The village was once the seat of the diocesan church of Saint Asaph (Llanasaph) dating back to the 13th century. First indications were of a church here around 600 A.D. It now consists of approximately 60 properties including the current church (circa: 15th century), a coach house (circa 1636, now a residential dwelling), a public house (The Red Lion (circa 1600)), converted barns, granary, and even our very own castle (Gyrn Castle, circa 1850).
It nestles in the dip of a carboniferous limestone outcrop (elevation 400 feet), 1 mile south of the coast. At the northern edge of this outcrop, about a mile west of the village and on a crystal clear day, the view affords a breathtaking panorama of the Snowdonia National Park, The Vale of Clwyd, The Isle of Man and even Ireland!
The village of Llanasa is located near the northern end of the Offa's Dyke which routes south for 177 miles to Chepstow. It lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has been designated a Conservation Area.
"...By the year 1281 the relics of St Asaph had been removed from Llanasa and were enshrined in the newly-built cathedral...". [by The Venerable T.W. Pritchard, Archdeacon of Montgomery]
"...the beautiful village of Llanasa is situated in a pleasant valley at the northern extremity of the county on the south western shore of the estuary of the river Dee near its efflux with the Irish sea...in this neighbourhood are several genteel residences..."
[From "A Visitors Guide to Rhyl and its Vicinity..." D Lloyd Lewis, 1852]
"...Llanasa is one of the ancient parishes of Flintshire. it originally comprised the townships of Gronant, Gwespyr, Kelston, Golden Grove, Picston, Trewaelod, Axtyn and Trelogan. A portion of Gronant was lost to the new parish of Prestatyn in 1860...[County Hall parish records 1865].
"...My Lords, Gentlemen, Yeomen and Farmers, I hereby give notice of my intention to set up practice as a Veterinary Surgeon at Glan Aber, Llanasa, in the County of Flint..."
[Signed: William Cartwright, and dated April 1869.]
Parish records show that the following lived at Bowen's Cottages, Trelogan hill in 1881:
Evan Evans (lead miner) wife Sarah, sons John (engine driver) and Job (agricultural labourer), daughter Catherine (agricultural servant) and Sarah Ellen (scholar). Next door: Thomas Jones (lead miner), wife Mary, sons Alexander (shoemaker) and Charles (labourer). Next door: Cornelius Griffiths (tailor) wife Anne and sons Samuel, Richard and John (scholars), grandson Edward and a lodger on a pension, Elisabeth Humphreys.
The vicar of Llanasa was J P Morgan of Caernarfon...
Llanasa is about as cute as British villages get. A well-tended, tiny village green with the requisite war memorial is surrounded by a church, pub and charming houses. And completely off the tourist track, so there’s rarely anyone beyond the locals here.
Overlooking the green from a slight rise is the Red Lion. This is, coincidentally, the most common pub name in Britain. The pub and its locals gave us one of the fondest memories of our trip.
It was the first English game of the 2002 World Cup and, because the Far Eastern location pushed game times into the morning in this time zone, the British government had taken the unprecedented step of allowing pubs to open out of regular hours. We felt the need to take advantage of the unusual opportunity. Not just to have a legal drink before noon, but in order to be part of the communal event. Significant sporting events require crowds!
Of course, we weren’t sure if we’d find a crowd...Wales is a different country, after all. Would they cheer on the English team? Or, like the Scots, would they wear the colors of the team playing England to make a contentious point? We needn’t have worried. Llanasa is so close to the border that it’s practically suburban Liverpool, and a healthy percentage of the crowd considered English superstar Michael Owen a local boy.
The natives were finishing up a massive breakfast as we walked in. We’d just eaten at our B and B, so didn’t partake, but from the look of the food and the satisfied faces I’d vouch for the Red Lion’s food. The pub also has a dining room which steadily filled with a local Sunday lunch crowd as the day went on.
People weren’t sure what to make of us at first. We suspected we were the only people in the pub who lived more than a mile away! We were clearly identified by our accents as American, a country renown world over for not playing or enjoying what the rest of the world knows as football (and we call soccer). We were also three women; not the typical fan base, although the looks of players like Owen and David Beckham have done a lot to improve our fan numbers!
American tourists visiting N Wales in 2002.
GRUFFYDD FYCHAN, father of OWAIN GLYNDWR.
Lies within the church vestry. It bears the lion rampant on a shield with a sword underlying the shield. The stone is unusual because it shows the sword gripped by a hand in a resting posation (as opposed to a fighting position) signifying the end of the battle of life. The shield is inscribed around the edges with Lambardic capitals and is typical of the 14th century masons decorative work.
The inscription reads: HIC LACET GRVFVD VACHAN - here lies Gruffydd Fychan (or Vaughan) Grufydd Fychan was the father of the legendary Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr. This slab according to records was originally in the centre of the south aisle and it would appear that Grufydd Fychan was buried somewhere in this church sometime between 1350 and 1370.