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When Edward I built Flint Castle he laid out a new town to support it. Medieval Flint was built on a regular grid pattern, with six parallel streets running north-east/south-west and one cross route.
Church Street was the main thoroughfare running south-west from the castle. The town’s key buildings are all located here, the symmetry of the design is obvious – the castle, the market square, (around the present Town Hall), and the church are all in a direct line.
Church Street continued to be the focal point as the town expanded. The Town Hall, Court House and Gaol were all built here in 16th or 17th centuries, with other businesses opening up around them.
In the 1700s an industrial area began to develop on the northern edge of the medieval town, with the port exporting coal and lead.
A new use was found for the now derelict castle in 1785 when a new gaol was built within the outer bailey. It replaced the original on Church Street that had been described as, ‘an ancient and loathsome place of confinement’.
The opening of the railway in 1844 and the building of Muspratt’s alkali works in 1852 brought further growth, and the town prospered, expanding well beyond the original medieval walls. First the Town Hall and then the church were rebuilt in this period, paid for by the local gentry and businessmen.
Many of the buildings here on Church Street and Trelawney Square date from this era of Victorian prosperity. If you look upwards beyond the modern shop fronts you can still see many of those older facades. Some of them have now been carefully restored to give an idea of how they may have looked in their hey day.