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Buckley Society Magazine Issue Five: The Manor of Ewloe and the Place name Buckley by Ken Lloyd Gruffydd: Map 1The Manor of Ewloe 16th to 18th Centuries"

Ewloe Manor


Buckley Society Magazine Issue Five, October 1979

p. 25 - 30


Map 1. The Manor of Ewloe 16th to 18th Centuries

see 79.13 for Map 2 Principal Anglo Saxon Place names in East Clwyd







We are fortunate in that a boundary map of the manor of Ewloe made some time between 1728 and 1763 has survived for our perusal. (1) The plotting from a modern 0S map of the place names on it, many of which are now lost, shows quite clearly that the manor comprised the townships of Ewloe Town, Ewloe Wood, the pasturage of Buckley, and parts of the townships of Aston, Hawarden Town and Shotton (see Map 1 this). There is ample proof also that the boundaries had remained unchanged since the Edwardian Conquest. In 1282, for example, it was said that


"Reginald de Grey, Justice of Chester, has occupied and enclosed a great part of the appurtenances of the same manor, that is to say, Ewlawe, Kelynges and a great part of the wood of Swerdwode with the assarts which the people of Astone, Schottone and Kelynges hold. (2)


Kelynges is in fact present day Killins Farm in Shotton. A rental made between 1614 and 1625 refers to lands 'in Shotton Pt of Ewlow', and 'in Aston with the demeanne thereto belonginge pt, of the towne and lordship of Ewlow.'(3) This point is further verified by extant accounts of 'beating the manorial bounds' dated: before 1673, 1685, 1762, 1785 and 1803. (4)


The total acreage of the manor amounted to some 1,844 acres in 1785.(5) A survey made in 1294 only gave the arable acreage, which was 480 acres.(6) Three hundred years later, the amount of arable land was unaltered. The manor in general had deteriorated with the two mills, Lady and Castle defunct, and the coalmines long since decayed. (7) However, by the reign of James I, the figure is given as 560 acres, while the seventeenth-century rental, previously cited, states that the situation had again improved somewhat.


"It is to be remembered allso that there hath bene much lands inclosed to the vCIx (560) Acres menconed in the Extent wch at the makinge thereof were woods & wastelands, besides the lands here menconed to be inclosed of late". (8)


This particular document states that the manor of Ewloe now measured 1,317 acres. It also pointed out that they were statute acres as opposed to the previously used great measure.(9)


The township of Ewloe Wood (alias Hedley), with its castle and demesne on the lord's land, received its name from the forest that lay within it. After the Edwardian Conquest, it became the Welshry of the manor, with Ewloe Town being deliberately colonized with English as a villata anglicana.


Roger de Monte Alto (Mold) had a deer park made within the wood soon after (10) 1241, only for its enclosures to be taken down by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in 1257 when he began rebuilding Ewloe Castle on the site. The remaining wood was once again partly destroyed in 1347, (11) only to be enclosed in the same year with a 7ft. wide and 5ft. deep dyke planted with three rows of covert. (12) In 1563 the wood was said to cover an area of some 200 acres extending in length:


"from old castle of Eulowe to place called Adwyr koyde and in breadth from place called avon y pentre to place called Nant y lleygh". (13)


However, by the beginning of the seventeenth century it was stated that: "in the memory of some that be lyvinge, was woods all over, and now not a sticke left." (14) And a 1606 commission reported that both Ewloe Wood and Buckley "have been of long time accounted as wast grounds". (15)


By 1653 there was still only one permanent dwelling at Buckley worth mentioning:


"One small Thatched House consisting of two Roomes and one Close of arable & pasture ground divided into Six parcells in Argoed Contayning by Estimation xxxvii Acres commonly called Buckley worth £10 Annum, the tenure of Robert ap William of Argoed.(16)


Why Buckley should be described as being in Argoed township is a mystery, unless this particular reference related to land in Argoed that bordered on the 'common' and took on that name.


At the close of the sixteenth century, the tenants were paying a rent of 18d. a year for every acre of land they held in freehold:


"and one pasture called Bookley, which now lyeth open, wherein the Inhabitants claim Common of Pasture paying a certain yearly rent for the same". (17)


By 1625- there is no testimony before this date - the inhabitants on the Welsh side of Buckley (i.e. Argoed and Sychdyn), were also grazing their cattle on the 'common' there. In fact, fifty-seven of them as (18) opposed to thirty-seven on the Hawarden Parish or English side.


Buckley was being referred to as Ewloe Common as late as 1803. (19) Many questions remain unanswered regarding the manor of Ewloe. When, for example, did parts of Aston, Shotton and Hawarden first become incorporated within it? Was Ewloe originally a township of the Lordship of Hawarden? And perhaps the most difficult to answer: why is it called a manor?

Regarding the last query, it will suffice here to say that thirteenth and early-fourteenth century documents refer to it as a villa. Subsequent medieval accounts mention manerium et villa. Manuscripts from the sixteenth century have manor or lordship, while towneship or lordship has been noted for the seventeenth century. The eighteenth-century boundary posts are inscribed with Ewloe Manor.




It has been generally accepted that the place-name Buckley contains the word buck "a male deer". (20) However, a fuller list of early forms than has hitherto been compiled shows quite clearly that this is not the case, viz,

Bokkeley 1294 Cheshire Sheaf (June 1912), p. 56.


Bukkelee 1301-2 P.R.O., Flints, Minister's Accounts 771/2

Bokele 1302-3 Min,Acc, 771/2; 1303-4 Min. Acc. 771/4; 1312-13 Min,

Acc, 771/7.


Bokle 1305-6 Min, Acc, 771/6.


le Bokle 1320 Min Acc, 771/9.


Bokelegh 1322, 1341 P.R.0., DKR (36th Rep,),176,259,


Bukele 1326-7 Min Acc, 771/11; 1331 P.R,0. DKR (36th), p. 388.


Buckelegh 1342 N.L.W. MS. 8942 E,


Bukkelowe 1347-8 Min, Acc, 771/15,


Bukkelegh 1349-50 Min, Acc, 1186/4.


Bukley 1500 B,M. MSS. Wales, Pt, 3, No, 25992.


Bookely 1594 Recs, Court Aug. Wales., -/2,


Bookeley 1606 Clwyd R.O, D/GW/555; 1614-25 N.L.W.

Wynn of Gwydir MS. 1308; 1622 U.C,N.W,

Gwysaney MSS. Vol. I p. 167;

1622 Excheq. Proc. Con, Wales 149/51/20;

c.1622 N.L.W. MS. 9060 E; 1632 N.L.W.

Bettisfield Ms. 1385.


Buckley 1606 Clwyd R.O. D/GW/555; 1653 Clwyd R.0. D/KK/ 263,


Bokeley c.1660 Clwyd R.O. D/CW/555.


Bucklay Mountaynes 1684 N,L.W. Wales 4/991/4.


Bucklay 1685 Clwyd R.O. D/GW/555.


Buckley Mountayne 1686 N.L.W. Wales 4/992/3.


Bulkley Mountain 1754-5N.L.W. MS. 6298 D.


Buckley Mountain 1827 U.C.N.W. Gwysaney MSS. Vol. I, p. 176; 1840 O,S. Map.



The preponderance of 'o' forms at the onset argues for an historical 'O' and the 'u' forms that appear later could well reflect a pronunciation change, i.e. an early confusion with, and ultimate substitution of bucc, gen. pl. bucca buck, deer, for an original boc beech tree.(21) This is phonologically possible as o is commonly shortened when boc occurs as the first element in English place-names. (22) Further examples of this change can be seen in Buckholt (Gl, Ha, K, Mon), Buckhurst (E, K), whose original forms contained OE boc. The late sixteenth and early seventeenth century examples with -oo- show that the prefix-vowel was also a long-sounding one during that period.


The second element in the name is undoubtedly OE ley, sometimes lea or legh, 'wood' or 'clearjng'. In this instance, possibly the latter, as the equally ancient place-name Aberllannerch appears on Buckley Mountain; Llannerch being the Welsh for 'glade, clearing'. The original meaning of Buckley was therefore 'clearing in a beech wood' and perhaps, 'the clearing' as opposed to a clearing' if we can rely on the definite articled 1320 form le Bokle.(23)


1.Clwyd R.O. D/GW/659,


2.W. Rees, Calendar of Ancient Petitions Relating to Wales (1975), p.216,

3.NLW MS. 9060 E.


4.Clwyd R.O. D/GW/555/19, 99, 103, 116, 157.


5.Clwyd R.O. D/BJ/345.


6.N.L.W. Bettisfield MS. 1488,


7.P.RO. E 310/35/216.


8.N.L.W. MS. 9060 E.


9.21/2 statute acres = approx. 1 great measure.


10.W. Rees, op. cit., p. 93.


11.Flints. Hist. Soc. Pub. Rec. Series No. 2 (1929), p xxxvi.


12.Register of Edward, The Black Prince Pt. 1 (Public Record Office), pp. 93-4.


13.E.A. Lewis and J.C. Davies, Records of the Court of Augmentations relating to Wales and Monmouthshire (1954), p. 410.


14.Clwyd R.0. D/GW/555/12(b).




16.Clwyd R.O. D/KK/263.


17.Clwyd R.O. D/CW/555/6. The rent per acre in 1294 was 6d. (N.L.W. Bettisfield MS. 1488), and 8d. in 1398 (P.R.O. DKR (36th Rep.), p. 177)).


18.N.L.W. MS. 466.


19.Clwyd R.0. D/CW/555/157.


20.E. Davies, Flintshire Place-Names (1959), p. 24.


21.The OE place-name element boc 'book charter' is common in the south of England but not so in the Midlands and the North; see A.H. Smith, English Place-Name Elements, Pt. 1 (1956), pp. 39-40, 56.


22. E. Ekwall, English Place-Names (1964 edn.), p. xii.


23.The possibility of this derivation was first suggested by Rev. C. Herbert. See T. Cropper, Buckley and District (1923), p2



Author: Gruffydd, Ken Lloyd


Year = 1700

Document = Map

Landscape = Cultivated

Extra = Pre 1900

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