VISITORS to one of the county’s busiest towns could be forgiven for missing one of its most distinctive landmarks.
Bailey Hill in Mold is the site of a former Norman settlement and the historic site is now the focus of a Flintshire Council bid for Heritage Lottery funding to improve it as a visitor destination.
The land, at the top of Mold high street, is currently owned by the local authority who met with Heritage Lottery bosses in November to put forward their case. Members of Mold Town Council are also doing their bit to secure the cash boost which could see the location transformed to a thriving outdoor attraction.
Town councillor Andrea Mearns is spearheading the effort on behalf of town representatives.
She said: “We’re looking for community and business support for funding as the economic position of the council means they can’t provide the funding we need to put up.
“We need a group of people who want to take Bailey Hill forward, people who are passionate and are genuinely interested will hopefully come forward.”
There will be a meeting to create a Friends of Bailey Hill group on Wednesday, February 17 at Mold Town Council offices at 7.30pm.
The bid process began in 2011 after a Sense of Place survey was taken out by rural development agency, Cadwyn Clwyd.
The survey identified what was important to Mold and found Bailey Hill was way up the list.
Cllr Mearns added: “In the surveys, people have said they want this to be somewhere for them to go, an attraction.
“We want to get back to people understanding the heritage.”
Flintshire Council’s head of culture and leisure, Lawrence Rawsthorne, said: “The county council hopes to work with Mold Town Council and other interested groups to make a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve Bailey Hill as a visitor destination.
“The site is a scheduled ancient monument of considerable historic importance and there is potential to develop it as an area to be enjoyed by many people while still respecting its historic status. The Heritage Lottery Fund requires strong community support for the projects which it funds and that will be a crucial element in making the proposed improvements to Bailey Hill a success that can be sustained in the future.”
In 2013, funding was secured to draw up formal plans for the restoration and improvement of the site. Conservation, topographic and arboricultural surveys were also undertaken to assess the state of the land from which the town of Mold was born.
The site was once home to a Norman Castle consisting of an earthern motte (mound) with an inner and outer bailey, built on a natural hill in about 1093.
A disused bowling green occupies the inner bailey and on the northern side of the motte the Gorsedd stone built for the 1923 National Eisteddfod can be seen.
The hill was laid out as a public park in 1920.