or Clawdd Offa, as it is designated by the Welsh, terminated northward at Cae-dwn, observing, "it seems probable that Offa imagined that the Clwydian hills, and the deep valley at their eastern base, would serve as a continuance of his prohibitory line; he had carried his arms over the greater part of Flintshire, and vainly imagined that his labours would restrain the Cambrian inroads, in one part, and his orders prevent any incursions beyond these natural limits, which he had decreed should be the boundaries of his new conquests." The Mercian monarch, however, having been attacked by surprise, and defeated near this great monument of his power, breathing slaughter and vengeance, once more attacked the territory of the Cymry. Confining themselves to a desultory warfare, the latter made continual and destructive irruptions, from their woods and mountains, upon the forces of the enemy, and for some time maintained a successful defence. But abandoning this cautious system, they imprudently determined to risk a general engagement, and the hostile armies met on the extensive marshy plain, near the sea-coast, called Morva Rhuddlan: the battle was long and sanguinary, but at length victory declared in favour of the Saxons; the Welsh were completely defeated, with terrible slaughter, and Caradoc, their valiant chieftain, slain. On this event, so disastrous to the Britons, the victor commanded the men and children taken prisoners to be massacred; but, according to tradition, few were left to gratify this barbarous revenge, those who had escaped the enemy's sword, during the action, having fled across the marshes with such precipitation as to perish on the sands in the waters of the advancing tide. Immediately after the surrender of Chester to EGBERT of Wessex, the whole of the present county of Flint, being an open tract, and devoid of those rugged and almost inaccessible elevations which occupy so much of the rest of North Wales, became subject to the arms of that powerful monarch, who carried his devastations to the foot of the Snowdon mountains.

On the death of Roderic the Great, in 877, the cantrêv of Tegeingl, or, as the Saxons called it, Englefeld, became included in the district of Perveddwlad, in the kingdom of Gwynedd, or North Wales, the seat of the government of which was at Aberfraw, in Anglesey; while the south-eastern parts of it, contained in the comots of Ystrad-Alun and Caergwrle, formed part of the kingdom of Powys, as also did Maelor Saesneg, or "English Maelor," to the east of the Dee. Early in the reign of Anarawd, who, on the death of his father Roderic, became sovereign of Gwynedd, the remnant of the StrathClyde Britons, being harassed by the Danes, Saxons, and Scots, and, after severe conflicts with them, having lost their king, Constantine, in battle, applied to Anarawd for an asylum in his dominions; and the prince agreed to receive them, on condition of their recovering from the Saxons a portion of the territory usurped by the latter from the ancient Cymry, in which they had permission to settle, and to maintain their position by force of arms. These Britons soon dispossessed the Saxons of the country situated between the rivers Conway and Dee, of which they remained for some time in quiet possession until it was again overrun by Eadred, Earl of Mercia, who, however, was defeated by the Prince of North Wales, near the town of Conway, and pursued into his own country. The northern Britons, who, on the approach of Eadred, had removed their cattle and other valuable effects westward beyond the Conway, now established themselves, as a separate state, in the conquered country, to which they gave the name of Ystrad-Clwyd, from an important part of it lying on the banks of the river Clwyd. This was afterwards peaceably united to the kingdom of North Wales. In the year 1055, the county was laid waste by the forces of Harold, whom Edward the Confessor had sent to punish Grufydd, Prince of North Wales, for assisting Algar, the banished Earl of Chester, in his attacks on the English territories. It experienced a similar calamity, from the same cause, in 1063, on which occasion Harold advanced with such celerity, that he nearly took Grufydd by surprise, in his palace at Rhuddlan; the latter having only time, the moment before the English presented themselves at the gate, to embark on board one of his ships, at that time lying ready for his reception in the harbour. Mortified that the Welsh prince should thus have escaped, Harold burned his palace, and set fire to all the vessels remaining in the harbour of Rhuddlan.

After the norman conquest, nearly the whole of this county appears in the general survey as appertaining to the county palatine of Chester, being then called Englefeld. It formed a chief portion of the great district called, in that document, the hundred of Atiscross, lying between the river Dee and the Vale of Clwyd; and many places now contained in it, though difficult to identify, from the disfiguration of Norman orthography, are there described, and their valuations given, under the head of the county palatine. The isolated portion of the county, then called Maelor Saesneg, was, at the period of the Norman survey, included in a hundred called Dudestan; but by the Statutum Walliæ, enacted in the twelfth year of the reign of Edward I., it was declared to constitute part of Flintshire; and in the reign of Henry VIII. the south-eastern extremity of the main county was added to it, and the whole formed into the present hundred of Maelor. In addition to Hugh Lupus and his successors in the earldom of Chester, in the reign of William Rufus a Norman named Eustace de Cruer is noticed among the proprietors of lands in this county, having done homage to that monarch for the territory of Mold and Hopedale, which afterwards, together with Hawarden, formed part of the possessions of Robert de Monthault, high steward of Chester. In 1144, in the reign of Stephen, the castle of Mold was besieged and taken by storm, by the forces of Owain, Prince of North Wales.

Henry II., in 1157, collected a formidable army from different parts of England, intending to invade Wales; and marching to Chester, thence entered Flintshire, where he encamped on Saltney Marsh, bordering on the Dee. So vast were the preparations made by this prince for the subjugation of the Welsh, that he compelled every two of his military vassals throughout England to furnish a soldier for the reinforcement of his army. Owain, Prince of North Wales, with his habitual activity, advanced to the frontiers of his dominions, and posted himself at Basingwerk, near Holywell, to await the approach of the English. Henry, hoping that Owain would risk a general engagement, despatched a chosen body of troops, under the command of several distinguished barons, with the design of bringing the Welsh to action, or at least dislodging them from their station. This party, in traversing the woody and rugged district of Coed-Eulo, near Hawarden, was attacked by Davydd and Cynan, sons of Owain, who, with a body of forces, lay in ambush; and the suddenness and impetuosity of the assault, with the natural difficulties of the situation, so intimidated the English, that they fled in great disorder, and with much loss, to the main body of the army. Alarmed by the danger, and mortified by this disgrace, Henry broke up his camp, and marched along the shores of the Dee to the town of Flint, intending, by another manœuvre, to leave the Welsh on the right, and to cut off their communication with the interior; but in passing through a long and narrow defile at Counsyllt, or Coleselt, now called Coleshill, near Flint, he was intercepted by Owain. The English were permitted to enter so far into the pass as to render their advance or retreat, in case of attack, equally dangerous and difficult, when the Welsh, rushing with frightful outcries from the woods, assaulted them with stones, arrows, and other missiles. Struck with dismay, encumbered with heavy armour, and unaccustomed to fight in such situations, the English were again thrown into the utmost disorder; in the prevailing confusion, Henry himself was obliged to flee, and Eustace Fitz-John and Robert de Courcy, with other noblemen of distinction, were slain. A few of the vanguard of the English army, who had escaped the slaughter, fell back upon the main body, which was advancing in regular order to the entrance of the defile; and a false report of the king's death being raised, the Earl of Essex, hereditary standard-bearer of England, was seized with the general terror, and, throwing down the royal standard, gave increased currency to the rumour, by exclaiming aloud, "The king is slain." The alarm now spread rapidly throughout the whole of the English ranks; and the Welsh, perceiving the disorder, attacked the invaders with such impetuosity, that a total rout must have ensued, had not the king, at length extricated from his perilous situation, appeared at this crisis, and made himself known to his army by lifting up the vizor of his helmet. The English, re-inspired by the gallantry of their sovereign, who with alacrity led them on to the charge, checked the victorious career of the Welsh, and drove them back into the woods. The Prince of Wales, after this slight reverse, retired to a post near St. Asaph, called from this circumstance Cîl Owain, or "Owain's Retreat;" and on the nearer approach of the King of England, he further retreated to a still stronger post, called Bryny-Pin, situated about five miles to the west of St. Asaph. Henry, meeting with no further resistance, advanced to Rhuddlan, and strongly fortified the castle of that town, as well as that of Basingwerk, between which places he erected a house for the Knights Templars, a new kind of military garrison in Wales; and further to secure his new conquests, by facilitating military movements, he cut down the woods, and constructed new roads through the subdued districts. Meantime, Owain frequently descended from his post on the hill, to skirmish with the English troops and molest them in their operations; but at last he was compelled to enter into a treaty, by which himself and his chieftains submitted to do homage to Henry, and to yield up those castles and districts in North Wales which, in the late reign, had been obtained from the English.

A few years afterwards, all the princes of Wales entered into a confederacy for the recovery of their lost independence, and one of their first enterprises was an expedition, under the conduct of Davydd, son of Owain Gwynedd, into Flintshire, where this leader made dreadful devastations, carrying off the inhabitants and the cattle to the Vale of Clwyd. The English monarch, who was absent in Normandy, on his arrival in 1165, marched into the county with a body of troops, which had been levied by parliament for the reduction of Rhŷs ab Grufydd, Prince of South Wales, to protect Rhuddlan Castle, which he feared would be besieged by the Welsh; but the enemy having retired, the king stayed only a few days to reinforce his garrisons, and then returned into England, to prepare new levies for a powerful expedition, which, however, was directed against a more southern frontier. In 1166, the Prince of North Wales took and demolished the castle of Basingwerk.

In 1210, the Earl of Chester made an inroad into North Wales; and the prince of this country, in return, devastated the earl's territories, and brought away from them considerable plunder. Incensed at this incursion by the prince, King John assembled a large army at Oswestry, and, having been joined by many of the Welsh chieftains, his vassals, marched to Chester, fully resolved upon the extermination of the people of North Wales: from that city the English army advanced along the shores of the Dee and of the Irish Sea to Rhuddlan, and thence proceeded towards the mountains of Snowdon; but in a short time, after a harassing warfare, it was compelled to make a disgraceful retreat. On several subsequent occasions Flintshire was the scene of like invasions and retreats. About the year 1260, the castle of Dyserth, in the county, was taken from the English and destroyed by Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales; as was also that of Mold, a short time after, by Grufydd ab Gwenwynwyn. In 1277, Edward I., on his advance with a large army to effect the final conquest of Wales, encamped his forces for some time on Saltney Marsh, built or rebuilt the castle of Flint, more strongly fortified that of Rhuddlan, and at the same time bestowed much labour in making good roads for the movements of his troops. Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, and his brother Davydd, having been reconciled to each other, afterwards concerted measures for a general insurrection against the power of the English, and Davydd opened the campaign by taking the castle of Hawarden by surprise, on the dark and stormy night of Palm Sunday, 1282. After this successful exploit, the brothers, joining their forces, invested the castles of Flint and Rhuddlan, the only fortresses then remaining in the possession of the English in this part of the principality, and soon gained possession of the former. These enterprises were regarded by the Welsh, in every quarter, as the signal for revolt. Edward, however, came to Chester with a large army, and having remained a fortnight in that city to refresh his troops, he commenced operations about the middle of June, 1282, by investing the castle of Caergwrle, which had been for some time in the possession of Davydd, but was almost immediately surrendered to the English monarch, on whose further advance the Welsh princes raised the siege of Rhuddlan Castle, and retreated slowly towards Snowdon. Seizing a favourable opportunity, Llewelyn put to flight a detachment of the English army, taking fourteen standards in the action; the Lords Audley and Clifford, and various other noblemen and gentlemen, were slain, and the king himself was forced to retire for protection into his newly-acquired castle of Caergwrle. In the middle of July we find Edward issuing orders from Rhuddlan; and in the following November he advanced to Conway.

In the reign of Henry III., John, surnamed Le Scot, Earl of Chester, having died without male issue, that earldom, to which the territory of Flint belonged, was given by the king to Simon de Montfort, the coheiresses of John Le Scot receiving other lands in exchange. On Montfort's death, in the year 1265, the earldom was annexed to the crown of England. In succeeding reigns, the eldest son of the reigning monarch, on being created Prince of Wales, received a grant of the earldom of Chester, including Flintshire, in which grants various items have been recapitulated in the following manner: with the earldom, all lands, viz., the castles of Chester, Beeston, Rothlam, Flint, and Hope, and also the manors of Hope, Hopedale, and Forsham, with the cantred and lands of Englefeld; together with the other estates in the counties of Chester, Flint, and elsewhere, belonging to the said earldom; "and the advowson of the cathedral church of St. Asaph, in Wales, and the avoidance, issues, and profits of the temporalities of the bishoprics of Chester and St. Asaph, aforesaid, together with all advowsons, pensions, portions, corrodies, offices, prizes, customs, liberties, franchises, lordships, comots, hundreds, escheats, forfeitures, and hereditaments, unto the said earldom belonging." By the Statutum Walliæ it was ordained, among other clauses, that the territory of Flint, though not disjoined from that of Chester, should be separately considered as to certain branches of jurisdiction. In this document we find the first mention of the viscomes, or sheriff, of Flint; and from this period it seems proper to date the origin of the present shire or county of Flint. In the rebellion under Owain Glyndwr, in the reign of Henry IV., great numbers of the men of Flintshire took up arms in favour of their valiant countryman, but on its suppression they were visited with no signal vengeance.

During the civil war of the seventeenth century, the county was several times the scene of violence, but never of much bloodshed. Hawarden Castle was seized by the parliamentarians, at an early period of the struggle; but, in 1643, was attacked and taken by a body of royalists, under LieutenantColonel Marrow, sent over from Ireland by the Duke of Ormonde, and who had landed at Mostyn. In this year also Flint Castle was closely besieged by the parliamentarian forces under Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Myddelton, to whom it was at last surrendered on honourable terms, when the garrison was reduced to extremity. In March 1645, after a month's close siege, Hawarden Castle was surrendered, by the king's order, to the parliamentarian commander, Major-General Mytton. The same officer, in July of the following year, after a short siege captured the castle of Rhuddlan, which until then had been held by the royalists; and in August retook the castle of Flint, which had again fallen into their hands.

Flintshire is in the diocese and archdeaconry of St. Asaph, and in the province of Canterbury: the total number of parishes is thirty-two, of which eleven are rectories, twelve vicarages, and the rest perpetual curacies. For purposes of civil government it is divided into the five hundreds of Coleshill, Maelor, Mold, Prestatyn, and Rhuddlan. It contains the city and newly-created borough of St. Asaph; the borough and sea-port towns of Flint and Rhuddlan; the newly-created boroughs and market-towns of Holywell and Mold; the boroughs of Caergwrle with Hope, Caerwys, and Overton; the market-town of Hawarden, and the large villages of Bagillt, Buckley, Cunnah's-Quay, Mostyn-Quay, Rhyl (a considerable bathing-place), Saltney, &c. One knight is sent to parliament for the shire, and one representative for Flint and the seven other boroughs conjointly: the county member is nominated and elected at Flint, as also is the member for the boroughs. The county is included in the Chester circuit, and the assizes and quarter-sessions are held in the shire-hall at Mold: the county gaol, and house of correction, or bridewell, are at Flint. There are twenty-four acting magistrates. It contains the poor-law union of Holywell, and parts of the unions of St. Asaph and Wrexham.

The principal portion of Flintshire, though its boundary towards Denbighshire is extremely irregular, approaches in form to a narrow parallelogram, stretching along the south-western side of the Dee river, on its near approach towards the sea. The detached part of the hundred of Maelor is somewhat similar in form, but is broader in proportion to its length: this division extends into the spacious and fertile plain which also occupies the northern parts of Shropshire, the whole of Cheshire, and the southern parts of Lancashire; yet, nevertheless, its surface is varied by several fine heights, commanding rich and extensive prospects in every direction. It was anciently called Maelor Saesneg, or "English Maelor," to distinguish it from the territory on the opposite side of the river Dee, called Maelor Gymraeg, or "Welsh Maelor," now included in the hundred of Bromfield, in Denbighshire. The main body of the county is much diversified in feature, but though frequently bold and striking, its scenery seldom assumes the character of wildness which prevails in other parts of the principality, where the mountains are of greater elevation. Some of the hills have on one side steep declivities; but they generally descend in gentle slopes into fertile vales, watered by pleasing meandering streams. From the shores of the Dee the country immediately rises in fine swells, overspread with rich corn-fields and pastures, to the distance of three or four miles. Beyond this fertile tract, in the vicinity of Halkin, and nearly parallel with the distant shores of the river, runs a mountainous ridge, the upper parts of which have a sterile and dreary aspect, though containing valuable minerals, while the lower parts are agreeably varied with well-wooded dingles, through which the mountain streams find their way into the Dee. The northwestern extremity of the county is flat and uninteresting, particularly towards the sea, but is highly productive of corn and grass. Eastward of the rich Vale of Clwyd, which extends north-eastward out of Denbighshire to the shore of this county, rises the elevated ridge of the Clwydian hills, the detached summits of which, named Moel Arthur, Moel Venlli, and Moel Vammau, are conspicuous objects at a very great distance. This chain commences at Dyserth, near the estuary of the Dee, and passes through the parishes of Cwm, Tremerchion, Bôdvari, and Ysceiviog, to the valley of Nannerch, beyond which, the hills increasing in altitude, it soon enters Denbighshire, but runs for several miles south-eastward along the border of Flintshire towards the head of the Vale of Clwyd, where it forms a junction with the Llandegla and Bryn-Eglwys hills. Heath, or ling, is the chief produce of the higher parts of these mountains; and the chain can only be crossed by means of the ravines, called bylchau, the roads through which ascend about two-thirds of the height of the mountains, except in the deep opening near Bôdvari, where the road from Holywell to Denbigh passes.

Strong and fertile argillaceous soils occupy those parts of the Vale of Clwyd which are included in this county; they occupy also the rich maritime districts in the northern part of Flintshire, and form some of the best wheat soils in North Wales, perhaps not inferior to any in Britain. The soil of the higher hills, the substrata of which are argillaceous, is shallow, and is composed of a mixture of clay and gravel, in which the former predominates. Light soils and free loams abound in various places, more particularly in the small valleys opening from the higher hills. Bordering on the great estuary of the Dee lies a considerable tract of sandy land; and the soils above-mentioned are in some places variously intermixed with each other. Below the limestone hills is an abundance of valuable marly soils, formed by the decay of that stone. A part of the Vale of Clwyd has its soils tinged by a reddish sandstone of loose texture.

In the mining districts agriculture is much neglected; but the fertility of the other parts of the county fully counterbalances this deficiency, and renders the agricultural produce of Flintshire adequate to its consumption. Upon light soils the Norfolk rotation of crops is most common; viz., first, wheat; second, turnips; third, barley; and fourth, clover: elsewhere the courses are very various. All the ordinary kinds of grain are cultivated: the wheat crops are most abundant in the maritime districts of Prestatyn, in the northern part of the county, where the returns average about nine or ten, and are occasionally fifteen, times the quantity of grain sown. Oats and barley are always mown, and occasionally wheat; the latter is most frequently cut with the sickle. Peas are occasionally grown, though not to the extent they were; turnips are sometimes cultivated, and potatoes commonly. The common artificial grasses are, red clover, rye-grass, and trefoil, the first kind sometimes for seed. Lucern is grown on about 200 acres of the low sandy tracts bordering on the estuary of the Dee, between Flint and Chester, and on a much smaller scale in several other situations; the produce in the first-mentioned part, when mown for fodder, is frequently very great. In the eastern parts of the county the grass lands are chiefly applied to the purposes of the dairy, the produce of which, in cheese and butter, is exported in large quantities to Chester; part of the cheese is like that of Cheshire, and the rest like that of Gloucester. The Vale of Clwyd, and the lands bordering on the Dee, in this county, comprise the greater part of the pastures of North Wales that are rich enough to fatten cattle. The artificial irrigation of meadows is generally practised, in convenient situations. The most common manure is lime, which is obtained in the greatest abundance in almost every part of the county, and is frequently burned in sodkilns on the field about to be manured: marl is also used near places where it is found. The kind of plough in most common use is the "Lummas plough," which much resembles the Rotherham.

The cattle of Flintshire are of a good size and superior kind, and of all varieties of colour; those bred in the maritime district, at its northern extremity, and thence along the borders of the Dee towards Cheshire, are remarkable for their aptitude to fatten. On the hills the sheep are of the common small highland breed; but in the inclosures are found various foreign breeds and crosses, more especially the SouthDown and Leicester sheep. In the dairy district the offal of the dairy, and the range of grass or clover fields, during summer support numbers of hogs, which, when they have cleared the stubbles after harvest, are sold off; they are generally of a middle size, have short ears, round and deep chests, and are commonly spotted, though sometimes all white. The draught horses of all kinds are for the most part bred within the county; they are generally either black or bay, strong, active, well made, and from fifteen to sixteen hands high.

Although the waste lands are still of considerable extent, more particularly on the hills of Buckley and Halkin, yet they have been greatly lessened by inclosures. Fens Heath, in the hundred of Maelor, on the border of Shropshire, and Threap Wood, an extra-parochial waste, also in the hundred of Maelor, on the border of Cheshire, still remain open. In the year 1732 an act of parliament was procured, enabling the mayor and citizens of Chester to recover and preserve the navigation of the Dee; and another act was passed in the year 1740, incorporating what has since been called "The River Dee Company," which body, under the said acts and former ones of the 17th and 26th of George II., received, as a recompense for recovering and preserving the said navigation, a grant of all the white sands, or such as were then unproductive of herbage, within the estuary of the Dee, from the walls of Chester to the extremity of Wirrall on the Cheshire side, and to the Point of Air on that of Flintshire. One of the first acts of this company was to purchase, from the lord and freeholders of the manor of Hawarden, 600 acres of waste marsh land, through which they cut a new channel for the Dee; and by means of this channel, and several embankments made in the years 1754, 1763, 1769, and 1790, they gained 3100 acres of the sands, which are now covered, even the inner sides of the embankments, with good crops of corn, and lucern and other grasses: the whole of this redeemed tract has been formed into the township of Sealand, in the parish of Hawarden. There are yet between 1000 and 2000 acres of uninclosed marshes on the estuary of the Dee, in this county, the principal portion of which is in the vicinity of the towns of Flint and Holywell, and consists of land of the richest quality.

Some of the chief inclosures have been, that of Saltney Marsh, containing 2200 acres, under an act passed in 1778; that of Hope, comprising 3500 acres, under an act obtained in 1791; that of Mold, containing about 4000 acres, under an act passed in 1792; that of Kîlken, containing 2400 acres, under an act in 1793; and that of Ysceiviog, Nannerch, and Whitford, comprising about 3500 acres. In the parish of Llanasaph, by an act passed in 1811, 1600 acres of peculiarly rich land have been inclosed, of which 1200 were recovered from the sea, by an embankment, at an expense of £4000, defrayed by the freeholders. The waste of Mynydd Tegeingl, in the parishes of Whitford and Ysceiviog, has also been inclosed. In 1807 the proprietors within the franchise of Rhuddlan obtained an act for the inclosure of their portion of the rich tract called Rhuddlan Marsh: this great level, lying near the town of Rhuddlan, between St. Asaph and the sea, contains about 27,000 acres of a rich sandy loam, and extends westward into the adjoining county of Denbigh. The sea having made some destructive encroachments on Tywyn Abergele, a neighbouring waste, the proprietors of Rhuddlan Marsh, to secure their own lands from inundation, at the end of the last century and the commencement of the present, under the provisions of an act of parliament, formed an embankment varying in height and breadth, according to the force of the tide which it was designed to resist: 500 acres were appointed by the act to be sold, towards defraying the expenses incurred in making the embankment, which it was estimated would cost, together with drainage, as much as £13,500. Coal, obtained from its own mines, is the common fuel of this county; but peat is burned in some places, and that which is obtained in Fens Moss, in Maelor, is so soft as to require to be cast in moulds before it can be used: when it has dried and hardened, it becomes highly inflammable, and the moulded pieces are sold by the hundred, chiefly to the people of Whitchurch and Wem, in the adjoining county of Salop. Various extensive plantations of timber-trees occur in different parts of the county, and these are sometimes of remarkably flourishing growth: some of the oak, sycamore, elm, ash, and bay trees in the woods near the seats Bôdryddan, Mostyn, and Downing, in the northern part of the county, are of uncommon size and magnificence.

The mineral productions of Flintshire are of great variety and importance, when compared with the small extent of its surface, and consist chiefly of coal, lead-ore, and calamine, with limestone, freestone, and various other kinds of stone. By far the greater part of it is included in the limestone tract of North Wales, the northern portion of which enters the parish of Mold from the eastern part of Denbighshire, and in its progress north-westward occupies the western parts of Flintshire, and passes by Kîlken, Halkin, Ysceiviog, and Caerwys, to the east of Tremerchion and Cwm, and to the west of Holywell, Whitford, and Llanasaph; including the whole of the parishes of Newmarket, Gwaenyscor, and Meliden, and terminating on the sea-shore, at Dyserth, in a bold promontory facing the north-west. To the east and north of the limestone tract are valuable cOAL measures, the geological position of which is over the calcareous beds, from which they dip, first eastward, towards the plain of Cheshire, and afterwards north-eastward, under the estuary of the Dee, forming what the miners call a trough, and rising again on the Cheshire side of that river, in the peninsula of Wirrall. The coal tract extends from the parish of Llanasaph, near the point of Air, southeastward through the parishes of Whitford, Holywell, Flint, and Northop, into that of Hawarden, opposite to Chester. The thickness of several of the coal seams is remarkably great, being surpassed by none in the kingdom, except those near Wednesbury in Staffordshire; and few places in the island possess so great a quantity of coal within the same distance of the surface. A pit at Bychton, near Whitford, six hundred and fourteen feet deep, is sunk through twenty-seven different strata, of which twelve consist of coal varying in thickness from one to fifteen feet. The first of these is of the kind called cannel, which is also found in the Mostyn and Leeswood pits: at Bychton it is three feet thick, and rests immediately upon a bed of common coal, six feet thick: a stratum of the same species, fourteen inches thick, occurs at the depth of about three hundred and fourteen feet: the aggregate thickness of the whole series of seams is sixty-four feet eight inches, being equal to about one foot of coal in every nine feet depth. The dip of the strata of the whole formation is very considerable, varying from one yard in four to two yards in three. Although the thickest seam, towards the north-western extremity of the district, is as much as fifteen feet, yet at Hawarden, near Chester, it is only twelve feet. The strata alternating with the beds of coal consist chiefly of freestone and a darkcoloured shale, the latter of which decomposes on exposure to the atmosphere.

The collieries of the county are mentioned in an official document so early as the reign of Edward I. At a subsequent period they supplied Dublin and the northern coasts of Ireland, but the demand in that quarter afterwards much diminished. This change in the trade was attributable to the opening of numerous pits in Cumberland and Lancashire, more conveniently situated for the approach of ships; for the Dee, which had been navigable close to the shore of the parish of Whitford, changed its deep channel to the opposite side of the estuary, and until lately only sloops and small brigs could approach within two miles of the same place. Probably 70,000 tons are now sent annually to Ireland from Flintshire, but the coal is for the most part consumed at the different works on this coast, and by the inhabitants of the more distant parts of North Wales. The principal coal-mines are in the vicinities of Northop, Mold, Hawarden, Flint, Bagillt near Holywell, and Mostyn in the parish of Whitford.

The calcareous strata of the south-western side of the county afford limestone that burns into lime of excellent quality, and in many places assume the appearance of marble of different kinds, susceptible of a high polish: a variety of the latter, of a deepgrey colour, when calcined and mixed with a certain quantity of common lime, forms a good cement for works under water. On the eastern side the limestone strata change into a mixed siliceous stone, of various degrees of fineness, called chert; beyond this occurs a dark-coloured friable shale, and, afterwards, freestone of excellent quality for building, with subjacent coal strata: the chert is used in the manufacture of porcelain and delft-ware, some of it being sent to the Staffordshire and Shropshire potteries. The change in the nature of the strata is more particularly abrupt and remarkable in the Vale of Nannerch, one side of which is formed by limestone rocks, and the other by ledges of shivery shale; also in the dingle to the south of the mansion of Talacre, where the coal measures end, one side being freestone of the finest quality, and the other chert and limestone, the metalliferous strata of the country. The chert is seldom above forty yards deep, but the limestone is of unknown depth; and both, in common with the shale, abound with ores of lead, calamine, and another combination of zinc, which, in some processes, serves as a substitute for calamine, and is called by the miners "black-jack."

Flintshire produces nearly two-thirds of the leadore raised in the whole of Wales, and about oneseventh part of the ore raised in the whole of the United Kingdom; the lead-mines in the county yield about 11,500 tons of ore annually, and those in the rest of the principality about 6500 tons. Most of the works are called "rakes," and they are carried to various depths, from twenty to one hundred and fifty yards. The veins run in opposite directions, from north to south, and from east to west; but the ore obtained from those running in the former direction is of inferior quality, as it contains no silver, or so small a quantity as not to be worth extracting. The ores are of various kinds: the common lamellated "potters' ore," so called because it is used in glazing earthenware, yields, on an average, from fourteen to sixteen hundred-weight of lead per ton; the brown, or grey, lapideous ore, called by the miners caulk, yields from five to eleven hundred-weight per ton. What is called "gravel ore" is of nearly the same quality as the potters' ore; it is found in flats, that is, loose strata of sand and stones, and consists of pieces, rounded by attrition, of various sizes, from that of a hazel-nut to masses weighing several tons. The quantity of silver contained in these different ores is very various; when, on assaying, they are found to contain ten ounces per ton, the quantity is considered worth the trouble and expense of extracting; sometimes the produce is sixteen ounces per ton. Some of the richest and most productive mines are, those in the vicinities of Halkin, Kîlken, and Mold; the mine called the Holywell Level; and Milwr mine, to the east of Holywell: Talar Gôch mine, at Dyserth, which belongs to the see of St. Asaph, &c., affords rich ores of both lead and zinc. The working of two large and valuable lead-mines at Llyn-yPandy, near Mold, has been greatly obstructed by the waters of the river Alyn, in the subterraneous part of its course. Near the sites of ancient smelting-hearths, fragments of lead-ore have been collected, to the amount of many tons. According to an accurate statement lately published, the following quantities of lead-ore were raised from the chief mines in the county, in 1847; Fron-fownog, 1219 tons; Hendre, 1160 tons; Maes-y-Safn, 1136 tons; the Westminster mines, 1040 tons; Talar Gôch mine, 964 tons; Penrhynblas, 936 tons: Dingle and Deep Level, 688 tons; Jamaica, 602 tons; Belgrave, 328 tons; the Mold mines, 190 tons; &c. The total produce of the county, as already observed, was about 11,500 tons of ore.

Lapis calaminaris is raised in large quantities, particularly in the eastern part of the limestone district, being generally found in a matrix of limestone, or chert, more especially the former, in which it is peculiar to the kind called "flummery stone." Its colour is various, yellow, green, red, brown, and black; it is also of various texture and solidity, some being reticulated like corroded bones, and one kind resembling indurated wax. The other ore of zinc, called sulphate of zinc, blende, or black-jack, is also very abundant, and is sometimes raised for the making of ingots and bell-metal, or to be reduced to speltre, or regulus of zinc: it has naturally a blueish-grey metallic appearance. A vein running north and south through the parishes of Mold and Kîlken, and consisting chiefly of fluor spar, breaks every vein that it crosses, without being itself interrupted or deranged by any; for which reason the miners have given it the name of the "gallop-hell vein." Barytes, united with vitriolic acid, occurs at Meriadog, near St. Asaph, and with carbonic acid, between St. Asaph and Holywell, where it is the matrix both of the sulphate of zinc and that of lead. Marl, which appears to be a deposit of dissolved limestone, abounds in all the valleys contiguous to the limestone tract: clayey marl is most abundant in the eastern part of the county, and that of an indurated quality near the centre of it, in the neighbourhood of Flint. Petroleum, or mineral oil, is often found in the limestone strata, and is used for medicinal purposes: by the Welsh it is called menyn y tylwyth têg, or "fairies' butter." Varieties of the carbonate of lime, such as regularly formed spars, stalactites, and coarse mineral agaric, are found at Fordden, near Caerwys; and amethystine spar exists on Halkin Mountain. The principal extraneous fossils are impressions of leaves of the fern species, found in the collieries of Leeswood, in the parish of Mold, and in the black shale incumbent on the coal in other works of the same kind. A great portion of the mineral districts, formerly constituting part of the royal possessions, was alienated from the crown, in the reign of Charles I., in favour of Sir Richard Grosvenor, who obtained a grant of all the mines, or rakes, of lead within the hundreds of Coleshill and Rhuddlan, which, prior to that period, had been divided into different lots, and let out on leases for a term of years. Although the surface of the extensive waste called Halkin Mountain is commonable land, yet its vast mineral treasures are, by virtue of this grant, the property of the present Marquess of Westminster, as descendant of Sir Richard.

A great part of the population of the county is engaged in raising its mineral treasures, whilst others are employed in manufacturing its metallic ores. Smelting is very largely carried on at Bagillt, in the parish of Holywell. The Flintshire lead-ore markets are held alternately at Flint and Holywell; they are the largest in Great Britain, and the Flintshire smelters manufacture one-half of the lead made in the united kingdom, large quantities of ore being imported into the county as well as raised within it. On the stream which runs from Holywell into the estuary of the Dee, were, until lately, extensive works for the manufacture of culinary utensils, and other articles of brass; and some copper-works, at which were manufactured copper plates, or sheets, for the bottoms of ships, and for exportation to China, to be used in the drying of teas, also copper bolts, nails, rudder-bands, braces, &c., and copper-wire. The copper used in these works was chiefly obtained from the Parys and Mona mines, in Anglesey; and numerous vessels were employed in the carriage of the raw and manufactured articles, the latter of which were shipped for Liverpool. Flintshire also contained four extensive cotton-manufactories, situated on the Holywell stream, and belonging to the "Holywell Cotton Company," in which about 1000 persons were employed: there is a fifth at Mold, still in operation. The manufactories for cotton, copper, &c., at Holywell, though unemployed, are not removed, and the stream is still as powerful as it was when the above manufactures were in a prosperous state. Near Coed-Eulo, in the parish of Hawarden, are extensive potteries, where are manufactured considerable quantities of coarse earthenware, which is chiefly sent coastwise, as far as Swansea, or exported to Ireland; also fire-bricks, tiles, and draining-pipes, from clunch, a species of indurated clay, which is here found in vast beds. Some of the bricks, called bearers, weigh from one to two hundred-weight, and are used for lining the lead-smelting furnaces, in which they are set, not in mortar, but in a cement formed of the same kind of fire-clay as that of which they are composed. The Nottingham brown earthenware, and other species of pottery, are made near Mold. At Bagillt, the manufacture of ropes for shipping, and for the use of the colliers and miners, is carried on. Ivoryblack is made at Saltney, and paper at Holywell.

Notwithstanding that the county possesses so considerable an extent of sea-coast, its harbours are small. At the mouth of the Clwyd is the port of Rhuddlan at the Vorryd, where vessels take in corn, timber, and other produce of the interior; and more grain is shipped at this place than at all the other ports of North Wales collectively. At Bagillt, on the estuary of the Dee, the vessels trading to and from the collieries and smelting-works there are loaded, or their cargoes discharged. Vessels also trade to Flint; and much business is done at SaltneyQuay, on the Cheshire border, to which large quantities of coal, iron, and other articles, are brought from Wrexham, Ruabon, and other parts, by the Shrewsbury railway; at Cunnah's-Quay, where tiles, fire-bricks, draining-pipes, coal, &c., are largely exported; and at Mostyn-Quay, in the parish of Whitford, another increasing coal-port. Great quantities of limestone, quarried in the hills about Caergwrle, are burned on the spot, and, for the most part, conveyed into Cheshire. Most of the wool produced in the county is sold, at Chester, to the clothiers of the north of England. The chief exports are, coal, lead, fire-bricks, &c., grain, butter, cheese, and bacon; the chief articles of importation are, lead-ore for smelting, and the ordinary shop-goods.

The principal rivers are the Dee, the Clwyd, and the Alyn. The Dee first touches the county in its course northward along the eastern confines of Denbighshire, where, for several miles, it bounds the detached portion of Flintshire on the west. Almost immediately below Chester it reaches the main body of the county, through a low marshy portion of which is carried its modern artificial channel, terminating within four miles of Flint, in the great estuary of the old channel. This estuary extends north-westward to the Irish Sea; it forms the north-eastern boundary of the county, and terminates between the extremity of Wirrall, in Cheshire, and the Point of Air in Flintshire. The river is navigable for vessels of considerable burthen up to Chester. At high water, the estuary forms a noble arm of the sea, but at the ebb dwindles into a narrow stream, winding its way through vast dreary wastes of sand and ooze. The Clwyd enters the western part of the county from Denbighshire, near Bôdvari, and, pursuing a northeastern course, soon reaches St. Asaph, immediately below which city it is joined, from the south-west, by the powerful stream of the Elwy. Hence, gradually increasing in breadth, it flows majestically through the rich marsh of Rhuddlan, by the ancient borough of that name, about two miles below which it falls into the Irish Sea, through a small estuary opening northward, bounded on the east by the north-western extremity of Flintshire, and on the west by the north-easternmost point of Denbighshire. This river is navigable up to Rhuddlan quay for flat-bottomed boats of about fifty tons' burthen, and at its mouth forms a port, which is frequented by larger vessels. The Alyn enters across the southern confines of the county, and takes a northern course in the vicinity of Mold, round which town it makes an extensive sweep; it then turns southward through Hopedale, and afterwards, pursuing an eastern direction, quits Flintshire near Caergwrle, in its further progress to the Dee. Near Mold this river has a subterraneous passage for the distance of rather less than a mile.

The great Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in the year 1848, enters the county near Saltney, where the Wrexham, Ruabon, and Shrewsbury line, belonging to the Chester and Shrewsbury Railway Company, branches off. It runs parallel with the river Dee, passing by Sandycroft, about two miles north-east of the town of Hawarden; and then by Queen's Ferry, where a station is fixed, not far distant from the river. About a mile beyond, is Cunnah's-Quay; after which, the line runs along the shore of the Dee estuary, by Kelsterton, to the Flint station. Further on, it passes by the rising town of Bagillt, to the Greenfield station, which is about a mile distant from the populous and important town of Holywell. It next passes over a large portion of land reclaimed from the estuary, and arrives at Mostyn-Quay, of late years a place of some importance; whence the line traverses Gwespyr Marsh, and runs near the Point of Air, by Talacre, at the mouth of the Dee estuary. The railway now pursues a western course, along the sea-shore; it has a station at Prestatyn, and, leaving the village of Meliden on the left, arrives at Rhyl, a thriving watering-place, where another station is fixed, situated thirty miles from Chester. Hence the line crosses the river Clwyd into Denbighshire. The Mold railway, for which an act was passed in 1847, commences in junction with the preceding line in the parish of Hawarden, and takes a course of ten miles and a quarter to the town of Mold. It will have a branch of half a mile to the Upper King's Ferry, on the Dee; and one of four miles to the Frith lime-works; making a total length of fourteen miles and three-quarters. This line was finally purchased by the Holyhead Railway Company in the early part of 1849, and the main portion of it was opened in the course of the year. Excellent materials for the making and repairing of roads being every where abundant, those of Flintshire are for the most part very good. The road from London to Holyhead, by Chester, enters the county from the latter city, and runs the whole length of it, passing through Northop, Holywell, and St. Asaph, to Abergele, in Denbighshire. From Northop a branch passes through Caerwys, and rejoins the main line at St. Asaph; while from Holywell is another branch through Newmarket and Rhuddlan, which again reaches the main road at Abergele: from Northop a third branch passes through Denbigh, and regains the main road at Conway.

This county contains numerous interesting relics of antiquity. Various remains of the Romans, such as coins, hypocausts, fibulæ, &c., have been found in the vicinities of Flint, Caergwrle, Caerwys, and Holywell. Near Flint and Caergwrle are found great quantities of scoria, supposed to be the refuse from Roman smelting-hearths. On the hill called Garreg, near the village of Whitford, on the estuary of the Dee, is a circular tower, conjectured to have been a Roman pharos, or lighthouse. In a field below the town of Caerwys was formerly a stone, bearing a Latin inscription; it was removed to the garden of Downing, but a tumulus yet remains near its former site, and there are other tumuli scattered in the vicinity. In the neighbourhood of Hope may be traced, in several places, the remains of two ancient roads, one pointing towards Hawarden, and the other towards Mold. Roman intrenchments are yet visible in the vicinity of Bôdvari, supposed by some to be the ancient Varis, and in one or two other places. Truman Hill, and several other heights in the neighbourhood of Hawarden, are crowned with British encampments; and on Moel Arthur, a lofty summit of the Clwydian hills, is a strong fortification of British construction. On an elevation opposite to that on which are situated the ruins of Caergwrle Castle is a British fortified post, called Caer-Estyn, formed by a ditch and rampart. In the parish of Whitford is a singular monument, consisting of an ancient sculptured obelisk, twelve feet high, called Maen Chwyvan, or "the stone of lamentation:" near it are several tumuli, called Y Gorseddau, or "the sessions." Another curiously ornamented column, of unknown antiquity, stands in the cemetery of Dyserth.

Various remains of Offa's Dyke are yet visible in the county, through the whole of which, with the exception of a short distance of about three miles, its course has been traced from the place where it enters, near Hope, to its termination near Prestatyn. Nearly parallel with this ancient line of demarcation extends a similar work, called Wat's Dyke, which also traverses the county, in a direction from northwest to south-east. From the shores of the Dee, below the abbey of Basingwerk, it passes through "the strand fields," near Holywell, and by Cevny-Coed, Nant-y-Flint, Coed-y-Llŷs, Bryn-moel, Northop mills, Monachlog near Northop, and Mynydd Sychdyn. It then enters Molesdale, near its lower extremity, and runs along the side of it by Hope church to Rhyddin, whence it almost immediately enters the eastern part of Denbighshire, across which it pursues a southern course, nearly parallel with Offa's Dyke. By all early historians these two lines of demarcation have been confounded with each other; and respecting the formation of Wat's Dyke there is no authentic record, and hardly even a conjecture.

At the time of the Reformation there were, at Basingwerk a Cistercian abbey; and at Rhuddlan a house of Black friars: the famous monastery of Bangor-Iscoed was entirely in ruins at the time of the Norman Conquest. There are yet extensive and curious remains of the abbey of Basingwerk. The most remarkable specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in the county are to be seen in the cathedral and parochial church of St. Asaph; in the church of Kîlken, which is chiefly interesting for its fine carved roof, lately restored in an admirable manner by public subscription; and in the churches of Hanmer, Mold, and Overton. An ancient and very beautiful chapel is built over St. Winifred's Well, at Holywell. In this border county, so often the scene of conflict between the encroaching power of England and the patriotic valour of the Welsh, the fortified residences were numerous. There are picturesque remains of the castles of Caergwrle, Dyserth, Eulo, Flint, Hawarden, and Rhuddlan. Mansions of rather ancient erection and antiquated appearance are numerous: the most remarkable are, Bôdryddan, Golden Grove, Gwasaney, Mostyn, Nerquis Hall, Pentre-Hobyn, Plâs Têg, and Rhual. Among the modern seats most worthy of notice are, Bôdelwyddan, Bronwylva, Brynbella, Bryn-y-Pŷs, Cevn, Downing, Emral, Gredington, Gwernhayled, Gyrn, Halkin Castle, Hanmer Hall, Hawarden Castle, Leeswood, Pengwern, Talacre, the Palace and the Deanery of St. Asaph, and the Vicarage-house of Northop. Most of the better class of houses are built of the freestone of the coal measures. Although farmhouses and their appendages upon improved plans are common, yet many of the farmhouses are extremely mean. The cottages are generally clean and comfortable, and built of the substantial materials of the district. The common fences are quickset hedges, for making which great quantities of hawthorn-sets are grown by nurserymen. The farmers and labourers generally enjoy superior family fare to that of the same classes in the other counties of North Wales. In those parts of Flintshire which adjoin Cheshire, servants hired by the year begin their term of service on the 1st of January; in other districts, on the 1st of May. At Rhuddlan, at the lower extremity of the Vale of Clwyd, labourers formerly met together on the Sunday morning, and were hired by the neighbouring farmers for the following week; but this is now done on the Monday morning, and the wages given at Rhuddlan regulate those of the two hundreds of Rhuddlan and Prestatyn.

On the banks of the river Alyn, in the domain of Rhyddin, near Caergwrle, are two saline springs, formerly much resorted to for the medicinal properties of their waters, which were considered particularly efficacious in the cure of scorbutic affections. At the bottom of the hill on which stands the town of Holywell is St. Winifred's Well, one of the most powerful springs in the island. The stream issuing from it enters the estuary of the Dee at a marshy spot, at the distance of one mile and 234 yards from its source; having in that short course given motion, some years ago, to eleven mills of complex machinery. The supposed efficacy of this spring for healing all diseases, arising from its pretended miraculous origin, formerly attracted numerous pilgrims to Holywell; and the legend connected with it is related in the account of that place.



 

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                 Libraries
                 Museums
                 Opening Hours
                 Places of Worship
                 Pubs/Bars
                 Rugby
                 Shops/Gifts
                 Taxis:
                 Telephone No.
                 Theatres
                 Tourist Information
                 Trains
                 Vets
                 Web Address
                 Welsh Produce
                 Youth Hostels
                 llustration(s) or photograph(s) viewable Illustration(s) or photograph(s)

 

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