Rhuddlan (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈr̥ɨðlan]) is a town, community and electoral ward in the county of Denbighshire within the historic boundaries of Flintshire, on the north coast of Wales. It is situated to the south of the coastal town of Rhyl and overlooks the River Clwyd. The town gave its name to the Welsh district of Rhuddlan from 1974 to 1996. At the 2001 Census, the population was 4,296, decreasing to 3,709 at the 2011 census.
Rhuddlan Castle in May 2012
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Rhuddlan has a longer history than the castle fortress built following Edward I's conquest of Wales. Prior to Norman occupation of lower Gwynedd, the Perfeddwlad, Rhuddlan was the site of a Welsh cantref and served as the seat of government and capital of Gwynedd for the Welsh king Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (1007 – August 5, 1063), whose family may have been the traditional Welsh lords of Rhuddlan for generations. A mint established at Rhuddlan in the 1180s by Dafydd ab Owain, and subsequently maintained by Llywelyn the Great, was responsible for minting the first native Welsh coinage since the reign of Hywel Dda.
The hymn tune "Rhuddlan" was brought to wider prominence by Ralph Vaughan Williams as music editor of the first edition of The English Hymnal in 1906, and it has since been adopted by numerous other hymnals. It is usually sung to the words of the hymns "Judge eternal, throned in splendour" and, more recently, "For the healing of the nations".
In 2001, the A525 bypass road was completed, easing access to Rhyl, and since then the centre of Rhuddlan has been redeveloped.
Photographer Philip Jones Griffiths, well known for his photographs during the Vietnam War, was born in Rhuddlan. Wales and Sunderland FC footballer David Vaughan was also born in the town. Lisa Scott-Lee of the pop band Steps and her brother Andy Scott-Lee lived in Rhuddlan.
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