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North and west of Brynmally colliery lies an attractive area of small, wooded hills, tiny deep-banked lanes, and old farmhouses, with a few relics of an industry that it is now difficult to imagine ever being here. The parishes of Wrexham, Gresford and Hope meet at this point, the latter lying across the Cegidog to the north. Much of the area is now given the name of Ffrwd – over the years it has also been spelt in the Anglicised form “Frood”, the latter particularly applied to John Thompson‘s colliery and ironworks which once occupied land at the very extremity of Brymbo township.
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A few months back, I looked at the early history of the colliery at Brynmally, formerly one of Brymbo’s main sources of employment, from its probable founding in the 18th century by Thomas Brock and Charles Roe to its development under the Kyrke family, who lived at Brynmally Hall. The financial troubles of George Kyrke led to the sale of the property in 1849 to Thomas Clayton, a young entrepreneur from Lancashire with existing experience and marital connections in the coal industry.

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On February 24th 1894 the Wrexham Advertiser, always alert to stories of local interest, ran a small article on what it called the “first annual match of the newly-formed Brymbo District Ploughing Society“, which had recently taken place at Penrhos Farm. As the industrial past of our area is usually emphasised, it is easy to forget the agriculture that not only long preceded it, but continued very successfully alongside Brymbo’s most intense period of industrial development. Although ploughing matches still take place in Wales – you can attend the 57th All Wales Championship next September – I certainly imagine that little ploughing of any kind has taken place in Brymbo since the 1940s, after which most of the area’s farms went over to dairying. More recently many of them have, sadly, had to cease even that. However, there was little hint of this future in the inaugural Brymbo ploughing match, whose patrons (including J. R. Burton of Minera Hall, R H V Kyrke, Alfred Darby, Henry Beyer Robertson and even Sir Watkin Williams-Wynne himself) encompassed all the main landowners and industrialists of the district.

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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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