The Maelor was first divided from the rest of Wales by the construction of Offa's Dyke in the 8th century, but was reclaimed for Wales in the 13th century by Madog ap Maredudd.
The River Dee runs through the Maelor, dividing it into the two commotes of Maelor Gymraeg (the Welsh-speaking Maelor) to the west of the river and the Maelor Saesneg (the English-speaking Maelor) to the east.
In 1974, both halves of the Maelor became part of the Wrexham Maelor district, which itself, in 1996, became part of the County Borough of Wrexham.
The Maelor Saesneg, was an exclave of the ancient county of Flintshire which was sometimes referred to as Flintshire Detached. Its administrative centre was in the town of Overton and it included the villages of Bangor is y Coed, Bettisfield, Bronington, Hanmer, Knolton, Penley, Tybroughton, Willington and Worthenbury.
Today the Maelor Saesneg is divided into the communities of:
The Maelor Gymraeg, was in the ancient county of Denbighshire and corresponded approximately to the later parishes of: