West Coast Pilot 1870

Excerpts from this Pilot. Fractions have been changed to decimals.
Bearings are Magnetic for 1869 with variation 22° 28'.
Placename spellings and compass bearings have been retained.

Lighthouses and Lightships, Sand Banks, Sailing Directions, Upper Dee, Tides, Rhyl etc

River Dee

The river Dee flows from the lake of Bala, in Merionethshire; this mountain lake discharges its waters in a considerable stream at its north-east corner, and is soon after joined from the north by the Tryweryn and the Alwen, near the town of Corwen, 15.75 miles from the lake; the river then takes an easterly course through Denbighshire by the vale of Llangollen, and from Trevor by numerous windings, first towards the south-east, then northward, for the city of Chester, which it skirts along the southern side. Soon afterwards, entering an artificial cut, the Dee discharges into a broad estuary at St. Mark's, 8.75 miles below the city, 14.5 miles from Alford, 34.5 miles from Bangor in a detached portion of Flint, and 84 miles from its outlet from the lake; besides the tributaries mentioned, the principals are the Ceriog from the south-west, and the Alyn from the north-west. The estuary of the Dee is about 12 miles in length from the artificial cut near Connah's quay, St. Marks, to its outlet between Air point the north-east corner of Flint, and Helbre point the north-west corner of Cheshire, and 4.5 miles across.

Air Point and Lighthouse

Close to the high-water limit at Air point, which is low, stands the light-tower, 65 feet high; it has a red top, and is painted with alternate red and white bands to its base. The light is a fixed one, 53 feet above high water, and is visible 9 miles in clear weather, distinguished as follows:-From between the bearings of E. 3/4 S. to S.E. it shows white, between S.E. and W. by N. 1/4 N. it is red, and thence to N. by W. it is again white. A bell is sounded in foggy weather.

Helbre Islands

Helbre point, on the opposite side of the estuary of the Dee, is East 4.5 miles from Air point. One mile off the former are the three Helbre islands, which partially bound the entrance on that side; at low water they appear as a ridge of red sand-stone nearly two miles in length, and having a S. by E. direction, or converging gradually towards the Cheshire shore. The outermost island is a quarter of a mile long, very narrow, and presents a perpendicular rocky face 40 feet in height. On it is a telegraph station and a white dwelling-house, and at the north end is a life-boat house. The Trinity Corporation of London have their buoy establishment for the Dee on this island. The middle islet is of the same character, and about half the size of the outer one, and the southeastern, which is only 30 yards in extent, is called the Eye. Low-water rocks, having 13 feet close to them, extend a cable's length from the north end of the islands.

There are two marks intended for leading through Helbre swatchway; the outer one, called the Beach mark, is a quarter of a mile to the eastward of the island, and the other is upon the Eye.

From Air point on the one side, and Helbre point on the other, the shores of the estuary of the Dee gradually converge and reduce its width from 4.5 miles at the outlet to 1.5 miles at the point, where the embankments of the Dee begin.


Nearly the whole of the wide estuary of the Dee is occupied by sand and flats which dry at low water, and the approaches to the same being also similarly encumbered, constitute an intricate and dangerous navigation. The following is a brief and general description of the various sands, &c, beginning with the most western, which are however constantly changing.

Chester Flats

The great extent of shallow and sandy patches which commence from near Rhos point to 4 miles in the offing abreast the town of Rhyl, are known by the general name of the Chester flats. They are composed of sand mixed with fine gravel and shells; several ridges occur abreast the town of Llandulas, the outermost of which, with 6 feet upon it, is 1.5 miles off shore. The next group, named the Rhyl flats, off the town of Rhyl, has several patches of 6 feet at 2 miles off shore, and one patch of that depth lies 1.5 miles farther out, at what may be termed the inner end of the Constable bank. The whole of these ridges are based upon a flat with not more than 2 or 3 fathoms upon it at low water.

Middle patch and Buoys
The Middle patch, known also as the Earwig, is a long narrow ridge partially separated from, and bounding the Chester flats to the north-eastward. The north-west extremity or tail of the Middle patch is marked by black buoy with staff and St. Andrew's cross, named the N.W. Patch buoy. From it the town of Rhyl bears South, rather more than 3.5 miles ; the Constable buoy, W. by N. 3/4 N., 6.5 miles; West Hoyle buoy E. by. N. 1/4 N, 4 miles; and Chester Bar, buoy, East 2.5 miles.

Vessels bound to the Clwyd must leave this buoy to the eastward, but should it be out of its place, the tail of the Middle patch will be cleared by keeping the cathedral of St. Asaph in line with Rhuddlan church, South.

From the N.W. Patch buoy the sand extends S.E. 1/4 E. (rather convexed to the eastward) for 5 miles, its inner extremity being separated by a shallow swatchway, from the low-water strand a mile to the eastward of the life-boat house already noted. The sand for 1.5 miles from the buoy has less than 2 fathoms on it at low water, the next 1.5 miles has less than one fathom, while for the last 2 miles it is dry. The bank is in general only a quarter of a mile broad, except about the middle, where an outlying patch on its east side increases the breadth to three-quarters of a mile ; this, the north-east part of the sand, is marked by a black can buoy bearing E. by S. 1/4 S. 2.75 miles from the N.W. Patch buoy, and threequarters of a mile S. by E. 3/4 E. from the black bar buoy. The inner extremity is also marked by a can buoy, with black and white horizontal stripes which lies in 3 feet W.N.W. 2.75 miles from the light-tower on Air point; S.S.E. 1/2 E. 2.5 miles from the Middle patch buoy, and one third of a mile outside the low-water margin. The Middle patch dries at low water the same distance outside the buoy.

Not more than 6 feet at low water can be depended upon in the narrow passage between the Middle patch and the main.

West Hoyle Bank

This is one of the most extensive of the sands in the neighbourhood of the Dee and Mersey, and nearly the whole of it is uncovered at low water, drying up towards its eastern end 22 feet. Its western extremity, named the West Hoyle Spit, is marked by a black and white chequered can, named Bar buoy, which lies in 12 feet with the following bearings:-The Constable buoy, W. by N. 1/2 N. nearly, 9 miles ; West Hoyle buoy, N.E. by E. 1.75 miles; the N.W. lightship, N.E. by. E. 1/4 E. 8 miles; Air point lighthouse, S.E. 5.75 miles; and the South-west, and South Hoyle buoys, S.E. 1/4 E. 2.25 and 4 miles respectively. Chester bar, which this buoy marks on the eastern side, is a flat with 9 to 12 feet upon it, connecting the West Hoyle spit with the Middle patch.

Blaney patch,
the outer dry portion of the West Hoyle, is a mile to the eastward of the Bar buoy; and thence the steep inner edge of the sand extends S.E. 3.25 miles, and in a direction nearly parallel to the Middle patch to within 1.5 miles of Air point lighthouse, when, conforming to the contour of the foreshore of the point, it has a S.E. by E. direction for 4 miles to the north point of Welshman's gut. From the Bar buoy the shallows extend in a north-east direction for 1.5 miles, and from thence E 3/4 S.

The north face of the dry sands of the West Hoyle trends S.E. by 1/2 E. for 7.5 miles to its north-east angle when it turns southerly and south-westerly about 2.5 miles to the south-east point or Welshman's gut, forming also the western boundary of Helbre swatchway or eastern channel into the Dee. The north-west extreme of the shoal is marked by a red conical buoy with staff and ball, upon the following bearings:-Great Ormes head lighthouse, a little south of the Constable buoy W. 1/2 N. northerly, 16 miles; N.W. lightship, N.E. by. E. 1/4 E. 6 miles; the Horse channel Bell beacon East, 5.75 miles; and the Helbre Swatch Pillar buoy, E. by S. 5.5 miles. The eastern boundary of the West Hoyle is guarded by three buoys marked, HE 1, 2, and 3, the latter being at the steep eastern elbow of the bank.

Nearly the whole of this extensive sand, embracing a surface of about 14 square miles, is uncovered at low water, and many portions of it are then from 15 to 20 feet in height; its surface is irregular and varied by several swatchways, the most decided of which is Pipeclay gut, extending across the sand a little below the point of Air lighthouse.

Mostyn bank
This comprises the whole of the southern flat foreshore rather more than a mile broad, from Air point to 5 miles above it, when it becomes broader and takes the name of Bagillt bank. The edge of this flat is marked at intervals by buoys, the first one a black bell buoy, with staff and globe, being abreast Air point, above half a mile N.E. by N. from the lighthouse; from it Earwig buoy bears W. by N. nearly 3 miles; the South Hoyle N.W. by W. 1.75 miles; and Salisbury Middle buoy S.E. by E. 1.5 miles.

Great Salisbury bank, or Middle,
from a short distance within Air point, extends parallel to Mostyn bank for 2.5 miles, then bends more easterly, and increases in breadth till its northern edge approaches within half a mile of the Cheshire shore, when it again turns southerly, and unites with Bagillt bank.

The lower or northern extremity of Great Salisbury bank is marked by a conical buoy with black and white horizontal stripes buoy with staff and triangle named Salisbury Middle buoy, lying E. by S. 1.5 miles from Air point lighthouse; its south-western side is then marked at intervals by buoys, including a black can buoy at the south end of the Salisbury Middle, all which indicate the north-east side of the continuous channel named Mostyn deep, the Bug swatch, &c.; and its north-east side also marked by buoys, defines the south-west side of Dalpool and Flint deeps. Upon the Lamp rock above Flint there is a perch, and at the extreme end, and half a mile within the embankment of the artificial channel are two others.

Mostyn deep comprises the lower three miles of the channel between Mostyn bank and Great Salisbury bank, that portion of it just within Air point and abreast the Salisbury buoy being called the Wild road. Mostyn deep, being throughout surrounded by high drying banks, affords excellent shelter for vessels of any draft; the ground also is good, the average depth about 6 fathoms, and it has a working breadth of fully one-third of a mile.

Salisbury bank,
broken up by several swatchways, lies on the north-east side of, and nearly parallel to the Great Salisbury, from which it is separated by Salisbury gut; this bank nearly joins the south-east portion of West Hoyle bank, a narrow swatchway only, named Welshman gut, in which is a buoy, striped red and white horizontally, passing between them. The south-east ends of Salisbury bank are marked by two red can buoys named Salisbury bar, and East bar, and between the former and the Welshman's gut buoy there is a chequered red and white buoy "Seldom Seen," lying at the west edge of the Salisbury bank.

Lime wharf,
the broad flat on which Helbre islets are based, projects from off the Cheshire, shore for a distance of 3 miles within Helbre point; several buoys are placed along its south-west edge, and mark the northeast side of Dalpool and Flint deeps.

Dalpool deep, a secure roadstead with 3 to 3.5 fathoms over stiff clay, is formed between the south-west side of the Lime wharf and Salisbury bank. The channel towards the roadstead is very narrow and winding, and the deep itself has undergone and is still subject to great changes.

It would be of no practical advantage to add to the foregoing brief description of the banks in the Dee, for they are constantly subject to change, and any precise description of them would therefore only hold good for a very short period, and no stranger should attempt the navigation, the pilots alone being aware of the true position of the buoys with reference to the danger.


Chester and Parkgate pilots are seldom to be procured at Chester bar, but the Liverpool pilots are empowered to take charge of any vessels as far as Wild road (the outer part of Mostyn deep) and Dalpool (pronounced Dawpool), where, as well as at Helbre island, Chester pilots may be obtained for the upper navigation. Pilots and steam tugs may be procured off the point of Air towards and during spring tides.


As not more than 12 feet can be reckoned upon over Chester bar, vessels must wait until the water has flowed, especially if there be any sea, in which case a long line of breakers on the West Hoyle spit, and broken water upon the ridge of the Middle patch, give an unmistakeable distinctness to the passage between them.

Welsh channel by Day
The passage across Chester bar, and in between the Middle patch and West Hoyle bank towards Air point, is called the Welsh Channel, in which, though the breadth is good, the depths are irregular. Within the bar, and to the south-west Hoyle buoy, there are from 3 to 4.5 fathoms, but between that buoy and across to the Earwig is a second bar of the same depths as upon the outer one.

Vessels from the northward entering the Dee by the Welsh channel will be to the northward of West Hoyle bank and the shallows from it, while Crosby lighthouse is kept a quarter point open to the northward of the Horse channel bell beacon, bearing East, or at night, when within the red limit of the Great Ormes head light, or not to the northward of a W. 1/2 N. bearing of that light.

To clear West Hoyle spit, should the buoy be out of place, keep Moel Fammau, a remarkable peak 12 miles inland, in line with the western slope of Moel Hira hill, S. 3/4 W. (See view K on chart of Liverpool bay.)

The bar buoy being in place, pass to the westward of it, and to the eastward of the black and white buoy on the Middle patch, and bring the lighthouse on Air point to bear S.E., guarding carefully against being affected by the set of the tide, and keep it on this bearing until abreast of the South Hoyle buoy, then altering course to about E.S.E. Running in through the Welsh channel, the Middle patch will be avoided so long as the life-boat house is kept open its own breadth to the southward of Talacre hall, S.S.E. 1/2 E.

On arriving abreast of the bell buoy off the lighthouse, steer S.E. for about a mile, and another black buoy, named South-east Air, will be closed; then keep about S. by E. 1/2 E., passing to the westward of the buoy on Salisbury Middle, and into Wild road, where anchorage may be taken in 6 or 7 fathoms, with the light-tower bearing N.W. The flat within Wild road is a favourite resort of small vessels in westerly gales, as they obtain the shelter of Air point, but they lie aground after 2 hours' ebb. If intending to proceed farther up Mostyn deep, pass through Wild road, and then keep more easterly, leaving the buoys of the Salisbury on the port hand. The best anchorage in the deep will be found off Mostyn channel or gutter, in 4 fathoms at low water, and here a vessel may ride in almost any weather.

Welsh Channel by Night,
should only be used with a leading wind, or by skillful pilots after half flood, who feel their way by the lead along the Middle patch, and avoid the steep edge of the West Hoyle by keeping on the eastern limit of the white light of the point of Air upon a south-east bearing. It would be highly imprudent for a stranger voluntarily to attempt the passage by night without a pilot, but if compelled to do so, he should endeavour to keep off until the water has well flowed, and then, bringing the point of Air light to bear S.E., follow the under-mentioned directions. Depths of 6 and 5 fathoms will be found 2 miles outside the bar, and the least water on the bar will be 2 fathoms at low tide. Keep within the southern edge of the red light of the Great Ormes head, or do not lose sight of the white light from Crosby tower, until Air light be brought on the south-east bearing, upon which run, passing westward of the bar buoy, half a mile beyond which the water deepens to above 4 fathoms, and again shoals over the second bar which begins at Southwest Hoyle buoy striped black and white vertically. When abreast of the third, or about 1.5 miles from the Air light, steer about E. by S. 1/2 S., entering the red light, and afterwards rounding the Bell and S.E. buoys at a mile off the shore. When the light bears W. 1/2 N., the vessel will be abreast of the latter and Salisbury perch buoy, and again entering a white light, alter course to S. by E. for either one or 2 miles, anchoring either in the Wild road or off Mostyn deep, as directed in a previous paragraph, page 121.

In-shore passage
The passage between the Middle patch and the main is often used in daylight in preference to crossing Chester bar, especially if the wind be southerly and scant; it has also the advantage of a slacker tide. Coasters drawing from 10 to 12 feet, generally take this route after quarter flood.

In entering the Dee by this passage pass to the westward of the N.W. Patch buoy (black with staff and St. Andrew's cross), and steer S.E. until Moreton mill in Cheshire, has been brought in line with the inner end of Helbre island E. by S.; then alter course quickly to keep them so, and this mark will lead just to the southward of the Earwig buoy, and clear of all dangers, to abreast the bell buoy off Air point, when the vessel must proceed as before directed.

In using the inner passage a vessel will pass clear to the south-westward of the Earwig, by keeping Ireby hill to the southward of the Point of Air lighthouse, S.E. by E. 3/4 E.

In the above-mentioned passage the flood stream makes direct up from low water to half flood, and the ebb sets through it from half ebb to low water.

Helbre Swatch and buoys
Helbre swatch has West Hoyle bank to the westward, and East Hoyle bank and Helbre islets to the eastward. The tide streams in it are regular, but as the only guiding object at night is the back bearing of the light-vessel, and the margins of the passage are steep and the depth considerable, it can only be considered a daylight and clear weather passage. It is nearly 4 miles long to Helbre islets, and has a general width of one-third of a mile.

The entrance of Helbre swatch is crossed by a bar, with from 7 to 12 feet upon it, connecting spits from the West and East Hoyle, but as the passages within cannot be entered by a vessel of 12 feet draught until two hours' flood the bar is not a great impediment. It is well marked by a pillar buoy painted with red, white, and black vertical stripes, in the fairway over the bar, bearing S. 1/2 E. 4 miles from the N.W. lightvessel; and besides the three red buoys along the eastern edge of the West Hoyle already mentioned, there are four black nuns bounding the western steep of the East Hoyle up to Lime wharf, abreast of Helbre island; they are marked HE, and numbered from the outside.

Having closed the N.W. light-ship, and the tide flowed sufficiently, the Eye beacon which is 70 feet high, and the Beach mark, each with diamond shaped heads, will be perceived. Proceed with the former open west of the latter, bearing S. by E. 1/4 E.; this will lead up to and three-quarters of a mile beyond the Pillar buoy, and in the deepest water over the bar. It is always desirable to keep well over to the westward to avoid the in-draft of the Horse channel. When within the bar the buoys will be the best guide; but the following courses will be useful, especially should any have drifted from their position. Three-quarters of a mile from the Pillar buoy, or 4.75 miles from the N.W. light-ship, the course is Hoylake church S.E. 3/4 S. for 1.5 miles. The Eye beacon should then be brought a sail's breadth open east of the Beach mark, and run on for 1.75 miles, rounding out and passing 2 cables outside Helbre island. You can then either anchor with the Grange hill and Eye beacons on a line, and Helbre telegraph N.E. 1/4 N., in 7 or 8 fathoms, or, if in charge of a good pilot, proceed upwards to your destination. The Welshman's gut is entered with the last-named anchoring marks, and with the Hoylake hotel on with the north end of the Little Helbre, E. 1/2 N.; and from the buoy in the gut, the Salisbury swatch and the black and white chequered buoy at its south-west end bears S.W. by S., distant 2 miles; also the perch buoy of the Salisbury middle W. 3/4 S., 1.25 miles, which latter must be rounded to the northward if for Wild road, formerly described.

Salisbury gut, Dalpool deep, Parkgate deep, &c, subject as they are to frequent changes, cannot be safely used without a pilot, and it is therefore unnecessary to furnish directions for them.

Upper Navigation

Above the line of Heswell, and Flint on opposite shores the estuary is nearly wholly occupied by sands, and the navigation is most difficult. Vessels are constantly taking the ground, though in pilot charge, and from being thus impeded, they seldom reach Chester in one tide. The shallow and shifting channels between Parkgate and Flint are fordable from half ebb to half flood, but many persons have lost their lives in crossing, by the tide overtaking them. No description of such a navigation will therefore be attempted, but a brief notice will be given of the various shipping places on the banks of the Dee between the sea and Chester.

Mostyn quay,
2.75 miles within Air point.-Vessels drawing 12 feet reach it at springs, and those of 6 feet at neaps. Large quantities of coal are shipped from the pits there. There is an open dock, affording considerable accommodation alongside the quays, which is connected with the navigation of the Dee by a straight cut across the foreshore, having a black warping buoy a little south of the entrance. The Chester and Holyhead railway passes close to the head of the harbour, and has a station there.

Mostyn is a creek of Chester, and the Custom House returns for 1868 were:-
No. of Coasters inwards, 27 = 10,791 tons; outwards, 581 = 32,526 tons;
Foreign in, 2 of 1,311 tons;
and 179 vessels, of 8,950 tons, for which no clearances were required.

At Greenfield,
3 miles above Mostyn, vessels of 11 feet draught may be admitted at springs, and those of 5 feet at neaps.

At Bagillt, or Dee bank,
2 miles higher up, are large smelting works, which employ many small vessels in the conveyance of lead, copper, and other ores. Vessels of 8.5 feet draught reach it on springs, and those of 2.5 feet at neaps. Formerly a passage boat crossed over every day from Parkgate to Bagillt at high water, and returned on the ebb.

although the county town, has but little trade; it is chiefly remarkable for the ruins of its old castle, standing close to the shore. Vessels of from 100 to 200 tons are here built, as they are also at Connah's quay, and such of 9 feet draught reach Flint at springs, and those drawing 3 feet at neaps. A market boat leaves Flint every day with the first of the flood for Chester, returning again on the following ebb.

Flint is also a creek of Chester, and the Custom House returns, including Connah's quay, were, in 1868:-
Coasters inwards, 465 = 25,244 tons; outwards, 537=28,794 tons;
Foreign, inwards, 12 = 1,837 tons; outwards, 3 = 408 tons.;
besides 51 vessels of 2,687 tons not requiring clearances.
The population in 1861 amounted to 3,482.

Connah's quay
is 7.5 miles below Chester, and nearly at the point where the estuary has been abruptly contracted by artificial embankments. Here vessels lie afloat at low water, and timber ships discharge their cargoes, which are rafted up to Chester. Vessels drawing 11.5 feet may reach it at springs, and those of 5.5 feet at neaps.

Connah's quay is connected by a railway with Wrexham, besides being, with other places named, on the Chester and Holyhead line.

At Queensferry,
2 miles above Connah's quay, there are quays, and a considerable trade in coals, slate, tiles, bricks, and patent fuel. At low water there is not more than 2 or 3 feet, but vessels of 10.5, and 5 feet draught reach it at springs and neaps respectively. Besides this ferry there is one other across the river, a mile below Saltney, both of which are free.

At Saltney,
the property of the Great Western Railway Company, one mile below Chester, there are good quays, and a brisk trade is carried on in vessels of from 100 to 150 tons burden, chiefly in coals, iron ore, china clay, &c. A branch of the Great Western railway connects it with Shrewsbury and the interior, and another branch, from near it, with Mold and Denbigh.

Bore of the Dee: Caution

It is necessary for vessels navigating the Dee to guard against the tidal bore to which the river is subject; it begins abreast Rockfield, a mile below Connah's quay; attains its greatest height of 2 feet, at Sandy croft, and moves at the rate of 8 miles per hour. The first of the flood is generally the strongest, and vessels lying alongside quays should look well to their fastenings, for much damage at times takes place from neglecting this precaution. The bore is not dangerous to boats if they are in the middle of the river, but upon the shore they are liable to be swamped or stove.

Two steam-tugs are stationed in the Dee, and have plenty of employment at spring tides; the usual practice is to tow several vessels at the same time, slipping and leaving behind any that take the ground; this frequently occurs, and vessels are often injuriously strained in consequence. The charge for strangers between Wild road and Saltney is 20 shillings.

As the river is only navigable for vessels of 9 feet draught at springs, it is the cause of much delay. Vessels of a larger class usually go down light to Mostyn deep, and there take in their cargoes, which are conveyed in flats from Chester and the other shipping places.


On full and change it is high water at Air point at l0h. 44m.; equinoctial springs rise 33 feet, ordinary springs 25 feet, and neaps 13 feet. The rate of the stream in Wild road does not exceed 3 knots per hour.

At Connah's quay the duration of the flood is for 2h. 5m., and that of the ebb 10h. 23m.; the rise of average springs is 14 feet, and of neaps 6.5 feet.

At Saltney, and Cranes wharf Chester, it is high water 40 minutes later than at Liverpool, a high spring rising 12 feet, an ordinary one 10, and the duration of the flood is about two hours, and of the ebb 10; this shortness of the flood is caused by a weir across the river at the city, over which the tide only rises upon springs.


a city and county of itself, is 179 miles by railway from London and 21 from Liverpool; it lies upon a rocky elevation upon the north bank of the Dee, by which river it is nearly half surrounded. There are many handsome erections within the city, such as the cathedral, exchange, and castle, the latter a splendid structure, built upon the site of the ancient castle, nearly all of which has been taken down. The river is crossed by two road and one railway bridge; the new road or central bridge being a remarkable one, as having but one arch of 200 feet span. Chester had formerly a far larger and more important trade than that of late years. Now only vessels of small burden, carrying from 100 to 150 tons, go up to the quay at Saltney, and to Crane wharf and Cheese stage at the city below the railway bridge, the latter ladened chiefly with slates and iron ore. At the wharf, vessels will lie afloat at low water if drawing no more than 7 feet, but at the stage with a draught of 12 feet. The imports are chiefly of a general character, and the exports cheese, copper plate, and cast-iron; there are some manufactories of tobacco, shot, and leather. A few vessels are built of from 100 to 200 tons, as also at Saltney. The Custom House returns for 1868, which include the shipping places below the city, were as follows:-
The number of sailing vessels belonging to the port 130, of 8,036 tons;
of steamers, 10, 2,127 tons;
Coasters, inwards, 724, 41,752 tons; outwards, 206, 11,433 tons;
Foreign, in, 1, 120 tons; out,3, 243 tons;
besides 158 vessels of 9,480 tons, which did not require clearances.
The population in 1861 amounted to 31,110.

Coast west of Dee Mouth

From the cottage of Pen-y-Sarn, at the west end of Rhuddlan marsh, the coast, for 3 miles to the mouth of the river Clwyd, is flat, with a foreshore composed of shingle and sand, half a mile wide at low water.

River Clwyd, and Rhyl

A little west of the town of Rhyl is the outlet of the united rivers of the Elwy and Clwyd; the Elwy is swelled by many streams falling from the high land about Moel Saesiog, elevated 1,533 feet, having a general course from the south-west; and the Clwyd winds for about 21 miles through the beautiful vale of that name, to the junction between St. Asaph and Rhyddlan, at about 5 miles from the outlet; by some the stream below the junction retains the name of the Clwyd, but by other authorities it is called the Elwy.

The entrance to the river from the sea is straight for about half a mile, then curves in S.W. for between the high-water points. There is one perch at the turn upon the west side, and two for leading up the entrance reach, upon the east side, the inner one being at the high water mark.

A small quay immediately within the western point admits vessels of 13 feet draught alongside it at high water; and two upon the eastern side, having a similar depth, are chiefly used by passenger steamers. The railway crosses the river a little above the pier, so that no vessel can pass up to Rhuddlan, a distance of about 2 miles, unless with lowered masts; below the railway bridge is the Foryd toll sliding bridge upon rollers.


It is high water at the entrance of the river Clwyd on full and change at 10h. 37m., and abreast the jetty the rise is 15 feet on equinoctial springs, 13 feet on ordinary springs, and 11 feet at neaps.


A tubular life-boat is stationed upon the west side of the river, and one of the ordinary description at or near Abergele; there are also life belts and lines at the coast-guard station.

The town of Rhyl,

which is resorted to for sea-bathing, stands nearly a mile to the eastward of the Clwyd; its extensive terraces of superior houses, hotels, and other erections making it a prominent object from the sea.

Pier and light

From off the hotel, about the centre of the town, a promenade pier projects out about due north for 705 yards; at the head there is a depth of 16 feet at springs and 10 at neaps; and a white light is shown from it from about half flood to half ebb. The population of Rhuddlan, including Rhyl, was in 1861, 4,397.


The point of Air, at the entrance of the Dee, is E. by S. 7 miles from the river Clwyd, and the whole of the intermediate shore is a low shingle beach, having a breadth of from three-quarters to half a mile, with a margin of fine sand at low water. The objects which principally attract attention are the smelting works of Tal-y-Goch, standing on the abrupt eastern falls to the valley; then Gwaunysgeor height of 680 feet; Voel Nant, of 764 feet, on which is a telegraph; one-third of a mile farther eastward, St. Elmos summer house, elevated 774 feet; and, lastly, on the easterly slope of the same ridge, the mansion of Talacre.


On the shore nearly abreast the latter, and W. 3/4 S. 1.75 miles from Air point, is a life-boat, which is maintained by the Liverpool docks trust.

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