Rhuddlan (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈr̥ɨðlan]) is a town, community and electoral ward in the county of Denbighshire, Waleshistorically in Flintshire. Its associated urban zone is mainly on the right bank of the Clwyd; it is directly south of seafront town Rhyl. It gave its name to the Welsh district of Rhuddlan from 1974 to 1996. At the 2001 Census, the population was 4,296[1] decreasing to 3,709 as at 2011.[2]

Rhuddlan Castle, May 2012.jpg
Rhuddlan Castle in May 2012
Rhuddlan is located in Denbighshire
Location within Denbighshire
Population3,709 (2011)
OS grid referenceSJ025785
  • Rhuddlan
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLL18
Dialling code01745
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
53°17′38″N 3°27′50″W / 53.294°N 3.464°W / 53.294; -3.464Coordinates: 53°17′38″N 3°27′50″W / 53.294°N 3.464°W / 53.294; -3.464


The name of the town is a combination of the Welsh words rhudd "red" + glan "(river) bank".[3]


Rhuddlan church and castle, c.1781

Just before 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.

In 1086, Rhuddlan was recorded in the Domesday Book as a small settlement within the hundred of Ati's Cross and in the county of Cheshire.[4]

A mint established at Rhuddlan in the 1180s by Dafydd ab Owain, and later maintained by Llywelyn the Great, was responsible for minting the first native Welsh coinage since the reign of Hywel Dda.

The town is known for the ruins of Rhuddlan Castle, built by order of King Edward I from 1277 to 1282, and for the site of another castle at Twthill, built by the Norman Robert of Rhuddlan about 1072. Well-preserved Rhuddlan castle has a great round tower and many surviving walls. It was built soon after the conquest of Wales.

The town was thus where Edward I signed the Statute of Rhuddlan, laying down the way by which the Principality of Wales, created by the princes of Gwynedd, was to be governed.

The town's first Welsh chapel, now 17 Cross Street, was built in 1771.[5]

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".

Rhuddlan railway station was part of the Vale of Clwyd Railway. The station closed in 1955 but the line remained open until 1968. The station was demolished around 1977 and a Premier Inn now occupies the site.[5]

In 2001, the A525 bypass was completed, easing access to Rhyl. Since 2001 the centre of Rhuddlan has been largely redeveloped.


In 2021 February, archaeologists from Aeon Archaeology announced the discovery of more than 300 stone age tools and artefacts in Rhuddlan. They revealed scrapers, microliths, flakes of chert (hard, sedimentary rock), flints and even rudimentary tools. Expert Richard Cooke believes that the remains were belong to people who was passing through and made camp by the river more than 9,000 years ago.[6][7]

Notable peopleEdit

See Category:People from Rhuddlan

Photographer Philip Jones Griffiths, well known for his photographs during the Vietnam War, and a member of Magnum Photos, was born in Rhuddlan in 1936.[8][9] 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. It is also the birthplace of the electronic musician Kelly Lee Owens, who grew up in a nearby village.


  1. ^ 2001 Census: Rhuddlan, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 30 June 2008
  2. ^ "Community/Ward population 2011". Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  3. ^ Mills, A. D. (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198527589.
  4. ^ Rhuddlan in the Domesday Book
  5. ^ a b "FlashBack: This Week: Rhuddlan". Daily Post (North Wales). 11 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Hundreds of stone age tools found on Denbighshire housing site". BBC News. 17 February 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Encampment dating back 9,000 years has been discovered in Rhuddlan". Denbighshire Free Press. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Philip Jones Griffiths: Photographer whose Vietnam images changed". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Philip Jones Griffiths' daughter on the Vietnam War photographer". BBC News. 26 August 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2021.

External linksEdit