Bettisfield is mentioned in The Doomsday Book (see below).  It is thought that the name may have come from Beddesfeld—a place of baptism, as monks from a nearby Abbey are reputed to have used The Gospel Pool for baptisms.  Many of the articles about Bettisfield first appeared in the Bettisfield Newsletter and are reproduced by kind permission of The Editor.

The Doomsday Book

Copy of  a page from The Doomsday Book describing Bettisfield. From The National Archive

Copy of a page from The Doomsday Book describing Bettisfield. From The National Archive

The text says: ‘Robert Fitzhugh holds BETTISFIELD of Earl Hugh. Earl Edwin held it. There are 7 hides paying geld. There is land for 8 ploughs. In Demesne is 1 plough, and 3 villeins with 1 plough. There is half an acre of meadow and woodland 3 leagues long and 2 wide. In this land 3 knights have 3 ploughs in demesne, and 9 villeins and 5 bordars and 2 slaves and 3 other men. Among them they have 3 ploughs. A priest has 1 plough. The whole was worth 1 811 7s 4d TRE, it was waste, now it is worth 31. Besides woodland this manor is 2 leagues long and as much wide. Of this manor the bishop of Chester claims 2 hides which St Chad held in the time of King Cnut, but he complains that he has lost them from that time until now. The same Robert holds BURWARDESTONE. Earl Edwin held it. There are 5 hides paying geld. There is land for 14 ploughs’

Its hard to believe but back in those days Bettisfield was the largest settlement in the English Maelor.

According to Wikipedia –

” At the time of the Roman invasion, the area was part of the region occupied by the Cornovii, one of the Celtic tribes of ancient Britain, on the border with the Deceangli tribe across the River Dee to the west. Following Roman Britain, and the emergence of various petty kingdoms, the region was ruled within the Kingdom of Powys until falling to the Kingdom of Mercia by the late 8th century under Aethelbald.[citation needed] At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) it was part of the Earldom of Chester listed as part of the Cheshire Hundred of Duddestan; Bettisfield was the largest settlement, with 28 households.[3]

The English Maelor is first recorded as a separate lordship from the Maelor in 1202.[4] It was inherited by Gruffydd Maelor II in 1236 when his father, Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, died and his kingdom was divided between his five sons. Gruffydd married Emma Audley of Shropshire, who was subsequently dispossessed of the lands by Llywelyn the Great on the death of Gruffudd in 1269.

Llywelyn ap Gruffudd surrendered the English Maelor to Edward I in 1282 following military campaigns; he then awarded it to Queen Eleanor. In 1309, under Edward II, it was granted to Queen Isabella. In 1397, under Richard II of England, it merged with the County Palatine of Chester to form “the Principality of Chester” restored to an earldom from 1398 by Henry IV.

In 1536, under the rule of Henry VIII, the area became an exclave of the county of Flintshire, surrounded by Cheshire, Shropshire and Denbighshire, as the Hundred of Maelor, later often called “Flintshire Detached”. The Welsh Maelor, or Maelor Gymraeg, was included in Denbighshire. The English Maelor’s market town and administrative centre was Overton: its constituent parts were the parishes of Bangor on Dee and Worthenbury, the three townships of Overton Villa, Overton Foreign and Knolton in the parish of Overton, Penley township from the Shropshire parish of Ellesmere, Iscoyd township in the Shropshire parish of Malpas, and Wallington, Halghton, Tybroughton, Bronington, Hanmer and Bettisfield townships in the parish of Hanmer.[5]

In 1887 a Boundary Commission was appointed to review these nationally. At an inquiry at Overton, it was found that most of the population favoured becoming part of Shropshire, and this was later supported by resolution of the Flintshire justices of the peace.[6] However, when local government legislation was introduced no change was made.

Under the Local Government Act 1894 the area became Overton Rural District. The administrative county of Flintshire was abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and the area became part of Clwyd. Since Clywd was itself abolished in 1996 under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, the area has been administered as part of Wrexham County Borough. “