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The turnpike roads came to the area early. An Act of 1758-9, back in the reign of George II, provided for the upgrade of the roads from “the town of Mold to the town of Denbigh, and from thence to Tal y Cafn and Conway, and from the town of Wrexham to the towns of Ruthin and Denbigh“. It was the Wrexham-Ruthin section, passing through Gegin Wen close to the township border and thence across the bleak moorland by Maes Maelor, that was finally to drag the inhabitants of Brymbo firmly into the 18th century.

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A few months back I started to write about the history of one of Brymbo’s smaller villages, the Lodge, starting in the 18th century. The second part, however, will be a step backwards to the century before.

Legal cases, particularly Chancery cases, can often provide a lot more information than you’d think at first glance. In this instance a 1692 suit filed by Robert Griffith, Esq, of Brymbo Hall against John Hill and his wife not only holds the answers to an ownership puzzle over the Lodge estate itself, but casts some light on a previously unknown coal mine.

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Most of the large villages that lie immediately west of Wrexham have quite modern origins. They date from either the 19th or even the early 20th century, sprung from the need to accommodate thousands of workers in industries which have since vanished. In the area of the old township of Brymbo, you can find settlements of this type (Vron and Tanyfron); there are also older villages which expanded substantially in the same period, such as Bwlchgwyn, or Brymbo village itself. These older settlements resulted from an earlier phase of industrial development, when landless labourers built cottages encroaching on the old commons: hence the original name of Brymbo village, “Harwood”, which had been the name of the common on which it was built.

There are also cases of hamlets which failed to expand and have even since shrunk, like Pentre’r-fron, a possible “Pentre Glascoed” and – in a more modern era – Penrhos. One village in particular, however, was both entirely the creation of 19th century industry and was later largely destroyed by it. This was the Lodge, on what had been the township’s very eastern border, adjacent to Broughton.

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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.