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Flintshire

Flintshire. County of north-east Wales lying along the estuary of the river Dee. The shire was created at the statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 and was coincident with the Welsh cantref (hundred) of Tregeingl, the most easterly of the four cantrefs of Perfeddwlad. It was subject to Saxon invasion and was largely to the east of Offa's Dike, the 8th-cent. boundary between Welsh and Saxon. Under the Normans, it was soon overrun by the neighbouring earl of Chester, but after the wars of Edward I became crown land. Maelor Saesneg, or English Maelor, to the south was also in crown hands and was, although detached geographically, made part of the shire. The county, with the detached part, remained as such at the Act of Union in 1536. It was not modified until 1974 when Flintshire became part of Clwyd and was divided into three districts, Rhuddlan, Delyn, and Alyn and Deeside. The detached part was merged into Wrexham Maelor. In 1996 the county was reconstituted from the three districts.

Flintshire consists of a low coastal strip along the Dee estuary rising to the Halkyn Mountain to the west. The Alyn valley separates it from the Clwydian Range which forms the western border, although the mouth of the river Clwyd is in Flintshire. As in medieval times Flintshire straddles the gateway to north Wales, especially the Dee crossing, the basis of its economic significance. The economy is dominated by tourism, extensively developed on the north coast, and industry. The county includes the central and northern sections of the North Wales Coalfield; the last mine, at Point of Ayr, closed in 1996. Iron and steel production has also ceased, although a range of engineering and electronic industry has succeeded.

The population of the three districts which correspond with Flintshire was 191,706 in 1991. In such a border county, Welsh-speaking proportions are low, ranging from 9.6 per cent in Alyn and Deeside, to 17.8 in Delyn, and 16.2 per cent in Rhuddlan.

Harold Carter

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Flintshire

Flintshire, Welsh Sir y Fflint, county, 169 sq mi (437 sq km), NE Wales. In 1974, the county of Flintshire became part of the nonmetropolitan county of Clwyd, but in 1996 Clwyd was dissolved and Flintshire restored. Mold is the administrative center of the county.

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Flintshire

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