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The Marble Church from Bodelwyddan Park - - 124539.jpg
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Location within Denbighshire
Population2,147 (2011)
OS grid reference SJ0075
  • Bodelwyddan
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RHYL
Postcode district LL18
Dialling code 01745
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53°16′05″N3°29′56″W / 53.268°N 3.499°W / 53.268; -3.499 Coordinates: 53°16′05″N3°29′56″W / 53.268°N 3.499°W / 53.268; -3.499

Bodelwyddan (Welsh pronunciation:  [bɔdɛlˈwəðan] ) is a town, electoral ward and community in Denbighshire, Wales, approximately 5 miles (8 km) South of Rhyl. The Parish includes several smaller hamlets such as Marli and Pengwern.

The wards and electoral divisions in the United Kingdom are electoral districts at sub-national level represented by one or more councillors. The ward is the primary unit of English electoral geography for civil parishes and borough and district councils, electoral ward is the unit used by Welsh principal councils, while the electoral division is the unit used by English county councils and some unitary authorities. Each ward/division has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward-population counts can vary substantially. As at the end of 2014 there were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK.

A community is a division of land in Wales that forms the lowest tier of local government in Wales. Welsh communities are analogous to civil parishes in England. In 2016 there were 870 communities in Wales.

Denbighshire County and Principal area in Wales

Denbighshire is a county in north-east Wales, named after the historic county of Denbighshire, but with substantially different borders. Denbighshire is the longest known inhabited part of Wales. Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has Neanderthal remains from 225,000 years ago. Its several castles include Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan. St Asaph, one of the smallest cities in Britain, has one of the smallest Anglican cathedrals. Denbighshire has a length of coast to the north and hill ranges to the east, south and west. In the central part, the River Clwyd has created a broad fertile valley. It is primarily a rural county with little industry. Crops are grown in the Vale of Clwyd and cattle and sheep reared in the uplands. The coast attracts summer tourists, and hikers frequent the Clwydian Range, which forms an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the upper Dee Valley. Llangollen hosts the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in each July.


Bodelwyddan is home to over sixty listed buildings [1] including notable locations such as the Marble Church and Bodelwyddan Castle.

Marble Church, Bodelwyddan church in Bodelwyddan, north Wales

St Margaret's Church, Bodelwyddan, is a Decorated Gothic Style parish church in the lower Vale of Clwyd in Denbighshire, Wales and is visible for many miles because its spire rises to 202 feet. It lies just off the A55 trunk road.

Bodelwyddan Castle

Bodelwyddan Castle, close to the village of Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, Denbighshire in Wales, was built around 1460 by the Humphreys family of Anglesey as a manor house. Its most important association was with the Williams-Wynn family, which extended for around 200 years from 1690. It is a Grade II* Listed Building. Having been opened to the public as a historic house museum, as of 2019, it is up for sale.

The population of only 2,106, [2] increasing to 2,147 at the 2011 census, [3] is served by a single public house, a small number of shops, two takeaways (a Chinese takeaway called The Lucky Garden and the fish and chips shop ‘Church View Chippy’), a primary school and a driving range; as well as having its own Community Centre.

Primary school school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve

A primary school is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to eleven, coming after preschool, infant school and before secondary school.

Driving range

A driving range is an area where golfers can practice their golf swing. It can also be a recreational activity itself for amateur golfers or when enough time for a full game is not available. Many golf courses have a driving range attached and they are also found as stand-alone facilities, especially in urban areas. They are typically run by businesses or sometimes by universities. Distances are usually marked by target greens at regular distances. Driving ranges may have natural grass, similar to a golf course, or players may have to use synthetic mats that resemble real turf.

It is now bypassed by the A55 road, but continues to be a hub of activity due to the presence of Glan Clwyd Hospital. It has a Town Council.

A55 road major road in Britain

The A55, also known as the North Wales Expressway is a major road in Britain. Its entire length from Chester to Holyhead is a dual carriageway primary route, with the exception of the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Strait and several short sections where there are gaps in between the two carriageways. All junctions are grade separated apart from a roundabout east of Penmaenmawr and another nearby in Llanfairfechan. Initially, the road ran from Chester to Bangor. In 2001, it was extended across Anglesey to the ferry port of Holyhead parallel to the A5. The road improvements have been part funded with European money, under the Trans-European Networks programme, as the route is designated part of Euroroute E22.

Glan Clwyd Hospital Hospital in Denbighshire, Wales

Glan Clwyd Hospital is a hospital in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, Wales. It is managed by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.


The name "Bodelwyddan" translates as Abode (Bod) of Elwyddan, he being a fifth century Romano Chieftain of the area. [4]

While Bodelwyddan may not have a long and notable history, it does contain many historic buildings, and has been the site of several important military training exercises during the two World Wars.

Until 1860, Bodelwyddan was a part of the parish of St. Asaph, before being gazetted as a new and separate parish on the 3rd of August, following the construction of the Marble Church. [5]

During the two World Wars, the nearby Kinmel Camp was used to house soldiers, and was the location of the Kinmel Park Riots in 1919, [6] which led to several Canadian deaths.

Historically, Bodelwyddan was home to a lead mine, but plans to abandon the mine were submitted in 1857 [7] and the mine closed shortly thereafter. [8] The nearby "Engine Hill" was named after the mine engines designed to keep the mine's water problems under control. Engine Hill has four "main" engine shafts with multiple smaller shafts, however the majority of knowledge on earlier working has been lost. [9]

The A55 road Bodelwyddan bypass was completed in 1986, and has been fundamental in shaping the changing Bodelwyddan, being at least partially responsible for the Local Development Plan and the continued existence of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Local Development Plan

In 2010, it was made public that Denbighshire County Council's Local Development Plan (LDP) had allocated over 1,700 new houses to be built in Bodelwyddan. [10]

Following the announcement, the proposal has been heavily opposed by locals [11] including Conwy County Borough Council, who said “No evidence has been presented by Denbighshire County Council providing details of the likely impact on services generally in Conwy County (especially Health and Education)" [10]

According to forecasts, the population of Bodelwyddan would be expected to rise significantly until 2021, [11] potentially tripling the population. [10]

In 2011 a referendum was held by the Town Council on the topic, with a resounding 94% against result. Despite the clear and near-unanimous opposition, the decision was made to go ahead with the plan, following a split vote by Denbighshire County Council. [12]


Despite Bodelwyddan's small size, it is a town and not a village, as evidenced by its Town Council. The majority of locals refer to it as a village.[ citation needed ]

To its South lies Bodelwyddan Castle, which sits on Engine Hill - so named for the Steam Engines that drove the mining operations that took place there in the past. [9]

In the area surrounding Bodelwyddan lie small farms, including two farm shops. Also nearby are several hamlets - including: Cefn Meiriadog, Marli, Llannefydd and Pengwern.


At the time of the 2001 Census, the Usual Resident Population numbered 1,802, of which 915 (50.8%) were male and 887 (49.2%) were female. [13]

With a density of just 20.95 people per hectare, Bodelwyddan is one of the most sparsely populated towns or villages in North Wales that is not classified as a hamlet. [13]

Notable landmarks

Bodelwyddan Church Vicarage Bodelwyddan Church Vicarage - - 559248.jpg
Bodelwyddan Church Vicarage

Bodelwyddan has over sixty listed buildings within its Town Boundary. In particular, Bodelwyddan Castle and the Faenol Fawr are two of the oldest buildings.

Notable buildings include the Marble Church, built by John Gibson in the 1850s; Bodelwyddan Castle, now used as a branch of the National Portrait Gallery; and Glan Clwyd Hospital, the major hospital for central North Wales.

Bodelwyddan Castle

Bodelwyddan Castle, built around 1460 as a manor house is one of the most obvious buildings on the Bodelwyddan skyline, both at day and at night. Being of a more recent vintage than most other nearby castles, Bodelwyddan Castle is well preserved. [14] Today, Bodelwyddan castle is used primarily as a hotel and art gallery, but in the past has served other functions, such as being a private school for girls between 1920 and 1982. [15] [16]

Faenol Fawr

Faenol Fawr Faenol Fawr (Entrance).jpg
Faenol Fawr

Faenol Fawr was built in 1597 as a country house for John Lloyd, registrar for the St Asaph diocese. Dormer windows with stepped gables were installed as part of an 18th-century renovation. It is now a country house hotel. [17] It is a grade II* listed building. [18]

Glan Clwyd Hospital

Also known as Ysbty Glan Clwyd, Glan Clwyd Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in North Wales, and is the major hospital for Central North Wales. Until 2007, it served as the headquarters of the Conwy & Denbighshire NHS Trust, prior to the mergers that took place to form the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. [19]

Serving a population of approximately 195,000, with over 675 beds, [20] it brings lots of traffic through Bodelwyddan and benefits from Bodelwyddan's good traffic links and proximity to the A55 Road.

Kinmel Camp

Kinmel Camp is an army training base, that dates from before the First World War. The Kinmel Camp Railway served the camp up until 1964, [21] and the camp is home to several First World War practice trenches, dug by recruits; now legally protected poignant examples of pristine trenches from that era. [22] In the 1919 Kinmel Park Riots, five Canadian soldiers perished; [6] There have been other tragic events in Kinmel Park history, including the death of many soldiers in the 1918 flu pandemic. [23] [24]

Marble Church

Marble Church, Bodelwyddan WALES BODELWYDDAN CHURCH 2014-05-62.JPG
Marble Church, Bodelwyddan

St. Margaret's Church, better known as The Marble Church, is clearly visible from a great distance up and down the A55 road and was erected between 1856 and 1860, and was built with local Limestone, sourced from nearby Llanddulas, whose appearance closely resembles porcelain. [25]

The Church is dedicated to two Saints, St. Margaret and St. Kentigern, and contains several notable graves - including the grave of Elizabeth James, mother of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, a renowned Victorian Explorer. It is also home to the graves of over eighty Canadian soldiers, dating back to between 1918 and 1919. [25] [26]


The local Primary School is Ysgol y Faenol, [27] which primarily feeds into Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St. Asaph and Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan in Abergele.

Notable residents

Jade Jones (taekwondo) 2012 & 2016 Olympic gold medalist was born in the town.

Related Research Articles

Ruthin town and community in Denbighshire, Wales

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Denbighshire (historic) former county in Wales

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Rhyl town in Wales

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St Asaph city in Denbighshire, Wales

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North Wales unofficial region of Wales, United Kingdom

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Llandyrnog village in Denbighshire, Wales

Llandyrnog is a large village and community in Denbighshire, Wales lying in the valley of the River Clwyd, about 3 miles (4.8 km) from Denbigh and 5 miles (8.0 km) from Ruthin. The village has good road links to Denbigh and the main A541 road at Bodfari, and is served by buses number 76 and 53. The village contains the Church of St. Tyrnog's is a Grade II* listed building, and has a notable creamery on the outskirts and former hospital.

Conwy & Denbighshire NHS Trust was an NHS Trust in Wales. The headquarters of the Trust were in Glan Clwyd Hospital, in Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, Denbighshire. The Trust was named in the 'Top 40 Hospitals' in the UK for the fifth year running in 2006, a title conferred by CHKS.

Ysgol Glan Clwyd

Ysgol Glan Clwyd is a Welsh medium secondary school, and was the first of its kind. It opened in 1956, initially at Rhyl on the coast before moving inland to St Asaph in 1969. It is overseen by the Denbighshire Local Education Authority.

Kinmel Bay village in the United Kingdom

Kinmel Bay is a seaside resort in Conwy County Borough, north-east Wales. It is also an electoral ward to the county council and town council. The town of Rhyl lies just across the River Clwyd in the neighbouring county of Denbighshire.

Kinmel Camp was an army training ground in what was once the grounds of Kinmel Hall, near Abergele, in Conwy county borough, Wales. The Kinmel Camp Railway served the camp from 1915 and was later used for a nearby quarry, finally closing in 1964. First World War training trenches can be seen nearby in the grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle.

Kinmel Bay and Towyn community in Conwy Borough, Wales

Kinmel Bay and Towyn is a community in Conwy County Borough, in Wales. It is located on the coast bordering Denbighshire, from which it is separated by the River Clwyd, and is 2.6 miles (4.2 km) west of Rhyl, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north east of Abergele and 14.1 miles (22.7 km) east of Conwy. As its name suggests, the community includes the holiday resorts of Kinmel Bay and Towyn. It is crossed by the Afon Gele, which flows from west to east, before joining the River Clwyd on the eastern boundary. At the 2001 census the community had a population of 7,864, increasing to 8,460 at the 2011 census. Before being named Kinmel Bay there was a small settlement called Foryd.

Faenol Fawr, Bodelwyddan

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Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl Hospital in Denbighshire, Wales

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  1. Listed Buildings in Bodelwyddan - Retrieved April 7, 2013
  2. "Parish Headcounts: Denbighshire". Neighbourhood Statistics: Census 2001. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  3. "Community/Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  4. Bodelwyddan Castle, A Brief History Guide
  5. Genuki - Bodelwyddan - Retrieved on 7 April 2013
  6. 1 2 Great War Fiction - Kinmel Camp Riots - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  7. "Bodelwyddan - ABANDONED MINE PLANS - Archives Hub" . Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  8. Mine-explorer - Bodelwyddan Lead Mine SH997749
  9. 1 2 Clwyd Metal Mines Survey - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  10. 1 2 3 Denbighshire Visitor - More Opposition to Bodelwyddan Housing Proposals - Retrieved on 6 April 2013
  11. 1 2 BBC - Hearings examine council's Bodelwyddan homes plan - Retrieved on 6 April 2013
  12. Plaid Wrecsam - Muppet Show - Retrieved on 6 April 2013
  13. 1 2 Usual Resident Population Spreadsheet retrieved from the Office for National Statistics on 6 April 2013
  14. Information Britain - Denbighshire - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  15. Gathering the Jewels - Lowther College, Bodelwyddan - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  16. Bodwlyddan Castle Official Site - History Archived December 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  17. "Faenol Fawr Tudor mansion". Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  18. "Faenol Fawr, Bodelwyddan". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  19. BBC - NHS trust merger for north Wales - Retrieved on 7 April 2013
  20. Betsi Cadwaladr - Glan Clwyd Hospital - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  21. RailBrit - Kinmel Camp Railway - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  22. Wales Online - Festival of Archaeology Comes to Wales - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  23. BBC - Canadian war graves at St Margaret's Church, Bodelwyddan given QR code - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  24. History Points - Canadian war graves, Bodelwyddan - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  25. 1 2 History Points - The Marble Church - Retrieved April 7, 2013
  26. Commonwealth War Graves Commission - BODELWYDDAN (ST. MARGARET) CHURCHYARD - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  27. Ysgol Y Faenol, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl: Schools in Rhyl