The Denbighshire Archives Service offers free access to a wealth of documents, available at the Ruthin Record Office. Archives appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes including maps and plans, registers, rolls, files and bundles, and can be hand written or printed material, and may be from official or personal archives. In this post we’re highlighting a few of our favourite records.
The oldest item relating to Denbighshire is one of the Denbigh Borough Charters, which is dated about 1290. It is unusual in that it is our only document written in Norman French. Most records are either in Latin, prior to the 16th century, or in English.
Quarter Session Rolls
The eighteenth century Quarter Session rolls contain a huge amount of information about life, particularly crime, in Denbighshire at that time, which reveals that the magistrates were dealing with a lot of the same problems we worry about now, including child abuse, domestic violence, absentee fathers, binge drinking and resultant violence by both men and women, con artists, vandalism and destruction of property.
North Wales Hospital
The records of the North Wales Hospital in Denbigh are virtually complete from the time that it opened in 1848 until its closure in 1995. The collection is the best in Wales, and one of the best in all of Britain, for research in to the history of psychiatric medicine. The patients’ records in particular are full of fascinating, and quite often tragic information.
The Painted Book
‘The Painted Book’, is a volume of hand painted heraldic shields of local families, compiled in the mid seventeenth century by a John Salisbury of Erbistock, who was a well-known genealogist of the time. It is one of the most colourful, attractive and impressive items we have here.
Information on our holdings can be found at:
A variety of our records can also be found on ‘Gathering the Jewels’ website