Moel Famau

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Moel Famau
Denbighshire, Flintshire
The Jubilee Tower at the summit of Moel Famau.
Range: Clwydian Hills
Summit: 1,817 feet SJ160626
53°9’14"N, 3°15’27"W

Moel Famau stands on the border of Flintshire and Denbighshire; the highest hill within the Clwydian Range and Flintshire's county top, its highest point.

The hill has been classed as an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" since 1985 and its gives its name too to the Moel Famau country park. Moel Famau is surrounded by several well-preserved Iron-Age hill forts.

The name of the hill is Welsh, and means "Mothers' Hill".

A northern part of the Offa's Dyke footpath, one of Britain's most popular National Trails, crosses the summit of Moel Famau and the Jubilee Tower.

Country Park

The park, which covers an area over 2,000 acres, 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, Stonechat and Curlew.

The Forestry Commission's "Forestry Enterprise" manages the neighbouring forest as a sustainable conifer plantation for forestry and tourism.


Path from Bwlch Penbarras towards the summit

Numerous well-maintained trails of varying difficulty can be used to reach the summit. Two of the most popular, easiest paths start from the southern car parks within Bwlch Penbarras between Moel Famau and Foel Fenlli about a mile and a half 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.

The summit of Moel Famau affords a fine view over several counties, to Flintshire, Denbighshire, Cheshire and Lancashire. 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.

Jubilee Tower

The Jubilee Tower was built to commemorate the golden jubilee of King George III in 1810 and 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.

In October 2010, a celebration was observed by local communities, in both Flintshire and Denbighshire, to mark the 200th anniversary of the laying of the Jubilee Tower's foundation stone. An artistic light and laser installation by a local artist was commissioned by the local authorities to illuminate the tower.

Outside links