Weston Rhyn, Shropshire Genealogy
The parish of Weston Rhyn lies on Offa's Dyke, the massive earthwork, stretching from Chepstow in the south to Prestatyn in the north, which was constructed in the late 8th century by Offa, King of Mercia, as a boundary between Saxon Mercia and Celtic Wales. The section of the dyke between Castle Mill and Craignant remains well preserved. Although the dyke passed directly through Bronygarth, the area remained strongly Welsh in culture, customs and language. Settlements were mainly in the valley, along the banks of the River Ceiriog, but with a small number of farms extending higher up the mountainside.
Two Celtic carved stone heads were uncovered at Well Cottage in Bronygarth and are now on display at the British Museum.
Weston Rhyn is recorded as Westune in the Doomsday Book.
The area was part of the Traean in the Lordship of Oswestry which was associated with the Fitzalan dynasty for many centuries. In 1536, the Act of Union of England and Wales placed all of the Lordship of Oswestry within the county of Shropshire in England.
Throughout the Middle Ages the area was dominated by nearby Chirk Castle, across the River Ceiriog, and the Myddleton family.
The main Cardiff to Chester highway crossed the River Ceiriog at Pontfaen.
The area changed from agricultural to industrial in the 19th century with coal mining and limestone quarrying being the main industries until the 1960s.
By 1848 the Chester to Ruabon railway line had been extended south to Shrewsbury, with a station built at Preesgweene (later known as Weston Rhyn). Several branch lines were built to link the collieries in the area to the main rail network.
Weston Rhyn was historically part of the ancient Parish of St. Martin's. However, in 1870, the neighbouring townships of Weston Rhyn and Bronygarth were formed into a separate ecclesiastical district known as “The Lodge”. Later, in 1898, the civil parish of Weston Rhyn was created.
The parish was originally part of the Welsh Diocese of St Asaph but, following the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Wales in 1920, Weston Rhyn was transferred to the English Diocese of Lichfield.
Weston Rhyn formed part of the St. Martin's sub-district of the Oswestry Registration District and any entries for births, marriages or deaths from 1837 in Weston Rhyn will appear as Oswestry in the GRO Indexes.
Weston Rhyn, Shropshire Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:
|FMP = Shropshire Records (findmypast) - (£)|
|Weston Rhyn, Shropshire Genealogy Online Parish Records|
Nonconformist Church Records
Weston Rhyn formed part of the Oswestry Registrar's District.
Maps and Gazetteers
- Weston Rhyn at Vision of Britain
- G. G. Lerry, "Collieries of Denbighshire", 1968
- C. Neville Hurdsman, "A History of the Parishes of St. Martin's & Weston Rhyn", 2003