52/2012 – Week 18


Jubilee Tower on Moel Famau, North Wales

Moel Famau (English: Mothers Mountain is the highest hill within the Clwydian Range on the border between Denbighshire and Flintshire in North Wales. The hill, which also gives its name to the Moel Famau country park, has been classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1985. It is also surrounded by several well-preserved Iron-Age hill forts.

The park, which covers an area over 8 km², is managed by Denbighshire Countryside Service which is responsible for the heather moorland, dry stone walls and access paths, and provides information and facilities for visitors. The area is home to wildlife such as Red Grouse, European Stonechat and Eurasian Curlew. The Forestry Enterprise manage the neighbouring forest as a sustainable conifer plantation for timber production and tourism.

Numerous well-maintained trails of varying difficulty can be used to reach the summit at 554 m (1,818 ft). Two of the most popular, easiest paths start from the southern car parks within Bwlch Penbarras between Moel Famau and Foel Fenlli about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the summit. The northern route begins from the Iron-Age hill fort at Moel Arthur. A footpath to the top of Moel Famau also begins from the village of Cilcain.

Much of the North West of England and Wales can be seen from the summit of Moel Famau. This includes parts of Cheshire, Merseyside, Denbighshire and Flintshire. On clear days, Snowdonia can be seen to the west, the Irish Sea to the north, and to the East Liverpool, Chester, Winter Hill, and the Blackpool Tower.

On top of the hill sits the Jubilee Tower, which was built to commemorate the golden jubilee of George III in 1810, was designed by Thomas Harrison of Chester. It was designed like an Egyptian obelisk with three tiers. Although the foundation stone was laid in 1810 by George Kenyon, 2nd Baron Kenyon, the tower was never completed due to a lack of funds. In 1862, a major storm brought down the incomplete tower. The remaining upper part of the structure was demolished for safety reasons leaving just the base. Most of the rubble was removed from the site; smaller stonework was reused by local farmers for dry stone walls.

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4 comments

    • From the car park it’s about a 3/4 hour walk, slowly climbing up. The worst part is the last 300 metres which is quite a steep climb. But once you get there it’s well worth it….

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