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Wheeler Valley Mist

Wheeler Valley Mist  by marc-test  |  added 06 Sep 12

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Wheeler Valley Mist  by marc-test  |  06/09/2012

Latest News

Are you interested in a community cinema on Halkyn Mountain? - if so please come along to express your interest and hear more about this idea on Thursday 18th September at 7pm in Halkyn Village ... 

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A selection of local businesses and accommodation.

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Welcome to the Halkyn Mountain website is a partnership project between the Halkyn Community Council, Cadwyn Clwyd and group of local volunteers.

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An Introduction to Halkyn Mountain Common

Halkyn Mountain Common is a remarkable upland limestone plateau situated between the Clwydian Hills and the Dee Estuary in North Flintshire. It runs roughly parallel with the Dee estuary and overlooks the towns of Holywell and Flint. Most of the land lies above 250metres, with the highest point being the earthwork of Moel y Gaer at the south eastern end of the common.

It is a landscape that has seen continuous human occupation for 5000 years. Prehistoric remains include evidence of a Neolithic timber longhouse on Moel y Gaer, Bronze Age burial cairns and an Iron Age hillfort on Moel y Gaer.

The rich mineral deposits, in the limestone, particularly lead but also silver, have been exploited for centuries and the limestone itself has been extensively quarried. The landscape today is a reflection of this industrial exploitation.

There is evidence that the Romans exploited lead ores but the area came into pre-eminence as a centre for lead mining between the late 17th and early 20th centuries. At its peak there were as many as 100 mines operating on the mountain and it is estimated that over 550 000 tons of lead were raised. Mining finally ended in 1978 and the final mines fully closed in 1987 when the head-frames were dismantled and the shafts sealed. The landscape has been described as a moonscape of ‘humps and bumps’ which are a result of this large-scale mining activity.

In addition to the lead, the rocks themselves were of high commercial value. Layers of different rocks laid down over millennia faulted and eroded leaving a variety of limestone, chert, fireclay, sand, gravel and silica all within a relatively small area. The limestone was initially extracted for building but later for agricultural lime, as a flux for iron smelting and for glass making and other chemical industries. Chert was in demand as a grinding tool for use in the potteries. Large scale quarrying of limestone for roadbuilding and the construction industry continues today with over 3 million tonnes of stone removed from the mountain each year.

The settlements and culture too have been shaped by the mining and quarrying industries, The population increased considerably in the 17th and 18th centuries with miners coming in from other mining areas, including Derbyshire and Cornwall, and bringing with them the customs and beliefs of their local areas.

Ecological Importance

Halkyn Mountain Common has a particularly hardy and unusual mix of plant, animals and habitats. The soils are thin and are on a remarkable variety of rocks. Moreover, the grazing and mining activities over the centuries have disturbed and changed both the local soils and the landscape.

Wildflowers thrive on the poor soils in the limestone areas including herbs such as wild thyme and an array of orchids. Where the soils are more acid, above the chert and sandstone, heathland plants like gorse and heathers grow.

Rare plants have adapted to the normally toxic heavy metal soils of the spoil tips around the lead mines. Of particular note is Spring sandwort, also known as Leadwort and was used by the Romans to find lead. The grasses too have adapted to the high levels of heavy metals, and form the largest area of its kind in Wales.

Many old quarry and mine workings have developed naturally into ponds, where frogs, toads and newts abound. These include colonies of the Great Crested Newt, protected by law. Halkyn is one of the few places in Europe where these exotic-looking newts are relatively common.

To conserve this special mix of plants and animals Halkyn Mountain was designated in 2003 as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a candidate Special Area of Conservation, a European measure to protect our most endangered species.

Your recently added pictures

Snake Eye

Snake Eye  by hefyn1933  |  added 17 Jul 14

This is a photo off a Tree broken in the wind

One Summer Evening in May

One Summer Evening in May  by hefyn1933  |  added 29 May 14

  This Photo was taken from my back door
Looking towards the Clwydian Range

My little Lamb’s

My little Lamb’s  by hefyn1933  |  added 28 May 14

Watched over by the leopard

February in the old Churchyard in Halkyn

February in the old Churchyard in Halkyn  by hefyn1933  |  added 13 Feb 14

Where have all the Thousands of Snowdrops come from

Milwr Chapel

Milwr Chapel  by hefyn1933  |  added 13 Feb 14

Turning colour Photo into a pencil drawing

Beneath the Dome

Beneath the Dome  by hefyn1933  |  added 20 Nov 13

Two Pictures in one the rainbow and the Church

Tortoiseshell Butterfly’s and the Bee’s

Tortoiseshell Butterfly’s and the Bee’s  by hefyn1933  |  added 08 Oct 13

Photos taken in the last week of September 2013

The Crown Inn around 1900

The Crown Inn around 1900  by Steve  |  added 19 Aug 13

This is the only known picture of the Crown Inn (now Crown Cottages, Halkyn) taken around 1900.  I believe the pub closed in 1911 or thereabouts.
The sign says “Thomas Edwards, Licensed to sell Ale, Porter, Spirits and Tobacco.”
Hoping Hefyn can improve on the image quality.

Your Comments

Commenting on  Save Our Library  Constance Jones. said ...

“  Living in a small village as we do we have very few ammenities, surely the residents are entitled to some benefits from the council taxes that we pay.Our children should have the same benefits as those living in towns and to take the Library away would be cruel . ”