Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 9, Part 2

They visit the ruins of Flint Castle, before setting off to Chester. They pass the River Dee, Connah’s Quay, Queensferry, Sandycroft and Hawarden Castle, arriving in Chester at 4 o’clock.  They summarise their travels, highlighting both the highs and lows of their journey, before retiring for the night.

Hawarden Castle

DD/DM/1113- Picture of Hawarden Castle, taken from the original diary 'Two hundred and fifty miles through North Wales on a wagonette'

We visited the ruins of Flint Castle, this castle which is now so insignificant is famous in history.  It was built by Edward the first, Edward the second here met Piers Gaveston.  Richard the second and Bolingbroke also met here, it was taken by Llewellyn, it was given by Edward 3rd to the Black Prince.  Was Garrisoned by Sir Sir Richard Mostyn for Charles 1st and dismantled in 1647.

We soon got tired of Flint and at 20 to 2 drive on en route for Chester, there is nothing specially interesting in this drive.  We have the River Dee on our left, and pass on through Connah’s Quay, Queensferry and Sandycroft.  In the distance we see Hawarden Castle (illustration page) the residence of the right honourable W E Gladstone M.P. and finally through Saltney into Chester arriving there at 4 o’clock, having completed a journey on the wagonette of about 250 miles since we left here eight days ago.  During that time we had passed through some of the most lovely glen and brook scenery in the world, the route is more clearly defined by the coloured edge shewn on the map.  I was rather surprised that in some of the rural districts we did not meet a single welsh woman wearing old fashioned welsh hat.  Of the welsh people I cannot speak in too glowing terms, they are civil and obliging in fact would put themselves to inconvenience to render strangers a service.  This I found every where we went until we neared Flint on our way home from there to Chester, the demeanour of the people you saw or spoke to was simply disgusting.  In enquiring our way in the country districts, we found it better to enquire from boys or girls who generally could speak English and Welsh, older people not being able to speak English.  Everywhere we went we met the old familiar bills announcing “trip to Belle Vue Gardens”.  It opened our eyes to what extent this place was advertised all over the country, the only misfortunes on our journey were the loss of mine umbrella, the occasional bursting of Tommys fuzbag, and the cracking of my wife’s jaw in trying to pronounce the name of a Welsh village, known as Llanfaipwllgywngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch, for short the natives call the place Llanfair P.G. 

We were glad to get back and to see Dots smiling face once more, the P.J. business under her charge had been fairly successful and I think satisfactory to her Aunt Lydia.  We spent a quiet night and retired to rest, with the old familiar sounds of Tommy’s hoofs “click, click, clock, clock, click, clock, click” ringing in our ears.  We fell asleep, but imagined, we could still hear Ellis on the box saying “Go on Tommy” hold um up “Tommy”, “let um go Tommy”, “Get on will yer”, “Go on” etc etc.

Historically Rhyl and Prestatyn were parishes in Flintshire, for more records relating to Rhyl and Prestatyn follow this link

http://www.flintshire.gov.uk/wps/portal/english/services?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/web+content/flintshire/english/services/100009/200111/record+office+-+contact+details+and+opening+hours

Information about our holdings is available on

http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en-gb/DNAP-6ZQKTQ

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