Flint, Flintshire

Flint (Welsh: Y Fflint) is a town and community in Flintshire, Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Dee. It was formerly Flintshire's county town, and is today the third largest town in the county. According to the 2001 Census the population of the community of Flint was 12,804,[1] increasing to 12,953 at the 2011 census.[2] The Urban area including Holywell and Bagillt had a population of 26,442.[3]

Flint
YFflintLB07.JPG
Flint Castle
Flint is located in Flintshire
Flint
Flint
Location within Flintshire
Population12,953 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSJ243729
Community
  • Flint
Principal area
Ceremonial county
CountryWales
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townFLINT
Postcode districtCH6
Dialling code01352
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
AmbulanceWelsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
UK
Wales
Flintshire
53°14′54″N 3°08′09″W / 53.2482°N 3.1358°W / 53.2482; -3.1358Coordinates: 53°14′54″N 3°08′09″W / 53.2482°N 3.1358°W / 53.2482; -3.1358

GeographyEdit

Flint is located in north-east Wales, adjoining the River Dee, to the north of the town of Mold. Across the River Dee, the Wirral can be seen from Flint and views to the south of the town include Halkyn Mountain. As the crow flies, Flint is located less than 12 miles from the English urban area of Liverpool, and even closer to its metro area. However, the two bays / rivers in between make the driving distance almost twice as long.

HistoryEdit

 
John Speed's map of Wales, made in 1610. The town of Flint can be seen at the top right

The name refers to the stony platform on which the castle was built, and was first recorded in 1277 in the French form le Chaylou (cf modern French caillou, "gravel").[4]

Edward I began to build Flint Castle in 1277, during his campaign to conquer Wales. Both castle and town were attacked by the forces of Madog ap Llywelyn during the revolt of 1294–95; the defenders of the town burnt it in order to deny its use to the Welsh.

Richard II was handed over to his enemy Henry Bolingbroke in the castle in 1399. As a consequence, it is the setting for Act III, Scene III of the Shakespeare play Richard II. The castle was the first of Edward I's 'iron ring' of royal castles to be built in Wales, and the design served as the basis for larger castles such as Harlech Castle and Rhuddlan Castle. Owain Glyndŵr unsuccessfully assaulted it at the commencement of his revolt in 1400.

The town did not have a wall, but a protective earthen and wooden palisaded ditch. The outline of this remained visible in the pattern of streets until the mid-1960s, and the medieval boundary can still be traced now. This can be seen in John Speed's map of Flintshire.

In 1839, the new Town Hall was erected, after the previous was demolished due to it being so decayed and deemed unsafe. The new building was completed in 1840 at a total cost of £1,734.8.6, and the first meeting of the Town Council was held there on 10 February 1840. The Town Hall in Flint is a splendid and imposing building in the Tudor-Gothic style at the very centre of the town. The architect responsible for the design was Mr. John Welsh. It is built of sandstone on two storeys, which forms a rectangular gabled structure, flanked at both ends by octagonal embattled turrets and has a balcony.[5]

In 1969 Flint hosted the National Eisteddfod, and so the town has a circle of Gorsedd stones in the field adjacent to Gwynedd County Primary School. In July 2006 the stones were centre stage in the National Eisteddfod Proclamation Ceremony which formally announced Mold as the 2007 host town of the event.[6] The Urdd Eisteddfod was held in Flint in 2016.

GovernanceEdit

Flint is within the British parliamentary constituency of Delyn and the town is part of the Welsh Assembly constituency of Delyn. At local government level, Flint is a community administered by Flintshire County Council.

Culture and demographyEdit

In 2001 18% of the local population self identified themselves as Welsh, although the census had no tick box allowing them to do so. (source: 2001 Census). In the Census of 2011 Welsh identity was included as an option and 57.1% stated they had Welsh, Welsh and British, or Welsh and other combined identity.[7], which is higher than many places much further west. Many people in Flint have some knowledge of the Welsh language, although competence varies. Implementation of the European Union's freedom of movement provisions has led to a noticeable increase in the numbers of Polish-language speakers in Flint. Several retail businesses display information in Polish as well as in English and Welsh and the town has a number of Polskie sklepy (Polish shops) specialising in Polish products.

The Flint accent is frequently misidentified with that of Liverpool, although it has arisen in fact as a unique blending of the speech patterns of the area's Welsh speakers, earlier Irish settlers, and the residents of nearby Cheshire, Wirral, and the wider Merseyside region.[8]

There are several songs associated with Flint.[9] The most widely sung is "The Yard". Another popular song is "Fifty German bombers over Flint", which tells the story of a wartime bombing raid over nearby Liverpool that accidentally targeted the town of Flint instead. Verses describe the arrival of the bombers over Flint, and how they were shot down by the "Bagillt Navy". Eventually, the ill-fated German aircrew were fished out by the "Greenfield Fishers". The song is often sung in a drunken, friendly manner to the accompaniment of much hand clapping and revelry.

TransportEdit

Flint railway station lies on the North Wales Coast Line and is served by Transport for Wales services from Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno. A north-south service between Cardiff and Holyhead also calls, as do selected Avanti West Coast services between London Euston and Holyhead.[10] Bus services are operated by Arriva Buses Wales.

EducationEdit

The town has three high schools: St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School, Flint High School and Ysgol Maes Hyfryd. Primary schools in Flint include the Gwynedd School, Cornist Park School, Ysgol Croes Atti (Welsh medium), St Mary's Catholic Primary School and Ysgol Pen Coch.

CommunityEdit

 
Footplate sculpture at Flint railway station, designed by Brian Fell.

Flint once had its own low-powered television relay transmitter, designed to provide improved coverage of Welsh channels in an area that would otherwise receive only English television signals. Since 2009, signals have been transmitted digitally from Storeton transmitting station on the Wirral.

Perhaps one of the town's most striking images, in addition to the castle, is the group of three tower blocks of flats near the town centre. The first two blocks were built in the 1960s and named Bolingbroke Heights and Richard Heights, with a third, Castle Heights, added shortly afterwards.

Flint's local football team is Flint Town United. They play in the Cymru Premier, the top tier of Welsh football.

Brian Fell's sculpture footplate[11] can be seen at Flint railway station. Initially it was thought to be an imitation of the famous Monty Python foot drawn by Terry Gilliam.

The library, leisure centre (renamed in 2012 as the Jade Jones Pavilion), and the town centre have all been renovated. Flint Retail Park has also expanded and Flint is the only town in Flintshire to have a Sainsbury's supermarket.

A lifeboat station was established in Flint in 1966, operated by the RNLI.[12]

Notable people with local connectionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2001 Census: Flint, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 2 August 2009
  2. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Custom report - Nomis - Official Labour Market Statistics". www.nomisweb.co.uk.
  4. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia; Mills, David; Room, Adrian (2002). The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: the University Press. p. 1036. ISBN 0198605617.
  5. ^ "Flint Town Hall". www.fflint.co.uk.
  6. ^ National Eisteddfod Proclamation, BBC Wales, retrieved 27 August 2006
  7. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Flint statistics (W04000186)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  8. ^ The Voices Recordings: Male voice choir members, BBC, retrieved 27 August 2006
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Virgin Trains timetable, West Coast Main Line, Route D: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Footplate". National Recording Project. Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  12. ^ "RNLI: Flint". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  13. ^ Press Office: Ian Puleston-Davies, Funland, BBC, retrieved 25 March 2008
  14. ^ Historical: Thomas Totty, BBC Wales, retrieved 27 August 2006

External linksEdit