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While records of ordinary people during the seventeenth century are patchy at best, it is still often possible to trace individuals or families in one area over long periods of time. The name William Tussingham appears in the records for Brymbo for the best part of fifty years – suggesting either one long-lived individual or perhaps a father and son.

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Looking down the lane from Mount Sion, Brymbo, towards Glascoed in the middle distance and the higher ground of Pen-Llan-y-gwr beyond

The area known as the Glascoed lies between the Nant-y-ffrith stream in the north and the steep, wooded valley of another stream in the south, sometimes known as the Cefn Brook. The land slopes downwards to the north-east, towards Ffrith and the River Cegidog. Crossed only by one or two narrow, winding lanes, it is today perhaps the quietest and most isolated area of the old township of Brymbo. Palmer, who translated Glascoed as “greenwood” (glas is often translated as “blue” in modern Welsh) commented that few people from Wrexham then knew how beautiful this out-of-the-way place was, “especially after a spell of drought“. This is still true, though to some degree this rural feel is deceptive as Glascoed’s past history includes mining and other industrial activity, much like the rest of the area.

Between the ravines of the Nant-y-ffrith and the Cefn Brook, the land forms a sloping ridge that leads upwards and westwards towards Cefn Farm, whose name translates as “ridge”, appropriately enough, and towards Cefn Buchan. Further uphill is the Waen, and eventually the Gorse farm and Bwlchgwyn. In the later 18th century these farms were purchased by John Wilkinson as he added to the original Brymbo estate, but prior to this much of the land around them seems to have been common. There are two roads crossing it; the Cefn Road, running along the ridge itself, and the “Glascoed Road” on the edge of the Nant-y-ffrith valley, but there is supposed to have been a Roman trackway here too, leading up from Ffrith: the Glascoed Road may follow its alignment. Despite this, archaeological investigations have had trouble proving the road’s exact route. Later still there was a packhorse trail on roughly the same alignment, and in the 17th and 18th centuries the Waen farmhouse was a stopping point for pack trains heading for the markets of England.

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