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Tours > Wales > Rhuddlan

Rhuddlan (Rithlan)
by Peter N. Williams, Ph.D., Editor, Wales on Britannia

Just inland from the sprawling and very much blue-collar, family-holiday resort of Rhyl, so beloved by day-trippers from Lancashire and the Midlands, is the quiet town of Rhuddlan, strategically placed at the head of the agriculturally rich Vale of Clwyd (Dyffryn Clwyd: Duffrin Clue-id).

It was here at Rhuddlan, on a great expanse of flat ground that Edward I built his second great fortress in Wales and it was here in 1284 that he issued the Statute that provided for the government of his newly conquered territory. Edward held a parliament in the town, and a plaque on a wall of the Old Parliament House (pictured above) commemorates the Act, thus "securing to the principality of Wales its judicial rights and independence." Whatever the subdued Welsh thought of the Statute is not recorded.

The main feature of Rhuddlan is the imposing fortress built on the banks of the River Clwyd, which Edward had re-channeled for a distance of two miles to form a defensive barrier. The forbidding towers and gate house stand a short distance from Twt Hill, the site of an earlier Norman fortress in which Giraldus Cambrensis once enjoyed hospitality. The town also contains a twin-nave church dating from the 13th century, in which Edward I's daughter Elizabeth was baptized.

Rhuddlan can be reached from Rhyl south on the A525; from St. Asaph north on the same route. From Chester, the A55 main highway Rhuddlan is but 20 miles distant.

Next Stop: Rhyl

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