Welsh Icons - Towns & Villages
Greenfield, Flintshire


Greenfield, Flintshire




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Greenfield (Welsh: Maes-glas) is a village on the outskirts of Holywell, Flintshire, north-east Wales, located close to the River Dee. At the 2001 Census, it had a population of 2,741.

Greenfield is best known for its history of papermaking. A paper mill has been on this site since 1770. The site was chosen due to the constant water flow from the stream which comes from the St Winefride's Well. The speed this site developed was one of the reasons that Greenfield is still linked with the start of the Industrial Revolution. In the mid 19th century up to 80 businesses had set up in the mile stretch between Holywell and Greenfield The remains of some can now be seen as conservation and industrical archeological projects have been undertaken in recent years. Among the businesses were a copper mill, a flannel mill, a flour mill, shirt makers and a pop works (which still exists today). Greenfield was also home of a new wave of heavy industries in the 60s by becoming home to Courtaulds the rayon and nylon factory.

Greenfield's oldest building is Basingwerk Abbey, in ruins since the time of Oliver Cromwell it is a favourite place for children to play. The adjacent grounds are now home to an agricultural museum which has many buildings from the surrounding area moved stone by stone, including and old school house.

Basingwerk Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Dinas Basing) is in the care of Cadw (Welsh Heritage).

It was founded in 1132 by Ranulph de Gernon, 2nd Earl of Chester, and monks from Savigny settled there. In 1147, the abbey became part of the Cistercian Order and therefore a daughter house of Buildwas Abbey in Shropshire. In 1157, the abbey was given the manor of Glossop by King Henry II. The hilltop Monks' Road in Glossop is a reminder of the monks' efforts to administer their possession. Earlier on, they had received the manor of West Kirby from the Earls of Chester. In the 13th century, the abbey was under the patronage of Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd, and his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn gave St Winefride's Well to the abbey. The monks harnessed the power of the Holywell stream to run a corn mill and to treat the wool from their sheep. In 1536, abbey life came to an end with the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Two centuries earlier a Welsh seer, Robin Ddu ("Robin the Dark") said the roof on the refectory would do very nicely on a little church under Moel Famau. It did. When the abbey was sold, the roof went to Cilcain church and the Jesse window went to the church at Llanrhaeadr-yng-Ngheinmeirch.

Today, the abbey ruin is part of Greenfield Valley Heritage Park.[citation needed]

The B5121 road from Greenfield to Holywell is the road which passes the St Winefride's Well, which Holywell is known for.

Greenfield's main claim to fame is possibly the hidden Gatso speed camera, on the A548 road leading to Bagillt, near the railway bridge. It was voted the worst-placed speed camera in the UK by the Association of British Drivers. An irony of this fact is that Arrive Alive now conduct their Speed Awareness courses at the Greenfield Business Centre, based in the original paper mill building.

Amongst the shops there is a pharmacy, set up in August 2005 to serve the community.

 Pubs/Bars in Greenfield:
 The Packet House
       Mostyn Road
       CH8 7EJ
 01352 714774

 Royal Oak
       Greenfield Road
       CH8 7QB
 01352 714463

 Take Aways Greenfield:
 Valley Fish & Chips
       8 New Shop Parade
       Greenfield Road
       CH8 7QS
 01352 711341

 Schools/Colleges in Greenfield:
 Greenfield C.P. School (Primary)
       School Lane
       CH8 7HR
 01352 711497

Greenfield - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
GREENFIELD, a hamlet, in the parish and union, and partly within the limits of the borough, of Holywell, in the Holywell division of the hundred of Coleshill, county of Flint, North Wales, 1¼ mile (N. E.) from Holywell; containing 2112 inhabitants.


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