North East Wales Archives

The Sands, Rhyl. c. 1890-1900The Sands, Rhyl. c. 1890-1900: Photocrom Prints

North East Wales Archives has two branches; one in Ruthin (formerly known as Denbighshire Archives), and one in Hawarden (formerly known as Flintshire Record Office).

The Offices collect and preserve resources relating to the areas to safeguard them for present and future generations. 

Archives include documents, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and photographs and date from the twelfth to the twenty-first century. 

The resources are on many different kinds of medium, including books, CD-ROM, microfilm and paper.

The aims of the Offices are to collect documents relating to the history of the area, preserve them for future generations, and to make these resources accessible to the public.  

The records and documents will be of use whether you are researching the history of a house, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment, tracing your family history or studying the history of your local area.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always available to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Information about North East Wales Archives: Ruthin


North East Wales Archives: Ruthin
The Old Gaol 

46 Clwyd Street 
LL15 1HP

Telephone Number:

01824 708250


Records held by the Archive do not include the area administered by Conwy Borough Council.

Information about North East Wales Archives: Hawarden


North East Wales Archives: Hawarden
The Old Rectory
Rectory Lane

Telephone Numbers:

01244 532364 (Enquiries and Reservations)
01244 532414 (Admin)

Fax Number:

01244 538344


The Office was established in 1951 and moved to its present location at the Old Rectory, Hawarden, in 1956, which is an 18th century grade II listed building.

Documents and manuscripts include records from Flintshire County Council, quarter sessions and magistrates' courts, families and estates, churches and chapels, clubs and societies, and organisations and businesses.


For information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and their collections page.   Collections held by the Office include:

  • Bishop's Transcripts
  • Census Returns
  • Hospital Records
  • Parish Registers
  • Probate Indexes
  • Reference Books
  • School Records
  • Tithe Apportionments

The Offices also have a large photographic collection, containing nearly 10000 images.  Some of these images can be viewed through their account with Flickr.  If you wish to purchase some of the photographs in their collection, the Office can provide information regarding their prices and how to pay.

If you wish to order documents in advance, you must ensure that you know which branch the resources you are interested in are situated in.  The staff are not able to transport documents between the two branches.

Opening Hours

Opening Hours for their Ruthin branch can be found by going to their opening times page.

Opening Hours for their Hawarden branch can be found by going to their opening times page.

Booking in Advance

Ruthin Branch

It is always advisable to book before visiting if you would like to use a computer or microfilm reader. Items only available on microfilm include Census Returns, Parish Registers, Newspapers and Tithe Apportionments.

If you arrive without making a booking, you will only be accommodated if there is enough space and sufficient facilities.  You can, however, order the documents you would like to consult when you arrive by adding them to your wish list before visiting.

You are recommended to search the catalogue to see what items they hold before you visit.

Hawarden Branch

You have to book before visiting the Hawarden branch to avoid disappointment because space is limited.  The Glynne-Gladstone collection (ref:GG) is stored off-site making it essential to order documents from this collection at least two working days prior to your visit because they have to be transferred to the Office.

You have to book a map table in advance of your visit to look at ordnance survey maps, tithe maps, abandoned mine plans or estate maps etc.  

If you are planning to look at tithe apportionments alongside tithe maps, it is essential to book a microfilm reader as well as a map table because they are held on microfilm.

Location and Directions

Ruthin Branch

No on-site parking is available at the Ruthin Branch unless you are a blue badge holder.  The nearest car parks are Park Road car park and Crispin Road car park.  

The nearest railway stations are in Rhyl and Wrexham. From either of these stations it is possible to catch a bus to Ruthin.  It takes 50 minutes from Wrexham, and over 1 hour from Rhyl.  The nearest bus stop to the Archive is on Market Street.  

Walking from there to the Archive takes approximately 5-10 minutes.  You should go west to St Peters Square, and then take the exit to Clwyd Street and go downhill.  If you turn into the first gate, you will see the Archive.

Hawarden Branch

Car Parking is available in front of the building.  If you have mobility issues, you may park in the staff car parking area.

Hawarden station is approximately 10 minutes walk from the Record Office.  Walking down the main road takes you to the village centre.  Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and then go right until you reach the post office.  

Rectory Lane is by the side of the post office to the left.  If you continue to walk down Rectory Lane, you will come to some gates.  The Old Rectory is in front of you after you walk through the gates.  The Office is at the end of this building.

You may get a bus to Hawarden from Chester Railway Station, and you should leave the bus opposite the Glynne Arms public house, and follow the same directions from Rectory Lane as mentioned above.


You are able to take photographs of their records at both branches, but some restrictions apply as some documents are fragile and easily damaged.  Copies of documents can be taken by a member of staff.  The Offices make a charge to people using this service.

Searchroom Rules

You are not allowed to take a pen into the searchroom, so you must take a pencil with you when you visit.  You are allowed to take a laptop to either branch, but you can only charge the laptop at Hawarden.  Access to Wi-Fi is only available at the Ruthin branch.

For more information about what to expect when you visit a Record Office, please read my article: what to expect when you visit a Record Office.


Ruthin Branch

The building is fully accessible, with entry at ground level and lifts to all public areas inside.

If you have hearing difficulties, a hearing loop is available.  

Magnifying glasses are available to those with impaired eyesight.

Hawarden Branch

The entrance to the Office, searchroom and toilets are all situated on the ground floor, and are wheelchair accessible.  An automatic door, which has a push button to open, is convenient for the disabled, and provides access to the searchroom.


Many publications and other items are available for sale at their branches and through their online shop, which include:

  • Guide to the Parish Registers of Clwyd
  • Industry in Clwyd
  • Llangollen Directory
  • Flintshire in Old Photographs
  • Greenfield Valley
  • Mold in Old Photographs
  • Parish Registers of Wales
  • Postcards
  • Posters
  • Printed Maps
  • Ruthin Gaol
  • The Tithe War

Readers' Tickets

The Offices accept the Archives Card.

If you do not yet have an Archives Card, you will have to begin the registration process online in advance of your visit.  To complete the registration process, you will then need to bring two forms of identification with you when you first visit either of the branches.

For further details of Record Offices covering Denbighshire, please view my page regarding Conwy Archive Service.

  1. Family Tree Resources
  2. Record Offices
  3. North East Wales Archives