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Ruabon

 

Ruabon

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Ruabon (Welsh: Rhiwabon) is a village in the county borough of Wrexham in north-east Wales.

Early History
There is evidence that a settlement existed in Ruabon in the Bronze Age. In 1898 building works in the centre of Ruabon exposed a cist or stone urn containing cremated human remains dating from 2000 years BC. In 1917 the remains of a Bronze Age round barrow was discovered on the playing fields of Ruabon Grammar School which contained human remains, a flint arrowhead and a bronze axe.

Overlooking Ruabon is Caerddin (or Gardden), an ancient hill fort surrounded by circular ditches, dating back to the Iron Age.

The Old Parish
The ancient parish of Ruabon (derived from the Welsh Rhiw Fabon, hillside of Mabon, a local Welsh saint), was made up of the townships of: Ruabon (which also included the hamlets of Belan, Bodylltyn, Hafod, and Rhuddallt); Cristionydd Cynrig (also known as Y Dref Fawr or Cristionydd Kenrick in English); Coed Cristionydd; Cristionydd Fechan (also known as Y Dref Fechan or Dynhinlle Uchaf); Dinhinlle Isaf; Moreton Anglicorum (the “English Moreton” or Moreton Below the dyke); and Moreton Wallichorum (the “Welsh Moreton” or Moreton Above the dyke). An older English spelling, Rhuabon, can sometimes be seen.

In 1844, Coed Cristionydd and part of Cristionydd Cynrig became part of the new parish of Rhosymedre; and Cristionydd Fechan and Moreton Above became part of the new parish of Rhosllanerchrugog. Later in 1879, Dynhinlle Uchaf and the remainder of Cristionydd Cynrig became the new parish of Penycae.

Ruabon is in the historic county of Denbighshire, and between 1889 and 1974 was administered by Denbighshire County Council. From 1974 until 1996 it was administered as part of Clwyd. From 1996 it has been administered as part of the County Borough of Wrexham.

Wild Wales
In the 1850s the English writer George Borrow toured Wales and wrote an account of his journey in the book “Wild Wales”: “Rhiwabon … a large village about half way between Wrexham and Llangollen. I observed in this place nothing remarkable, but an ancient church. My way from hence lay nearly west. I ascended a hill, from the top of which I looked down into a smoky valley. I descended, passing by a great many collieries, in which I observed grimy men working amidst smoke and flame. At the bottom of the hill near a bridge I turned round. A ridge to the east particularly struck my attention; it was covered with dusky edifices, from which proceeded thundering sounds, and puffs of smoke. A woman passed me going towards Rhiwabon; I pointed to the ridge and asked its name; I spoke English. The woman shook her head and replied "Dim Saesneg" (English: "No English"). "This is as it should be," said I to myself; "I now feel I am in Wales."

The Wynns of Wynnstay
The Williams-Wynn family were major landowners in north and mid Wales and also across the English border. For centuries they had a great influence on the political, cultural, social and literary life of Wales. Although the family owned several houses throughout Wales, the seat of the family was at Wynnstay in Ruabon. The fifth baronet became so powerful that he was given the unofficial title of “Prince of Wales”.

Wynnstay had passed into the possession the Wynn family (as they were then known) through marriage. The estate, originally known simply as Rhiwabon, was owned by the Eyton family who later changed its name to Watstay. On inheriting the estate, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn took on the additional surname of Wynn and commissioned the building of a new mansion, to be known as Wynnstay, to replace the original building.

The arms of the Williams-Wynn family show an eagle with the Welsh motto "Eryr Eryrod Eryri" which translates into English as "The Eagle of Eagles of the Land of Eagles", the Land of Eagles being Snowdonia and reflecting the families origins in that part of Wales.

One of Wales’ greatest harpists was under the patronage of the Williams-Wynn’s. John Parry (“John Parry Ddall, Rhiwabon”) was born in about 1710 on Pen Llyn and was blind from birth. He lived on the Wynnstay estate but spent much of his time at the family’s London home where he performed on the Welsh triple harp for London's cultural elite.

Parts of the grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown and the park was regarded as one of the largest and most important in Wales, containing several important monuments; a column by James Wyatt, erected in 1790 as a memorial to the fourth baronet; the Nant y Belan Tower and the Waterloo Tower. In 1858 the ‘old’ Wynnstay was destroyed by fire, with many valuable manuscripts being lost. Sir Watkin built a new mansion on the same site.

Owing to heavy death duties, the Williams-Wynn’s moved from Wynnstay to nearby Plas Belan, a house in the estate grounds, and finally left Ruabon for ever in 1948, severing a link with Ruabon of over two centuries. Much of the estate was put up for sale and the house became a private school, Lindisfarne College (which took its name from the island of Lindisfarne in Northumbria although it had no connection with the island). The school itself closed in bankruptcy in 1994 and the house was converted into luxury apartments. The organ at Wynnstay was built by Snetzler in 1774 for Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s London home in St James's Square but was moved to Wynnstay in 1863. During the sale of Wynnstay and its contents, the organ, and many other treasures, were acquired for the nation and are now displayed at the National Museum in Cardiff. The woodlands within the estate were taken over by the Forestry Commission and the trees were felled and replaced by conifers. Further destruction took place when parts of the estate grounds were built over during the construction of the Ruabon bypass.

Industry
The Ruabon area was formerly heavily industrialised with large deposits of iron, coal and clay. Iron was worked in Gyfelia and Cinders as far back as the Middle Ages but heavy industry dominated the entire parish in the 18th and 19th centuries. Coal was extracted from pits at The Green, Plas Madoc, Plas Bennion, Wynn Hall, Afon Eitha, Cristionydd, Groes, Plas Isaf, Plas Kynaston, Gardden, Brandie, Aberderfyn, Ponkey and Rhos but many of these were hit by flooding in 1846 and ceased production. Later collieries were built at Wynnstay, Vauxhall and Hafod. Hafod Colliery, the last working colliery in the Ruabon coalfield, closed in 1968. The colliery’s coal tip has since been preserved as Parc Bonc yr Hafod.

Iron was worked at Ruabon; Acrefair; Cefn Mawr and Plas Madoc; and zinc at Wynn Hall. In 1867 Robert Graesser, an industrial chemist from Obermosel in Saxony, established a chemical works at Plas Kynaston in Cefn Mawr to extract paraffin oil and wax from the local shale. This was the start of the long association between the chemical industry and Cefn Mawr. Much of the mineral wealth of the area was exported by canal over the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct on the Shropshire Union Canal, until the railway reached Ruabon in 1855.

At Afongoch there were three clay companies very close together: "Monk & Newell" was situated on the east side of the Ruabon-Wrexham road. It closed in the 1920s and the site was later used for housing ('Newell Drive') and the adjacent flooded claypit (Monk's Pool) is now used by a local angling club.; The “Ruabon Brick & Terra Cotta Ltd." or "Jenks' Terracotta Works" (or "Gwaith Jinks") was situated on the west side of the Ruabon-Wrexham road (off Tatham Road) but with its original clay pit to the east of the Ruabon-Wrexham road, separated from the Monk & Newell clay pit by the Afon Goch. Founded by the Hague family of the Gardden in about 1883 and managed by Henry Jenks. It produced bricks, chimney pots, finials, cornices and encaustic tiles. It was taken over by Dennis' in the 1960s but closed in the mid 1970s. The works site is now an industrial estate as is the original clay pit; The "Tatham Brick & Tile Works" or "Afongoch & Tatham Tileries" - at Afongoch, on the west side of the Ruabon-Wrexham road, off Tatham Road. Opened about 1860 by Henry Richard Bowers & Co. of Penbedw, Acrefair it produced bricks, pipes and chimney-pots. It closed about 1910 when the clay pit was taken over by Jenks' Terracotta Works. The clay pit is now used for landfill.

At Hafod, the Cornish engineer Henry Dennis founded a clay works next to the Hafod colliery. The Dennis company became world famous for its tiles and still operates today.

At Cinders, the "Wynnstay Brickworks" was to the right of the Ruabon-Overton road near Cinders Farm. It produced bricks, tiles and drainage pipes for the Wynnstay estate.

Other large brickworks existed at Pant, Rhosllanerchrugog, Acrefair, Trefor and Newbridge.

Ruabon Grammar School
It was generally assumed that the school was founded in 1575 as this was the date which appeared on the school badge. However, this date is uncertain as the early school records were completely destroyed in 1858 during the catastrophic fire which gutted Wynnstay, where the records were being kept at the time. Today a date of 1618 is thought to be more accurate.

Records show that Thomas Ednyfed (or Nevitt), a Welshman who had made his fortune as a draper in London, England became one of the first benefactors of the school. The school developed as a boys' boarding school. The school originally stood at the top of Ysgoldy Hill, opposite the church, but in 1858 moved to a new site on the Penycae road between Mill Farm and Offa's Dyke. This new building had teaching rooms and a kitchen downstairs with dormitories upstairs.

Ruabon Grammar School for Boys became a Denbighshire county secondary school in 1894 and new buildings, including classrooms and laboratories were added in 1896, with further major building works taking place in the 1920s and 1940s.

The school's Latin motto was Absque Labore Nihil (English: Nothing Without Labour).

In 1922 a secondary school for girls, later to be known as the Ruabon Grammar School for Girls, was built adjacent to the boy's school. This was housed in temporary wooden buildings and remained so until a new school was opened, opposite the boy's school, in 1962.

The school's Welsh motto was Gorau Trysor Enw Da (English: The Best Treasure is a Good Name).

In 1967 the Ruabon Boys Grammar School and the Ruabon Girls Grammar School amalgamated to form the present comprehensive school, Ysgol Rhiwabon. This school is now housed in the buildings of the former girl's grammar school. The site of the former boys' grammar school has been redeveloped for housing with some of the original buildings being conserved.

Famous ex-pupils of Ruabon Boy's Grammar School include:

  • Frank Harris, writer
  • Isaac Daniel Hooson, poet and novelist
  • Llewelyn Kenrick, the 'father' of Welsh football
  • Griffith William Hughes, composer and conductor
  • Arwel Hughes, composer and conductor
  • Meredith Edwards, actor
  • James Idwal Jones, Member of Parliament (Labour) for Wrexham from 1955 to 1970
  • Thomas William Jones (later Lord Maelor), Member of Parliament (Labour) for Merionethshire from 1951 to 1966
  • Tom Ellis, Member of Parliament (Labour) for Wrexham from 1970 to 1983 (but defected to the SDP in 1981)
  • David Ian Jones, currently Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Clwyd West

Famous ex-pupils of Ysgol Rhiwabon include:

  • Mark Hughes, former Manchester United F.C., Blackburn Rovers F.C. and Wales footballer
  • Bryn Law, Sky Sports reporter

Offa's Dyke
Substantial remains of Offa's Dyke (Welsh: Clawdd Offa) can be seen on the western outskirts of Ruabon. This massive earthwork, stretching from Chepstow in the south to Prestatyn in the north, was constructed in the late 8th century by Offa, King of Mercia, as a boundary between Saxon Mercia and Celtic Wales. Traces of an earlier dyke, Wat’s Dyke, can be seen on the eastern side of the Ruabon.

It would be several centuries before the lands to the east of Offa's Dyke would be returned to Wales.

Railways
Ruabon is connected to the National Rail Network by the Shrewsbury to Chester Line which was formerly part of the Great Western Railway mainline from London Paddington to Birkenhead Woodside. Intercity services call at Ruabon railway station en route to destinations including Cardiff, Birmingham, Chester and Holyhead. The railway here was also the junction to the now closed Ruabon to Barmouth line, along sections of which now run the Llangollen Railway, Bala Lake Railway and the Mawddach Trail, now a cycle track.

Famous Former Residents

  • Llewelyn Kenrick (1847-1933): The 'father' of Welsh football born in Wynn Hall, Ruabon
  • Henry Dennis (1825-1906): Industrialist
  • Henry Dyke Dennis (1863-19??): Industrialist
  • Reuben Haigh (1879-1951): Industrialist
  • William Ellis Bailiff (1882-1972): Welsh international footballer from Ruabon
  • Edward Bowen: Welsh international footballer from Ruabon
  • Edward Hughes: Welsh international footballer from Ruabon
  • Robert Albert Jones: Welsh international footballer from Ruabon
  • Robert William Matthews: Welsh international footballer from Plas Bennion, Ruabon
  • Emrys Ellis: Welsh international footballer from Plas Bennion, Ruabon
  • Alfred Ernest Payne (1849-1927): English cricketer who played for the MCC and England. Born in Pentre Ucha, Oswestry and died at Pen y Nant, Rhosymadoc, Ruabon
  • Will Roberts (1907-2000): Welsh industrial artist born in Ruabon
  • John Downman (1750-1824): English artist born near Ruabon

 Libraries in Ruabon:
 Ruabon Library
       High Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       LL14 6NH
 01978 822002
 Mon 9.00-5.30 pm
       Tue 2.00-5.30 pm
       Wed 2.00-8.00 pm
       Thur 2.00-5.30 pm
       Fri 9.30-5.30 pm


 Pubs/Bars in Ruabon:
 The Bridge End
       5 Bridge Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6DA
 01978 822949

 The Duke Of Wellington
       Duke Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6DE
 01978 820381

 Moreton Inn
       Ruabon Road
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6PU
 01978 833001

 The Vaults Inn
       Bridge Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6DA
 01978 822270

 The Wynnstay Arms
       High Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6BL
 01978 822187


 Hotels in Ruabon:
 Wynnstay Arms Hotel
       High Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6BL
 01978 822187


 Campsites/Carvans in Ruabon:
 James Caravan Park
       Llangollen Road
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6DW
 01978 820148
 01978 820148


 Restaurants in Ruabon:
 Burlingford Break
       Ruabon By Passage
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6YY
 01978 824973


 Take Aways in Ruabon:
 Canton Chef
       3-3a Bridge Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6DA
 01978 820268

 Khazana Tandoori Restaurant
       480 Ruabon By Passage
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6YY
 01978 824440


 For Children in Ruabon:
 Mini World Nursery
       School House
       Maes Y Llan Lane
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6AD
 01978 810587


 Other in Ruabon:
 Ruabon Constitutional Sports Club
       Park Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL14 6LE
 01978 820062


 Schools/Colleges in Ruabon:
 St Mary's Primary (Ruabon)
       Park Street
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       LL14 6LE
 01978 820979

 Ysgol Maes Y Llan (Primary)
       Maes y Llan Lane
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       LL16 4AE
 01978 820991

 Ysgol Rhiwabon (Secondary)
       Pont Adam
       Ruabon
       Wrexham
       LL14 6BT
 01978 822392
 01978 810230
 mailbox@rhiwabon-high.wrexham.sch.uk
 www.ysgolrhiwabon.co.uk


Ruabon (Rhiw-Abon) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
RUABON (RHIW-ABON), a parish, in the union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 5 miles (S. W. by S.) from Wrexham; containing, in 1841, 11,292 inhabitants, of whom 657 were in the township: the population has greatly increased during the last twenty years. This place, which derives its name from its situation on the small river Avon, is distinguished in the Welsh annals on account of a fierce and obstinately contested battle fought in the vicinity, between the forces under Owain Cyveiliog, Prince of Powys, and the English, in which the former obtained a decisive victory. In commemoration of this event, the Welsh prince, who was eminent both as a warrior and a poet, composed a beautiful poem called Hirlas Owain, or "the drinking-horn of Owain," of which an elegant translation by the Rev. Richard Williams is preserved in Pennant's "Tour in North Wales." The parish is situated in a picturesque part of the county, within three miles of the great Holyhead road, and is bounded on the south by the river Dee. The village, which is of considerable size, and of prepossessing appearance, stands on the road from Oswestry to Wrexham and Chester, and seems to have been indebted for its original prosperity to the noble mansion of Wynnstay, in the immediate vicinity, and to owe its present importance chiefly to the mines of ironstone and coal which abound, particularly in the southern and western parts of the parish.

The extensive park of Wynnstay is entered from the village by a plain but handsome gateway of modern erection, opening into a straight avenue nearly a mile in length, composed of lofty trees of ancient growth, in which venerable oak-trees, stately elms, beeches, and chestnuts are intermingled. At the extremity of the avenue is the mansion, the hospitable residence of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., beautifully situated on a fine large lawn, having a noble artificial sheet of water in front, reflecting from its surface the foliage of some majestic trees near its margin. This spacious mansion, which has been erected at different periods, and in various styles of architecture, though wanting unity in its design, is, notwithstanding, a stately pile, possessing, from its extent and substantial elevation, a striking character of simple and unostentatious grandeur. The older portion contains the domestic offices and general apartments for the accommodation of the household. On the wall of a tower within the court of this part of the house is the following Latin inscription, allusive to the name of Wynnstay: "Cui domus est victusque decens, et patria dulcis, sunt satis hæc vitæ, cætera cura labor. Struxit Johannes Wynn, miles et baronettus, A.D. 1706." The more modern part of the building was erected by the first Sir Watkin, and enlarged and modernised by the late (or fifth) baronet. It forms a handsome substantial structure, and comprises several noble apartments, embellished with excellent family portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and some of the best masters, two full-length paintings of Charles II. and his queen, and numerous other paintings of merit; in the drawing-room are several fine marble busts of distinguished characters by Nollekens and others. Adjoining the house is a small edifice, originally built as a theatre, in which, during the festival of Christmas, dramatic performances were exhibited for the amusement of the gentry of the surrounding country, guests of the hospitable proprietor.

The PARK, which is twelve miles in circumference, is enriched with fine timber, and comprehends much variety and beauty of scenery. There are handsome lodges or entrances into it from various parts of the adjacent district; and a new drive, leading to the house from the lodge built of late years on the London road, has added greatly not only to the convenience of access, but to the embellishment of the gounds on the south side. At a short distance from the Hall is a cold bath, near which stands a handsome fluted column, erected after a design by the late Mr. James Wyatt, to the memory of Sir W. W. Wynn, fourth baronet, by his mother. The shaft of the column, which is one hundred feet in height, rests upon a square pedestal, sixteen feet high, ornamented on the faces with festooned wreaths of oakleaves, and at the angles with eagles finely moulded in bronze. The capital is surmounted by an entablature supporting a circular platform, surrounded with an iron balustrade; there is an ascent from within the column by a flight of spiral steps, and the platform has in the centre a circular pedestal, twelve feet high, on which is placed a massive vase of bronze, enriched with goats' heads. Over the door leading to the ascent is a tablet bearing the inscription, "To the memory of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., who died the 29th day of July, MDCCLXXXIX., this column was erected by his affectionate mother, Frances Williams Wynn;" and on the north-east side, in letters of copper, "Filio optimo, Mater Eheu Superstes." Not far from this column is a fine sheet of water, bounded by Wat's Dyke, which here intersects the park, and from which the mansion originally derived the name of Wattstay, changed by Sir John Wynn to its present appellation. The Dyke, which entered the park near its northern boundary, has been levelled in its course through the grounds, but is traceable again on the south side, near Penylan, and crosses the river Dee at its junction with the Ceiriog. By the late improvements, part of Offa's Dyke is now within the limits of the park, which it enters at the second lodge from Ruabon, and leaves near the Waterloo Tower. Near the south-western extremity of the woods is a cenotaph, erected by the late Sir W. W. Wynn, from a design by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, to the memory of his brother officers and soldiers who were slain during the rebellion in Ireland, in 1798. It stands on an eminence overlooking a deep ravine called Nant-y-Bele, "the dingle of the marten," through which the river Dee urges its rapid course along a narrow channel, richly fringed with impending woods. From this building is a magnificent prospect, embracing a large extent of the counties of Carnarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Chester, and Salop; Chirk Castle and its noble park; and the whole of the beautiful Vale of Llangollen, including the stupendous aqueduct of Pont-y-Cysylltau, and the majestic and elevated ruins of Castell Dinas Brân, with the fine range of mountains in the distance.

The PARISH comprises an important part of the Denbighshire coal tract, of which the principal seam of coal is here nine feet thick; and its mineral wealth in coal and iron-ore, particularly in the southern and western parts of it, has caused the establishment of numerous works. At Acrevair, within its limits, the New British Iron Company have three blast furnaces, making about 300 tons of iron weekly, and forges and mills capable of converting that quantity into malleable iron; connected with these are extensive ironstone-works and collieries, and the whole give employment to from 1400 to 1500 men and boys. There are three other blast furnaces in the parish, none of which are now in blast; and at Ponty-Cysylltau are a forge and mill, also out of work. A zinc-work has been established at the Pant; and throughout the parish are numerous country-sale collieries, giving employment to a large population. At Rhôs-y-Medre and Cevn-Mawr, two populous and straggling villages, principally inhabited by the neighbouring miners and by the firemen in the employ of the New British Iron Company, are two manufactories of coarse earthenware, and some excellent quarries of freestone, from which blocks of very large size can be obtained. The Chester and Shrewsbury railway, recently completed, is assisting to develop the resources of the district in the most effectual manner; it has a station at Ruabon, and connects this parish and the parish of Chirk, at Newbridge, by a magnificent viaduct over the Dee, of nineteen arches. Within view of the viaduct, about half a mile higher up the river, the celebrated Ponty-Cysylltau aqueduct carries the Ellesmere and Chester canal across the valley: this canal terminates in the parish, and communicates with the various collieries by means of a tramway three miles and a quarter long. The railway viaduct is described under the head of Llangollen, where also the aqueduct is fully noticed. A branch canal from Pont-yCysylltau, passing along the north bank of the Dee, by the limestone rocks of Trevor and by Llangollen, terminates at Llantysillio, where it receives from the river a supply of water for the whole line of canal. Fairs are held on the last Friday in February, on May 22nd, and November 20th; and a post-office has been established in the village. The powers of the county debt-court of Ruabon, established in 1847, extend over the parishes of Ruabon, Chirk, Erbistock, and Llangollen.

The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £13. 6. 0½., and endowed with a portion of the great tithes, consisting of one-fourth part of the tithe of corn throughout the whole parish, and the whole of the tithe of hay in several of the hamlets within its limits; present net income, £588, with a glebehouse; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph; impropriators of the rest of the rectorial tithes, Sir W. W. Wynn, and others. The tithes of Ruabon have been commuted for £799 payable to the impropriators, and £440 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious and venerable structure, containing some splendid monuments to the family of Wynn, of which the most ancient is one to the memory of Johannes ab Ellis Eyton, who joined the party of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., and in reward for his eminent services, received from that monarch an extensive grant of lands in this part of the principality. In the same sepulchral chapel, on the south side of the chancel, are the monuments of Henry, tenth son of Sir John Wynn, of Gwydir, ancestor of the present family; he is represented in a standing posture, and on one side is a kneeling figure of his father, and on the other of his wife Jane, daughter of Eyton Evans, by whom the Wynnstay estate was obtained. On the opposite side of the altar is a beautiful monument, by Rysbrach, to the first Sir Watkin, who was killed by a fall from his horse, in 1749; his effigy, in a graceful attitude, is finely sculptured, and his various virtues are recorded in an elegant Latin eulogium, written by Dr. King, of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford. There is also a fine monument, by Nollekens, to Lady Henrietta, first wife of the second Sir Watkin, who died only a few weeks after her marriage, in 1769; on the pedestal is an exquisitely sculptured figure of Hope, reclining on an urn, and on one side is an inscription inclosed within a serpent having the tail in its mouth, emblematical of eternity. The church was thoroughly repaired, in 1772, at the expense of the fourth baronet, who presented an organ, and endowed the office of organist, in 1781, with £40 per annum, and also, on the baptism of his eldest son the late Sir Watkin, gave an elegant font of white marble supported by a tripod of beautiful design. In that portion of the Cevn district called Rhôs-y-Medre, two miles south-west of the village of Ruabon, a church, capable of accommodating 800 persons, was erected and consecrated in 1838; the expense was borne by subscription, aided by grants from the Incorporated Church-Building and the St. Asaph Diocesan Societies, and the family of Wynn have endowed it with £50 per annum. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Wynn family. At Rhôs-Llanerchrugog, four miles northwest of the village of Ruabon, is another incumbency, formed under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37, and in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of St. Asaph, alternately. There are places of worship for General and Particular Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists.

The Rev. John Robinson, incumbent, in 1703, bequeathed the whole of his estate in the hamlet of Moreton, yielding £86 per annum, in trust, to his successors in the benefice, to receive out of the rent £12 for preaching a sermon every Sunday afternoon in the church, and to appropriate the remainder to the support of a free grammar school, to be open to all children of the parish, and under the care of a master appointed by the vicar. He also gave lands at Wrexham, producing £100 per annum, to the vicar, in trust, to pay sixpence per week to nine people of this place, and one of Erbistock, with a gown or coat to each every Christmas, and also to clothe six children from six to twelve years of age; and by a codicil to his will he gave a house and garden, and £50 in money, towards the erection of almshouses for the ten poor people, which he directed to be built near the church. The endowment of the school was augmented in 1711 by Ellis Lloyd, who bequeathed £200 for the maintenance of the master, and for apprenticing poor boys. The schoolroom was erected by the parish in 1632, and, with a residence for the master, adjoins the churchyard; the endowment amounts to about £100 per annum. Another school, a lofty stone building, was erected by subscription about 1825 near the market-place, on ground given by Sir W. W. Wynn; and had an endowment of £25. 18., arising from a moiety of an estate given by Griffith Hughes, amounting to £20. 18. a year, and from the interest of a bequest of £100 by Hugh Parry. This school, which was for boys, and a girls' school founded by Lady Harriet W. Wynn, are now merged in a new and handsome National school for boys and girls, erected at the entrance of the village, with aid from the Committee of Council on Education, and from the National Society. A National school has been some time established in connexion with Rhôs-y-Medre church; there is a British school at the same densely-peopled place, and National and British schools are also held at Rhôs-Llanerchrugog, another populous district. At Bryn is a school with a small endowment, and the parish contains fourteen Sunday schools.

The Rev. Richard Davies, vicar, in 1740, bequeathed an estate in the Vale of Clwyd, producing £42 per annum, for the erection and endowment of four almshouses for so many men and women. With Robinson's ten, and four others added since, the almshouses are now eighteen in number, and the inmates receive a weekly allowance of two shillings and sixpence each, with clothing and coal; the income, including the proceeds of a bequest of £200 by the Rev. Robert Saunders, amounts to £155 per annum. There are likewise four houses at Nant-yGwalia, in the parish, erected in 1782, by Mrs. Rowland, of Plâs Bennion, who vested the nomination of the almspeople in her heirs. Numerous other charitable donations and bequests have been at various times and by different benefactors made to the poor, amounting to more than £2000; a part has been vested in the purchase of estates, and the whole produces a very considerable income, which is regularly distributed in money, clothing, and food. The principal of them is a grant of twenty grey coats and sixty-three white flannel gowns by Sir John Wynn, and Jane Hughes of St. Giles in the Fields; these cost about £34, and are given away every year by the agent of Sir Watkin. About £66 per annum arise from what are called the Consolidated Charities; and in addition to this, bread to the amount of £12. 8. 8. a year, is weekly divided among the poor, chiefly from a bequest by William Eyton, in 1636; also blankets to the number of eighteen pairs annually, the produce of a bequest of £100 by Thomas Griffiths, in 1826. There is also a fund derived from bequests of £200 each by Ellis Lloyd (already alluded to) and the Rev. Richard Davies, with which certain property was purchased in the parish of Llangadwaladr, now producing £30 per annum; half of this sum is paid to the master of the grammar school, and with the other moiety two boys are put out apprentices annually with fees of £7. 10. each. Edward Lloyd, Esq., in 1382 left £100, the interest to be distributed among twenty widows on the 29th of November, being his birthday. Hugh Parry had left £56 for a similar purpose previously. There are some small bequests for a distribution of coal; and a few minor charities have been lost, having been lent on insufficient security.

Offa's Dyke and Wat's Dyke both intersect the parish, and in their courses approach within a quarter of a mile of each other, near the village, but diverge as they are traced either northward or southward, so as shortly to leave an interval of several miles. Various vegetable impressions, and a great variety of petrifactions are found in the mines, and also near the river Dee in the southern portion of the parish. The Rev. Peter Roberts, A.M., M.P.S., the learned editor of the Collectanea Cambrica, and author of the "Early History of the Cymry, or Ancient Britons," and other works, resided in the parish.



 

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