Denbighshire, Wales


Denbighshire, a maritime county of North Wales, bounded on the N by the Irish Sea, on the NE by Flintshire, on the E by Cheshire, on the SE by Flintshire and Salop, on the S and SW by the counties of Montgomery and Merioneth, on the W by Carnarvonshire. Its boundary with the lower part of Flintshire is traced by the river Clwyd, with Cheshire and the detached part of Flintshire by the Dee, with Montgomeryshire by the Tanat, with most of Carnarvonshire by the Conway. Its outline northward is somewhat quadrangular, but southward and south-eastward very irregular. Its length from north-west to south-east is 42 miles, its breadth varies from 26 1/2 to 6 1/2 miles, its coast line is 9 miles, its circuit is about 163 miles, and its area is 423,477 acres. An upland tract from 5 to 15 miles broad, prevailingly heathy, partly a tableau, partly with summits from 1234 to 2127 feet high, extends along nearly all the west; a portion of the Berwyn Mountains, with summits 2108 and 2563 feet high, is in the south, and other heights are in the east; but the grand vales of the Clwyd, the Dee, and the Conway form much of the surface, and smaller vales, fertile and beautiful, intersect the uplands. The chief streams, besides those on the boundaries, are the Aled, the Alyn, the Alwen, the Elwy, the Clettwr, the Clywydog, the Ceiriog, and the Rhaidr. The chief lakes are the Aled and the Alwen. Mineral springs are at Llandegia and Llan St Siar. Lower Silurian rocks form a small tract in the west above Llanrwst, upper Silurian rocks form the main bulk of the uplands, lower carboniferous rocks, chiefly limestone and shale, form a narrow belt along the west side of the vale of the Clwyd, and two other small tracts to the south-east; rocks of millstone grit occur in the vicinity of these last tracts, rocks of the coal measures form a considerable tract around Wrexham and Ruabon, rocks of the-Permian class, chiefly conglomerate sandstone and red marl, form a belt east of the coal measures, and rocks of the Trias class, chiefly new red sandstone, form a tract to the eastern boundary around Holt, and another tract along the Clwyd from above Denbigh to the sea. Iron ore occurs in the Ruabon and Berwyn hills, and at Brymbo; slate, limestone, and freestone are quarried at various places, and coal is worked in the Wrexham and Chirk coalfield.

The soils are various, almost to the extremes of good and bad. About one-half of the area is arable, while much of the other half is hill-pasture. Husbandry, in its several departments, has been much improved, and is in a middle-rate condition. Wheat is grown on the rich low grounds, and oats, barley, and rye on the hills. Cheese and butter of good quality are sent to market. Sheep and goats, in vast numbers, are reared on the heaths and mountains.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5
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Archives and Libraries

Denbighshire Record Office
Ruthin Gaol
46 Clwyd Street
LL15 1HP
Tel: 01824 708250
Fax: 01824 708222

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

List of Registration Districts in Denbighshire from 1837 to 1974.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Denbighshire is available to browse.


Old map of Denbighshire and Flintshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)

Old map of Denbighshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online:

Parishes and places

The towns and parishes have now been moved to a separate page.