A short film about an ancient Flintshire building has finally been released after weeks of filming, months of production, and resarching hundreds of years of local history.

The Hertiage Lottery Fund, supported by Flintshire Council, and Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, joined forces to celebrate the history of Flint’s Old Court House, and its new café in the summer of 2016.

Last week the final production of the film was released to the world via social media and YouTube, and has been a massive boost for the café and the cultural associations involved.

The film has had a huge response on social media with 1,000 Facebook views, and reached 3,515 users in just one week.

Junior pupils from the nearby Ysgol Gwynedd have played a big part in the plot and interpretation of the film after visiting the Court House and taking part in mock trials.

Through drawing a timeline of the building and working with drama specialist Polly Snape, the school went created an evocative film about Dorothy Griffiths, from Llanasa, who was trialed for witchcraft in 1656.

Judith Hughes, teacher of years five and six at Ysgol Gwynedd, said: “The children had a lot of say in the film after researching cases and trials, and they got the most out of this one [Dorothy’s.] They enjoyed it and learnt a lot about the history of the Court House which can’t be found on the internet.

“They helped with the script and costumes, digging out any old stuff they could find to use.”

Dorothy’s story involves a mariner, William Griffith, who said that he had been walking at night to his ship at the Point of Ayr when Dorothy came towards him “with many lanterns lighted about her” and that the marsh was covered with fire and light before the lights surrounding the woman led him to Thomas Rogers’s alehouse.

Dorothy was then trialed for witchcraft but after a tenous process, it was later found she survived.

Narrating over the film, the children say in chorus that: “It really is a striking feature of the case that so many of the Llanasa parishioners turned up to the court to testify on her behalf, especially so many influential men.”

Lorna Jenner, a local history consultant said: “I love the film, and I’m sharing it all over social media. I’m pleased to see it’s had, and will continue to have, the hits online it deserves.

“This is a great way for young people to get involved in local history and if any other schools want to get involved, we’d love to talk to them, if they would like to contact me at lorna.jenner@btinternet.com.”

Lyn Patel, head of residential commercial services for Clwyd Alyn Housing and association manager of the Old Court House Café and Heritage Hub said: “The Heritage Lottery Funding and support from Flintshire County Council has made a huge difference in helping to make the building a real centre for living history, and the local community has really embraced the opportunity to be involved.”

Paul Seymour, corporate director resident services for the Pennaf Housing Group which includes Clwyd Alyn Housing Association said: “The drama initiative with Ysgol Gwynedd pupils has really brought the history of the Old Court House to life and now, thanks to digital technology that history is being shared around the world.”

The film was produced by Graham Cooper of Follow Films, and versions of the film can be viewed on YouTube via the English link, www.youtube.com/watch?
v=c7SznN5Aqts and Welsh link, www.youtube.com/