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The Marble Church from Bodelwyddan Park - - 124539.jpg
Bodelwyddan is located in Denbighshire
 Bodelwyddan shown within Denbighshire
Population 2,147 (2011)
OS grid reference SJ0075
Community Bodelwyddan
Principal area Denbighshire
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RHYL
Postcode district LL18
Dialling code 01745
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Vale of Clwyd
Welsh Assembly Vale of Clwyd
List of places

Coordinates: 53°16′05″N 3°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, including Pengwern, approximately 1 mile (1.8 km) to the North West of Bodelwyddan itself.

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

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, a primary school and a driving range; as well as having its own Community Centre.

It is now bypassed by the A55 road, but continues to be a hub of activity due to the presence of Glan Clwyd Hospital, and has a Town Council who take a role in community development and hold regular meetings that are open to the public in the Local Community Centre. Since 2011, and after local residents petitioned the Town Council, invoking the Allotments Act 1908-1950, Bodelwyddan also has allotments for willing members of the Parish.


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, which closed sometime between 1860 and 1900.[7] 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.[8]

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[edit]

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.[9]

Following the announcement, the proposal has been heavily opposed by locals[10] 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)"[9]

According to forecasts, the population of Bodelwyddan would be expected to rise significantly until 2021,[10] potentially tripling the population.[9]

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.[11]


Despite Bodelwyddan's small size, it is a town and not a village, as evidenced by its Town Council. Despite this, the majority of locals refer to it as a village, likely due to its small size.

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.[8]

In the area surrounding Bodelwyddan lie many small farms, including two farm shops. Also nearby are several small hamlets - the most notable of which being: Cefn Meiriadog, Marli, Llannefydd and Pengwern, as well as several others.


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.[12]

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.[12]

Notable landmarks[edit]

Bodelwyddan Church Vicarage

Bodelwyddan is home to several notable locations and has many old buildings, with over sixty listed buildings within its Town Boundary. In particular, Bodelwyddan Castle and the Faenol Fawr are two of the oldest buildings, and Glan Clwyd Hospital and Kinmel Camp have been two of the most controversial during their histories.

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[edit]

Main article: Bodelwyddan Castle

Bodelwyddan Castle, built around 1460 is one of the most obvious buildings on the Bodelwyddan skyline, both during the day, and also at night. Due to its origins as a manor house, and being of a more recent vintage than most other nearby castles, Bodelwyddan Castle is one of the most pristine castles in England and Wales.[13] Today, Bodelwyddan castle is used primarily as a Hotel and Art Gallery, but in the past has served other functions, such as a private school for girls between 1920 and 1982.[14] [15]

Faenol Fawr[edit]

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.[16] It is a grade II* listed building.[17]

Glan Clwyd Hospital[edit]

Main article: 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.[18]

Serving a population of approximately 195,000, with over 675 beds,[19] it brings lots of traffic through Bodelwyddan and benefits from Bodelwyddan's good traffic links and proximity to the A55 Road.

Kinmel Camp[edit]

Main article: Kinmel Camp

Kinmel Camp is an army training base, that has a long history going back to before the First World War. In the past, the Kinmel Camp Railway served the camp up until 1964,[20] and the camp was also home to several First World War practice trenches, originally dug by recruits; now legally protected poignant examples of pristine trenches from that era.[21]

The most notable event in Kinmel Camp history is the 1919 Kinmel Park Riots, in which five Canadian soldiers perished;[6] however, there have been other tragic events in Kinmel Park history, including the death of many soldiers in the 1918 flu pandemic.[22] [23]

Marble Church[edit]

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.[24]

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.[24][25]


The local Primary School is Ysgol y Faenol,[26] which primarily feeds into Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St. Asaph and Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan in Abergele.


  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. ^ a b Great War Fiction - Kinmel Camp Riots - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  7. ^ Mine-explorer - Bodelwyddan Lead Mine SH997749
  8. ^ a b Clwyd Metal Mines Survey - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  9. ^ a b c Denbighshire Visitor - More Opposition to Bodelwyddan Housing Proposals - Retrieved on 6 April 2013
  10. ^ a b BBC - Hearings examine council's Bodelwyddan homes plan - Retrieved on 6 April 2013
  11. ^ Plaid Wrecsam - Muppet Show - Retrieved on 6 April 2013
  12. ^ a b Usual Resident Population Spreadsheet retrieved from the Office for National Statistics on 6 April 2013
  13. ^ Information Britain - Denbighshire - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  14. ^ Gathering the Jewels - Lowther College, Bodelwyddan - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  15. ^ Bodwlyddan Castle Official Site - History - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  16. ^ "Faenol Fawr Tudor mansion". Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Faenol Fawr, Bodelwyddan". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  18. ^ BBC - NHS trust merger for north Wales - Retrieved on 7 April 2013
  19. ^ Betsi Cadwaladr - Glan Clwyd Hospital - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  20. ^ RailBrit - Kinmel Camp Railway - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  21. ^ Wales Online - Festival of Archaeology Comes to Wales - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  22. ^ BBC - Canadian war graves at St Margaret's Church, Bodelwyddan given QR code - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  23. ^ History Points - Canadian war graves, Bodelwyddan - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  24. ^ a b History Points - The Marble Church - Retrieved April 7, 2013
  25. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission - BODELWYDDAN (ST. MARGARET) CHURCHYARD - Retrieved 7 April 2013
  26. ^ Ysgol Y Faenol, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl: Schools in Rhyl

External links[edit]