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All historians of Wales owe something of a debt to the scholar Edward Lhuyd, who worked at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford from 1684 until his relatively early death in 1709. Lhuyd was from a Welsh family, although not an especially wealthy one, and as well as being a botanist and philologist was also a passionate antiquarian whose work has preserved much of interest, albeit much of it left unfinished.

One of Lhuyd’s unfinished projects is often known as the Parochial Queries, or Parochialia. This was based around a series of questionnaires sent out in the 1690s with the intention of producing a “geographical dictionary” of Wales. The answers received back from the country’s rural squires and clergymen included all kinds of antiquities, geographical features and curiosities. West of Wrexham, Lhuyd’s informants noted Ffynnon Deuno at Broughton, a beacon on a rock near Minera, the Roman remains at Ffrith, commons, cairns and a series of houses “of note” including Plas Mostyn and Brymbo Hall.

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The remains of John Wilkinson's lead smelter of the 1790s.

John Wilkinson’s lead smelter of the 1790s.

The focus of this blog is mainly on the Brymbo of the 18th century and earlier: that obscure time before the iron and mining industries began to have their most dramatic effect on the landscape and population of the township.

However, as part of filling out my notes on the Rhos, as I’ve called it – the rough, mine-scarred pastureland between Brymbo Hall and the Glascoed – I’ve dealt with a lot of history relating to John Wilkinson‘s time and afterwards. Two of the three main remaining landmarks of the Wilkinson era, the Penrhos engine house and the “Bottle” chimney, lie within this area.

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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.