Dudleston is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Shropshire, created in 1715 from chapelry in Ellesmere Ancient Parish.
Other places in the parish include: Pentrecoed and Coedyralth.
Alternative names: Duddleston, Duddlestone
Parish registers begin: 1693
Nonconformists include: Independent Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Association.
Dudleston or Duddlestone. A township in the parish of Ellesmere, and in the upper division of the hundred of Oswestry, a chapel to Ellesmere, in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, the deanery of Salop, and archdeaconry of Salop. 4 miles north-west of Ellesmere.
Dudleston is situated in the north-western extremity of the county, near the cross roads, which connects the road from Ellesmere to Chirk, with that from Overton to the latter place. It has an elegant modern church, in the Gothick style, with painted glass windows, occupying the site of one more ancient: near the south side of the church, is an ancient stone cross. An Irish Archbishop, who was taken ill and died whilst on a visit at Plas Warren, is interred within the church. Dudleston is a perpetual curacy in the gift of the vicar of Ellesmere; the income arises from lands near Oswestry, purchased many years back, with a grant from Queen Ann’s Bounty, and private subscriptions obtained by the family who then owned Kilhendre. Among the names appears that of the Hon. and Rev. Dr. Godolphin, Dean of St. Paul’s, Sir – Bridgman, the ancestor of the Bradford family. The Church yard commands a highly diversified, and beautiful prospect: among the objects are Chirk Castle, the Welch Mountains, the Broxton Hills, the fine tower of Wrexham Church, and farther in the distance, the Towers of Chester.
About a quarter of a mile from the church, in a retired and beautiful valley, whose sides are covered with wood, not more than thirty years ago stood a very ancient mansion called Kilhendre. In the centre of the house was a chamber perfectly dark, into which you descended by steps, and the passages to which were hidden by tapestry; evidently appearing to have been intended as a place of concealment in cases of sudden danger. Some workmen employed in taking down part of the house, before the final demolition of the whole, discovered, beneath a flight of stone steps, an earthen jar, containing many pieces of leather money. This mansion, as appears by documents still extant, was in existence as far back as the reign of Edward the second. Here Colonel John Jones, Governor of Dublin, for some time, found a peaceful Asylum, after the death of Cromwell. He was a man of very ancient family; of most dignified appearance, and venerable with age. He had a been very active and successful officer, was very high in Cromwell’s estimation, and had received from him extensive grants of lands in Ireland.
About two miles from Dudleston the county terminates in an elevated and precipitous rock, called Coed-yr-allt; commanding one of the finest prospects that can well be imagined. Deep below, winds the Dee, with its dark waters and rocky bed, its sides crowned with ancient woods of oaks recalling to the mind of the spectator, as well by its natural character, as by its deep and gloomy woods, having been the favourite haunt of the Druids and the most frequent scene of their mystical rites, Milton’s epithet of Sacred. The Dee is here joined by a considerable tributary stream, the Ceiriog, which flows beneath the Aqueduct at Chirk, and through the grounds of Bryn-kryn-allt These two rivers form the boundary for some miles between England and Wales. Other features in the landscape, are the mansion and woods of Wynnstay; the highly beautiful grounds and woods of Nant-y-belan: the aqueducts of Chirk and Pont-y-cysyllte Chirk Castle, Bryn-kyn-alt, the beautiful seat of Lord Dungannon, and Castell dinas brân, all backed by the Welch Mountains.
There is an air of wildness and solitude in the place; and those persons who are desirous of seeing Welch scenery without making an excursion into Wales, may there be fully gratified.
The gentlemen’s seats in the neighbourhood of Dudleston are, Plas Yolyn, Plas Warren, Kilhendre, Sodylt Hall, Shelbrook Hill, and Knolton Hall.
Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824