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Malpas is a large village which used to be a market town, and it is also a civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chestermarker and the ceremonial county of Cheshiremarker, Englandmarker. The parish lies on the border with Shropshiremarker and Walesmarker. The name 'Malpas' means 'bad passage' from the Old French mal passe.



There is no evidence for Roman settlement in Malpas but it is known that the Roman Road from Bovium (Tilstonmarker) and Mediolanum (Whitchurchmarker) passes through the village.

Mercian Saxon

Dedications to St Oswald are thought to be associated with Æthelræd II (879-911), also known as Earl Aethelred of Mercia and Æthelflæd of Mercia (911-918); they are known to have encouraged the growth of this cult along the Welsh border in places such as Herefordmarker and Shrewsburymarker. This may indicate that Malpas was not a Norman ‘New Town’, but a Saxon burh.

Medieval (Norman 1066–1154)

After the Norman conquest of 1066 Malpas is recorded as being called Depenbech and is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 as belonging to Robert FitzHugh, Baron of Malpas. Malpas and other holdings were given to his family for defensive services along the Welsh border and as reward for services in the Battle of Hastingsmarker. His descendants and the union with the half-sister of William the Conqueror are the Cholmondeley family who still live locally at Cholmondeley Castlemarker.

A concentrated line of castles protected Cheshire's western border on the western side of the county from the Welsh; these included motte-and-bailey castles at Shotwickmarker, Dodlestonmarker, Aldfordmarker, Pulfordmarker, Shocklachmarker, Oldcastle and Malpas. The earthworks of which are still to be found to the North of St. Oswalds Churchmarker.

Link to Castle site

Medieval (Plantagenet 1154-1485)

Develops significantly around the motte and church and becomes a market town.The present church was built in the second half of the 14th century on the site of an earlier one, of which nothing remains. However, there is a list of earlier rectors. Extensive alterations were made in the late 15th century. The roof was removed, the side walls reduced in height and rebuilt with the current windows while the nave arcade was raised to its current height.

Tudor - Elizabethan (1485-1603)

The seventh son of Sir Randolph Brereton of Shocklach and Malpas, Sir William Brereton, becomes chamberlain of Chester, and groom of the chamber to Henry VIII. He is beheaded 17 May 1536 for a suspected romantic affair with Anne Boleyn. These accusations may have been politically motivated.

Civil War and the Stuarts (1603-1714)

Cheshire was strategically very important during the civil war as it controlled the North-South movement of troops from the west of the Pennines to the east of the Clwydian range - Chester, as the main port to Ireland was supremely important as Charles I had an army there. Another Sir William Brereton of Malpas and Shocklach was one of 2 Parliamentarian Generals responsible for the defeat of the Royalist Irish reinforcements at the Battle of Nantwichmarker in January 1644 and later the siege of Chester capturing it in captured it in February 1646.

Second World War

In 1940 during the Second World War, the Czechoslovak Army in exile was encamped in Cholmondeley Park.


The village was once served by the Whitchurch and Tattenhall Railway or Chester-Whitchurch Branch Line. The stationmarker was closed along with the entire line under the Beeching Axe in the 1960s.


According to the United Kingdom Census 2001 :
  • The civil parish has 1,628 residents living in 720 households.
  • 64% of residents describe their health as good

Listed buildings

Notable people


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