Aerial Flight Over Rhuddlan Castle Ruins Hylas Lane, Rhuddlan, United Kingdom Rhuddlan first appears in recorded history in the last years of the eighth century, when there was no town of Rhyl and the shore road from Prestatyn to Abergele did not exist. Instead, the Clwyd and the marshes off its estuary, now reclaimed and drained and cultivated, formed a natural barrier athwart the coastal approach to the mountainous heart of North Wales. The settlement of Rhuddlan is likely to have owed its origin to the presence at this point, from very early times, of the lowest fording-place on the river, from which a track led across the marsh to Vaynol and beyond. Its position thus marked it out as a key point in the racial struggles which for some 600 years (c.700-c.1300) swayed to and fro across the Welsh and English border. During the reign of King Offa of Mercia (757-96) the great dyke which bears his name (below) was constructed, outlining the beginning of the hill country from Prestatyn to the Bristol Channel and defining the westward limit of English settlement. In 796, the year of Offa's death, the English fighting on beyond the new frontier won a battle at Rhuddlan, and either as a result of it or of a later conquest obtained control of Englefield.