Northop shown within Flintshire
|Population||2,983 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||CH7 6xx|
Northop (Welsh: Llaneurgain) is a small village situated in Flintshire, Wales, approximately 12 miles west of the city of Chester, mid-way between Mold and Flint, and situated just off junction 33 of the A55 North Wales Expressway. At the 2001 Census, the population of Northop was 2,983.
The village is home to two pubs, a cricket club, and a golf course. At the centre of the village stands the church of St Eurgain and St Peter, towering 98 feet above the village. Northop College is also based in Northop, offering horticultural courses for students of all ages, in areas such as Animal Care, floristry, Horse Care, Horticulture and agricultural machinery.
English name origin
Another source claims the name originates from North and Thorpe, the latter word meaning village or town in the Saxon language. Written in ancient records as Northorpe, the name Northop was in use after the surrender of Chester to Egbert of Wessex, circa AD 828, when Flintshire was brought under Saxon rule.
St Eurgain and St Peter's Church
There has been evidence of a church in Northop since the 6th century. It is said that Eurgain, a niece of Saint Asaph, passed through Northop and founded the church here on a Celtic mound, upon which it still stands. The Welsh placename for Northop, Llaneurgain translates as "The holy enclosure of Eurgain". Records indicate that there was a stone church erected here during the 12th century, with the tower being completed to its 98-foot height in 1571. The present building was extensively rebuilt during 1840, with further alterations being carried out in 1877.
The churchyard of St Eurgain and St Peter still houses the old grammar school for Northop, constructed during the 16th century.
St Eurgain and St Peter's church is the seat of the Parish of Northop, which comprises the districts of Northop, Northop Hall, Sychdyn, Halkyn, Rhosesmor, and Flint Mountain. Formerly it also included Connah's Quay. It is a member of the diocese of St Asaph, Church in Wales.
Northop, like most other small villages, has its own local shop, providing foodstuffs, newspapers, and a variety of other items. The shop is situated on the High Street and also incorporates a one-counter post office.
The Red Lion and The Boot are the two pubs in Northop, situated at either end of the High Street. The Red Lion, recently refurbished, has an adjoining restaurant serving food during the pub's normal opening hours. The Boot is at the other end of the High Street, and incorporates a dining area in traditional pub style. The Boot is the last remaining of the six original coaching inns present in Northop; from the 18th century, Northop was the first stop on the Chester-Holyhead stagecoach route.
There previously existed a working men's club (the Westminster Working Men's Club) in the village, situated on the High Street almost opposite Northop Post Office, where Westminster House now stands. The back of the club was demolished in 2001 and the club's estate and car park was developed into a new housing development, Pilgrim's Court.
Little Peoples Day Nursery opened in Northop in 1997 and provides Childcare and Education for children from birth to 5 years.
Northop also plays host to a bridal shop Karen Lesley Bridal Emporium where wedding dresses are handmade on the premises, 'The Old Police Station', Church Road which is now the home of Susan Price Williams Gallery & Photographic Studio and the newly established National Archive of Wedding & Social Photography with associated tea-rooms - The Tea Station, an antiques shop/furniture restorer Nick Eastwood (Nick Eastwood) and a hairdresser (Colettes). The longest established, repair & MOT Garage is "Brookfield Garage" (Keith Jones) which is next to the village Institute behind the Bridal Shop.
Northop previously had a large number of shops and services, but due to larger retail developments in neighbouring towns over time these have largely disappeared. Shops such as Jimmy Roberts' Butcher's Shop (Jimmy the Butchers), (located opposite the Smithy), and the fish and chip shop (located next to the Post Office) have all been converted to residential properties. The Northop Smithy has not been disturbed since the last day that the business owner Mr. Jones worked in it. The cobblers shop in the village was closed after the owner, Mr Griffiths, was killed on his way to open the shop.
Northop had, in addition to the other retail businesses, a well used riding centre run by Netta Booker at Parkgate Farm over a period of ten years, and subsequently at Bryn Coch on the Connah's Quay road for a further six years before the Coal Board bought the land for open cast mining (this did not take place). The riding centre made its ultimate move to Bryn Ffynnon Farm, Rhosesmor, and operated for a further seventeen years until 1994.
Northop Silver Band
In 1892 a group of young men met at Soughton (Sychdyn) and committed themselves to playing for a year with the newly formed silver band. Within two years they had relocated to nearby Northop. A bass drum, which was in use until fairly recently, has the mark 'Northop 1894' as proof of this fact. Very little is known of the early years as there are no written records but it is known that the bands' first contest success was in 1921 at Flint. The band at that time rehearsed at the Boot Inn which now supplies refreshments after practices.
As a result of its success and professional attitude, the band has been fortunate enough to play at some of the most prestigious venues in the country including, the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, St. David's Hall, in Cardiff and the Royal Albert Hall in London. The 1980s saw the band become 'internationals' with a visit to Menden in Germany where, again, they performed with great professionalism. Recently band members joined forces with Parc and Dare Band from South Wales in a return visit to Germany to play at a Police Festival in Hamburg.
- 2001 Census: Northop, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 30 June 2008
- Black, Adam and Charles (1857), Black's Picturesque Guide to North Wales, p. 19
- Edwards, Thomas (1832), History of Northop, Flintshire, The Cambrian Quarterly Magazine and Celtic Repertory (Google Books), retrieved 10 July 2008
- Northop / Llaneurgain, GENUKI UK & Ireland Genealogy, retrieved 11 November 2006
- Listed Buildings in Wales, Cadw
- Lewis, S A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, 1834
- Edge, Roy. Jones, Rosemary. The Pride of Northop, a collection of stories of Northop, 2000.
- Northop village website
- Northop College, part of Deeside College
- Northop Silver Band (official site)