Mold, Flintshire facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Christmas Lights at Mold - - 99828.jpg
Mold High Street, with Christmas lights
Mold shown within Flintshire
Population 10,058 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SJ237640
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MOLD
Postcode district CH7
Dialling code 01352
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
  • Delyn
Welsh Assembly
  • Delyn
List of places
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Mold (Welsh: Yr Wyddgrug) is a town in Flintshire, Wales, on the River Alyn. It is the administrative seat of Flintshire County Council, and was the county town of Clwyd from 1974 to 1996. According to the 2011 UK Census, it has a population of 10,058.

Origin of the name

There is some debate about the origin of the placename. The name "Mold" originates either from the Norman-French "mont-hault" (high hill) or from Robert de Montalt. It is recorded as Mohald in a document of 1254. The Welsh language placename of Yr Wyddgrug is recorded as Gythe Gruc in a document of 1280–1, and comes from the words yr (the), gwydd (tomb, sepulchre) and crug (mound).


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The Mold cape

A mile west of the town is Maes Garmon, ("The Field of Germanus"), the traditional site of the "Alleluia Victory" by British forces led by Germanus of Auxerre against the invading Picts and Scots, which occurred shortly after Easter, AD 430.

Mold developed around Mold Castle. The motte and bailey were built by the Norman Robert de Montalt in around 1140 in conjunction with the military invasion of Wales by Anglo-Norman forces. The castle was besieged numerous times by the Princes of Gwynedd as they fought to retake control of the eastern cantrefi in the Perfeddwlad (English: Middle Country). In 1146, Owain Gwynedd captured the castle. By 1167, Henry II was in possession of the castle, although it was recaptured by the Welsh forces of Llywelyn the Great in 1201.

Anglo-Norman authority over the area began again in 1241 when Dafydd ap Llywelyn yielded possession of the castle to the de Montalt family; however he recaptured it from the Plantagenet nobility in 1245. The next few decades were a period of peace; Llywelyn ap Gruffudd built the Welsh native castle of Ewloe further to the east establishing the House of Gwynedd's military control over the area. Under Welsh rule, Mold Castle was deemed to be a "royal stronghold". It was recaptured by the forces of Edward I during the first months of the war of 1276-77. Mold Castle was still a substantial fortification at the outbreak of the rebellion by Madog ap Llywelyn in 1294. However, with the death of the last Lord Montalt in 1329, the castle's importance began to decline. The last mention of the fortification is in a Patent Rolls from the early 15th century.

With the end of the Welsh Wars, English common law was introduced by the Statute of Rhuddlan. This led to an increase in commercial enterprise in the township that had been laid out around Mold Castle. Trade soon began between the Welsh community and English merchants in Chester and Whitchurch, Shropshire. During the medieval period, the town held two annual fairs and a weekly market, which brought in substantial revenues as drovers brought their livestock to the English-Welsh border to be sold.

Nevertheless, tensions between the Welsh and the English remained. During the War of the Roses, Reinalt ab Grufydd ab Bleddyn, a Lancastrian captain who defended Harlech Castle for Henry VI against Yorkist forces, was constantly engaged in feuds with Chester. In 1465 a large number of armed men from Chester arrived at the Mold fair looking for trouble. A fight broke out which led to a pitched battle; eventually Reinalt triumphed and captured Robert Bryne, a former Mayor of Chester. The Welsh captain then took Bryne back to his tower house near Mold and hanged him. In retaliation up to 200 men-at-arms were sent from Chester to seize Reinalt. However the Welshman used his military experience to turn the tables on his attackers. He hid in the woods while many of the men entered his home; once they were inside, he rushed from concealment, blocked the door, and set fire to the building, trapping those inside. Reinalt then attacked the remainder, driving them back towards Chester.

By the late 15th century the lordships around Mold had passed to the powerful Stanley family. In 1477 records mention that Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby had appointed numerous civic officials in Mold (including a mayor), was operating several mills, and had established a courthouse in the town.

16th century onwards

Mold church and town
A view of Mold c.1778
Mold, c.1795
Mold, c.1795

In the 1530s, the Tudor antiquarian John Leland noted the weekly market had been abandoned. By now Mold had two main streets: Streate Byle (Beili) and Streate Dadlede (Dadleu-dy). About 40 houses made up the settlement. By the beginning of the 17th century, the coal industry had begun to develop in areas near the town. This led to a rise in Mold's population, by the 1630s there were more than 120 houses and huts in the area.

The government of Elizabeth I had established royal representatives (Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, and Lords Lieutenant) in every county of Wales. Mold developed into the administrative centre for Flintshire. By the 1760s, the Quarter Sessions were based in the town; the county hall was established in 1833, and the county gaol in 1871.

In 1833, workmen digging a prehistoric mound at Bryn yr Ellyllon (Fairies' or Goblins' Hill) discovered a unique golden cape, which dates from 1900–1600 BC in the Bronze Age. The cape weighs 560 g and was produced from a single gold ingot about the size of a golf ball. It was broken when found, and the fragments were shared out among the workmen, with the largest piece going to Mr Langford, tenant of the field in which the mound stood. The find was recorded by the vicar of Mold and came to the notice of the British Museum. In 1836 Langford sold his piece to the Museum and subsequently most of the pieces were recovered, though there is a tradition that the wives of some of the workmen sported new jewellery after the find. Restored, the cape now forms one of the great treasures of the British Museum in London.

Mold hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1923, 1991 and 2007. There was an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1873.

Mold was linked to Chester by the Mold Railway, with a large British Rail station together with adjacent marshalling yards and engine sheds; however, these closed when Croes Newydd at Wrexham was opened. The station was closed in 1962 in the Beeching cuts, though the track survived until the mid-1980s to serve the Synthite chemical works. A Tesco supermarket was built on the station site in the 1990s. The nearest station is now Buckley railway station.

The Mold Riot

In summer 1869 there was a riot in the town which had considerable effect on the subsequent policing of public disturbances in Britain.

On 17 May 1869, John Young, the English manager of the nearby colliery, angered his workers by announcing a pay cut. He had previously strained relationships with them by banning the use of the Welsh language underground. Two days later, after a meeting at the pithead, miners attacked Young before frogmarching him to the police station. Seven men were arrested and ordered to stand trial on 2 June. All were found guilty; and the convicted ringleaders, Ismael Jones and John Jones, were sentenced to a month's hard labour.

A large crowd had assembled to hear the verdict, and the Chief Constable of Flintshire had arranged for police from all over the county and soldiers from The 4th King's Own Regiment (Lancaster), based temporarily at Chester, to be present. As the convicts were being transported to the railway station, the crowd of 1500 to 2000 grew restive and threw missiles at the officers, injuring many of them. On the command of their commanding officer, Captain Blake, the soldiers opened fire on the crowd, killing four including one completely innocent bystander, Margaret Younghusband, a 19-year-old domestic servant from Liverpool, who had been innocently observing events from nearby high ground. The musket ball severed her femoral artery and she bled to death. The others killed included Robert Hannaby a collier from Moss, near Wrexham. He was shot in the head in the act of throwing a stone and died instantly. Edward Bellis, another collier, was shot in the abdomen. A local doctor, Dr Platt, performed surgery to remove the ball but Bellis died shortly afterwards. Elizabeth Jones, wife of Isaac Jones, living at Coed Talon, was shot in the back and died two days later from the injury.

The Coroner's inquest on the first three deaths was held in the same week as the riot, on Saturday 5 June. The Coroner, Mr Peter Parry, was described as "exceedingly old and infirm and being so deaf as to be compelled to use a 'speaking' trumpet, to which affliction must be added that greater one of partial blindness". He was assisted by the Deputy Coroner, his brother Robert Parry, surgeon, of Mold. The verdict of the Jury, following clear direction of the Coroner, and after retiring for five minutes to consider the matter, was that of justifiable homicide. Later that afternoon the Coroner held a further inquest on the death of Elizabeth Jones, who had died at 11 pm the previous night. The same verdict was reached. The following week Isaac Jones, a collier at Black Diamond, was one of a number of men tried for their involvement in the riot. He was allowed bail to attend the funeral of his wife. The other men tried were William Griffiths (medical herbalist, former collier, Mold), Rowland Jones (age 25, collier, Pontyblyddan), Gomer Jones (age 17, collier) and William Hughes (collier) At the conclusion of their trial they were found guilty of "felonious wounding" and Lord Chief Justice Bovill sentenced them all to ten years penal servitude.

Although he strenuously denied the connection, Daniel Owen, who lived in the town, featured some very similar events in his first novel, Rhys Lewis, which was published in instalments in 1882–84.

Transport and other facilities

With no railway service, Mold is difficult to get to by public transport. The nearest station is at Buckley, which has connections to Wrexham and Liverpool. Flint railway station, to which Mold is connected by regular bus services, is not much further, and has direct trains to Cardiff, London and Manchester. Throughout the day there are frequent buses from Mold Bus Station to Chester and Wrexham as well as other nearby towns (including Denbigh, Holywell and Ruthin) and villages.

Mold has a 15th-century parish church, a small museum and the regional arts centre, Theatr Clwyd.

Sharing a building with Mold Library and Museum is Visit Flintshire, which is the main Tourist Information Office for the town and its surroundings, and provides an outlet for local artists and craftspeople to sell their work.

Mold is a cittaslow (slow food town); it was the first town in Wales to achieve this distinction. Mold has a diverse street market every Wednesday and Saturday for fresh produce and many other goods. For speciality and fresh local food, the Celyn Farmers' Market is held on the first and third Saturdays of every month in Mold. There have been several producers in the Mold markets who also appeared regularly at Borough Market in London. The Mold Food & Drink Festival is held each September. The food festival has a main event area on the edge of the town centre, and many central and nearby businesses contribute to the event. 2012 saw Mold's first annual "November Fest" – a beer festival held in St. Mary’s Church Hall, King Street and venues in and around Mold to promote real ale, cider and wine.

Mold has two secondary schools that serve the town and the surrounding villages. With about 1,800 pupils, the Alun School is the largest school in the county. It is adjoined by the only Welsh medium secondary school in Flintshire, Ysgol Maes Garmon. It is also home to the largest primary school in the county, Ysgol Bryn Coch, with about 650 pupils.

Companies based in Mold include NWN Media, publisher of The Leader.


Like the rest of the British Isles, Mold has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Loggerheads, about 3 miles west of the town centre.

The highest temperature recorded in the area was 31.7 °C (89.1 °F) in August 1990. However, the warmest day is typically around 26.4 °C (79.5 °F) in an 'average' year, one of around 4 days to reach a temperature of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above.

The lowest temperature recorded was −18.7 °C (−1.7 °F) in December 1981. On average the coldest night of the year is −9.7 °C (14.5 °F), with a total of 62.1 frosty nights.

Annual rainfall averages 925 mm, with almost 152 days having at least 1 mm of precipitation.

Climate data for Loggerheads 210m asl, 1971–2000, Extremes 1961–2005 (Weather Station 3 Miles West of Mold)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.7
Average high °C (°F) 6.3
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Record low °C (°F) -18.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 82.24
Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute

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