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was succeeded by David his son, who also died seized thereof. Then Henry III occupied the same and four cantreds in Wales, i.e., those along the Dee to Conway. He made Roger de Mohault (Mont' Alto) his Justice of Chester, and that individual quietly attached the manor of Ewloe to his neighbouring possessions at "Hawithyn" (Hawarden) and Mohaultsdale, to which it had never belonged. He made a park of the Wood of Ewloe, and so held the same manor and park until Llewelyn ap Gruffydd ap Llewelyn (the last Prince of Wales, who was killed at Builth in 1282) recovered the four cantreds from Henry III, and again attached them to the Principality of Wales.
The said Prince Llewelyn ousted Roger de Mohault from the manor of Ewloe A.D. 1256, and built a castle in the corner of the Wood, which he gave to Ithel ap Bleddyn to hold of him as well as the manor. Prince Llewelyn continued seized of the manor of Ewloe until overcome by Edward I. The manor was then of the yearly value of £60, which is equal to about £1,500 of present money.
The dimensions of the Castle of Ewloe, which consisted of a keep, round at one end, of a round tower, and of two courts, are 563 ft. round the outside walls. It is situated in an angle formed by two streams, the banks of which are very steep. The third side is protected by a moat about 33 ft. broad. The keep would defend the pass by one stream; the round tower, the pass along the other.
The keep was probably of three stories; dungeon, 12 ft. 3 in. deep; first floor, 13 ft. high; and a floor above, now gone; over which would be the roof and battlements. I believe the dungeon to have had a wall across it, dividing it into two parts. The entrance to the keep was by a doorway, 10 ft. 9 in. high, opening into the first floor. There was a platform outside it with, mayhap, steps ascending from the inner court. There may have been two doors to the keep, an inner and an outer one; though as there are no indications
by crooks, bolts, or otherwise, of an inner door, it is probable there was only one.
On the right of the door as one enters the keep there is a small doorway, 6 ft. 6 in. high, leading to the staircase. This staircase now consists of fifteen steps leading to the place above the first floor, where there may have been, and probably was, an entrance to a room. Then come four steps more, which take one to the top of the wall as now standing.
The thickness of all the Castle walls is either 7 ft. 3 in. in some parts, or in others 7 ft. 6 in., except the wall dividing the two courts, which seems to have been only some 4 ft. thick. To secure the door there must have been a wooden bar which ran into a hole now some 6 ft. 6 in. deep.
Similar bars, running back into holes 4 ft. deep, secured the windows on the first floor, one of which remains almost perfect, though the other has suffered from time,-assisted by man. The window still existing is 3 ft. 9 in. high by 1 ft. 9 in. It had two upright iron stanchions and five horizontal bars. There were stone seats in each window.
Iron and wood seem to have been plentiful at Ewloe. Mr. Henry Taylor, in his excellent work, Historical Notices of Flint, to which and to himself I am much indebted for information, mentions that one William Faber, when employed at Flint Castle, A.D. 1204, had two pieces of Ewloe iron for the door of the bretasche towards Colshulle, and eighteen pieces of iron of Ewloe for bars to the window in the chapel and room next the chapel. Also that Thomas Carpenter and his fellows, wood-cutters, for cutting 10,000 shingles in Ewloe Wood, for the kitchen and stable of Flint Castle, to be newly covered, had 4s. (equal now to about £2) for every 1,000.
I have forgotten to mention that the size of the first floor room of keep seems to have been 38 ft. by 25 ft. 9 in., a very splendid apartment. Probably most of the windows looked down the dingles; and as openings, if
frequent, would cause weakness, we may thus partly account for the fall of so much of the keep-wall on that side. As early as 1311 we find from the aforesaid inquisition, 4 Edward II, that the Castle was then only "in great part standing". It must, however, have been repaired, as at one time (considerably later, I imagine) a high-pitched roof covered the room over the first floor. This can be seen, as the pitch is still visible.
The round tower has walls 7 ft. 6 in. thick, and a diameter, inside, of 25 ft. 8 in. From the present level of the round tower to the level of the outer court there is a depth of 15 ft., so it is possible there may be a room hidden there.
Of the inhabitants we know that Prince Llewelyn gave the Castle to Ithel ap Bleddyn, to hold for him, as well as the manor. This personage, as far as can be ascertained by date, is Ithel Anwyl ap Bleddyn, who is said to have lived in the Castle, and to have been buried in Northop Church, where, it is added, is his tomb. He was one of the Captains of Teg Eingl, whose duty it was to keep the English off. He bore for his arms, party per pale, gules and or, two lions rampant, adorsed, counterchanged in pale, an armed sword pointing downwards, argent, hilted and pomelled or. He had a son, Bleddyn ap Ithel Anwyl, whose son, Ithel, was living A.D. 1329. One of the three figures in Northop Church may represent Ithel Anwyl; the other, with the inscription, "Hic jacet Ithel Vach ap Bledd: Vach" (here lies Ithel the Little, or Younger, son of Bleddyn the Younger), may be his grandson, who certainly would be a son of Bleddyn the Younger, as his grandfather, Ithel Anwyl, was son of an elder Bleddyn.
We have now brought the history of the manor and Castle down to the time when Edward I seized upon the possessions of the last Celtic Prince of Wales. From official documents I find Edward I dealing with the manor in 1284-5, and it remained with the Crown'
1 Richard II granted it, 12 Aug. 1398, for life, to John de Mont
till Henry IV, 2 Nov. 1399, granted it for life to Sir William Clifford, Knt. 4 Oct. 1411, Sir William Clifford surrendered the above grant and confirmation, but had a re-grant for life from Henry Prince of Wales, the said Sir William to answer for all the value of the said manor above £20.
18 January 1413-14, the King, Henry V, leases to John Helegh or Heley the manor of Ewloe, together with the sea-coal mine there, saving to John de Ewloe, farmer (ie., tenant of the sea-coal mine), and to John ap Goch, farmer of the mill called "Le Castell Mulle", their terms of old granted to them; they paying, however, their rents to the said John de Heleagh,—for ten years at 4 marks, and £20 yearly to Sir William Clifford, who had a grant of the said manor, town, and mine to that value; the said John de Heleagh to rebuild the mill there, called "La Lady Mulle", at his
In 1423 Henry V assigned the manor of Ewloe to his Queen, Katherine of France, as part of her dower. In 1437 the town and lordship are leased to Richard de Whitley, together with the coal mines in the county of Flint, for seven years from the death of Queen Katherine, for £22: 13: 4, as in last lease, and £4 more of increase.
18 Jan. 1444, Henry VI gave certain rights at Ewloe, by letters patent, to Peter Stanley and Margery his wife, to have and to hold to them and the heirs and assigns of the said Margery, by the service of a fourth part of one knight's fee. Margery Stanley was a daughter of Sir John Heighleigh, Knt.; perhaps the same John Helegh to whom, in 1413-14, King Henry V had leased the manor.
Their son, Peter or Pyers Stanley, of Ewloe Castle, was High Sheriff of Merionethshire in 1485, and died
acute, Earl of Salisbury, subject to the yearly payment of 40 marks to William Warde and Thomas Brestwyk, who held the same manor to that value by a grant of 19 June 1395.
about 1521. He married Constance, daughter of Thomas Salisbury (called Hên or Old) of Llyweni. To their son, Pyers Stanley, who was a gentleman of Henry VIII's household, the King, 7 April 1535, granted a lease of Ewloe manor.
For six generations the Stanleys lived at Ewloe Castle; in the seventh generation Anne Stanley, the heiress, married John Mostyn of Coed-On, who was buried at Flint Church, 8th June 1607.
Until 1627 the manor remained with the Crown; but in July 1628 it was the property of Sir John North, Knt., who sold it to Colonel Thomas Davies, who resold it to his nephew, Robert Davies, Esq., of Gwysaney, 20th June 1637, from whom the present owner inherits it. One of the present owner's ancestors married a Stanley of Ewloe Castle.