Wednesday, 1 January 2014

FLINT



After nearly three years of blogging around the coast, I have finally reached one of my favourite parts of the British Isles: Wales.  One of the things Wales, and particularly the Welsh coast,  is best known for is its castles.  Many of these were built by Edward I with the intention of forming an "iron ring" , and the first of such castles to be built was Flint Castle.  The 13th century castle was immortalised by Shakespeare in his play Richard II which recalls an incident in 1399 when Richard II was handed over to his enemy Henry Bolingbroke.  The castle's strategic position just inside the border with England has led to many dramas over the years such as an attempted, but unsuccessful, assault by Owain Glyndwr in 1400 at the start of his revolt against the English.  The castle is now in ruins following its destruction by Parliamentarian forces, but it is looked after by theWelsh heritage organisation Cadw and can be visited all year except Christmas and New Year.  In the 1830s the artist William Turner produced a magnificent painting of the castle with the sun on the horizon in the background.  In 2010 the painting was sold for a cool £541,250.

In 1284, the year the building of the castle was completed, Flint - or Fflint to the Welsh -  was granted its town charter, making it the first place in Wales to receive one, and earning it the status of Free Borough.  During Edward I's reign the Great County Court was held four times a year in Flint.  The present Town Hall, which replaced an earlier one, is a striking Tudor-Gothic construction built from sandstone, and the main council chamber houses a copy of the 1284 charter.  There is a lot of information about the town's  history as well as photos and artworks on the Flint website.

Map of the area.

File:Flint Castle - geograph.org.uk - 641269.jpg
Photo by BrianP, via Wikimedia Commons

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