RHUDDLAN

In 1868, the parish of Rhuddlan contained the following places:

"RHUDDLAN, a parish, decayed market town, and parliamentary borough in the hundred of Rhuddlan, county Flint, 3 miles N.W. of St. Asaph, and 8 from Denbigh. It is a station on the Vale of Clwyd railway, and steamers go to Liverpool. It is situated at the bridge over the river Clwyd, about two miles from the sea, and is a subport to Chester. The parish contains, besides the borough of Rhuddlan, the bathing-place of Rhyl, which forms a separate chapelry, and nine other townships The village itself, though formerly an important borough and market town, is now a decayed place of only one street. It was made a free borough by Edward I., and is still nominally governed by bailiffs and other officers, and is contributory to Flint in returning one member to parliament. The bounds of the borough include parts of the parishes of Rhuddlan, St. Asaph, Cwm, and Dysarth, with a population in 1861 of 1,406, while the population of the whole parish of Rhuddlan was 4,397. It is also a polling-place for the county and borough elections, and a seaport town, having a quay to which small craft can come up. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture. The bridge was built in 1595 by Bishop Hughes. In the town there still exists part of an old wall, metamorphosed into the gable end of a row of small houses, on which a tablet has been placed by the late Dean of St. Asaph, pointing this out as the building in which Edward I. held a parliament after Llewelyn's death in 1283, when the "Statutes of Rhuddlan" were passed, securing to the principality of Wales its judicial rights and independence: and here the king's son was first proclaimed Prince of Wales. The principal historical interest, however, is attached to the castle, which occupies a striking position overhanging the banks of the river Clwyd, and which, although now a mere shell, has an imposing appearance. It is a red sandstone building of quadrangular form, the walls 17 feet in thickness, and having at two opposite angles a round tower called Twr-y-Brenhin, while the other two corners are occupied by gateways flanked by two towers, each now in ruins. Part of the fosse is still in good condition, as well as a square bastion that defended the escarpment towards the river, and there are remains of a room in which Eleanor of Aragon was born, an ancestress of the Tudors. The castle is said to have been originally built in 1015 by Llewelyn ap Sitsyllt, but was burnt by the English, under Harold, in 1063, and entirely destroyed by Grufydd ap Cynan, Prince of North Wales, but was subsequently rebuilt by the Norman Earls of Chester, and strengthened by Henry II. in 1157; but ten years later was stormed by Owain Gwynedd, and having been retaken by the English, was besieged by Llewelyn ap Jorwerth in 1220, while held by Randal Blundeville; but the latter was relieved by the buttons, who came to its rescue with a mob of minstrels and strangers collected at Chester fair; and for this good service Dutton was rewarded with the unenviable title of "Magisterium omnium peccatorum et meretricum totius Cæstreshire." It was several times visited by Edward I., who held here his parliament, mentioned above, and was given by Edward III. to the Black Prince. In 1399 it was seized by Percy, when betraying Richard II. to Bolingbroke, and was for a short time the resting-place of that unfortunate monarch, when on his way to Flint as a prisoner. In the civil war of Charles I. it was garrisoned for the king, but was taken by Mytton, and dismantled by order of parliament. The tithes were commuted in 1839. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £264, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a rude ancient structure, situated near the bridge, with a massive tower and a decorated E. window. It contains a modern monument to Dean Shipley, and tombs of the Conways of Bodryddan. There is also a district church at Rhyl, the living of which is a perpetual curacy,* value £155. The Baptists, Wesleyans, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists have places of worship, and there are three daily schools. The parochial charities produce £4 per annum. On the opposite side of the river Clwydis Rhuddlan Marsh, where a base line of the Trigonometrical Survey was measured, and where in 795 a great battle is said to have taken place between the Welsh, under Caradoc, and the Saxons under Offa, King of Mercia, in which the latter were victorious, and the Welsh prince, with all his nobles, slain, as commemorated in the Welsh air of "Morfa Rhuddlan." On the S.E. of the castle are traces of a priory for Black Canons, founded in the 12th century, with the effigies of a knight, now worked into the wall of a neighbouring farmhouse; also at Yspytty Farm was a preceptory of the Knights Templars. Fairs are held on 2nd February, 25th March, and 8th September."

"BRYNBYCHAN, a township in the parish and hundred of Rhuddlan, in the county of Flint, North Wales, not far from St. Asaph."

"BRYNHEDYDD, a township in the parish and hundred of Rhuddlan, in the county of Flint, North Wales, not far from Rhuddlan."

"BRYNYWALL, a township in the parish and hundred of Rhuddlan, in the county of Flint, North Wales, not far from Rhuddlan."

"CEFNDU, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, in the county of Flint, North Wales, near Rhuddlan."

"CRICCIN, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, in the county of Flint, 2 miles N.W. of St. Asaph."

"PENTRE, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, county Flint, 2 miles from Rhuddlan."

"RHYDODDRWY, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, county Flint, 1 mile from Rhuddlan, and 3 miles N.W. of St. Asaph. It is situated near the estuary of the Clwyd, about two miles from the sea."

"RHYL, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, county Flint, 2 miles N.W. of Rhuddlan. It is a station on the Chester and Holyhead railway. It is situated in a barren and marshy spot near the mouth of the river Clwyd. At the commencement of the present century it was a mere fishing village, but has been much improved, and is now a watering-place with good hotels, and is much frequented by visitors, principally from Liverpool, and by tourists. It is well lighted with gas, and has a newsroom. Snowdon is visible from several points. A large and valuable tract of land, lying between the town and the sea-shore, was formerly a barren marsh, but has been reclaimed, and is protected from the tides by an embankment 8 miles long and 80 feet wide at the base. The livings a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £155, in the patronage of the Vicar of Rhuddlan. The church was erected in 1839. The principal residences are Rhyl Hall and Ty-yn-Rhyl; the latter, built in the 16th century, has in the hall carved woodwork made out of the bedstead of Griffith, the gentleman-usher to Queen Catherine of Aragon."

"SCAWEN, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, county Flint, 3 miles N.W. of St. Asaph, on the river Clwyd."

"TRELLYWELYN, a township in the parish of Rhuddlan, county Flint, near Rhuddlan."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018