The area was mentioned in the Domesday Book (as Biscopestrau):
"All this land belongs to Bistre. It was waste. It never paid tax, nor was it hidated. In this manor the woodland is 1 league in length and ½ league in width; there is a hawk's eyrie. The Earl has this woodland, which he has put into his forest." [From Domesday Book; translation by Abraham Farley, 1783; published by Phillimore, 1978]

The new parish of Bistre was established in its own right on 23 May 1844, by combining most of the township of Bistre with part of the township of Argoed - both had been in the parish of Mold until that time.
Bistre now forms part of the modern town of Buckley, which developed rapidly during the nineteeth century, straddling the boundary between the ancient parishes of Mold and Hawarden.
For ecclesiastical purposes, the town is now divided between the modern parishes of Bistre and Buckley.



  • Gruffydd, K Lloyd.     Bistre in the Domesday Book        Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society. No. 19 (Spring 1995), p. 3-12
  • Gruffydd, K Lloyd. The farms of Bistre parish, 1986. (Part One)      Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society. No. 11 (March 1986), p. 7-12
  • Gruffydd, K Lloyd.         The farms of Bistre parish, 1986. (Part 2)      Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society. No. 12 (July 1987), p. 46-48.
  • Hodnett, Brian D.   Bistre School         Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society, No. 32 (Spring 2008) p. 53-60.        
  • Hodnett, Brian D.     'A family of teachers and preachers'        Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society. No. 30 (Spring 2006), p. 40-47.
  • Lamb, Enid.   Reminiscences of Bistre Church of England School, 1943-51      Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society. No. 28 (Spring 2004), p. 27-33
  • Mole, Margaret.   The memorials, plaques and window commemorations of Emanuel Church, Bistre, Buckley     Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society, No. 20 (Spring 1996) p. 32-36
  • Price, Vera.      Bistre church, Bistre school and me     Buckley: the magazine of the Buckley Society, No. 33 (Spring 2009) p. 49-52


In addition to the churchyard of Emmanuel parish church, and the churchyard of St. Matthew's parish church, Buckley, there is a public cemetery in Elfed Road (OS ref. SJ 276642).
The cemetery, which was opened about 1891, is still in use, and is administered by Flintshire County Council. The opening time is 8.00 a.m. until sunset.
The cemetery records, from 1891 to date, are held at the Flintshire County offices in Flint.
Researchers who wish to see the cemetery records must make a prior appointment, by contacting :

  • Flintshire County Council,
    Housing and Community Services,
    Cemeteries Section,
    County Offices,
    CH6 5BD.

    Tel: 01352 703360
    Fax: 01352 703373

A copy of the burial register from 1928-1982 has also been deposited in Flintshire Record Office, Hawarden. 


Church History

Ordnance Survey reference SJ 273640.
By the mid-nineteenth century, the population of the Bistre and Argoed districts of the parish of Mold was increasing rapidly; a new church was consecrated on 25 October 1842 by the Bishop of St. Asaph, to serve these areas, which were some distance from the parish church in Mold. The church is quite unusual in that it lies north and south, with the altar at the southern end.

"The parish of Mold contains a population of about 9,000, and the townships of Bistree and Argoed, within the said parish, for the benefit of which this new church has been erected, have a population of about 2,300; these townships lie from one to four miles from the parish church ..... A few years ago, like many other districts where extensive works have lately sprung up, they were thinly inhabited ....."
[From The Chester Chronicle of 4 November 1842]

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

Nonconformist Churches

"Welsh Church Commission - County of Flint - The Statistics of the Nonconformist Churches for 1905" lists the following nonconformist places of worship in the "Urban District of Buckley". This was a Civil administrative district, which included parts of the Ecclesiastical parish of Bistre :

Name of ChapelDenominationNumber of "adherents"
Nantmawr - EnglishBaptist100
Daisy Hill - EnglishBaptist100
St. John - EnglishCongregational550
Mold RoadCalvinistic Methodist140
ZionEnglish Presbyterian140
BistreMethodist New Connexion400
PentrobinMethodist New Connexion250
AlltamiPrimitive Methodist138
DruryPrimitive Methodist176
TabernaclePrimitive Methodist500
Not namedSalvation Army100
Brunswick - EnglishWesleyan130
Mold Road - WelshWesleyan35
The Square - EnglishWesleyan150

Church Records

  • The following nonconformist registers for the Bistre and Buckley area are held at the Public Record Office, Kew.
    They may be viewed on microfilm at LDS Family History Centres; and at the Flintshire Record Office, the Denbighshire Record Office and the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
    They have also been incorporated into the I.G.I., as part of an "official extraction" programme :
Name of ChapelDenominationType of RecordYears CoveredI.G.I. Batch Number
Buckley MountainIndependentBirths and Baptisms1820 - 1836C098461
  • The following nonconformist registers for the Buckley and Bistre area are held either at the Flintshire Record Office, Hawarden (FRO), at the Denbighshire Record Office, Ruthin (DRO), or at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth (NLW).
    They have not been filmed; and they have not been incorporated into the I.G.I. :
Name of ChapelDenominationType of RecordYears CoveredHeld at
St. John'sCongregationalBaptisms, Marriages and Burials1946 - 1982FRO
ZionEnglish PresbyterianMarriages1899 - 1966
1973 - 1974
Providence, BistreMethodist New ConnexionBaptisms1893 - 1948FRO
Providence, BistreMethodist New ConnexionBaptisms1950 - 1977DRO
Alltami / Drury / Tabernacle, Buckley
Primitive Methodist / MethodistBaptisms1902 - 1989FRO
(Not named)Wesleyan MethodistBaptisms1893 - 1948FRO
(Not named)Wesleyan MethodistBaptisms1950 - 1977 (photocopies)FRO
BrunswickWesleyan MethodistBaptisms1885 - 1935FRO
SquareWesleyan MethodistBaptisms1885 - 1933FRO
  • Note - many of the Methodist chapels were grouped into "Circuits", with one set of registers serving the Circuit; and it may not always be possible to identify the particular chapel in which the ceremony was performed.
    Over the years, there have been several re-organisations of these Circuits in the eastern part of Flintshire. It is therefore advisable to also search the Methodist registers for the Connah's Quay and Hawarden areas.

Civil Registration

The new parish of Bistre was assigned to the No. 4 ("Mold") sub-district of the Holywell Registration District, which was co-extensive with the Holywell poor law Union.

On 1 July 1901, Bistre was transferred to the Hawarden poor law Union (established 1853); and for civil registration purposes, it was assigned to the No. 4 (" Hawarden") sub-district of the Chester Registration District.

On 1 January 1903, the sub-district of Hawarden was upgraded to a Registration District in its own right.

In the GRO indexes to civil registration, entries for Bistre are found under:

  • Years 1837 - 1851: Holywell XXVII. nnn
  • Years 1852 - 1901: Holywell 11b. nnn
  • Years 1901 - 1902: Chester 8a. nnn
  • Years 1903 - 1946: Hawarden 11b. nnn

(GRO index references have no relevance at the local Superintendent Registrar's Office) 


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Bistre which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for this place from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



"North-East Wales Churches and Ancient Parish Boundaries" produced by Clwyd Record Office in 1994, published by Genuki with the permission of Flintshire Record Office and Denbighshire Archives

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ273640 (Lat/Lon: 53.16813, -3.088961), Bistre which are provided by:



  • In 1831- Bistre was not a separate parish.
  • In 1901- the population was 4070.
    [ Royal Commission on the Welsh Church - October 1907]


Archdeacon Thomas (1911) gives the area of the parish as 3005 acres.