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Gwaenysgor

"This parish, which is embosomed in hills, and surrounded by lofty mountains, abounds with lead ore, and very extensive mines have been worked for many years with considerable advantage to the proprietors.
The village is pleasantly situated at the base of a ridge of hills, on the summit of which are numerous verdant tumuli, supposed to be the sepulchres of persons of distinction at some remote period."
[From Handbook for the Vale of Clwyd, William Davis, 1856]

Gwaenysgor is one of the ancient parishes of Flintshire. Its two townships of Gwaenysgor and Carnychan are both mentioned in the Domesday book. The village itself, located on the hillside above Prestatyn, is very ancient - Neolithic man had a camp and workshop on the hill to the north of the present village; and there is a Bronze Age barrow on the top of the hill, beneath which a cremation burial has been found. The circular shape of the graveyard surrounding the church, like those around certain other churches in North Wales, suggests that it might possibly have been a Romano-British cemetery. A small bronze figure of a horse, dating from the Romano-British period, was discovered during excavations of a grave in 1875. A Roman milestone has also been found, built into the wall of the churchyard.

 

Bibliography

Church History

Ordnance Survey reference SJ 075812.
The Domesday Book entry for the village mentions a 'ruined church'. By 1254, the church had been rebuilt, and was valued at twenty shillings. It is a small building. There is a long southern porch, large for the size of the church, which may well have been used for occasions such as inquests and petty trials. There is also a small bell turret. The roof, which dates from the early fifteenth century, is a fine example of its type. The nave and chancel were at one time separated by a rood screen, which was removed when the church was repaired in 1845. There were further repairs in 1892 and during the 1930s.
There is a unique feature: a wooden arch some 6ft 3ins wide, which gives entrance from the porch. It had been plastered over and whitewashed, and was only rediscovered during the renovations of 1931. The arch has carvings of several of the symbols used by the early Christians, and is believed to have survived from the original pre-Norman church.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

Nonconformist Churches "Welsh Church Commission - County of Flint - The Statistics of the Nonconformist Churches for 1905"lists the following nonconformist places of worship in the Civilparish of Gwaenysgor :

Name of Chapel Denomination Number of "adherents"
Capel yr Orsedd - Welsh Congregational 8
Rehoboth - Welsh Wesleyan 90
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Church Records

"The church .... is distinguished for possessing the oldest and most perfect register in the Principality, and perhaps even in the Kingdom; it commences in the year 1538, at which time orders for keeping parish registers were first issued; the entries are regular and entire, and the whole is in excellent preservation".
[From Handbook for the Vale of Clwyd, William Davis, 1856]

Parish Registers

Baptisms Marriages Burials
1538 - 1983 1538 - 1970
1973 - 1995
1538 - 1990
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1538 - 1812 1538 - 1812 1538 - 1812

Bishop's Transcripts

Deposited at the National Library of Wales Microfilmed copies
1664 - 1850 1672 - 1850

I.G.I.

Type of Record Years Covered I.G.I. Batch Number
Baptisms 1813 - 1850 C056591
Marriages None -
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Civil Registration

When Civil Registration was introduced (on 1 July 1837), the parish of Gwaenysgor was assigned to the No. 1 ("Whitford") sub-district of the Holywell Registration District, which was co-extensive with the Holywell poor law Union.

In the GRO indexes to civil registration, entries for Gwaenysgor are found under:

(GRO index references have no relevance at the local Superintendent Registrar's Office)

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Maps

View maps covering the area of this parish and places within its boundaries

On Clwyd FHS's site there is a diagram showing parish names/positions with links to pages for the parish church

Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.   Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county

Population

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Statistics

Archdeacon Thomas (1911) gives the area of the parish as 790 acres.
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