Nearly all the following is extracted from
“Dyserth. An Historic Village”
By Ronald & Lucy Davies
with the kind permission of their family
USE OF LAND AND LOCAL LANDOWNERS
By the 13th century Dyserth was a township in the commote of Prestatyn. At this time the majority of the population outside the boroughs were Welsh, living in small groups of households in a 'township', which were subdivisions of a commote, not towns in the modern sense. The people lived by farming. They grazed their animals on open pasture or moorland, though there was a certain amount of arable land which was divided into strips for cultivation.
The population was divided into 'free-
In the 14th century some of these free-
By the 16th century, after the Act of Union with England in 1536 but not necessarily because of it, and other contributory factors, there had developed a class of lesser gentry. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530's and early 1540's a great deal of monastic land suddenly came on the market and there were many opportunities for enlarging estates.
During Elizabeth Ist's reign (1558-
In 1794 an Act was passed "for embanking and otherwise fencing from the sea, the Lands at the Sea Coasts in the parish of Abergele in the County of Denbighshire, and Rhydlan Marsh in the several parishes of Abergele aforesaid and of St. Asaph and Rhydlan and of Franchise Rhydlan in the County of Flint and sundry other Marshes, Commons and Waste Lands in the said parish of Rhydlan and in the several parishes of Dyserth and Meliden in the said County of Flint, and to cut and make in or through the same or some part therof, one or more aqueducts or other Watercourses or Drains, and to enclose, divide or sell competent parts of the said Marshes, Commons and Waste Lands to defray the expenses of the said Works and to raise a fund for the future Repair and Preservation thereof." The area involved was "along the banks of the Clwyd up to the confluence with the Elwy and thence up each as far as the tide shall reach, or further if necessary, to be embanked, capped or otherwise fenced."
The Act also empowered them to cut the general Aqueduct or drain "to begin at or near the Spring called Ffynon-
By the 19th century the system of landowners was firmly established. A document in the Hawarden Record Office states:-
The Tithe map of 1839 for the parish of Dyserth shows the ownership of land distributed as follows:
Land Ownership is not necessarily as important to the locality as might appear. If the landowner is resident he probably takes an interest; if not, a leaseholder may be of more local importance, as was Paul Panton owing to his very active involvement in the Talargoch Mine. Similarly Harrison and Williamson above probably acquired their estates owing to their local mining interests. The Bishop, having only a temporary appointment, had no personal permanent interest in the estates whether in Dyserth or elsewhere.
THE HUGHES FAMILY derived from Cynwrig ap Bleddyn ap Madog who in 1407 owned most of Llewerllyd and much of Trecastell. In the 17th century they were the most important family in Dyserth, as their arched tombs in the churchyard suggest. Their chief residence was Dyserth Hall, In 1681 John Hughes leased land in Llewerllyd and Trecastell to Col. Roger Whitley, who was keenly interested in mining, and the land passed with his granddaughter in 1705 to the Earl of Plymouth.
THE WINDSOR AND WINDSOR-
THE MOSTYN FAMILY is of very distinguished Welsh lineage and interests. In the 14th century its head was Adda ap Iorwerth Dda of Pengwern Llangollen who married the sister of Owain Glyndwr. His son, Ieuan, married a cousin of Owen Tudor, and their son married the heiress of Mostyn to which they moved. Their son, Howel ap Ieuan Fychan, married the heiress of Gloddaeth (near Llandudno) and actively helped the Tudor brothers to avoid danger from the Yorkist kings. Richard ap Howel was conspicuous at Henry Tudor's victory over Richard III in 1485, but refused a place at court and returned home to his chief interests and in 1523 sponsored the Eisteddfod. The family produced many branches and marriage alliances, but two of Richard's sons, Thomas Mostyn of Mostyn and Piers Mostyn of Talacre, established separate estates and traditions, the elder becoming High Sheriff in both Flintshire and Caernarvonshire (and acquiring the Bodysgallen estate to add to Gloddaeth and so be able later to establish Llandudno), the younger getting the lands of Basingwerk Abbey, but remaining Roman Catholic. Rhyd was acquired by a younger brother of the Mostyn of Mostyn, later inherited by the senior branch, and again granted to a junior. In 1831 the Mostyn Estate passed to a nephew, Sir Edward Price Lloyd of Pengwern Rhuddlan. This line acquired a peerage, (Lord Mostyn) and the surname Lloyd-
THE BODRHYDDAN ESTATE: (Family names, Conway, Shipley-
The descent of this family is claimed from Sir William Conias, High Constable of England under William I, who was granted land in Yorkshire. William ordered the Coniers of that time to go to Rhuddlan to help in the building of the Castle. The name is believed to have been originally Norman French, Coniers, and subsequently variously spelt as Conias, Konias, Conwey, Coneweye, Conwaye, Conway, until the present Conwy, Sir Hugh Conwy: in the mid 14th century, adopted the surname -
The family was very local in its interests, especially within the Borough of Rhuddlan, but also in any land around, e.g. Perthkinsey. But by 1839 the only land they held in Dyserth was in Llewerllyd; the principal growth of the estate was towards Cwm and Rhuddlan, The first marriage into a Welsh family occurred around 1430 to Marsh, a descendent from Owain Gwynedd. In 1485 the contemporary Conwy collected soldiers from Rhuddlan and Dyserth to join Henry Tudor at Bosworth in his battle for the throne. Successive John Conwys married into Catholic families, but did not completely lose their favours, for instance they became High Sheriffs and were granted a Knighthood. They appear to have suffered little during Commonwealth; -
In 1721 this baronetcy died out because Sir John Conwy, the then baronet, had no sons but only daughters to inherit from him. The variations of the family name occurred through the following marriages:-
From William Shipley-
THE PANTON FAMILY owned land at Bagillt, and the Paul Panton who died in 1752 was a school friend of the Dyserth agent of the Quaker Company which ran the lead workings there from 1700, became interested himself. His son & grandson developed the work with even more enthusiasm. Paul Panton, senior (1729-
THOMAS HARRISON AND WILLIAM WILLIAMSON, which leads one to wonder whether Panton senior was ready to participate in the great drainage under the Act of 1794. This might have made Pydew and Plas Newydd more attractive investments than before. The Williams Estate disposed of Graig but retained Tynyffynon at least until recent years (1990) and is, with Bodrhyddan and the Dyserth Community, a member of the Tripartite Committee of landowners which administers the area round the waterfall.
This, I believe is still the situation at the present time (1999). Dyserth is surrounded by farms, leased from the same landowners as before. The land is both arable and pasture land, with some upland grazing. -
*ref. "The Pedigrees of Anglesey and Denbighshire Families" published 1910.