Dave Healey has expressed thanks to the large number of people who are contributing to the HLF-funded Caergwrle Sense of Place Project. The response has been overwhelming. The publication of A Ramble Around the Historic Village of Caergwrle represents an important achievement for a community with a strong sense of the past.The booklet draws upon information gained as a result of the Project’s Memories Days and considerable interaction with enthusiastic members of the local community during guided tours of the village. It has also drawn upon a wealth of information that is now stored in the Local Heritage Archive which has been developed at Hope Community Library as part of the Project. Dave expressed thanks to the team of volunteers that have put in hours of work in preparation for the successful launch of the Archive at a recent event.
The Flintshire village of Caergwrle has features which take visitors on a journey from medieval to modern times. The booklet’s back page summarises they key features described:
The distinctive features of the medieval Dyke system and the Castle itself are reminders of the importance and close proximity of the border. The Packhorse Bridge is symbolic of changes in transport which anticipated an era of growth and later industrialisation. The arrival of the railway provides us with a case study of the impact of cross-border travel and of tourism on a traditional Welsh community: the winners and the losers and the challenges to the Welsh language.We see evidence of the Nonconformist religious revival, of conflict over the payment of tithes to an Anglican Church and of the subsequent decline of the religious movement and the closure of chapels. We see the rise and fall of the Temperance Movement which challenged what it considered to be the social evil of its time. There is evidence of the vital role which Friendly Societies played in promoting the well-being of members before the establishment of the National Health Service. The War Memorial testifies to the sacrifice made by the brave men of the village in two World Wars. There is evidence of the world of work, of industrialisation and differences of social class.
There are stories of criminal activity and of traditional methods of crime detection and law enforcement. We gain an insight into early schooling and forms of childhood activity and amusement. We see a village community that was self-sufficient and met its own needs before the age of supermarkets, the revolution in communication and the growth of internet buying and changes in the way services are delivered. It is a nostalgic tour: it tells us much about what we have both lost and what we have gained, but also about ourselves and the journey that we have made into modern times.
In introducing the booklet, Dave said:
“During the writing of this Ramble it has become apparent that the village of Caergwrle has surviving features which relate to significant themes and episodes in the national history of Wales. Indeed, because comparisons can be made with communities in other parts of country, the story of Caergwrle is likely to resonate with a much wider audience than that of the village itself.“
Although Dave himself conducted guided tours of Caergwrle last summer he said individuals and groups should feel free to use the booklet for their own guided tours of the village. He especially welcomed the idea of volunteers becoming ‘Caergwrle Ambassadors’ and giving guided tours as fund-raising activities in support of local causes.
“It all helps to raise the profile of the local heritage, help good causes and promote vibrancy within the community. There are many people who have a knowledge of the village and I hope this booklet will encourage them to continue to share that knowledge for the benefit of future generations.“
Copies of A Ramble Around the Historic Village of Caergwrle are available for sale at Hope Community Library at a price of £5.00. All funds raised from sales at this venue will be used in support of the Library. A Welsh translation of the book will also be available shortly.
Hope Community Library is open to the public on
Monday 9:30am – 12:30pm 3pm – 7pm
Tuesday & Wednesday 9:30am – 12.30pm
Saturday 10am -12 noon
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the policy of Flintshire County Council. Readers are welcome to contact the author with any news or views on the local heritage at DHealey204@aol.com or by telephoning 01978 761 523.