Vale of Clwyd

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The Vale of Clwyd (Welsh : Dyffryn Clwyd) is a tract of low-lying ground in the county of Denbighshire in north-east Wales. [1] [2] The Vale extends south-southwestwards from the coast of the Irish Sea for some 20 miles (about 30 km) forming a triangle of low ground bounded on its eastern side by the well-defined scarp of the Clwydian Range and to the west by numerous low hills. The River Clwyd (Welsh: Afon Clwyd) which rises within Clocaenog Forest, southwest of Denbigh, runs the full length of the vale. It is joined by the two major left bank tributaries of the River Clywedog (Welsh: Afon Clywedog) and River Elwy (Welsh: Afon Elwy) and the smaller right bank tributary of the River Wheeler (Welsh: Afon Chwiler).



Dyffryn Clwyd was a cantref of Medieval Wales, and from 1282 was a marcher lordship.

Settlement and administration

At its seaward end are the coastal resorts of Kinmel Bay (Welsh: Bae Cinmel), Rhyl and Prestatyn whilst the town of Abergele and city of St Asaph (Welsh: Llanelwy) lie just inland. The other principal towns of the vale are Denbigh (Welsh: Dinbych) and Ruthin (Welsh: Rhuthun), [3] also Rhuddlan. Most of the area falls within the modern administrative county (and unitary authority) of Denbighshire and a portion is in Conwy County Borough; much of it lies within the Vale of Clwyd UK Parliamentary constituency.


The Vale of Clwyd is a sedimentary basin which takes the form of a half-graben whose eastern margin is marked by the Vale of Clwyd Fault. [4] Like the Cheshire Basin further to its east, it is mostly floored by thick deposits of Permian and Triassic sandstone. Around St Asaph, late Carboniferous, Coal Measures mudstones and sandstones occur. The area was overrun by ice during the ice ages whose legacy is a covering of glacial till across the area and a swarm of drumlins along the western edge of the vale. [5] Alluvium is encountered across the floodplains of the River Clwyd and its tributaries. [6]

Related Research Articles

Ruthin County town in Wales

Ruthin is a market town and community in Denbighshire, Wales, in the south of the Vale of Clwyd. It is Denbighshire's county town. The town, castle and St Peter's Square lie on a hill, skirted by villages such as Pwllglas and Rhewl. The name comes from the Welsh rhudd (red) and din (fort), after the colour of sandstone bedrock, from which the castle was built in 1277–1284. The Old Mill, Ruthin, is nearby. Maen Huail, a registered ancient monument attributed to the brother of Gildas and King Arthur, stands in St Peter's Square.

Denbighshire County in Wales

Denbighshire is a county in the north-east of Wales. Its borders differ from the historic county of the same name. This part of Wales contains the country's oldest known evidence of habitation – Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has Neanderthal remains of some 225,000 years ago. Castles include Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan. St Asaph, one of Britain's smallest cities, has one of its smallest Anglican cathedrals. Denbighshire is bounded by coastline to the north and hills to the east, south and west. The River Clwyd follows a broad valley with little industry: crops appear in the Vale of Clwyd and cattle and sheep in the uplands. The coast attracts summer visitors; hikers frequent the Clwydian Range, part of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod takes place each July.

Denbighshire (historic)

Historic Denbighshire is one of thirteen traditional counties in Wales, a vice-county and a former administrative county, which covers an area in north east Wales. It is a maritime county, bounded to the north by the Irish Sea, to the east by Flintshire, Cheshire and Shropshire, to the south by Montgomeryshire and Merionethshire, and to the west by Caernarfonshire.

River Clwyd River in Wales

The River Clwyd is a river in Wales that rises in the Clocaenog Forest 5 mi (8 km) northwest of Corwen. Its total length is 35 mi (56 km).

Clwyd Preserved county of Wales

Clwyd is a preserved county of Wales, situated in the north-east corner of the country; it is named after the River Clwyd, which runs through the area. To the north lies the Irish Sea, with the English ceremonial counties of Cheshire to the east and Shropshire to the south-east. Powys and Gwynedd lie to the south and west respectively. Clwyd also shares a maritime boundary with Merseyside along the River Dee. Between 1974 and 1996, a slightly different area had a county council, with local government functions shared with six district councils. In 1996, Clwyd was abolished, and the new principal areas of Conwy County Borough, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham County Borough were created; under this reorganisation, "Clwyd" became a preserved county, with the name being retained for certain ceremonial functions.

St Asaph City and Community in Wales

St Asaph is a city and community on the River Elwy in Denbighshire, Wales. In the 2011 Census it had a population of 3,355 making it the second-smallest city in Britain in terms of population and urban area. It is in the historic county of Flintshire.

Denbigh Town in Denbighshire, Wales

Denbigh is a market town and a community in Denbighshire, Wales. Formerly, the county town, the Welsh name translates to "Little Fortress"; a reference to its historic castle. Denbigh lies near the Clwydian Hills.

Diocese of St Asaph Anglican diocese of the Church in Wales

The Diocese of Saint Asaph is a diocese of the Church in Wales in north-east Wales, named after Saint Asaph, its second bishop.

Vale of Clwyd (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1997 onwards

The Vale of Clwyd is a constituency of the House of Commons of the UK Parliament created in 1997 and represented since 2019 by James Davies of the Conservative Party. As with all extant seats its electorate elect one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system at least every five years.

Clwydian Range Hill range in Wales

The Clwydian Range is a series of hills in the north-east of Wales that runs from Llandegla in the south to Prestatyn in the north, with the highest point being the popular Moel Famau. The range forms part of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

River Elwy

The River Elwy is a river in Wales forming a tributary to the River Clwyd. The source of the river is sometimes said to be on the northern flank of Moel Seisiog, south-east of Llanrwst, at Ordnance Survey grid reference SH 853593. However the river only receives the name Elwy at the village of Llangernyw, where three rivers, Afon Cledwen, Afon Collen and Afon Gallen, meet to form the Elwy. It flows eastwards through Llanfair Talhaiarn and a few miles downstream from this village it is joined by a tributary, the River Aled which has its source in Llyn Aled.

Rhufoniog Former hundred, in Wales

Rhufoniog was a small sub-kingdom of the Dark Ages Gwynedd, and later a cantref in medieval Wales.

The Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Football League was a football league formed in 2011 following the split of the Clwyd Football League, which itself was formed in 1974 as an amalgamation of the Dyserth League and the Halkyn Mountain League. The Premier Division was in the fifth level of the Welsh football league system in North Wales. The league folded in 2020 due to a reorganisation of the Welsh football league pyramid, with many teams joining the North Wales Coast East Football League.

Llanelidan Human settlement in Wales

Llanelidan is a small village and community in the county of Denbighshire in north-east Wales. The community also includes the hamlet of Rhyd-y-Meudwy.

River Clywedog, Denbighshire

The River Clywedog is a tributary of the River Clwyd in northeast Wales. The river rises within Clocaenog Forest and flows in a generally easterly direction through the villages of Cyffylliog, Bontuchel and Rhewl before turning northwards to join the Clwyd to the east of Denbigh.

Llannefydd Human settlement in Wales

Llannefydd is a village and community in Conwy County Borough, in Wales. It is located on the border with Denbighshire, between the Afon Aled and River Elwy, 5.7 miles (9.2 km) north west of Denbigh, 5.8 miles (9.3 km) south west of St Asaph, 6.9 miles (11.1 km) south of Abergele and 15.2 miles (24.5 km) south east of Conwy. In the 2011 census the community parish had a population of 590. The community includes the village of Cefn Berain.

The River Wheeler is a tributary of the River Clwyd in north-east Wales. Rising on the east side of the Clwydian Range, it is a "misfit stream" occupying a deep valley cutting westwards through the range into the Vale of Clwyd. The river enters the Clwyd west of the village of Aberwheeler, the name of which signifies "the mouth or confluence of the Wheeler". The river is followed for its entire length by the A541 road running from Mold to Trefnant and was formerly followed by the Mold and Denbigh Junction Railway. Besides Aberchwiler, the river passes through or beside the villages of Nannerch, Afon-wen and Bodfari.

St Asaph City Football Club is a Welsh football team based in St Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales. They play in the Ardal Leagues North West, which is in the third tier of the Welsh football league system.

The Clwyd Football League was a football league formed in 1974 as an amalgamation of the Dyserth League and the Halkyn Mountain League. The top division was at different periods at the second, third and fourth levels of the Welsh football league system in North Wales. The league ran until 2011 when a split led to the formation of the Clwyd East Football League comprising Flintshire teams under the North East Wales Football Association and the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Football League, made up of Denbighshire, Conwy county and Vale of Conwy sides, under the North Wales Coast Football Association.


  1. "THE VALE OF CLWYD". Clwyd-Powis Archaeological Trust. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  2. "Vale of Clwyd" (PDF). Natural Resources Wales. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  3. Ordnance Survey 1:50K Landranger sheet 116 'Denbigh & Colwyn Bay'
  4. Williams, G.D.; Eaton, G.P. (1993). "Stratigraphic and structural analysis of the Late Palaeozoic-Mesozoic of NE Wales and Liverpool Bay: implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity". Journal of the Geological Society. 150 (3): 489–499. doi:10.1144/gsjgs.150.3.0489.
  5. Lewis, Colin A.; Richards, Andrew E. (2005). The glaciations of Wales and adjacent areas (2nd ed.). Hereford: Logaston Press. pp. 41–42. ISBN   1904396364.
  6. British Geological Survey, 1:50K map sheets 95 'Rhyl' & 107 'Denbigh'

Coordinates: 53°13′N3°23′W / 53.21°N 3.38°W / 53.21; -3.38