Leeswood is mentioned in the Domesday Book and was granted to the Stanley family, Earls of Derby, in 1443; coal mines are mentioned in the grant. James, Earl of Derby fell out of favour with the King and was executed and his manors of Hope, Mold and Hawarden were sold in 1652.
A syndicate was set up to purchase the land and sell it back to Charles, Earl of Derby, at a later date, however when the time came Charles could not raise the necessary funds and the lands were parcelled out between the original purchasers. The Manor of Hawarden was conveyed to Sir John Glynne eventually, through marriage, becoming the home of William Gladstone, MP. Captain Andrew Ellis had acted on behalf of Sir John Trevorwho received the Manor of Hope and a portion of the lands in Mold. Andrew Ellis, for his personal share had the Manor of Mold and Colonel Twistleton the remaining lands.
The mineral rights were excempt and therefore mineral profits were divided equally between Sir John Trevor, Colonel Twistleton and Captain Ellis, known as Lords of Mold. Leeswood in the early days would have been mainly agricultural. There are references as we have seen in the Henry VI grant to Mines of Coal and accounts exist for the coal mines on the Plas Teg Estate dated 1630. due to technical problems, these mines would probably be “bell pits” similar to the Coed Talon Banks or shallow drift mines where agricultural workers would have been the miners when work was slack on the land. Serious coal was first raised in Coed Talon around 1817.
Furnaces for the production of pig iron came a little later. This meant full time miners and ironworkers were required. The Welsh Iron and Coal Company brought miners from the North East of England, others came later from Anglesey, Lancashire and Staffordshire. This influx of newcomers was not always appreciated by the local people and there were problems from time to time.
As the Coal and Iron industries grew more people came to the area, fluctuations in demand caused laying off and workers migrated to other industrial areas, but some settled and waited for the next boom in trade and also helped to increase the population of Leeswood – building chapels, opening shops and assimilating into the community.
In relatively recent times , its industry gone, Leeswood became seen as an area with affordable housing which attracted people working in surrounding areas such as Cheshire, where housing was expensive but petrol was relatively cheap, allowing them to commute to nearby centres of industry.
Find out more about Leeswood’s history on these pages: