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Bersham

"A chapelry in the parish and Union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh; 2 miles (W by N) from Wrexham, containing 1716 inhabitants. ..... There are extensive paper mills in this chapelry, situated upon the river Clywedog, affording employment to a considerable number of persons; and the whole of this district abounds with valuable and extensive mines of iron, lead, and coal, for working which several establishments have long been formed on a large scale."
[ A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, 1833 & 1849, Samuel Lewis]

"Bersham is a large township which stretches westward from the borough of Wrexham, between the rivers Gwenfro and Clywedog, to the mountain township of Minera or Mwnglawdd. It is bounded on the north by Broughton-in-Bromfield and Brymbo, and on the south by Esclusham Above, Esclusham Below, and Erddig - all, but the last-named, townships in the old parish of Wrexham. The name "Bersham" was formerly applied to the township only, and not to the village now so-called."
[ John Wilkinson and the Old Bersham Iron Works, 1899, Alfred Neobard Palmer ]

Berse became a separate parish on 28 June 1934, being formed from parts of the parishes of Rhosddu and Wrexham.

Bibliography

  • Dickinson, H W.    John Wilkinson, ironmaster   Ulverston : Hume Kitchin, 1914.
  • Edwards, Peter H.     The Edwards family of Bersham   Batlow, N.S.W. : P.H. Edwards, 1997.
  • Gibbs, Colin.    Clatter of clogs   2nd ed.    Bersham : Bersham Industrial Heritage Centre, 1990.
  • Grenter, Stephen and Ann Williams.     Bersham Ironworks        The Welsh industrial heritage:a review, edited by C.S.Briggs (1992), p. 96-100
  • Grenter, Stephen.    Bersham Ironworks excavations, 1987-1990         Industrial Archaeology Review 14 (1992), p. 177-92
  • Grenter, Stephen.  John Wilkinson and Bersham Ironworks,Wrexham         Wilkinson Studies 1 (1991), p. 21-8
  • Howell, David    The 1984-85 miners' strike in north Wales        Contemporary Wales, Vol. 4, (1991), p. 67-98
  • Hughes, D R. Reflections on a visit to the site of Bersham Ironworks     Clwyd Historian = Hanes Bro Clwyd. No. 39 (Autumn 1997), p. 22-26
  • Palmer,  Alfred Neobard.  John Wilkinson and the old Bersham Iron Works    Wrexham, 1899
  • Ridley, Oliver.  Pre-Wilkinson history of the Bersham and Willey sites    Wilkinson Studies 2 (1992), p. 29-31
  • Smith, Steve.    Bersham and the Wilkinsons   Mold : Clwyd Centre for Educational Technology, c1984.
  • Smith, Steve  and Bernadette Jones      Bersham, the early years      Mold : Clwyd Centre for Educational Technology, c1984.
  • Soldon, Norbert C.      John Wilkinson, 1728-1808       c1998.
  • Williams, Ann.  The ironworks of Bersham      Popular Archaeology 7/6 (1986), p. 18-24

Church History

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 11, North Wales. Ed. by Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, UWP,   1981. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

Bersham Township within Wrexham Parish, Statistics; Area 1901 acres; Population 1115 males, 1102 females, total 2217

  • Wesley Chapel, Wesleyan Methodists     Erected 1840       Attendance - morning 45 + 69 scholars, afternoon 63 scholars, evening 92 + 39 scholars        Samuel Thomas Bough, Steward, Penyddole Cottages, Bersham

 

Ordnance Survey reference SJ 317509.

"The chapel, known by the local name of "Capel Madam", is situated on the south-western extremity of the township of Broughton. Attached to it is a school for the instruction, clothing and maintenance of ten poor female children, founded in 1762, by Anne, the Hon. Dowager Viscountess Primerose."
[ A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, 1833 & 1849, Samuel Lewis]

The church was built in 1742 by Mrs Mary Drelincourt, in connection with a charity school for 24 girls. It was consecrated on 13 September 1759, enlarged in 1828, and restored in 1862. There were further modifications in 1930.
It does not have a dedication, and is simply known as "The Parish Church, Berse".

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

Nonconformist Churches "Welsh Church Commission - County of Denbigh - The Statistics of the Nonconformist Churches for 1905"lists the following nonconformist places of worship in the Civilparish of Bersham :

Name of Chapel Denomination Number of "adherents"
Bethesda Baptists 98
Tabernacle, Coedpoeth Baptists Not stated
Adwy Calvinistic Methodists 450
Bethel, Smelt Calvinistic Methodists 252
Coedpoeth Calvinistic Methodists (English language) 140
Nant yr Adwy Calvinistic Methodists 200
Southsea or Glan'rafon Calvinistic Methodists 186
Southsea Calvinistic Methodists (English language) 175
Bethlehem, Penygelli Congregationalists (English language) 84
Salem, Coedpoeth Congregationalists 283
Saron, Nant Congregationalists 150
Seion, Talwrn Congregationalists 235
Bathafarn, Talwrn Wesleyans 200
Not named Wesleyans (English language) 65
Horeb, Nant Wesleyans 170
Offa, Adwy Wesleyans (English language) 106
Rehoboth, Coedpoeth Wesleyans 554
Salem, Southsea Wesleyans 221
Not named, Coedpoeth Primitive Methodists (English language) 100

Church Records

Parish Registers

  • The following Parish Registers have been deposited at the Denbighshire Record Office, Ruthin.
    They may be viewed on microfilm at the Denbighshire and Flintshire Record Offices, at the A.N. Palmer Library, Wrexham, and at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
    These microfilms are not available elsewhere.
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1860 - 1957 1890 - 1983 None

Bishop's Transcripts

  • There are no Bishop's Transcripts for the parish church of Berse.

I.G.I.

  • There are no official I.G.I. entries for the parish church of Berse.

Civil Registration

Having been formed from townships of the parish of Wrexham, the parish of Bersham was assigned to the Wrexham Registration District.

In the GRO indexes to civil registration, entries for Bersham are in the format :

  • Years 1837 - 1851: Wrexham XXVII. nnn
  • Years 1851 - 1930: Wrexham 11b. nnn

(GRO index references have no relevance at the local Superintendent Registrar's Office)

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Bersham which are provided by:

Bersham - on wikipedia

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Bersham has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ307493 (Lat/Lon: 53.036452, -3.034963), Bersham which are provided by:

Occupations

Bersham Ironworks and Heritage Centre site

Bersham Colliery Heritage - on BBC Wales

Bersham Ironworks - on wikipedia

Bersham Colliery Mining Museum site

Bersham Colliery - on the Miners' Advice site