Crosville and Loggerheads Country Park

The Loggerheads Country Park is situated three miles from Mold on the road towards Ruthin at the county boundary between Denbighshire and Flintshire. In early publicity, Crosville often referred to it as “The Loggerheads”. Loggerheads has had a significant impact on bus services, as from an early stage it attracted visitors from a wide area. When the Ruthin service began in 1919, there were also three journeys from Mold that went as far as Loggerheads only.

(Photo courtesy of David Rowe)

Crosville realised the importance of Loggerheads when in 1926 it purchased “two fields and the woods” for a sum of £1,600 (equivalent to £68,500 today). Crosville soon built tearooms on the land, offering combined bus and meal tickets, and, while it appears Crosville never made money by running the catering facilities at the park, Crosville saw the increase in passenger journeys as beneficial. It resulted in Winthrop James Crosland-Taylor, son of the founder of the company, stating that "whilst there had been no profit derived from the premises the ridership increase was what was really wanted in the first place”. It was an interesting example of a bus business investing to create an entirely new passenger demand.

(Page of the 1923 Crosville timetable showing the times of departure from Mold to Loggerheads and Ruthin with train and other bus connections)

The extent of the popularity of Loggerheads is illustrated by the summer 1926 timetable, which indicates some 30 journeys from Mold to Loggerheads, most shown with connections to and from buses or trains to and from other towns. A service from Birkenhead to Loggerheads started in June 1924. One journey continued through to Ruthin and there was an afternoon journey at 1415 from Birkenhead to Loggerheads using a charabanc (a saloon with retractable canvas roof), which arrived at Loggerheads at 1615. It then returned from Loggerheads at 1800, arriving back at Birkenhead at 2000.

By 1928, various express and other services were arriving at Loggerheads, sometimes daily, from places such as Liverpool, Warrington, Widnes, Runcorn, Frodsham, Speke, Chester, Wallasey, Liscard, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Crewe, Nantwich and Northwich, some by connection, others directly. Those from Birkenhead, Liscard and Warrington worked through to Ruthin.

(Page from the 1928 Crosville Timetable with an advertisement for the forthcoming Eisteddfod)

In 1928, there was a special “Grand Musical Eisteddfod” at Loggerheads. This was advertised in the timetable for the period. The president of the Eisteddfod was Cllr C Crosland-Taylor JP, chairman of Crosville.

Believed to be on the day of the Eisteddfod - Crosville bus can be seen departing for Mold. (Courtesy David Rowe)

To encourage more use of the Park, and therefore travel on the buses, a bandstand had been erected and there was a detailed programme of visiting bands which would play on Saturdays and Sundays from April to September.

(Produced courtesy of Buckley Society)

A popular morning or afternoon out was always to catch the F10 from Birkenhead, Queensferry, Buckley or Mold to Pantymwyn; or the B32 from Mold to Pantymwyn and walk to Loggerheads. After refreshment, it was then customary to await the B33/4 or F9 back to Mold; or the F9 to Mold, Buckley, Queensferry or Birkenhead.

A former Crosville Depot Superintendent at Mold - who had responsibility for managing the Park as part of his duties has indicated that his biggest problem was dealing with complaints from dog owners who had been to the park and had died shortly afterwards. It appears that the park has a large population of adder snakes which normally do not interfere with human visitors but dogs left to roam appear to find them more easily.

Loggerheads continued as a popular destination by bus till the end of the 1960s, after which the private motor car became progressively more important. Crosville’s ownership of and association with Loggerheads lasted for almost 50 years.

It was in 1974 that Crosville sold its Loggerheads interest to the newly established Clwyd County Council. Today, the country park is managed by Denbighshire on behalf of Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils.

Following the transfer of the land to the local authority bus travel to the Park continued but with other operators being involved.

In 1999 and 2000, Denbighshire and Flintshire added Sunday services on a loop Mold - Ruthin - Denbigh - Caerwys - Mold and vice versa. These also served Maeshafn but not other diversions off the Ruthin - Mold main road. The Sunday services were numbered 9/9A and given the name “CLWYDIANline”. M & H Coaches of Trefnant was the operator, though these services passed to First in 2001 as X10, omitting Maeshafn and Caerwys. The X10 did not survive into 2002.

Between 1999 and 2006 inclusive, Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils introduced summer Sunday and bank holiday leisure services called the Clwydian Ranger, a series of interlinked bus routes giving sustainable, car-free access to North East Wales’ countryside, principally for walkers. The operational hub of the service was at Loggerheads. Operators included KD Coaches, GHA Coaches, M & H Coaches, First, Arriva and D Jones & Son. It was withdrawn after the 2006 season.

The Park as it is today

Thanks to Peter Daniels of Denbighshire County Council and David Rowe for their input to this page.

Further reading is available <<here>> of an article on Loggerheads written by Donald H Smith supplemented by information from Bruce Maund