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Denbighshire councils and local government authorities

The Ruthin branch holds the corporate records of Denbighshire County Council and its predecessor authorities.

What records can I find at Ruthin branch?


Boroughs were formed from the medieval period when many towns were granted rights and privileges such as self-government, the right to hold fairs and courts of law. These rights were confirmed by charter. The only original charters held at Ruthin are for Denbigh Borough. In 1974 Boroughs were merged into district councils and later county councils.

We hold records for the following boroughs at Ruthin branch:

Please note that the full catalogue is not yet available online for Colwyn Bay Borough.

The Denbigh Borough Charters are available to view online, free of charge but you need to be registered and logged in to view them.

Urban District Council

Urban District Councils were established under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1894 and usually took over responsibility for local sanitation from the local sanitary authorities and their responsibilities included sanitary services, sewerage, refuse collection, housing, streets, cemeteries, libraries, parks, controls on buildings such as petrol stations, and licensing of public entertainments.

We hold records for the following Urban District Councils at Ruthin branch:

Rural District Council

Like Urban District Councils, Rural District Councils were also established under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1894, although some merged in 1935 to form new administrative bodies.

We hold records for the following Rural District Councils at Ruthin branch:

Parish Council

Civil parish councils were established by the Local Government Act 1894, taking over from parish vestry meetings. Community councils replaced parish councils under the local government reorganisation in 1974.

You can search for an individual parish council by using the search bar at the top of this page.

Denbighshire County Council (1888-1974)

Denbighshire County Council was established under the Local Government Act of 1888 whereby the administrative responsibilities of the quarter sessions were transferred to the county council.

The council and departmental records for Denbighshire County Council are held at Ruthin branch. Please note that the lists of what we hold for pre-1974 Denbighshire are only available as paper lists in the search-room at the moment. Please contact us for further information.

Clwyd County Council (1974-1996)

The Local Government Act (1972) created Clwyd as a merger of Flintshire with most of Denbighshire, along with the Edeyrnion Rural District from Merionethshire. Ruthin branch holds the minutes for Clwyd County Council only. The main Clwyd County Council collection is held at Hawarden.

District Council (1974-1996)

Clwyd was divided into six districts, each being operated by a district or borough council. Clwyd was divided into the following district councils;

Please note the full catalogues for some of these collections are not yet available online. Please contact us for further information.

Town and Community Councils

Community councils replaced parish councils under the local government reorganisation in 1974. You may find some post-1974 community council records amongst parish council collections (Ref: PCD).

Ruthin branch holds records for the following town and community councils;

Denbighshire County Council (1996-present)

The new Denbighshire County Council was formed following local government reorganisation and the disaggregation of Clwyd County Council into the four new authorities of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. It came into being on 1 April 1996.

The main collections that are available for ‘new Denbighshire’ and the shadow authority consist of minutes, agendas and reports-