Open main menu

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, due to the two bays/rivers in between, driving distance is 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").[3]

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 and Rhuddlan. 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 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.[4] The Urdd Eisteddfod was held in Flint in 2016.

GovernanceEdit

Flint is within the British parliamentary constituency of Delyn and is represented by Labour MP David Hanson. 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

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 2011 Welsh identity was included and 57.1% stated they had Welsh, Welsh and British or other combined identity. [5] Many people in Flint have some knowledge of the Welsh language, although competence does vary. English is the main spoken language to be heard across the town. There are more Polish language speakers in Flint since the relaxation of trade and immigration laws within the European Union. Several shops have English and Polish information displayed and there are a few Polish shops (Polski Sklep) specialising in Polish products.

The Flint accent is most often mistaken for a Liverpool accent. It is in fact a unique combination of speech patterns shared with other Welsh speakers, old Irish settlers and those found in nearby Cheshire, Wirral and Merseyside.[6]

There are several songs associated with Flint.[7] 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 Virgin Trains West Coast services between London Euston and Holyhead.[8] 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 are now transmitted 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 has a local football team Flint Town United. They play in the Cymru Alliance.

Brian Fell's sculpture footplate[9] 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 been renovated. Flint Retail Park has also expanded and now Flint is the only town in Flintshire with a Sainsbury's supermarket.

A lifeboat station was established in Flint in 1966, and is run by the RNLI. The lifeboat operates both inshore and inland.[10]

Notable peopleEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2001 Census: Flint, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 2 August 2009
  2. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia; Mills, David; Room, Adrian (2002). The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: the University Press. p. 1036. ISBN 0198605617.
  4. ^ National Eisteddfod Proclamation, BBC Wales, retrieved 27 August 2006
  5. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Flint statistics (W04000186)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  6. ^ The Voices Recordings: Male voice choir members, BBC, retrieved 27 August 2006
  7. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northeast/sites/flintshire/pages/flintsongs.shtml
  8. ^ Virgin Trains timetable, West Coast Main Line, Route D: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-07-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Footplate". National Recording Project. Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  10. ^ "RNLI: Flint". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  11. ^ Historical: Thomas Totty, BBC Wales, retrieved 27 August 2006
  12. ^ Press Office: Ian Puleston-Davies, Funland, BBC, retrieved 25 March 2008
  13. ^ Tom Cruise, BBC Wales, retrieved 27 May 2006

External linksEdit