WREXHAM

In 1868, the parish of Wrexham contained the following places:

"WREXHAM, a parish, market town, parliamentary and municipal borough recently incorporated, but locally in the hundred of Bromfield, county Denbigh, 12 miles from Chester, 22 S.E. of Denbigh, and 179 N.W. of London by road, or 185 by the North-Western and Shrewsbury and Chester railways, on which it is a station. It is situated in a mineral district on the borders of Flintshire, into which county the parish extends, including the townships of Wrexham Abbot, Wrexham Regis, and Esclusham, which form the borough, together with the chapelries of Berse Drelincourt, Brymbo, and Minera, besides ten other townships. The town of Wrexham is a thriving and increasing place on the Gwenfrwy brook, a feeder of the Clywedog, itself an affluent of the river Dee. It is one of the oldest towns in North Wales, being mentioned in the Saxon chronicles as Wrightesham or Wrightelesham, a strong place on the Mercian border, and after the conquest of Wales by Edward I. was granted to Earl Warren by the name of Welsh Maelor. It is described by Leland as containing "sum merchauntes and good bokeler makers," and subsequently, in the civil war of Charles I., it was occupied by the Roundheads, who turned the church into a prison. By the Reform Act of 1832 it was created a parliamentary borough contributory to Denbigh, and since 1851 has received a charter of incorporation. The population of the parish in 1861 was 9,904, and of the borough 7,662, inhabiting 1,442 houses. The town consists of several wide streets, well paved and lighted, crossing each other at right angles, but the sanitary arrangements are imperfect. It contains some well-built houses and shops, also a townhall with public rooms, built of brick, the county prison or bridewell, a new market-house, an infirmary, theatre, three commercial banks, savings-bank, and literary institute. Brewing, malting, and tanning are carried on, and there is a factory for making patent flat and round ropes. The principal trade, however, is in connection with mining operations, there being a rich coalfield to the W. of the town in beds from 2 to 15 feet thick, mines of ironstone and lead, and extensive quarries of new red sandstone within the parish. Wrexham is the headquarters of the county militia, and seat of a new county court and superintendent registry, and the head of a Poor-law Union, comprising 56 parishes and townships within the counties of Denbigh, Chester, and Flint. The county magistrates hold petty sessions here for the hundreds of Bromfield and Gale. Wrexham gives name to a deanery in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St. Asaph, commuted at £626, in the patronage of the bishop. The parish church, dedicated to St. Giles, is often called one of the "seven wonders" of North Wales. It occupies an elevated site near the centre of the town, from which circumstance and its great height it is visible for many miles round. The present structure was built about 1470 in the place of a previous one destroyed by fire in 1457, and which was collegiate. The body of the church is 178 feet long by 62 feet broad, with a tower 135 feet in height, surmounted by a balustrade, from which spring four lantern-shaped turrets of open-work crowning the buttresses, and on three sides of the tower are rows of saints in canopied niches, 30 figures in all. On the S. wall, near the tower, hangs a painting of King David, said to be by Rubens, and above the communion table one of the "Last Supper," presented by Governor Yale. In the chancel is the monument by Roubilliac, in marble, to the memory of Miss Myddleton of Chirk Castle, representing a female figure starting from the grave at the sound of the last trumpet; there are also two medallion monuments by the same sculptor, several ancient tombs, and much grotesque sculpture, both within and on the outside of the church, the most noteworthy being the grotesque head and armorial bearings on the corbels in the nave. The churchyard contains an unusual number of quaint epitaphs, including the well-known rhyming one of Governor Yale of Phas Gronow, "Born in America, in Europe bred, in Africa travelled, and in Asia wed." There are besides a district church, chapels-of-ease at Berse Drelincourt, Brymbo, and Minera, a Roman Catholic chapel, and eleven chapels belonging to various dissenting bodies. The charities produce about £800 per annum, of which £50 belong to the Presbyterian chapel, and £15 to the grammar school founded in 1603. There are also National, Roman Catholic, and Sunday schools. Near the town is an oval course of nearly a mile, on which races take place annually in October. Market days are Thursday and Saturday. Fairs are held on the third Thursday in January, 23rd March, 6th April, Holy Thursday, 16th June, 7th August, 19th September, 29th October, third Thursday in November, and second Thursday in December."

"ABENBURY-FAWR, a township in the parish of Wrexham, and hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, 3 miles to the N. of Wrexham. According to an arrangement made in March, 1830, this township supports its own poor."

"ABOVE and BELOW ESCLUSHAM, townships in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county Denbigh, near the town of Wrexham. They are situated on Offa's Dyke.

"ACTON, a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, 1 mile N.E. of Wrexham."

"BERSHAM-DRELINCOURT, a township in the parish of Wrexham, and hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, 1 mile from Wrexham. It is situated on the banks of the river Clwydog. Iron, lead, and coal abound in the district, and a large number of hands are employed in the extensive works which have long been established here. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of St. Asaph, of the value of £90, in the patronage of the bishop. The church bears the name of Capel Madam. A free school was founded in 1762 by the Viscountess Primrose, for the education and maintenance of ten girls. The endowment produces £206 per annum, part of which is for the support of the church. Wat's Dyke passes near this township."

"BIESTON, a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, not far from Wrexham."

"BORRAS HOVAH, (or Bwras Hovah), a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, 3 miles to the N.E. of Wrexham. The Chester and Shrewsbury railway passes near it.

"BROUGHTON, a township in the parish of Wrexham, and hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, not far from Wrexham. In the neighbourhood are numerous collieries, lead-works, iron-works, and foundries, giving employment to many of the inhabitants."

"BRYMBO, a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, in the county of Denbigh, North Wales, 3 miles to the N.W. of Wrexham. The coal-mines and ironworks of the vicinity give employment to the inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of St. Asaph, worth £90, in the gift of the vicar. The chief mansion is Brymho Hall, which was erected by Inigo Jones."

"GOURTON, a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county Denbigh, North Wales. It is situated in the vicinity of the town of Wrexham. The people are employed in the coal and iron mines."

"MINERA, a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county Denbigh. It is situated on the river Alyn and Offa's Dyke."

"RHOSTYLLEN, a hamlet in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county Denbigh, 2 miles S.W. of Wrexham, and 21 S.E. of Denbigh. It is situated on a branch of the river Dee, near the line of the Shrewsbury and Chester railway."

"STANSTY, a township in the parish of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county Denbigh, near Wrexham."

 

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018