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Flint (Y Fflint)
by Peter N. Williams, Ph.D., Editor, Wales on Britannia
None of the guide books has much to say about the town of Flint, where the dignified remains of its Castle was for over a century hidden behind industrial buildings. These have now gone, and the castle can be seen in all its ruined splendour. There is still much to see. its builder, James of St. George, erected a formidable edifice indeed, situated right on the shores of the Dee Estuary, here about six miles wide and subject to quick-flowing tides. A unique feature is the large circular tower with its own well, and walls over twenty feet thick that served as a keep and main defensive position.
Two events of historical importance took place in the castle before it was severely slighted by Cromwell's orders following the English Civil Wars (it had been held for Charles I by Sir Roger Mostyn). The first was a meeting between ill-fated Edward ll and his favorite Piers Gaveston in 1312; and it was also here that the equally ill-fated Richard ll was taken prisoner by Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV. Local legends tell of the nightly howlings of Richard's pet greyhound Math, guilty at deserting his master for the usurper Bolinbroke.
Another local legend tells of a Roman encampment at Croes Ati, on the outskirts of town. For it was here that a valuable horde of Roman coins was discovered in the 1960's. Flint is not a very Welsh town: it was originally an English garrison in lands that were part of the Earldom of Chester. Its accents are mainly those of Merseyside; yet it has an active Welsh element and in 1969 hosted the National Eisteddfod. It now has a large Welsh primary school and a successful Male Voice Choir. The town can be reached along the coast road (A548) from Chester.
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