This month thanks go to Mr and Mrs Jones of School Cottages in Abermorddu for allowing me to photograph the well in their garden opposite Old School Court. The well is fed by an underground stream which was once a more prominent feature locally and even flooded at times.
The stream is an important feature for two reasons. Firstly, it is almost certainly the distinguishing feature which contributed to the origins of the place-name of Abermorddu itself. The authorities are not in complete agreement over the exact derivation of the place-name but they do agree that it involves a brook or a stream and that the term ‘aber’ relates to its confluence with the River Alyn. Ellis Davies, Canon Emeritus of St. Asaph Cathedral, in ‘Flintshire Place-Names’ states that the term is derived from ‘the black brook that joins the River Alun’. However Hywl Wyn Owen and Ken Lloyd Gruffydd, the highly acclaimed authors of ‘Place-Names of Flintshire’, discuss the linguistic contortions of the term and plump for ‘brook by the dark bare hill.’ Our heritage can be a stick of dynamite at times. People are rightly precious about it because it gives them a sense of identity and belonging. I will therefore leave it to the reader to decide which interpretation they prefer.
The second reason why the stream or brook is important is because it marks the boundary between Abermorddu in the ward of Caergwrle and Cefn-y-bedd in the ward of Llanfynydd. Thus part of the garden of Mr and Mrs Jones is in Abermorddu and part in Cefn-y-bedd. There has been considerable misunderstanding about where Abermorddu ends and Cefn-y-bedd begins, even amongst those who live there. The main cause of this misunderstanding would appear to be the fact that when the original Abermorddu Primary School was built it was, indeed in Abermorddu. The stream actually runs under the road from the home of Mr and Mrs Jones and behind the current Old School Court. When the new school was built in Cymau Lane the name was retained. However Cymau Lane is actually in Cefn-y-bedd. Thus Abermorrdu School is in Cefn-y-bedd and not Abermorddu!
The electoral ward of Llanfynydd is itself divided into further wards for purposes of election to Llanfynydd Community Council. Thus 266 electors live in the community ward of Cefn-y-bedd. The specific details of relevant roads are: Alundale, Cymau Lane, Ffrwd Road, Hawarden Road, Holly Bush Bach, Holly Court, Llay Road, Llys Clark, Llys Cromlech, Mold Road, Petit Close, Plas Mein Drive, Red Dragon Caravan Site, Wrexham Road and Wyndham Drive. All of these roads lie to the south of the stream which has been used as the physical featu8re to separate them from Abermorddu. My apologies to any residents there who may be suffering an identity crisis as a result of this revelation!
Thanks also go to Mr and Mrs Jones for allowing me to copy an aerial photograph of the area which was taken in 1963. The photograph shows a number of interesting features which may well be the subject of a further article. I will leave it to the reader to decide which parts of the photograph are in Abermorddu and which are in Cefn-y-bedd!
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.