Place:Clwyd, Wales

Alt namesCWDsource: Curious Fox: UK Counties and Shires [online] (2002). accessed 16 Dec 2002
TypePreserved county
Coordinates53°N 3.333°W
Located inWales     (1974 - 1996)
See alsoFlintshire, Waleshistoric county from which it was formed in 1974
Denbighshire, Waleshistoric county from which it was formed in 1974
Edeirnion Rural, Merionethshire, Walesrural district from which it was formed in 1974
Contained Places
Borough (municipal)
Colwyn Bay ( 1974 - 1996 )
Denbigh ( 1974 - 1996 )
Ruthin ( 1974 - 1996 )
Wrexham ( 1974 - 1996 )
Civil parish
Eglwysbach ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llaneilian yn Rhos ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llansanffraid Glan Conwy ( 1974 - 1996 )
County town
Denbigh ( 1974 - 1996 )
Mold ( 1974 - 1996 )
Ruthin ( 1974 - 1996 )
District municipality
Alyn and Deeside District ( 1974 - 1996 )
Colwyn District ( 1974 - 1996 )
Delyn District ( 1974 - 1996 )
Glyndŵr District ( 1974 - 1996 )
Rhuddlan District ( 1974 - 1996 )
Wrexham Maelor District ( 1974 - 1996 )
Historic county
Denbighshire ( 1974 - 1996 )
Flintshire ( 1974 - 1996 )
Inhabited place
Colwyn Bay ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llangollen ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llanrwst ( 1974 - 1996 )
Parish (ancient)
Eglwysbach ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llaneilian yn Rhos ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llansanffraid Glan Conwy ( 1974 - 1996 )
Principal area
Denbighshire ( 1974 - 1996 )
Flintshire (principal area) ( 1974 - 1996 )
Urban district
Abergele ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llangollen ( 1974 - 1996 )
Llanrwst ( 1974 - 1996 )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


:the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Clwyd (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈklʊɨd]) is a preserved county of Wales, situated in the northeast corner of the country; it is named after the River Clwyd, which runs through the county. To the north lies the Irish Sea, the English counties of Cheshire and Shropshire, both in England, are to the east and southeast. The Welsh preserved counties of Powys and Gwynedd lie to the south and west respectively. Additionally Clwyd shares a maritime border with the metropolitan county of Merseyside along the River Dee.

Between 1974 and 1996, it was a county with a county council, one of the eight counties into which Wales was divided, and was subdivided into six districts. In 1996, the county of Clwyd was abolished, and the new unitary authorities of Wrexham, Conwy County Borough, Denbighshire, and Flintshire were created; under this reorganisation, "Clwyd" became a preserved county, with the name being retained for certain ceremonial functions. (NOTE: Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire are "new" as unitary authorities, but they existed in other forms for centuries.)

This area of northeastern Wales has been settled since prehistoric times, the Romans built a fort beside a ford on the River Conwy, and the Normans and Welsh disputed the territory. They built their castles at strategic locations as they advanced and retreated, but in the end, England prevailed, and Edward I conquered the country in 1282. In the following centuries, the Welsh people were repressed and there were numerous uprisings and rebellions against English rule. The Act of Union in 1535 incorporated Wales under the English Crown and made it subject to English law.

Traditionally, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy of this part of Wales, but with the Industrial Revolution, the North Wales Coalfield was developed and parts of eastern Clwyd around the Dee estuary and Wrexham became industrialised. The advent of the railway running from Chester along the North Wales coast in the mid-nineteenth century made it easy for urban dwellers from Lancashire and Cheshire to visit the seaside towns of North Wales. Nowadays, tourism is the main source of income in Clwyd.

Administrative History

After two decades of planning, the formation of Clwyd took place in 1974 following the recommendations of the Local Government Act 1972. The historic county of Flintshire with most of the county of Denbighshire, and the Edeirnion Rural District from the county of Merionethshire. were included in Clwyd which took its name from River Clwyd and the Clwydian range of hills. Clwyd was the only new Welsh county not to take its name from an ancient kingdom.

For second-tier local government purposes, Clwyd was divided into six districts, each operated by a district or borough council:

In 1996 these were abolished, along with the county itself, by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, and local government was replaced by the four unitary authorities of Flintshire, Wrexham County Borough, Denbighshire, and a portion of Conwy (some smaller communities were transferred to Powys).

From 1996 the term "county" was to be synonymous with the "principal areas" or unitary authorities created by the 1994 Act. However the Act also created a further set of "preserved counties", which were based on the eight created by the 1972 Act (including Clwyd). These Preserved Counties, similar in respect to English Ceremonial counties, were retained for a variety of purposes, including Lieutenancy and Shrievalty.

Clwyd County Council and its six districts ceased operations at midnight on 1 April 1996, and local government was immediately transferred to the new principal areas of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. However, although bearing the same names, the boundaries of Flintshire and Denbighshire were substantially different from those of the earlier counties. As it happened, the county records for historic Flintshire had been retained at the Hawarden branch of the Clwyd Records Office while those for historic Denbighshire had continued to be held at the Ruthin branch, so there was no problem in segregating the records.

The Preserved County of Clwyd came into effect on the same day that Clwyd County Council was abolished. The preserved county was almost identical to the 1974–96 county, but had a few minor changes in line with changes to local government boundaries, the communities of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Llansilin and Llangedwyn being transferred from Clwyd to Powys.

In 2003, the borders of Clwyd were changed to cover the remainder of Conwy (which had previously been part of Gwynedd), which was part of a Wales-wide re-organisation of the preserved counties, so that boundaries of the preserved counties would contain whole current principal areas only.

These moves were met with some criticism, as the preserved counties were created to sustain a stable and continuing layout, irrespective of interim local government reviews affecting principal areas. This led to some areas, such as the Aberconwy district, moving to a preserved county it had never been administered by in the past, and therefore these moves went generally unreported due to the preserved county's limited status. The Boundary Commission proceeded to retain the eight preserved counties, and modified their borders in 2003 to match with the incumbent principal area boundaries. The 2003 arrangement brings towns such as Llandudno, Conwy and Betws-y-Coed into the preserved county of Clwyd.

Research Tips

  • "Many local organisations still make use of the word "Clwyd" in their name, often because their membership covers a wider area than their present unitary authority. These organisations include the Clwyd Family History Society which can help its members to access many historical documents concerning northeastern Wales, and the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust is one of four archaeological trusts covering the whole of Wales." (Source: Wikipedia)
  • The National Library of Wales has just uploaded (Feb 2018) a website covering the tithe maps of Wales with accompanying apportionment documents using original and present-day maps. There are over 300,000 entries. Landowners and small villages are included. The presentation looks very good.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Clwyd. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.