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Bodfari, Flintshire

Location of an important iron forge; Burgums lived here during the 1820's.

BODFARI, BODFARY, or Bodvari, a village in St. Asaph district, Flint; and a parish partly in that district and county, and partly in Ruthin district, Denbigh. The village stands near the confluence of the rivers Clwyd and Wheeler, two and three quarter miles east of Trefnant railway station, and four miles north-east of Denbigh; and it has a post office under Rhyl, and is a good fishing-station. It is supposed to be the Roman Varis; and has yielded numerous Roman coins, urns, and other relics.
(John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72).

St. Stephen's church has a history which pre-dates the Norman conquest and was extensively rebuilt in 1865.

The construction of the huge Vale Royal furnace, in Cheshire, by Thomas Hall in 1696 was highly significant for iron production in north-west England. Vale Royal smelted haematite ores, producing tough pig iron, some of which was directed to his forge at Bodfari, in Flintshire, to supply industry in North Wales. Thomas's younger brother Edward (1664-1750) invested 10,251 pounds in the Cheshire works. In 1706 he took responsibility for Vale Royal furnace and Bodfari forge. Edward's eldest son was Thomas (1702-1748), and he also mentioned an interest in Bodfari Forge. The Mold & Denbigh Junction Railway operated between 1869-1968, with a station and sidings at Bodfari and was still operating for the Partington Steel & Iron Company at Bodfari in 1924. Water power provided by the Afon Chwiler had been harnessed during the 18th and 19th centuries, and perhaps earlier to drive the clover mill (for extracting clover seed) and the corn mill at Geinas, both fed by mill races drawn from the stream. Water power also provided the forge at Bodfari and possibly farm machinery at Pontryffydd Hall Farm, where leats are still visible.

Henry and Mary Burgum had two children born at Bodfari; Joseph (1822) and Elizabeth (1824). Henry was a Hammerman and would certainly have been working at the Forge.

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