infobox UK place
country= Wales
constituency_welsh_assembly= Vale of Clwyd
constituency_westminster= Vale of Clwyd
official_name= Prestatyn
unitary_wales= Denbighshire
lieutenancy_wales= Clwyd
post_town= PRESTATYN
postcode_district= LL19
postcode_area= LL
dial_code= 01745
population= 18,496 (2001 Census)
os_grid_reference= SJ065825
latitude= 53.33112
longitude= -3.40545
cardiff_distance= 171.9m
london_distance= 233.9m
Prestatyn (pronEng|prɛs-tə-tin) is a seaside resort in Denbighshire, North Wales. It is located on the Irish Sea coast, to the east of Rhyl. At the 2001 Census, Prestatyn had a population of 18,496.citeweb|url=|title=2001 Census: Prestatyn|work=Office for National Statistics|accessdate=20 June|accessyear=2008]



The town is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited places in north Wales. Prehistoric tools found in the caves of Craig Fawr, in the nearby village of Meliden, have revealed the existence of early human habitation in the area.


The Roman bathhouse is believed to be part of a fort on the road from Chester to Caernarfon. However, much of 'Roman Prestatyn' has been destroyed as houses have been built over unexcavated land.


An earth mound, visible in fields to the south of the railway station (near Nant Hall), marks the site of an early wooden motte and bailey castle, destroyed by Owain Gwynedd's men in the 9th century. The town was primarily a fishing village for hundreds of years. The beginning and end of the high street today marks the location of two 'faenols' (or manor houses) called Pendre (translated as "end of" or "top of town") and Penisadre ("lower end of the town").

The name Prestatyn derives from the Old English "preosta" ("priest") and "tun" ("farm"), and was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Prestetone". Unlike similarly derived names in England, which generally lost their penultimate syllable and became Preston, this village's name developed a typically Welsh emphasis on the penultimate syllable and a modification of "ton" to "tyn", as also happened at Mostyn. [citebook|first=Hywel|last=Wyn Owen|title=The Place-Names of Wales|date=1998|isbn=0-7083-1458-9]

19th century to present

The town's population remained at less than a thousand until the arrival of the railways and the holidaymakers in the 19th and 20th centuries. "Sunny Prestatyn" became famous for its beach, clean seas and promenade entertainers, and visiting for a bathe was considered very healthful by city dwelling Victorians. During the Second World War the holiday camps were used as billets for British soldiers, many of whom were also sent to live with locals. Despite being close to Liverpool, the area was not bombed by the Luftwaffe, but was one of the few british towns to be bombed the Regia Aeronautica (the Italian Air Force) in June 1941. Despite this many evacuees came to Denbighshire from various northern cities.

Prestatyn was the home of the first ever UK Kwik Save supermarkets in 1965.


Although Prestatyn remains a tourist destination and resort town, the decline of the British holiday means the town is diversifying. The NHS is planning to open an elderly care facility in the town to serve north Denbighshire, and the opening of big name shops and supermarkets looks set to increase the town's status as a shopping district. Construction of the Scala cinema started in February 2007, it will help regenerate the town, increase employment, improve tourism and provide much needed facilities for well meaning but misguided community volunteer groups whilst providing a digital cinema with films, exhibition and theatre venues. Prestatyn has the steepest High Street in the United Kingdom.Fact|date=June 2008

Work is underway on the revival of the Ffrith Beach Festival Gardens. After a troubled few years when the seafront site has lain deserted, attractions are planned (eg 10-pin bowling, quad bikes, dance studio and Yoghurt bar) to breathe fresh life into the resort.


The town is located at the northern end of the Offa's Dyke Path, although not on Offa's Dyke itself. It also marks the eastern end of the North Wales Path, a long-distance coastal route to Bangor. Other attractions include the remains of Roman baths, the Scala Cinema (now closed due to structural damage but undergoing renovation), opened in 1913, and the nearby Neolithic mound, The Gop.


A railway station connects the town to Holyhead to the west and Chester to the east via the North Wales Coast railway line. Bus services are provided by Arriva North West and Wales.

Wind farm

The North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm was opened in 2003. Situated in Liverpool Bay, 5 miles (7.5km) off the coast of Prestatyn, it was the UK's first major offshore wind farm. It comprises 30 wind turbines with a combined maximum capacity of 60 megawatts - enough to power 40,000 homes.

Notable people

Notable people from the town include Neil Aspinall, Peggy Cummins, John Prescott, Mike Peters (The Alarm), Carol Vorderman (who was brought up here), Karl Wallinger (of the band World Party) authors Jake Davies and Emyr Humphreys, and the leading ornithologist Jonathan Elphick. Frank Serpico, the former NYPD detective who testified against corrupt officers, settled in the town between 1974 and 1976 as part of the witness relocation program. It hosts the qualifying tournament for many snooker tournaments at the Pontin's Holiday Centre, which was the location for a 1973 movie of the popular British TV series, "On The Buses".

Cultural references

Philip Larkin once wrote a poem entitled 'Sunny Prestatyn'. He was inspired by a roadside advert and probably never visited the town.


Local football side Prestatyn Town F.C. gained promotion to the Welsh Premiership football league having been crowned champions of the Cymru Alliance League 2007-08 season. As of the 23rd of April 2008 planning permission for flood lights and seating has been granted [citeweb|url=|title=Football club's floodlight plan given go ahead|work=Rhyl Journal|date=23 April 2008|accessdate=25 April|accessyear=2008] in order to meet the Welsh Premier grading requirements. The deadline for these upgrades was 1 May 2008 [citeweb|url=|title=Prestatyn Town FC are Cymru Alliance champions|work=Rhyl & Prestatyn Visitor|publisher=icNorthWales|date=9 April 2008|accessdate=25 April|accessyear=2008] , and having passed these requirements their promotion was ratified by the Welsh Premier League on 15 May. [citeweb|url= |title=Prestatyn Town FC: Latest News|date=15 May 2008|accessdate=20 June|accessyear=2008]


External links

* [ BBC Wales's Prestatyn website]
* [ Prestatyn Town Council]
* [ The Parish of Prestatyn] News of Prestatyn's parish churches
* [ Prestatyn's Evangelical Church, Deva]
* [ Friends of the Scala] Information, history on the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre."
* [ Rhyl, Prestatyn and Abergele Journal] Local newspaper
* [ Prestatyn Cricket Club]
* [ : photos of Prestatyn and surrounding area]

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