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Wrexham, St. Giles


Church History

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph of St Giles Church Ordnance Survey reference SJ 336501.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

The parish church is considered to be one of the finest mediaeval churches in Wales. The church was originally dedicated to St. Aegidus, which is the Latin equivalent of St. Giles and St. Silin. It has close associations with Elihu Yale (of Yale University fame) whose tomb lies not far from the tower. There is known to have been a church on the site since the thirteenth century, but the original church was destroyed by fire in 1463. It was rebuilt by 1472.
An inscription on the tower states that it had been completed by 1506, but there is evidence that work continued for some time after that date. The tower is said to have been the inspiration for the Victoria Tower, Westminster.

"Born in America, in Europe bred,
In Africa travell'd, and in Asia wed,
Where long he liv'd and thriv'd, in London dead.
Much good, some ill, he did; so hope all's even,
And that his soul thro mercy's gone to Heaven.
You that survive & read this tale, take care
For this most certain exit to prepare:
Where blest in peace, the actions of the just
Smell sweet, & blossom in the silent dust"

[Epitaph - tomb of Elihu Yale]