Wrexham is a town in north Wales, first incorporated in 1857. It has a current population of 43,000 and is regarded as the unofficial "capital" of north Wales. There is evidence of a small Roman settlement nearby at Plas Coch but the origins of the town are particularly obscure.
The settlement is not mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 and the first reference is to a "Wristleham" in 1161, and in the thirteen the century was divided into the two parts of "Wrexham Abbot" and "Wrexham Regis" but remained nothing more than a small village. From the record that Wrexham was granted the right to hold a market in the year 1391 it appears that it had grown into a small town during the 14th century. During this time Wrexham was the part of the Marcher Lordship of Bromfield and Yale where it remained until 1536 when it formed part of the new county of Denbighshire.
In the 18th century the wool and leather industries drove the growth of the town, which was the largest in Wales by 1750. In the late 18th century Wrexham was transformed by the Industrial Revolution, as a John Wilkinson known as "Iron Mad Wilkinson" opened an iron foundry at Berham in 1762 and a smelting works later at Brymbo. (And was responsible for producing the cylinders for James Watt’s steam engines.)
In the 19th century coal mining also became important and Wrexham was also famous for brewing due to the quality of the local water and it is believed that first lager brewed in Britain was brewed in Wrexham in 1880. The population grew steadily through both the 19th and 20th centuries; in 1841 it was almost 6,000, by 1881 it was almost 11,000 and in 1981 passed 40,000 for the first time.
The parish church of Wrexham is dedicated to Saint Giles, and dates back to the 13th century and features both an impressive steeple renowned as one of the seven wonders of Wales and the tomb of Elihu Yale, the founder of Yale University.
Table of References
- www.welshdragon.net/resources/ places/wrexham_history.shtml