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Not the colliery, but the place where its workers might have quenched their thirst after work. These farm buildings were the Ffrwd Inn in the late 19th century and were a very short distance from the shafts. The pub known as the Ffrwd today was at this time the Red Lion. (Copyright E Evans, Geograph Project http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/623435; licensed under CC 2.0)

Many of Brymbo’s nineteenth century mines were rather small affairs. This was a period of poor or limited regulation, rapid industrial growth and of unbridled capitalism in general. As a result several collieries sprang up, were worked, went bust and vanished in short order, or reopened several times under different proprietors. One example of Brymbo’s less well-known mines is Cae Penty or Cae-pen-ty, once found just off the road of the same name a short distance from Ffrwd.

Cae-pen-ty means “house end field”, and the house in question was the vanished property known as the Gyfynys. For several centuries this house, and the estate surrounding it, had been the property of a well-connected Welsh family called the Powells, descendants of a Howel ap Llewelyn ap David ap Owen who lived there in the sixteenth century. By the mid nineteenth century, the Powells were nearly forgotten, and Cae Penty was simply a field known for the unusual number of snowdrops and violets that grew there. From the quiet rural feel of the area today, you might imagine that things had changed very little since that time, but for a twenty year period towards the latter half of the nineteenth century things were very different.

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Recently the Brymbo Heritage Group announced that it was recreating a lost local landmark. Many people who grew up locally will either have known or heard of the isolated grove of twelve trees called (depending on who you asked) the “Twelve Disciples” or “Twelve Apostles”, which once stood on the hillside in the old grounds of the Hall. Like the latter, the trees were removed as a result of coal workings around forty years ago, but they were not forgotten.

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This is site about Brymbo, a township once part of Denbighshire, and its history. You can read more about the site in general, start with the most recent posts or with the archives listed below.
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