Whitford first enters recorded history with its entry in the Domesday Book (1086) as, ‘Widford’. The name is English in origin, translating as, perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘White Ford’. Ellis Davies, amongst others, attributes this to the foaming of the waters at a ford at nearby Glanrafon. As is often the case, the name evolved through the centuries that followed, and in 1240 the village was known as, ‘Quitfordia’. In the same century it was known as ‘Chwtforth’, ‘Chwitforth’ and by the 13th century, ‘Wittefordd’ - a name with a Welsh flavour, if confused as a consequence. ‘Whitford’ was first recorded a little later in the 13th century, and by some miracle, seems to have managed to hang on to this name ever since.
Whitford’s history before the Norman Conquest is little known, though there is good reason to believe that St Beuno may well have been the founder of the Church of St Mary and St Beuno, which would set a 7th century foundation for the village. The abundance of Bronze Age tumuli and cairns about the village, and the nearby Mesolithic settlements as Dyserth, Hendre and Prestatyn would suggest Whitford stands in a very ancient environment.
Today, Whitford is chiefly known for its close association with the Pennant Family, most notably Thomas Pennant (1728 -1798), the antiquarian travel writer to whom all those with a fascination with North East Wales owes an immeasurable debt. He lived at nearby Downing Hall, which became a sort of ground zero for his research. The influence of the Mostyn Family at Whitford is also keenly felt.
Today, despite the building of a small housing estate in the 20th century, Whitford remains much as it was in the 19th century. The village is the perfect spot to base oneself as the thousands of years of history and wonder that surround it are explored.