The Cut, Rhyl
The footpath leaving Grange Road here runs alongside the Cut, a water channel. The Cut is as much a part of Rhyl as the sea and the sand. Rhyl would not be here without it.
Before Rhyl began its rapid growth in the early 19th century, this area – known as Morfa Rhuddlan – was marshland. In 1794 an Act of Parliament detailed the need for “embankment” and “fencing” to protect the land from the sea and to “cut” the marsh to improve drainage.
The Rhuddlan Marsh Embankment Trust was set up and, after making the improvements, began selling plots of land. Rhyl began to grow.
The Cut crosses Rhyl roughly east-west and drains into the river Clwyd. The Cut has burst its banks at various times in its history, usually because of poor maintenance and dumping of rubbish. In August 1879 the Cut and local sewers were overwhelmed by almost 24 hours of heavy rainfall. Many houses were flooded, and pigs, sheep and poultry drowned.
In 1909 Rhyl Council began legal action against local butcher EP Roberts, who owned land alongside the Cut, to force him to clean the channel. Magistrates agreed that the Cut should be cleaned within 21 days but said all owners of land abutting the channel were defendants in the case, not just the butcher. This meant that Mrs Rowley Conwy of Bodrhyddan Hall and the Vicar of Rhuddlan had to do their bit, as did Rhyl Council – which found itself prosecutor and defendant in the same case!
You can see a picture of the Cut at around this time on our web page about the former Grange Laundry, now the One Stop shop just over the road.
In July 1932 the press reported that residents near the Botanical Gardens were surprised, the morning after a thunderstorm, to see thousands of frogs moving towards the Cut.
Many Rhyl people have happy memories of playing in the Cut as children – fishing for sticklebacks, collecting tadpoles, tickling eels, observing newts and making dens. Inevitably, children often fell into the water! People seeking shortcuts across town would often take the precarious route over one of the many pipes that cross the Cut. The daring would traverse the pipe like a tightrope walker, the more cautious would straddle it and pull themselves along.
With thanks to Ruth Pritchard, of Rhyl History Club
Postcode: LL18 4BY View Location Map