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April 22, 2023 · 5:07 pm

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May 24, 2023 · 10:04 am

St. Margaret’s Church, Bodelwyddan

Rhyl History Club members enjoyed a visit to the Marble Church in Bodelwyddan last evening. We were treated to a talk and a tour by Lynne Jones, whose enthusiasm, knowledge and love for the church really shone through. Most of us have passed the church regularly over the years as we drive along the A55, but far fewer have been inside to admire its lavish interior. Fourteen different types of marble, from many different countries, were used. Some of the limestone used for the exterior was quarried from Llanddulas, which gives an impression of porcelain. It took just four years to build, being started in 1856 and finished in 1860.
The website “Curious Clwyd” explains “It is rather brutally divided from the grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle by the A55 expressway, but should be viewed as part of an immense development of this once serene landscape”. A full history of the church can also be found on that website or on the historypoints website.

The postcard below is dated 1918 and shows visitors arriving at the church (although in colourising the postcard the church takes on an incorrect hue!) .
Note the spelling of Bodelwyddan. The guide book for the Church says: ” The name Bodelwyddan means ‘Abode of Elwydan'” a late fifth century Cheiftain.

Many thanks again to Lynne Jones for such an interesting talk.

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There are Local History displays during May at Rhyl Library, plus a special event on May 3rd.

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The great storm of 1903

A fascinating report by Jonathan Amos, a BBC Science Correspondent, is published on their website today. The full article can be read here

A mighty storm that tore across Ireland and the UK more than a century ago produced some of the strongest winds the British Isles have ever witnessed.

Scientists reviewed Storm Ulysses of 1903 by digitising paper-based weather readings from the time and subjecting them to a modern reanalysis.

Many places would have felt gusts in excess of 45m/s (100mph or 87 knots).

The cyclone left a trail of death, shipwrecks, smashed infrastructure, uprooted trees and widespread flooding.”

This is how the Rhyl Record and Advertiser reported the storm in their paper on February 28th 1903:


“Shortly after eleven o’clock last (Thursday) night a stiff South Westerly gale accompanied by a driving rain commenced to blow, and it gradually developed until it attained a ferocity the like of which had not been experienced at Rhyl for many years. The storm raged with continually increasing violence the whole of the night causing even in the least exposed parts of the town almost a general disturbance of the slumbers of inhabitants and positive fear among the more timid. So violent were some of the gusts as to cause houses to shake on their foundations, and windows to clash and to tremble in a manner that was distinctly alarming. Early this morning on the front there was a sand storm of a severe character. The sand was blown in a manner which rendered passage along the front almost impossible, whilst there was rough and magnificent sea, the waves rising mountains high. So far as could be seen there was no damage of a particularly serious character. But there was a more than usually large proportion of chimney stacks blown down. Some of these were on the parade and in the principal streets, but the majority of them were in Vale Road, where general destruction among chimney stacks and roofs seems to have been caused. The whole length of the road is covered with debris, and presents altogether a most remarkable scene. Further than numerous damages of this kind, we have heard of nothing serious up to the time of going to press.”

Further information about the damage done by the storm in Rhyl can be read in the Rhyl Journal of March 7th 1903 here

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Rose Queen 1948

Many thanks to Kat Chilwell and Pauline Rendle for sending us this programme from 1948. It is always gratifying when visitors to our website, often from far afield, send us these little slices of history.

see also a previous post “Rose Queens

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