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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°16′26″N 3°13′23″W / 53.274°N 3.223°W / 53.274; -3.223

Welsh: Treffynnon
The Well Head, Holywell.
Holywell is located in Wales2

 Holywell shown within Wales
Population 5,974 [1][2][3]

(2001 Census)
OS grid reference SJ185755
Principal area Flintshire
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HOLYWELL
Postcode district CH8
Dialling code 01352
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Delyn
Welsh Assembly Delyn
List of places: UK • Wales • Flintshire

Holywell (Welsh: Treffynnon) is the fifth largest town in Flintshire, North Wales, lying to the west of the estuary of the River Dee.



The market town of Holywell takes its name from the St Winefride's Well, a holy well surrounded by a chapel.[4] The well has been known since at least the Roman period, and has been a site of pilgrimage since about 660 when Saint Winefride was beheaded there by Caradog who attempted to rape her.[5] The well is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and the town bills itself as The Lourdes of Wales.

From the 18th century, the town grew around the lead mining and cotton milling industries.

Holywell hosted an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1869.


Administratively, Holywell consists of three wards of the Flintshire County Council local authority. At the 2001 Census, the total population of the town was:

Ward Population
Holywell Central 1,835 [1]
Holywell East 1,828 [2]
Holywell West 2,311 [3]
Holywell Total 5,974


Holywell is split into four distinct areas: Pen-y-Maes, The Strand, The Holway and the town centre. The Holway, located on the west side of the town, is the largest of the residential areas of Holywell. The near-contiguous village of Greenfield is located to the north east of the town on the B5121 road.

Villages within the Holywell catchment area include: Bagillt, Brynford, Carmel, Gorsedd, Halkyn, Lixwm, Lloc, Mostyn, Pantasaph, Pentre Halkyn, Rhes-y-Cae, Rhosesmor, Trelawnyd, Whitford and Ysceifiog. In addition there are other smaller scattered communities within this area. All of these are within a six mile radius of Holywell. These villages are all connected to Holywell by a frequent bus service.[6]


The town centre contains many small businesses and national stores, serving not only the shopping needs of the people of the town itself, but also those of the surrounding villages within the town's natural catchment area. Part of the centre of the historic market town has been designated a conservation area.[7]

The town contains a secondary school with over 500 pupils and a leisure centre, as well as four primary schools.

Holywell also has a local football team, Holywell Town who play in the Welsh Alliance League.

The old cottage hospital was located in Pen-y-Maes until it closed. A new hospital has been built near the football pitch of the local team.

In 2007, a group of locals proposed a circular walk way, the "St Beuno's Circular Walk", joining all of the historical and religious locations of the town.[8]

Notable people

  • Former Southampton and Wales footballer Ron Davies was born in Holywell in 1942.
  • Dixie Dean the Everton football legend once had a near fatal motorbike accident in Holywell in the late 1920s which almost ended his career.
  • Television presenter Gareth Jones (Gaz Top) comes from Holywell.
  • Actor Jonathan Pryce was born in Holywell in 1947.

See also


External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOLYWELL (Tre'ffynnon, well=town), a market town and contributory parliamentary borough of Flintshire, N. Wales, situated on a height near the left bank of the Dee estuary, 196 m. from London by the London & North-Western railway (the station being 2 m. distant). Pop. of urban district (1901) 2652. The parish church (1769) has some columns of an earlier building, interesting brasses and strong embattled tower. The remains of Basingwerk Abbey (Maes glas, green field), partly Saxon and partly Early English, are near the station. It is of uncertain origin but was used as a monastery before 1119. In 1131 Ranulph, 2nd earl of Chester, introduced the Cistercians. In 1 535, when its revenues were r50, 7s. 3d., it was dissolved, but revived under Mary I. and used as a Roman Catholic burial place in 1647. Scarcely any traces remain of Basingwerk castle, an old fort. Small up to the beginning of the 19th century, Holywell has increasingly prospered, thanks to lime quarries, lead, copper and zinc mines, smelting works, a shot manufactory, copper, brass, iron and zinc works; brewing, tanning and mineral water, flannel and cement works. St Winifred's holy well, one of the wonders of Wales, sends up water at the rate of 21 tons a minute, of an almost unvarying temperature, higher than that of ordinary spring water. To its curative powers many crutches and ex voto objects, hung round the well, as in the Lourdes Grot, bear ample witness. The stones at the bottom are slightly reddish, owing to vegetable substances. The well itself is covered by a fine Gothic building, said to have been erected by Margaret, countess of Richmond and mother of Henry VII., with some portions of earlier date. The chapel (restored) is used for public service. Catholics and others visit it in great numbers. There are swimming baths for general use. In 1870 a hospice for poorer pilgrims was erected. Other public buildings are St Winifred's (Catholic) church and a convent, a town hall and a market-hall. The export trade is expedited by quays on the Dee.

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