Aerial view of Prestatyn
Prestatyn shown within Denbighshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Vale of Clwyd|
|Welsh Assembly||Vale of Clwyd|
Prestatyn // is a seaside resort, town and community in Denbighshire, Wales. Historically a part of Flintshire, it is located on the Irish Sea coast, to the east of Rhuddlan. At the 2001 Census, Prestatyn had a population of 18,496,  increasing to 18,849 at the 2011 census.
There is evidence that the current town location has been occupied since prehistoric times. Prehistoric tools found in the caves of Graig Fawr, in the nearby village of Meliden, have revealed the existence of early human habitation in the area.
The name Prestatyn derives from the Old English preosta ("priest") and tun ("town"), and was recorded in the Domesday Book as Prestetone. Unlike similarly derived names in England, which generally lost their penultimate syllable and became Preston, this village's name developed a typically Welsh emphasis on the penultimate syllable and a modification of "ton" to "tyn", as also happened at Mostyn. Although the Domesday Book only extended to demesnes in England, Prestatyn was included since it was at that time under English control.
An earth mound, visible in fields to the east of the railway station, beyond Nant Hall, marks the site of an early wooden Prestatyn castle, probably built by the Norman Robert de Banastre about 1157, which was destroyed by the Welsh under Owain Gwynedd in 1167. The Banastre family then moved to Bank Hall in Lancashire.
The town appears to have been primarily a fishing village for hundreds of years. The beginning and end of High Street today mark the location of two 'maenolau' (or manor houses) called Pendre (translated as "end of" or "top of town") and Penisadre ("lower end of town").
19th century to present
The town's population remained at less than 1,000 until the arrival of the railways and the holidaymakers in the 19th and 20th centuries. "Sunny Prestatyn" became famous for its beach, clean seas and promenade entertainers, and visiting for a bathe was considered very healthy by city-dwelling Victorians. During the Second World War the holiday camps were used as billets for British soldiers, many of whom were also sent to live with locals.
Prestatyn was the home of the first ever UK Kwik Save supermarket in 1965; Prestatyn was also the home of the firm's business headquarters. The Kwik Save store was renamed Somerfield following a takeover in 2007, and was finally demolished in 2008 when surrounding land was bought by Tesco.
The North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm was opened in 2003. Situated in Liverpool Bay, 5 miles (8 km) off the coast of Prestatyn, it was the UK's first major offshore wind farm. It has 30 wind turbines with a combined maximum capacity of 60 megawatts - enough to power 40,000 homes if it was sustained.
Facilities and attractions
Although Prestatyn remains a tourist destination and resort town, the town is diversifying in response to the decline of the British seaside holiday. The NHS is planning to open an elderly care facility in the town to serve north Denbighshire, and the opening of big name shops and supermarkets looks set to increase the town's status as a shopping centre. Merlin Cinemas have taken over the Scala cinema, a digital cinema with films, exhibition and theatre venues.
Work is under way on the revival of the Ffrith Beach Festival Gardens. After a troubled few years when the seafront site has lain deserted, attractions are planned, such as tenpin bowling, quad bikes, dance studio and yoghurt bar.
The town is at the northern end of the Offa's Dyke Path, although not on Offa's Dyke itself. It also marks the eastern end of the North Wales Path, a long-distance coastal route to Bangor, and the western end of the Clwydian Way. Other attractions include the remains of Roman baths and the nearby Neolithic mound, the Gop.
Notable people from the town include Harold Bird-Wilson, Neil Aspinall, Peggy Cummins, John Prescott, Mike Peters (The Alarm), Carol Vorderman, Karl Wallinger (of the band World Party), author Emyr Humphreys and the leading ornithologist Jonathan Elphick. Shrewsbury Town F.C. goalkeeper coach Danny Coyne was born in Prestatyn.
Prestatyn Flower Show is an annual event held in Prestatyn town centre on the last Friday and Saturday of July. The flower show has traditionally been held within the grounds of Cerrig Llwydion, High Street, Prestatyn, which was formerly a vicarage. The event also includes a small display of classic cars and vintage motorcycles on the Saturday.
Prestatyn Carnival is an annual summer event in the town, and features field events, competitions and a procession. Each year, thousands take part in the festivities. The carnival celebrated its diamond jubilee in 2011.
The traditional Carnival Parade takes place on the Saturday, and is followed by a Carnival Baby Competition later in the day. In 2008 the carnival became a two-day event, with the Sunday designated "Fun on the Field" day, with many events including a talent show and dance competition. In 2011 the event reverted to its original one–day format.
In 2008, Prestatyn Carnival Association revived the Miss Prestatyn title.
Philip Larkin once wrote a poem entitled Sunny Prestatyn. In it he describes a poster advertising the resort that is progressively defaced by vulgar graffiti. Roddy Frame and Jeremy Stacey wrote most of Aztec Camera's 1995 album Frestonia during a three-week retreat at the Sands Hotel in Prestatyn. Frame later blamed the overcast and grim weather conditions there for the album's melancholy and gloomy tone.
The town also appears in The Royle Family 2009 Christmas special "The Golden Egg Cup", in which the family visits Prestatyn to celebrate Jim and Barb's fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Local football side Prestatyn Town gained promotion to the Welsh Premiership football league having been crowned champions of the Cymru Alliance League 2007-08 season. As of 23 April 2008, planning permission for floodlights and seating had been granted in order to meet the Welsh Premier grading requirements. The deadline for these upgrades was 1 May 2008 and, having passed these requirements, their promotion was ratified by the Welsh Premier League on 15 May.
Many qualification rounds in snooker were once held at Pontin's Holiday Camp here; this included all the major snooker tournaments, and the World Championship. The qualification rounds have since moved to the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
- 2001 Census: Prestatyn, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 20 June 2008
- "Town population 2011". Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Cheshire (places now in Wales): Prestatyn, The Domesday Book Online, retrieved 11 November 2008
- An Outline of Prestatyn, Virtual Prestatyn, retrieved 11 November 2008
- Wyn Owen, Hywel (1998), The Place-Names of Wales, ISBN 0-7083-1458-9
- Prestatyn castle
- Prestatyn Castle at CastleUK.net
- Prestatyn Carnival, Prestatyn Carnival Association, retrieved 6 January 2016
- Poetry Connection
- Frame, Roddy; Day, Roger, Love, Warner/Chappel Publishing, ISBN 0-86359-516-2
- Football club's floodlight plan given go ahead, Rhyl Journal, 23 April 2008, retrieved 25 April 2008
- Prestatyn Town FC are Cymru Alliance champions, Rhyl & Prestatyn Visitor, 9 April 2008, retrieved 25 April 2008
- Prestatyn Town FC: Latest News, 15 May 2008, retrieved 20 June 2008
Media related to Prestatyn at Wikimedia Commons
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Prestatyn.|