CHIRK, a parish, in the union of Oswestry, hundred of Chirk, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 5¾ miles (N.) from Oswestry, on the road from London to Holyhead and Dublin. This parish is remarkable in history as the scene of a conflict between part of the forces of Henry II. and the Welsh, which took place in 1165, in a deep and picturesque valley, along which runs the river Ceiriog, on the west and south sides of Chirk Castle. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome edifice, with a square tower containing a ring of bells, and measures fifty-seven feet in length and thirty-nine in width.
The town of Chirk, and much of the surrounding area was for centuries under the influence of nearby Chirk Castle and, later, the Trevor family of Brynkinallt in Chirk.
The parish of Chirk was divided into five townships:
- Halton (Welsh: Halchdyn)
- Brynkinallt (Welsh: Bryncunallt)
- Pen y Clawdd
Chirk was formerly a coal mining community, with coal being worked since the 17th century. The largest of these collieries were Black Park (one of the oldest in the north of Wales) and Brynkinallt. All mining ceased in the area during the 1960s.
It was a coaching stop on the old mail coach route along the A5 road from London to Holyhead.
The Chester to Ruabon railway had been extended south to Shrewsbury by 1848 with stations at Llangollen Road (at Whitehurst) and Chirk. South of the town a railway viaduct was constructed by Henry Robertson to take the line over the Ceiriog Valley.
|1536 - 31 March 1974||Denbighshire|
|1 April 1974 - 31 March 1996||Clwyd|
|from 1 April 1996||Wrexham|
Births, marriages and deaths in Chirk are recorded in the GRO indexes as:
|1 Jul 1837 - 30 Sep 1935||St. Martin's||Oswestry|| XVIII (1837-51)|
|1 Oct 1935 - 1974||Wrexham|| 11b (1935-1946)|
The following Chirk Parish Registers have been deposited at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth:
|Baptisms||1678 - 1956|
|Marriages:||1611 - 1971|
|Burials||1611 - 1975|
There are no official records available on the IGI for Chirk parish.
Nonconformist Church Records
Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.
The parish of Chirk formed part of the Oswestry Registrar's District.
|1841||HO107/1399 Book 1 Folio 1 - Book 4 Folio 20|
|1851||HO107/1399 Folios 770-829|
|1861||RG9/1880 Folios 67-116|
|1871||RG10/2784 Folios 3-56|
|1881||RG11/2661 folios 36-95|
|1891||RG12/2188 folios 126-179|
Poor Law Union Records
In 1791, the Hundred of Oswestry and the border parishes of Chirk and Llansilin were incorporated under a local Act for poor relief. A workhouse was built at Morda.
The records for the Oswestry Union are held at Shropshire Record Office in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.
Maps and Gazetteers
- C Neville Hurdsman, "A History of the Parish of Chirk", 1996, ISBN:187242452X
- Ordnance Survey map of Chirk
- Chirk War Memorial at Clwyd FHS
- Chirk Parish Church at Clwyd FHS
- Chirk Parish Church at CPAT.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1849). Adapted. Date accessed: 11 September 2014.