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Maelor Saesneg Historic Landscape

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Maelor Saesneg

The Recreational Landscape

Sport and Recreation

Fishing is perhaps one of the oldest sporting activities still carried out in the area, especially on the River Dee, and in earlier times no doubt an important economic activity. A valuable fishery, presumably for salmon, is recorded at Overton mill in the late 13th century, the fishing rights at one time being owned by the Cistercian monastery at Valle Crucis, and Thomas Pennant records that coracles in the late 18th century were 'much in use in these parts for the purposes of salmon fishing'. Pennant also noted that water-races were often performed in these slight vessels, mentioning a 'regatta of great magnificence is to be exhibited by them above Bangor Bridge' to be held on a forthcoming Michaelmas day (29 September). Hanmer Mere and Llyn Bedydd were probably also exploited from an early date, with a boathouse for fishing or other recreational purposes being represented on the banks of Hanmer Mere on early Ordnance Survey maps published in the 1880s and 1890s. Several other pursuits are also no longer undertaken, including the now illegal sport of cock fighting is said to be represented by a cock-pit to the rear of former Buck Inn at Worthenbury and possibly also carried out elsewhere in the area.

School and village sports

Modern village sports are represented by football pitches at a number of centres, including Bangor Is-y-coed, Overton and Penley, with an additional village cricket pitch at Overton and a country house cricket pitch next to the house at Iscoyd Park. A variety of other village sporting activities take place at Overton including tennis courts and bowling greens (including a former bowling green behind Gwydyr House). A more recent introduction is the boules pitch, where competitions are held with visitors from the twinned village of La Murette in France.

Horse racing

The most widely-known modern sporting activity associated with Maelor Saesneg is the horse racing at the Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, on the banks of the Dee just to the south of Bangor Is-y-coed, where National Hunt meetings are regularly held during the racing season.


The relatively recent interest in recreational walking has given rise to the 38-kilometre waymarked recreational trail crossing Maelor Saseneg known as the Maelor Way, linking the similar footpaths in Shropshire and Cheshire on the east with the Offa's Dyke national trail on the west. The cross-country footpath, using public footpaths, lanes and a canal towpath, passes through Whitewell, Bronington, Hanmer, Penley and was first opened in 1991 and has attracted many walkers to the area.

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