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Rhydymwyn

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Rhydymwyn

Coordinates: 53°10′48″N 3°11′24″W / 53.18000°N 3.19000°W / 53.18000; -3.19000

Rhydymwyn
Flintshire
Population 722,000 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SJ205665
Principal area Flintshire
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CH7
Dialling code 01352
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Delyn
Welsh Assembly Delyn
List of places
UK
Wales
Flintshire

Rhydymwyn (the word in Welsh means 'Ford of the Ore' and takes its placename from the ford across the River Alyn now replaced by a small iron bridge) is a village in Flintshire, Wales, located in the upper Alyn valley. Once a district of Mold, it was recognised as a separate parish from 1865.

Geography

The geology of the area consists of a layer of extremely pure, and hence structurally sound, 200 feet (61 m) thick layer of limestone at depths ranging from surface to 900 feet (270 m).[1] The limestone holds other minerals, including copper, nickel and copper deposits, making it an ideal site for mining.

History

Due to the industrialisation of nearby Northwest England, and its needs for mineral supplies, the mineral deposits in the Alyn valley created a population explosion in various villages, including Rhydymwyn. From the mid-18th century, Rhydymwyn was the site for a range of industries, which included foundries, waterwheels as well as mine workings.[2]


The new parish of Rhydymwyn was created on 31 March 1865, comprising: parts of the townships of Gwysaney and Gwernaffield, formerly in the parish of Mold; parts of the townships of Cefn and Glust (or Llysdianhunedd), and the whole of the township of Mechlas, formerly in the parish of Cilcain; and part of the township of Caerfallwch, formerly in the parish of Northop. The foundation stone of the new parish church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was laid on 1 August 1861, and the church was consecrated on 17 September 1864.[3]

The Denbigh and Mold Junction Railway had a Rhydymwyn station on the south side of A541, which opened on 6 September 1869.[4] With the closure of the line under the Beeching Axe, the station closed to passengers on 30 April 1962 and completely from 4 May 1964. The former station building is now a private house.[5]

Ffynnon leinw

Approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from Rhydymwyn is the small hamlet of Hendre. Along the main road from the old Sardis Chapel, and only a few feet from the edge of the A541 there is an ancient well - Ffynnon leinw - (leinw comes from the Welsh word "llanw" meaning tide as it is reported that the water in the well rose and ebbed with the tides of the Dee Estuary). The well has been listed as one of the holy wells of Wales on a par with the more famous St Winefride's Well in Holywell. The well in Hendre is mentioned by Thomas Pennant in his 'A Tour in Wales' - written between 1778–1783 and also by Giraldus Cambrensis or Gerald of Wales in his 'Journey through Wales' written in 1188 - an itinerary of his journeys as he accompanied Archbishop Baldwin of Exeter to enlist support for the Third Crusade.


Mendelssohn and Charles Kingsley

The famous German composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed The Rivulet in 1829 while visiting his father's friend, John Taylor, (himself a famous mining engineer and entrepreneur) and his family in 1829 who rented Coed Du. This work was inspired by the beauty of the countryside. During the same visit, Mendelssohn composed his operetta Son and Stranger.[6]

Charles Kingsley, author of The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby also came and walked the Leete and both his and Mendelssohn's visits are commemorated by a plaque in Nant Alyn Road, Rhydymwyn.

Recent times

In the autumn of 2000, local rainfall was exceptional in terms of intensity and duration. Between 28 October and 6 November, 68 homes and 8 businesses flooded in Rhydymwyn because of overflow from the River Alyn. In 2002 and 2003, DEFRA's internal team in two phases created a flood alarm and protection scheme to protect the whole village and Valley Works, with a level of protection in excess of a flood with a 1% chance of occurring in any one year. The total cost for the scheme was £88,000.[7]

Valley Works

Main article: M. S. Factory, Valley

The Rhydymwyn Valley Site has an important history. During the early 19th century the site included an important iron [1] at the entrance gates.

The Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve

Valley has not been used since the mid-1990s. In the preceding postwar period many of the buildings were still in use, mainly as a buffer storage depot, but some were demolished because they were considered dangerous. The site has become a Nature Reserve and a Visitor Centre was built on the site of the old gatehouse.

The site covers 86 acres (350,000 m2) to the south of the village in a U shaped valley. The site was once the home to ancient copper mines and a 19th-century metal foundry. The western side of the site is semi-ancient deciduous woodland with an understorey of wild garlic, snowdrops, bluebells and orchids. The River Alyn flows in from the north west corner of the site and follows the western side of the valley. The river originally meandered through the centre of the valley but it was diverted as part of the early construction works. The river was canalised and given steep concrete sides and a concrete base. The middle section of the river is culverted underground for two sections. The site is now home to 7 herptile species, 8 species of fish, 17 species of butterfly/moth and 8 species of bat. 67 bird species have nested or been observed on the site.

The site is guarded by Carillion Facilities Management (CFM) who have provided these services to the Rhydymwym site since 1992. fauna within the Rhydymwyn Nature reserve and in the history of the Rhydymwyn Valley, and its members have access to the Reserve and welcome visitors. The Valley History Society also regularly arrange guided tours including access to the tunnel complex. Visits to the site can be arranged through the Visitor Centre.

References

External links

  • SJ2066
  • Rhydymwyn memories, Government film from the 40s @ BBC Wales
  • Pictures of Rhydymwyn on geograph.org.uk
  • Rhydymwyn and Hendre Community Group Website
  • Rhydymwyn Valley History Society
  • North East Wales Wildlife
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