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Rhuddlan or Rhyddlan, Flintshire

Historical Description

Rhuddlan or Rhyddlan, a decayed town and a parish in Flintshire. The town stands on the river Clwyd, 3 miles SSE of Rhyl, and was anciently a place of much importance with a strong castle. It was chartered by Edward I., and contains the remnant of a house in which it is said a parliament was held in 1283, enacting the "statutes of Rhuddlan," which secured the liberties of Wales, and first gave the king's son the title of Prince of Wales. It unites with Flint, Holywell, Mold, Overton, St Asaph, Caerwys, and Caergwrle in sending a member to Parliament. It is a sub-port to Chester and the head of a petty sessional division. It has a station on the L. &N.W.R., and a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) There is a manufactory of agricultural implements. The castle was built in 1015 by Llewelyn ap Sit-sylit, burned in 1063 by Harold, restored soon afterwards by the Earls of Chester, strengthened in 1157 by Henry II., taken in 1167 by Owen Gwynedd, besieged in 1220 by Llewelyn ab Jorwerth, relieved by Button with a motley army from Chester fair, taken subsequently by the Welsh, restored and visited by Edward I., given by Edward III. to the Black Prince, seized in 1399 by Percy when betraying Richard II. to Bolingbroke, taken in 1646 from the Royalists by Mytton, and subsequently dismantled. The shell of the castle still stands, presents an imposing appearance as seen from a little distance, is a quadrangular pile of red sandstone, has a round tower at each of two angles, and a gateway flanked with towers at each of two other angles, and retains part of the fosse in good condition, and an outward bastion which defended the escarpment toward the river. The bridge was built in 1595 by Bishop Hughes. The church stands close to the bridge, and has been restored. It has a large Decorated window and a massive tower, and contains a modern monument to Dean Shipley and some ancient memorials. There are Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The marsh of Morfa Rhuddlan, on the other side of the river, was the scene in 795 of the defeat of Caradoc by Offa, celebrated in the Welsh air of " Morfa Rhuddlan," and was also the place where a base-line of the trigonometrical survey was measured. The parish contains the townships of Brynbychan, Brynywall, Criccin, Pentre, Yscawen, Brynhedydd, Cefndu, Rhydorddwy, Trellywelyn, and Ehyl. It comprises 4715 acres of land and 15 of water, with 64 of adjacent tidal water and 988 of foreshore; population of the civil parish, 7757; of the ecclesiastical, 1230. The ecclesiastical parish of Rhyl was constituted in 1849. Population, 6527. Pengwem was formerly a seat of the Mostyn family, and belongs now to the Williams family. Bodryddan is an ancient seat of the Conwy family, and contains a fine collection of armour. A Black friary was founded in 1268 at Toothill, and has left some traces. A Knights Templars preceptory was at Yspytty. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Asaph; net value, £212 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of St Asaph.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Flintshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

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