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Welsh: Llaneurgain
Northop (United Kingdom)

Northop shown within the United Kingdom
Population 2983 (2001)
OS grid reference SJ246681
Principal area Flintshire
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Constituent country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MOLD
Postcode district CH7 6xx
Dialling code 01352
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
European Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Delyn
List of places: UKWalesFlintshire

Coordinates: 53°12'17?N 3°07'49?W? / ?53.2046, -3.13031

Northop (Welsh: Llaneurgain) is a small village seated in Flintshire, North Wales, approximately 12 miles west of the city of Chester, mid-way between Mold and Flint, and situated on junction 33 of the A55 North Wales Expressway . Its population is roughly 3000. The name seems to be derived from 'North Hope', to distinguish it from the nearby village of Hope, which has also been known as East Hope[1].

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.

The village is also the home of the Welsh College of Horticulture, offering horticultural courses for students of all ages, in areas such as Animal Studies, floristry and agricultural machinery.


[edit] 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[1] of St Asaph, passed through Northop and founded the church here on a Celtic mound, upon which it still stands. The Welsh name 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.

St Eurgain and St Peter
St Eurgain and St Peter

[edit] Local facilities

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, which is now closed, pending a new tenant, 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. Unfortunately (and perhaps illogically) the Boot Inn (formerly 'Hotel') sign shows a leather Wellington boot, whereas it should be the type of boot or trunk that is fixed to the rear of stagecoaches to hold the passengers' goods.

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.

Northop also plays host to a bridal shop (Karen Lesley Bridal Emporium) where wedding dresses are hand-made on the premises, 'The Old Police Station', Church Road which is now the home of Susan Price-Williams' Gallery & Photographic Studio -, an antiques shop/furniture restorer (Nick Eastwood) and a hairdressers (Colettes). The longest established, repair & MOT Garage is "Brookfield Garage" (Keith Jones) which is next to the village Institute behind the Bridal Shop.

[edit] 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 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, Cardiff and the Royal Albert Hall in London. The 80s 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 (South Wales) in a return visit to Germany to play at a Police Festival in Hamburg.

[edit] Previous facilities

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 at the end of the High Street), 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.

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. , Black's Picturesque Guide to North Wales, Adam and Charles Black, 1857, p.19

(Source: Wikipedia)
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