Flintshire or Flint, a maritime county of North Wales, comprising a main body and a detached district. The main body is bounded by the estuary of the Dee, the Irish Sea, Denbighshire, and Cheshire, and forms an oblong, extending north-westward, and measuring about 27 or 30 miles in length, and from 6 to 12 1/2 in breadth. The detached district is separated, at the mean distance of about 9 miles, by Denbighshire, lies on the right bank of the river Dee, is bounded on the S and E by Salop, and forms an oblong of about 10 miles by 6 1/2. The area of the entire county is 164,050 statute acres. It is thus the smallest county in Wales. The tract along the coast is level, finely sheltered, and highly fertile. The surface inland rises in variety of contour to the boundary with Denbighshire, includes toward that boundary the northeastern declivities of the Clwydian hills, and attains on the summit-line, in the peaks of Pen-y-Cloddiau, Moel Arthur, and Moel Fammau, elevations of 1452, 1491, and 1823 feet. The ravine of Holywell is the only picturesque spot on the coast, but many parts of the interior present fine scenery, and the summit-line of the Clwydian hills is cleft by several elevated roads or passes. The rivers Dee and Clwyd contribute beauty to respectively the detached district and the north-western corner, and innumerable streamlets, descending from the Clwydian hills, diversify and adorn many parts of the interior. The chief streams are the Alyn, going to the Dee, the Elwy, going to the Clwyd, the Terrig, the Wheeler, and some others. A carboniferous formation, comprising the coal measures, lies along the estuary of the Dee, and expands thence to the SE; a carboniferous formation, consisting chiefly of millstone grit, flanks the coal measures from end to end of the county; a formation of carboniferous limestone and shale commences near the coast and extends parallel to all the millstone grit; an upper Silurian formation, rising into the Clwydian hills, flanks most of the carboniferous limestone; and a trias formation of new red or Bunter sandstone, lies along the SW. The coal seams are surpassed in thickness only by those at Wednesbury in Staffordshire, and have been found in some places to possess an aggregate of 59 feet, within a depth of only 216 yards. Some of the coal contains 90 per cent. of combustible matter. Ironstone and a fine kind of silicious freestone abound in the coal tracts, and a rich hematitic iron ore is found in the mountain limestone. Lead is also abundant, and lead ore appears, from remains or traces of ancient smelting-hearths, to have been worked by the ancient Britons and Romans.
The soils of the low tracts show much diversity, according to the character of the detritus and the rocks, but in general are very productive, and those of the hills are for the most part a mixture of clay and gravel, with predominance of clay. Good crops of wheat are raised on all the seaboard's low lands. Barley, oats, rye, potatoes, and occasional green crops also are raised. The native horses and cattle are of fair size and character, the cows are excellent milkers, and the sheep, though crossed by the Southdowns and the Leicesters, are small. Butter, cheese, and wool are exported.
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Archives and Libraries
Flintshire Record Office,
The Old Rectory,
Tel: 01244 532364 (for enquiries and reservations)
Tel: 01244 532414 (Flintshire County Archivist)
Fax: 01244 538344
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
List of Registration Districts in Flintshire from 1837 to 1974.
Old map of Flintshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)
Old map of Denbighshire and Flintshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)
Parishes and places
The towns and parishes have now been moved to a separate page.