Hawarden - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
HAWARDEN, a market-town, and a parish comprising several hamlets, of which that of Saltney separately maintains its own poor, in the union of Great Boughton, hundred of Mold, county of Flint, North Wales, 6 miles (E. by N.) from Mold, 6½ (S. E.) from Flint, and about 190 (N. W.) from London; containing 6078 inhabitants, of whom 905 are in the township of Hawarden. This place, which is of remote antiquity, was by the Welsh called "Pennard Halawg," or more properly "Pen-yLlwch," the headland above the lake, probably from the circumstance of the Saltney and other marshes, which now form an extensive flat between it and Chester, having been formerly covered by the sea. By the people inhabiting that district, the principal part of which is comprehended within this parish, the town is still called Pennard. In the Norman survey the place occurs under the Saxon appellation "Haordine," whereof its present name is only a very slight modification. It is supposed to have been originally occupied by the ancient Britons, as a barrier against the incursions of the Cornavii, a portion of whose territories were adjacent to this part of the principality, and to have served also as a place of defence against the invasion of the Romans. This opinion seems to derive confirmation from the appearance of several heights within the town and its vicinity, which exhibit strong indications of having been fortified in the ancient British manner. The open nature of the surrounding country rendered it an easy prey to the Mercian Saxons, during whose occupation of the place it formed the principal manor of the extensive hundred of Atiscros; and at the time of the Norman Conquest it was in the possession of Edwin, a Saxon chieftain, who, for the protection of the territories which his predecessors had usurped in this portion of the principality, is said to have occasionally resided at this place, which served also as a frontier to his Mercian dominions.
On the conquest of Britain by William I., Hawarden was included in the very extensive territories granted by the Conqueror to Hugh Lupus, and formed part of the county palatine of Chester. The castle was soon afterwards erected, and appears to have been in the possession of Roger Fitzvalerine, son of one of the numerous followers of the Conqueror, from whom it passed to the Montaults, or de Montaltos, barons of Mold, who held it as seneschals of the palatinate, and made it their principal residence. The peculiar situation of the place, in the only part of the Marches through which access could be obtained by the English to the heart of North Wales, subsequently rendered it the scene of many of the most important events connected with the subjugation of the principality. In the year 1157, Henry II., having assembled a formidable army at Chester, advanced into Flintshire with a view to the conquest of Wales, and encamped his forces on Saltney marsh, in the parish. To repel this attack, Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, marched his forces to Basingwerk near Holywell, where he took up his station within a few miles of the royal army. The boldness of Owain's movements inducing Henry to hope that the natives intended to risk a general engagement, in which he expected that the superior number and discipline of the English would ensure success, the king despatched a chosen body of troops, under the command of his principal barons, to bring the Welsh to action, or to dislodge them from their post. This party, having to pass through the narrow defile of Coed-Eulo, in the parish of Hawarden, were suddenly attacked in that dangerous pass by Davydd and Cynan, sons of Owain, who, with a strong body of forces, had been placed in ambush to surprise them. The English, from the suddenness and impetuosity of the assault, and the difficulties of the ground on which they had to contend, were routed with great slaughter, and the few who escaped the carnage retired, in the utmost disorder, to the main body of the army. Henry, exasperated by this unexpected discomfiture, immediately collected the whole of his forces, and pursued his march along the sea-coast into the heart of the enemy's country; and Owain, breaking up his camp, retired with his forces to St. Asaph.
Upon the extinction of the ancient Earls of Chester, the castle of this place, together with several other fortresses, was resumed by the crown; and in the year 1264, Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, held a conference at Hawarden with Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in order to negotiate a treaty of peace. In the following year, the Earl of Leicester compelled Henry III., whom he held in captivity, to yield up the castle to the Welsh prince, by whom it appears to have been destroyed; for, among other articles of a proposed treaty of marriage between Llewelyn and Eleanor de Montfort, the Welsh prince undertook to restore to Robert de Montault all his lands in Hawarden, restraining him at the same time, by an additional clause, from erecting any castle, fortress, or stronghold, for the ensuing thirty years. The castle appears, notwithstanding, to have been soon rebuilt, and, on the suppression of Leicester's rebellion, to have reverted to the crown: in the year 1280, notice of it occurs under the appellation "Castrum Regis."
In the fifth year of the reign of Edward I., the king, intending to penetrate into Wales by that part of its frontier which borders upon the river Dee, advanced with a large army from Cheshire, and encamped his forces on Saltney marsh, while his pioneers were employed in opening roads through a deep forest occupying much of the country between the confines of Cheshire and the mountains of Snowdon. In this post they remained till Edward had erected the castle of Flint, and strengthened that of Rhuddlan, for the preservation of those parts of the principality which he had already subdued; after which the king led his forces to Conway, where he compelled Llewelyn to conclude a treaty of peace on the most humiliating terms. The severity of these conditions excited a general feeling of disgust among the Welsh chieftains, who simultaneously united to throw off the yoke which Edward had imposed upon them, and took up arms to resist his authority. Davydd, the brother of Llewelyn, to whom he had but recently been reconciled, committed the first act of hostility, by surprising the castle of Hawarden, which he attacked during the dark and stormy night of Palm-Sunday, 1282; having taken the fortress, he put the garrison to the sword, and wounded and took prisoner Roger de Clifford, justiciary of Chester, whom he carried off to Snowdon. This act of violence was the signal for a general insurrection of the Welsh, which terminated in the defeat and death of Llewelyn, and in the entire subjugation of Wales to the English sway.
The castle remained in the possession of the family of Montault, till the first year of the reign of Edward III., when, Robert, the last baron, dying without heirs, it was assigned to Isabel, the queen mother, on whose subsequent disgrace it reverted to the crown. Edward III., in 1337, granted the stewardship of Chester, with the castle of Hawarden, to William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, in whose family it continued till the death of his grandnephew, John, Earl of Salisbury, who was beheaded at Cirencester in the year 1400, after an unsuccessful insurrection in favour of his deposed sovereign, Richard II. It then again reverted to the crown, and Henry IV. bestowed the castle on his second son, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, on whose death at the battle of Baugy, in 1420, it passed to Henry V., by whom it was granted to his son, afterwards Henry VI. The latter in 1443 conferred it on Sir Thomas Stanley, comptroller of his household; but resuming the grant in 1450, the king bestowed it on his son Edward, Prince of Wales. The castle subsequently passed to the Nevilles, Earls of Salisbury, and from them to Lord Stanley, whose son and heir, Thomas, afterwards Earl of Derby, married Margaret, Countess of Richmond, and mother of Henry VII. This monarch spent some time at the castle on a visit to his mother, partly for the purpose of amusing himself with the diversion of the chase, but principally in order to reconcile the earl after the ungrateful execution of his brother, Sir William Stanley. On the death of Margaret, the castle descended to Thomas, Earl of Derby, grandson of the late earl, and remained in that family till the execution of James, the seventh earl, at Bolton, in 1651, after which the parliament placed it in sequestration.
Soon after the commencement of the civil war, the castle was betrayed by the governor into the possession of the parliament. It was subsequently attacked by a party of royalists under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Marrow, to whom, at the expiration of a fortnight, the besieged garrison, beginning to want provisions, surrendered, on condition of being allowed to march out with half arms, and to have a convoy to Wem, or Nantwich. The castle remained in the possession of the royalists until after the surrender of Chester to Sir William Brereton, in 1645, when it was besieged by Major-General Mytton; the garrison sustained the assault for several weeks, till the governor, having received orders from the king, surrendered it upon honourable terms. It was, towards the close of the same year, together with four other castles in this part of the principality, dismantled by a vote of the parliament. After the death of James, seventh Earl of Derby, the castle was purchased from the agents of the sequestration by Serjeant Glynne, who, on the Restoration, compounded with the eighth Earl of Derby, from whom he obtained a grant of this property, which has descended to his heirs, and is now in the possession of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, Bart.
The Town is situated within a mile and a half of the river Dee, on the turnpike-road from Chester to Holyhead, and consists principally of one street, nearly half a mile in length; the houses are in general well built, but the town is not paved. Considerable improvements have been made in the neighbourhood, by the commissioners of the turnpikeroads, who some time since expended £1000 in diminishing the ascent of the hill at the lower end of the town. In 1847 water was brought into the place at an expense of upwards of £1000, to be defrayed by the annual grant (hereafter mentioned) paid by the River Dee Company to the lord of the manor, and other trustees. The parish comprises 16,444 acres, whereof 1292 are common or waste. It abounds with coal in various parts, the strata of which lie under freestone, and shale of a saponaceous quality, with occasional beds of ironstone and gravel. The upper seam of coal, called the Hollin coal, is from six to seven feet in depth; the second, called the Brassy coal, about three feet in thickness; the third, called the rough coal, also about three feet thick; and the fourth and lowest seam, called the main coal, ten feet in thickness. This last, which is of very superior quality, is in great request for the Dublin and other markets. Collieries are worked on an extensive scale, in various parts of the parish; and there are large works for making fire-bricks, tiles, and draining-pipes; also potteries for the manufacture of the coarser kinds of earthenware. A laboratory for the making of Glauber salts, sal ammoniac, and ivory-black, was established in the township of Saltney, in the year 1781, and is conducted on an extensive scale, but for the manufacture of ivory-black only. The river Dee, or Chester channel, passes on the north-east of the town; and there are two tramroads for the conveyance of produce from the various collieries and potteries to the river. The Chester and Holyhead railway runs for about seven miles through the parish, parallel with the river Dee; and in 1847 an act was passed for the construction of a line from the Holyhead railway in the parish of Hawarden to the town of Mold, with branches to the Upper King's Ferry on the Dee, and the Frith lime-works near Hope. Several schooners and flats are employed in the transport of coal, bricks, and other articles produced here; and two smacks are engaged in a fishery off the Isle of Man, which is conducted by inhabitants of the parish. The market is on Saturday; and fairs, principally for cattle, are annually held on April 28th and October 22nd. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold petty-sessions occasionally; and is included in the Chester district for the recovery of debts under £20. A house of correction has been erected on the site of an ancient cross: there were formerly two crosses in the town.
In 1734, Messrs. Kinderley and Co. obtained an act of parliament for improving the navigation of the river Dee, under the provisions of which a canal from Chester to the estuary of that river, passing through Saltney marsh in this parish, was completed in 1737. The company, incorporated under the name of the "Company of Proprietors of the undertaking for recovering and preserving the navigation of the river Dee," in prosecution of their work, appropriated to their own use 800 acres of the marsh on the north side of the canal, in consideration of which they are bound by the act to pay to the lord of the manor of Hawarden, and other trustees, £200 per annum, to be applied to any use that five of them may direct; they are also charged with the maintenance of two ferries across the new channel of the Dee. A considerable acquisition was likewise made to the parish in the inclosure of more than 3000 acres of land on the north side of the Dee, by the same company, between the years 1754 and 1790; this district, now called Sealand, forms a township in the parish. In 1778, an act of parliament was obtained for inclosing Saltney marsh, under the provisions of which about 2000 acres were erected into a township, called Saltney, which now maintains its own poor: several hundred acres of the marsh are still uninclosed and open to the sea.
The Living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £66. 6. 5½.; patron, Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, Bart.: a rent-charge of £2780 has been awarded as a commutation in lieu of the tithes, and there is a glebe of 107 acres, with a glebe-house. The rector holds an ecclesiastical court on the Tuesday preceding Holy Thursday. The parish church, dedicated to St. Deiniol, is an ancient and a spacious structure, with a square embattled tower. It was thoroughly repaired in 1764, towards defraying the expense of which the Hawarden trustees appropriated £700 from the annual payments of the River Dee Company; the chancel was almost entirely rebuilt in 1817, at an expense of £1400, jointly defrayed by the Hon. and Rev. George Neville Grenville, the rector, Charles Dundas, Esq., and the inhabitants. There are three chapels of ease, namely, St. John's in Pentre-Hobyn, St. Mary's at Broughton, and St. Matthew's, Buckley; also places of worship in the parish for Calvinistic Methodists and the New Connexion. A grammar-school was founded in 1606, by George Ledsham, who bequeathed £300 for its erection and endowment. The schoolroom was built in 1608, at the west corner of the churchyard, and was rebuilt and enlarged, and a house erected for the master, in 1814, at an expense of £900, by the feoffees, from small savings accumulated at compound interest, and by subscription among the inhabitants: a piece of ground was given to the school by Sir Stephen R. Glynne and Rector Crewe. The salary of the master, including the interest of a donation of £50, is now £20 per annum, with a house rent-free, for which eight boys, sons of housekeepers in the parish, are taught gratuitously on paying an entrancefee of 2s. 6d.: the master is allowed to receive payscholars. There are schools for boys and girls on the National system at Hawarden, St. John's, St. Mary's, and Buckley; also two infants' schools in the parish, one at Hawarden, and the other at the Lane End, Buckley, both in connexion with the Established Church: all these schools are supported by Sir S. R. Glynne and the Rev. Henry Glynne, the rector; the children, however, paying a fee of one penny a week. At Mancott is a school unconnected with the Church, supported partly by school-pence, but chiefly by subscription; there is a Sunday school at the same place belonging to the Calvinistic Methodists, and four considerable Sunday schools are supported in the parish by the Glynne family.
Among the charities still preserved for the benefit of the poor is a bequest of £250 by Ralph Brereton in 1630, vested in old South Sea stock, and yielding an interest of £5. 12. per annum, which is distributed on the morning and evening of every Sunday during the winter months in bread. Sydney Whitley bequeathed £20 in 1710, the interest to be divided among twelve widows. Mrs. Charlotte Whitley in 1695 bequeathed the sum of £200, which, with £30 accumulated interest, was lent on mortgage of the tolls of the Denbigh and Rhuddlan turnpike trust, yielding an interest of £11. 10., expended in flannel for the same class of the poor. William Lache, in 1659, assigned to the poor a rent-charge of £2 on his estate in Bretton, and Edward Bryan a field called Rake Croft, now let for £18. 5. per annum, including an allotment on the Warren. For the poor of the township of Broughton, Mr. Shone in 1677 bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 on a field termed Middle Rake Hay, now paid by Sir S. R. Glynne; and Randle Bingley in 1698 left a similar charge of £5 on his farm at Leckhampton, in Gloucestershire, also for the poor of Broughton. Other benefactions to the amount of £95 were expended in erecting the poor-house, for which it is expected the parish will pay interest. Mrs. Ann Minshull, widow, of Daniels Ash, in the parish, left to eight poor widows resident in the townships of Hawarden and Mancott the interest of £200, at the sole discretion of the lord of the manor and the rector of Hawarden. The lost charities are, a bequest by Gayor Bennett, in 1742, of the whole of his goods and personal estate, worth £110, which sum was left until past recovery in the hands of his executor; £60 by John Annyn in 1636; £50 by Dorothy Ravenscroft, in 1694, for apprenticing a poor boy; and other grants.
The ruins of the ancient castle occupy an artificial eminence at the eastern extremity of the town, within the park of Sir Stephen R. Glynne. The wide and deep trenches by which it was defended now form picturesque ravines filled with trees of luxuriant growth, above which the ruins are seen with romantic effect. A considerable improvement has been made in the appearance of these remains, by the removal of the accumulated ruins of the walls, by which the foundation of the castle was concealed. It appears to have been originally of a pentagonal form, with a strong gateway entrance on the western side, and a barbican on another of its sides. The principal portion now remaining is the keep, a circular tower situated in one of the angles of the inclosed area, and nearly entire; the other remains are chiefly fragments of the walls and various buildings, some of which appear to have been subterraneous chambers, appropriated as dungeons for the confinement of prisoners. About a quarter of a mile from the turnpike-road leading from Chester to Holyhead, within the parish, are the ruins of Eulo Castle, supposed to have been an outpost dependent on the castle of Mold. From their situation in a retired and thickly wooded dingle, they cannot easily be found without the assistance of a guide. They occupy a site defended on one side by a deep ravine, and on the other by a wide fosse, and consist chiefly of the remains of a large oblong tower, rounded at one extremity, about fourteen yards in length and twelve in breadth; there are also some outworks, the principal of these inclosing a quadrangular area, at one angle of which are the remains of a circular tower. The ruins are finely mantled with ivy, and have a very picturesque appearance. To the west of the church are the remains of an ancient British encampment, called Truman's Hill; and near Broad-lane House are vestiges of another, called Connah's Hill. Hawarden Castle, the seat of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, is a stately castellated mansion, situated in an extensive park comprising much diversified scenery; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and ornamented with thriving plantations. Sir John Glynne, already mentioned, the ancestor of the present proprietor, was a man of distinguished talents. During the parliamentary war he was made steward of Westminster, which city he represented in the two parliaments of 1640, and likewise recorder of London; he was afterwards appointed by Cromwell one of his council, and made chamberlain of Chester. On the Restoration he was favourably received by Charles II., who bestowed on him the honour of knighthood, and created his eldest son a baronet; he retired from public business, and in 1666 died in London, and was interred in St. Margaret's church, Westminster. Hawarden gives the title of viscount to the family of Maude. It was the birthplace of that great patron of the fine arts, Alderman Boydell.