"A township, in the parish of Malpas, union of Ellesmere, hundred of Maelor, county of Flint, 2½ 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.



  • Godsal, Philip Thomas.           Notes on the origin of the county of Flint, the Hundred of Maelor and the parish of Iscoyd           Wrexham: Woodall, Minshall, Thomas; [1902]
  • Veysey, A. Geoffrey.            The Godsals of Iscoyd Park             Clwyd Historian = Hanes Bro Clwyd. No. 47 (Autumn 2001), p. 7-11

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 Civil parish of Iscoyd :

Name of ChapelDenominationNumber of "adherents"
Not named - Higher WychPrimitive Methodist70
Not named - Lower WychPrimitive Methodist67

Church Records

Parish Registers

  • Until 1885, baptisms, marriages and burials at Whitewell were recorded in the registers of St. Oswald, Malpas. These registers, from 1561, have been deposited in Cheshire Record Office.
  • From 1885, the parish church of Whitewell has kept its own registers. These have not been deposited, and are understood to be held by the incumbent.

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 :

  • Years 1837 - 1851: Ellesmere XVIII. nnn
  • Years 1851 - 1853: Ellesmere 6a. nnn
  • Years 1853 - 1930: Whitchurch 6a. nnn

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


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Whitewell which are provided by:



For Iscoed see the transcription for Malpas from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



"North-East Wales Churches and Ancient Parish Boundaries" produced by Clwyd Record Office in 1994, published by Genuki with the permission of Flintshire Record Office and Denbighshire Archives

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

Plan of the township of Iscoyd in the parish of Malpas in the County of Flint on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ495414 (Lat/Lon: 52.967569, -2.75336), Whitewell which are provided by: