Basingwerk Abbey - Greenfield

Basingwerk Abbey - Greenfield

 

Greenfield Valley Heritage Park (Welsh: Dyffryn Maes Glas) is a 70-acre country park located near the town of Holywell, in Wales. It is well known for its woodland, reservoirs, ancient monuments (including the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey), rich industrial past and its factories which played a big part in the Industrial Revolution. In addition there are a number of reconstucted farmhouses from different periods in history. The industrial buildings include : The Battery Works which employed local people to shape pots and pans from brass sheets, the energy needed to do this was made by using a Water Wheel, the water came from the Battery Pond. Next to the Battery Factory is the ruins of Battery Row, were many of the employees would have lived. The Battery Factory now lies next to the Battery Pond in ruin, the site is now supported by the 'National Welsh Heritage Lottery Fund'. The Meadow Mill, built in 178,7 produced rolled copper sheets for Thomas Williams's companies. Lower Cotton Mill - One of many cotton mills that flourished throughout the valley. The factory still stands to this day, tourists are not allowed to enter the building. Today remains of machinery that was used can be viewed as it lies outside of the factory. Abbey Wire Mill - Copper and brass wire was made. Most of the factory has been destroyed and only a few features from the ruins are visible.

 

The Greenfield Valley Farm Museum includes : Visitor Centre Entrance/Exit and Toilets; Cwm Llydan Farmhouse - A reconstructed 19th Century upland farmhouse. Abbey Barn - Vintage Machinery. Pentre Farmhouse - A reconstructed 17th Century farmhouse. Guinea Pig Hall. Pigs. Combine Barn. Blacksmiths Forge and Wheelwright Shop. Bakehouse & Pigsty. Tractor Heaven Play area for under 5’s. The Bothy - Farm labourers’ accommodation. Stable - Shire horse display. Coleshill Barn - Display of items of local interest. Shippon and Chick Area - The original farm cow house. Cartshed. A reconstructed building of Gwespyr Sandstone. Animal Enclosures. Wire Mill Garden - With water wheel generating electricity. Play Area, Picnic Area & Musical Garden - Access through tunnel. Spring Gardens Victorian Schoolroom - A reconstructed local school.

 

The site also contains the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey. The abbey was founded in 1132 by Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester, who had already brought Benedictine monks from Savigny Abbey in southern Normandy. The abbey became part of the Cistercian Order in 1147. It was a daughter house of Buildwas Abbey in Shropshire. An Earl of Chester gave the manor of West Kirby to the Abbey. The abbey had extensive links with the English county of Derbyshire. Henry II gave the monks a manor near Glossop. The Monks' Road and the Abbot's Chair in the town are a reminder of the Abbey's efforts to administer their possession. In 1290 the Abbey gained a market charter for Glossop. The monks also got another charter for nearby Charlesworth in 1328. In 1157, Owain Gwynedd encamped his army at Basingwerk before facing the forces of Henry II at the Battle of Ewloe. The Welsh Prince stopped at the abbey because of its strategic importance. It blocked the route Henry II had to take to reach Twthill, Rhuddlan. In the fighting that followed, Owain Gwynedd split his army routing the English near Ewloe. By the 13th century, the abbey was under the patronage of Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd. His son Dafydd ap Llywelyn gave St Winefride's Well to the abbey. The monks harnessed the power of the Holywell stream to run a corn mill and to treat the wool from their sheep. In 1433, the monks leased all of Glossopdale in Derbyshire to the Talbot family, the future Earls of Shrewsbury (1442).

 

A legend says a 12th-century Basingwerk Abbey monk was lured into a nearby wood by the singing of a nightingale. He thought he had only been listening a short while, but when he returned, the abbey was in ruins. He crumbled to dust shortly afterwards. In 1536, abbey life came to an end with the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII. Its dissolution was made lawful by the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act and the lands of the abbey were granted to lay owners. Two centuries earlier a Welsh seer, Robin Ddu ("Robin the Dark"), said the roof on the refectory would go to a church under Moel Famau. It did: when the abbey was sold, the parts of the roof went to St Mary's Church in Cilcain below the slopes of Moel Famau. Another section of roof was reportedly given to the Collegiate and Parochial Church of St Peter at Ruthin, where it still covers the North Nave. Its Jesse window went to the Church of St Dyfnog at Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch.

 

Pentre Farm house – a Tudor farmhouse. Entrance to the building is via a step only and to the second floor via a very narrow and steep staircase. Cym Llydan – a Victorian farm house Entrance is via a ramp of reasonable gradient. Movement around the ground floor is suitable for a small wheel chair. Access to the second floor is only available via a steep staircase. Use of the Woodland trail is not recommended for those using a wheelchair or with limited mobility or fitness. Entrance and exit Paths into and paths within the Woodland Trail have a crushed stone top and are not suitable for wheelchairs. Spring Garden School – Victorian school Access to the school is through a tunnel with reasonable gradient paths on either side. Entrance to the school is gained via a ramp. Movement within the school is not limited for wheel chairs.

 

Fishing – Flour Mill Pond. Seven of the twelve pegs are suitable for use by wheelchair users. Access to these pegs is via a concrete path wide enough for wheel chair users. The seven pegs are double width with boarding around the peg. Lower Cotton Mill - Steam engine and bottling plant. Access to this Mill is via steps from the main path. Not suitable for push chairs, wheelchairs or for those with limited mobility or fitness. Access into the Mill is via a small step, access to the second floor is via a narrow wooden staircase. There is considerable parking available. Assistance dogs are welcome.

 

Location : Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, Greenfield Rd, Greenfield, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 7GH

Transport : Flint (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : 11F, 11M, 11X, 18 and 20 stop close by

Opening Times : Daily 10:00 to 16:00

Tickets : Adults £6.70;  Concessions £5.50;  Children £3.90

Tel. : 01352 714712