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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 33106

Map Reference SJ27SW

Grid Reference SJ2425872963

Unitary (Local) Authority Flintshire

Old County Flintshire

Community Flint

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Multiperiod

Site Description The town of Flint was founded as a fortified market town when the first of Edward I's castles were built c. 1277, during his conquest of North Wales. The town is situated on the Dee estuary. The area was involved in lead smeting for over 600 years, the industry boomed in the 19th century with seven furnaces in operation in 1826. The lead, in the form of rolls, pipes and sheets, were transported by ship to Liverpool and other ports. The last smelting works closed in 1850, being taken over by Alkali works. Other industry around the town included coal mining, paper manufacture, brick and tile works, other chemical works and artificial silk manufacture. British Glanzstoff Manufacturing Company artificial silk works were taken over by Courtaulds in 1917 which, at its height, employed about 10,000 people and were the main employer in Flint.

At certain periods, such as at the time of the decline in demand for lead, and other periods of recession Flint declined economically. In the 1980's the town was declared a Development Area with Category One status. Industrial areas such as the Courtaulds factories were pulled down and new much smaller factory units built on the new Aber Industrial Park and Castle Park Industrial Estate. New firms come to Flint to take advantage of the special terms, and employment again expanded in Flint in the mid 1980's. The Flintshire Retail Park opened in 1994.

Associated with:
Fflint Castle (Nprn 94448)
Muspratt's Alkali Works/ Courtauld's textile mill (Castle Works) (Nprn 41108)
Oakenholt Paper Mill (Nprn 408219)
Halyn Deep Level Mine (Nprn 33942)

RCAHMW, 2009.

This small town was founded during the years of Edward I’s conquest of Wales in the 1280s. The stone castle, built here by order of Edward I, was the first of the fortifications established up and down the Welsh coast with the intention to suppress the indigenous population. In August 1399, Richard II surrendered to Henry Bolingbroke, soon to become King Henry IV, on condition that his life was spared following his abdication.

Flint and the surrounding area received much of its income from lead mining and processing between the late middle ages and the early Victorian period when the last smelting works closed. At that time, other branches of heavy industry developed, including coal mining, paper manufacture and chemical manufacturing.

Many of the international visitors were therefore not in town as holiday makers, but for professional reasons. Travelling on foot through the counties of north Wales in 1846, Franz von Löher found a coastal town comfortably settled between the adventurous life of seafarers and the serenity of harvesting cockles at low tide.

Record updated as part of the AHRC-funded project 'Journey to the Past: Wales in historic travel writing from France and Germany'.
R. Singer (Bangor University) and S. Fielding (RCAHMW), 2017.

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