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So far I have talked a lot about the township of Brymbo, but have not said so much about the village that bears the name today. This is because like most nucleated settlements in Wales Brymbo village is largely a product of the nineteenth century, whose developments locally have been well covered in other sources. However, the roots of the village do go back further; and to some degree those roots determine its present shape.
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Continuing the previous post.
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The River Gwenfro – really just a stream – forms much of Brymbo’s southern boundary, successively separating it from Minera and Bersham townships. Following its course, even over only a few miles, can uncover much of historical interest.

Its name comes, probably, from gwen and bro. The latter can mean a variety of things, depending on the context. “Country” or “locality” is one potential translation, more specifically the “cultivated country”; “valley” (or more specifically “vale” – a large, wide valley) another. Gwen, of course, is “white”; either used in a literal sense or more poetically to signify “fair”, “blessed” or “holy”. So take your pick. “Gwenfro” can even be translated directly as “Paradise – which sounds a bit like the kind of ironic name that the colliers might have bestowed, were it not for the fact that the river name appears back in the 15th century at least.

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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.