"Hawarden (pronounced Harden), a small town, consisting of little more than one street, half-a-mile in length, pleasantly situated on an eminence. It is of great antiquity, and the remains of fortified posts around it serve to remind that it has been the scene of conflict, and bravely defended against hostile attack. Its early British name was "Pen-y-Llwch" .... i.e. the head of the swamp or lake; which accords with the tradition that the adjacent low land was formerly under water. In the record of the Norman survey, the name is written "Haordin"."
[From Black's Picturesque Guide to North Wales ,1879]
Hawarden is one of the "ancient parishes" of Flintshire. It originally comprised the sixteen townships of Aston, Bannel, Bretton, Broughton, Ewloe Town, Ewloe Wood, Hawarden, Mancot, Manor, Moor, Pentrobin, Rake, Saltney, Sealand and Shotton.
On 12 December 1874, the new parish of Buckley was created, from the township of Ewloe Wood and parts of the townships of Ewloe Town and Pentrobin.
On 30 May 1921, the new parish of Shotton was created, from parts of the townships of Shotton, Aston, Sealand and Saltney.
The parish of Hawarden was traditionally a "peculiar" i.e. the rector was exempt from the jurisdiction of any bishop - he held his own ecclesiastical courts, proved wills, and granted marriage licences. Confirmations were performed by invited bishops. Peculiars were abolished in 1849, and on the 30th of July 1849 the peculiar of Hawarden was attached to the diocese of St. Asaph. However, the Rector of Hawarden continued to prove wills until 1858, and he is still permitted to grant marriage licences to this day.