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Whitewell / Iscoyd

"A township, in the parish of Malpas, union of Ellesmere, hundred of Maelor, county of Flint, 2 miles WNW from Whitchurch; containing 515 inhabitants. This place is situated on the borders of Cheshire and Shropshire, and is the most eastern district in all Wales; it comprises an area of 2600 acres. The road from Whitchurch to Wrexham passes through the township, and the Wich brook, which falls into the River Dee near Worthenbury, bounds it to the north. ...
In the township is Whitewell Chapel, about four miles and a half from Malpas, in which divine service is performed twice every Sunday."
[ A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, S. Lewis, 1849]

The parish of Whitewell lies entirely in Flintshire, occupying the north-eastern portion of Maelor Saesneg, the detached part of Flintshire. However, for ecclesiastical purposes, it has always been associated with Malpas, Cheshire; and it is in the Diocese of Chester.
The parish is also known as Iscoyd (or Iscoed).
It should not be confused with the Denbighshire parish of Isycoed, which lies a few miles to the north-west, nor with the Flintshire (Maelor Saesneg) parish of Bangor Isycoed.
They are three quite distinct and separate parishes.



Church History

Ordnance Survey reference SJ495414.
St. Mary's Church is delightfully situated; but it is in a secluded spot, and is quite difficult to find!
The two wells from which the name is derived lie to the south of the church. There is indication of a place of worship on the site from very early times; and the parish registers of Malpas show that a chapel was in use at Whitewell in 1570.
The old black and white chapel, which was constructed of timber and plaster, collapsed in 1829 while attempts were being made to restore and enlarge it. Sketches of the old chapel, drawn by Miss Marianne Congreve, the local landowner, have survived.
The present building, of brick, cement-washed white, was constructed about 1830, at the expense of Miss Congreve. Some parts of the old chapel were used in the construction of the new building, especially the roof timbers and various oak panelling. The spire and clock were added in 1898.
Whitewell was a chapel of ease within the parish of Malpas (Cheshire) until 1885. By an Order in Council on 19 May 1885, it was created a parish in its own right; and although entirely in Wales, it remained within the Diocese of Chester for ecclesiastical purposes. Following the disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920, the parishioners elected to stay with the Church of England, in the Diocese of Chester.

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 Iscoyd :

Name of Chapel Denomination Number of "adherents"
Not named - Higher Wych Primitive Methodist 70
Not named - Lower Wych Primitive Methodist 67
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Church Records

Parish Registers

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Civil Registration

When Civil Registration was introduced (on 1 July 1837), the parish of Whitewell / Iscoyd was assigned to the Ellesmere Registration District, which was co-extensive with the Ellesmere poor law Union.

In 1853, the parish was transferred to the Whitchurch Registration District.

In the GRO indexes to civil registration, entries for xx are in the format :

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

Description and Travel

Iscoed - on Vision of Britain


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


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