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History of the town of Flint

The Town of Flint is situated in the County of Flintshire has a population of 30,000 people, and it incorporates the villages of Flint Mountain and Oakenholt.

The foundations of Flint have always been linked with industry. As early as 870 when Roderic the Great, King of all Wales, divided his lands between his three sons, he decreed that if the Prince of North Wales and the Prince of Powys should quarrel they should meet at Morfa Rhianedd on the banks of the River Dee where their brother was to settle any argument. The Romans formed a large settlement in the area of Pentre-Dan, where they smelted lead, also water mills for the grinding corn at the Pandy, in Oakenholt. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England and was crowned King of England, and on his instructions the Doomsday book was complied twenty years later. From this book comes the first recorded mention of the area we know as Flint. The area we know now as Flint was called Raddington, a small hamlet under the diocese of Northop. From the early settlement of the area by the Romans, when lead smelting took place at Oakenholt, Coal Mining at Coleshill and Lime extraction at Bagillt, the area would have prospered and flourished without the building of a castle because of natural abundance of resources in the area.
On 1277, Edward 1 advanced from Chester at the head of an army with dykers, stonemasons and carpenters and began to build hid first of his Castles in Wales at Ffynt on the banks of the River Dee. The new town and castle swallowed up the two small communities of Raddington and Ondeston. On the 8th September 1284, Royal Charters were granted to Rhuddlan, Conwy and Caernarfon at Flint Castle by Edward 1. Thus Flint became the Birthplace of Municipal Government of Wales.
Flint as survived many things, including the Great Plague of 1394, Civil War in 1643, Cholera epidemic in 1832 and a depression in 1894 when the two main industries, Red Pit Colliery and Muspratt and Huntley Chemical Works closed down. Soup kitchens were opened in the town, and hundreds of people left the district to seek employment in more prosperous areas. The town has existed for over 700 years, when the building of the castle and town started a busy community with brickyards and claypits. A new shipyard was built in 1840 near the wharf's at the port of Flint, a bustling place when at one time there would be as many as twenty boats waiting to load and off load in a day. The sea baths were a great attraction in 1800's when people would come to take the sea air and walk along the promenade by the castle.
In 1908, the British Glanztoff Manufacturing Company, a German artificial silk concern, started their factory in Flint. During the 1914-18 war all German employees were interned, resulting in Courtaulds Ltd, the textile giant taking over the factory in 1917 and renaming it "Aber Works". This was followed in 1920 by another large factory, "Castle Works", and a third factory, "Deeside Mill" followed in 1922. These three factories were within 400 yards of the Holywell Road Ground and employed thousands of local people, hence the nickname "The Silkmen".
The Holywell Road Ground was originally known as Naylor's Field, the earliest reference is that it belonged to Charles Bate of Kelsteron Hall in 1886. Passed down through the family until 1917, when Thomas Bate, who was last of the family and had no family of his own, was killed in action in Palestine. It appears that GMD Charlton then inherited the field, who then rented it out to J.Williams and then later E.Williams, and used as agricultural land. Between 1910 and 1921 part of the field was sold to the Gas Works. In 1921 Mrs Charlton sold the rest of the land to Courtaulds Ltd. Courtaulds then handing part of the field over to the Council on a three renewable lease, to be used as a recreation area. In 1924 it was decided by the Council to give this field to Flint Town Football Club.
1930 the football area had to be moved back to accommodate an extension to the Gas Works. In 1952 Courtaulds conveyed the field over to the Council and on the 7th January 1987 Flint Town Utd F.C. signed a 25 year lease for the Holywell Road Ground,
All these three factoires have now been demolished, Deeside Mill being the last, to make way, as did the Holywell Road Ground for a new shopping complex. The new ground is built on reclaimed land. The area on which the ground and Club House stand was marsh land, full of gutters and ponds, a high tide would cover all this area. The house's which can be seen just behind the top goal, Dee Cottages and Henry Taylor Street is where Tennis Courts, a Cricket Pitch and Flint Town's ground were situated between the years of 1886 to 1924. As you look out from the stand the third new Dee Crossing can be seen as well as the new Gas Power Station and British Steel's new Coating Complex. All this land belong to John Summers and Son's a giant steel making complex. Big Blast and Open Hearth Furnaces once dominated the skyline
Flint Castle, which you cannot miss as you arrive, stands on a promontory of rock on the banks of the River Dee. Construction of the Castle was started on July 25th 1277. The Architect was Richard L'Engenour who had built the Dee Mills and the Weir at Chester. The Castle covers an area of about an acre and is built from Sandstone, which was brought in from the Wirral, and Timber from the woods at Ewloe. The design is a square with four towers, an Inner and Outer Bailey originally with a gate house tower facing the town of Flint. The separate tower is a most remarkable feature, larger and stronger than the rest, with walls over 7 meters thick and is in similar design to the Tour-de-Constance tower at Aigues-Mortes in France.
Many great events have taken place at the Castle from granting of the towns first Charter by Edward the 1st. on September 8th 1284, to the deposing of Richard 2, by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, on August 22nd 1399. Richard entered Flint Castle as King and left deposed, prisoner of his cousin Henry, even Richard's dog Marthe deserted him within those ancient walls. or rather having sensed Richard's downfall, left his side to join Henry never to return to his former Master.
(This event is immortalised in Shakespeare's play "Richard the 2nd, Act Three").
In 1643 Sir Roger Mostyn gallantly defended the Castle against Oliver Cromwell's forces. He repaired and garrisoned the Castle at his own expense. So gallant was his effort to hold the Castle in the name of the King, he held out to the point of eating his own horse's to stay alive. Finally he surrendered under honourable terms - banners flying, drums beating and muskets (with the flintlocks broken) over their shoulders. Flint Castle was retaken by Royalists, under the command of Sir William Vaughan, in September 1645. On the 22nd December 1646 the Castle was surrendered to Major General Mitton. Before the end of the year Parliament voted for Flint Castle "To be Slighted", so that it could never be used as a garrison For many years after, the Castle supplied materials for buildings and walls around the town. (now it is left to be vandalised by local youngsters). Custody of the Castle was given to H.M. Office of Works in 1919, and later to CADW, Ancient Monuments.

Other past dates in the history of Flint: 1282-Castle attacked by Prince Llewelyn, last of the Welsh Princes. 1423-Castle besieged in the insurrection of Owen Glyndwr: 1785-New Jail built in the Castle Yard: 1848- Chester to Holyhead rail line opened: 1852-Gas and Water laid under the streets: 1857-Flintshire Constabulary formed: 1877-Mayors Chain presented to the Town: 1920-Flint Cottage Hospital opened: 1926-Town received Electricity supply: 1957-Flint Rescue Boat Service established: 1992-The Francis Carrington Evans Chain presented to the Council (The Chain dedicated to L/Cpl Francis Evans who died in action under fire in the Gulf War)
(These are not complete Chronological History of the Town of Flint).