Flintshire Historical Society
A record audience of 90 people attended the Flintshire Historical Society lecture entitled The History of the Valley Site, Rhydymwyn given by Jeff Spencer at the Edith Bankes Memorial Hall in Northop on 27th January. The lecture, described afterwards by the groups chairman as ". . .one of our best ever lectures . . ", dealt with all aspects of the history of the 35-hectare site in the valley of the River Alyn, near Mold, including the Heritage Management Plan produced by Birmingham Archaeology (funded by site owners the Estates division of Defra). The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust monitored the project on behalf of Defra.
Displaying images of historic maps, extracts from historic documents and photos of surviving features Jeff explained the pre-20th century past of the Valley site, one of mining for metal ores, lead processing, iron-working and saw-milling, before progressing to the more recent history. This is one of the production and storage of chemical weapons, specifically mustard gas. An explanation of the operation of the factory and striking underground storage facilities was followed by an introduction to, and discussion of the Heritage Management Plan. The considerable significance of the site was explained and a series of recommendations for its future management and interpretation proposed. The opportunities for interested members of the local community to get involved at this unique, intriguing site were also presented.
Left: A Record Audience!
Birmingham Archaeology kindly allowed Jeff to make use of material from their project reports in his lecture, and thanks are also due to Nick Catford of Subterranea Britannica for use of his photos of the site. See the
Rhydymwyn Valley Site website,
project summary on this website and that of
Subterranea Britannica for further information.