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History

  • The area around Mold has had settlements from the earliest times, and  the most important archeological discovery from the earliest periods of settlement has to be the 'Gold Cape' which is housed in the British Museum in London. This beautifully decorated cape was discovered near the Chester Road in 1831 on the 'Hill of  Elves'. Dating from the Bronze age, there has been a movement of late to try and bring this priceless example of Bronze age craftsmanship back to Mold.
  • Mold is also supposed to have been the site of a famous battle during Anglo-Saxon times between the Christians and the Pagans, the battle was called Alleluia because the Christians were shouting this on the battle field. Legend has it that this chant echoed around the surrounding hills and vales and convinced the Pagans that the numbers of Christians were ten times their actual number. The Pagans fled in fear and many of the Pagans were wiped out by the pursuing Christians whilst others drowned in the River Alyn. Also during the Anglo-Saxon period the Welsh border  passed near Mold and was evidenced by Wat's Dyke. This extended from near present-day Holywell to the edge of the River Severn near Welshpool. You can see the remains of the dyke at Mynydd Isa and New Brighton.
  • The Normans established Mold as a fixed settlement. They built the Norman Motte and Bailey Castle on the strategic Bailey Hill during the reign of William Rufus and you can still view the outlines of the Norman hill site. Mold, being a frontier town, changed hands between the Normans and the Welsh a number of times from 1140 to 1270 ( the most notable Welsh occupation being from 1199 to 1240 after the conquest by Llewelyn the Great ). Edward 1 finally resolved the status of Mold and all of Wales in the conquest ending 1277. At this time the Lordship of Mold was held by the Montalts but by 1329 the Lordship had settled on the Stanleys.
  • It was the Stanleys who instigated the construction of the Parish Church of Mold to mark the victory of Henry Tudor in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 (Lord Stanley's wife was the mother of Henry Tudor). During a stroll around this church it is well worth inspecting the detailed ornamentation - you can spot all the emblems of the Stanleys - the eagle and claw, the three legs of man and the pelican. The Stanleys declared for the King during the Civil War (1642-49) and contributed a force of 1000.
  • The extensive development of mining in the area during the 18th and 19th centuries defined Mold as an industrial town. The Ironmaster John "Iron Mad" Wilkinson leased the Llyn-y-Pandy lead mine near Gwernaffield and introduced large scale production methods including a smelting works. By 1835, there were offices of nine lead companies in the town and the town had expanded rapidly. The globalisation of lead mining, in particular the development of the vast mines in the USA, was the downfall of the small local mines  and almost all had closed by the end of the First World War. However, the most important mining product was coal. The area had a wealth of cannal coal located in thick seams. During the 19th Century there were up to eight working collieries. Mold had its share of mining disasters - in 1837 the Argoed colliery was flooded and 31 miners were killed, including novelist Daniel Owen's father and brothers. Coal mining declined at the start of the 20th Century with the last colliery, Bromfield Colliery, closing during the First World War.
  • The town also experienced periods of social unrest in the form of strikes and riots due to disagreements in pay and working conditions. One such conflagration resulted in tragedy and is known as the Mold riot of 1869. Two miners had received a prison sentence for assaulting a coal company manager in an argument about pay ( their pay had been reduced!). As they were being escorted to the train station the police and military were stoned by over a thousand angry miners and their families. The military fired upon the families and killed four ( including two women) and injured dozens of others.

 At Loggerheads!

The Mold area is also famous for creating an old saying - that of being at loggerheads - which means being in disagreement. A previous landlord of the 'We Three Loggerheads' public house has recounted the story behind this as follows:

"During the 1780's a local landowner and a vicar from the parish of Llanferres were in constant disagreement regarding some issue and to try and resolve the problem, the landlord of the Loggerheads Inn decided to call a meeting between the two at the inn. Although not clear whether the matter was entirely resolved at this meeting one of the parties, Richard Wilson, decided to paint the sign for the Loggerheads with the writing 'We Three Loggerheads'. The thinking behind this was there were two people at the Loggerheads in disagreement plus the third person , whoever it may be in future, looking at the sign. Hence, locally, and later nationally, the phrase caught on that to be ' at Loggerheads ' was to be in disagreement. Whereas all it initially meant was being 'at the Loggerheads' public house! - the sign and the inn are still there today at the entrance to the Loggerheads Country Park. "

 

 

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