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WalesGotoarrow.pngWrexhamGotoarrow.pngRuabon

Ruabon (Welsh: Rhiwabon) is a village, community and ecclesiastical parish in the County Borough of Wrexham, Wales.

Contents

History

Substantial remains of Offa's Dyke (Welsh: Clawdd Offa) can be seen on the western outskirts of Ruabon. This massive earthwork, stretching from Chepstow in the south to Prestatyn in the north, was constructed in the late 8th century by Offa, King of Mercia, as a boundary between Saxon Mercia and Celtic Wales. Traces of an earlier dyke, Wat's Dyke, can be seen on the eastern side of the Ruabon. It would be several centuries before Ruabon and the lands to the east of Offa's Dyke would be returned to Wales.

The name is derived from the Welsh Rhiw Fabon, or "hillside of Mabon", a local saint. An older English spelling, Rhuabon, can sometimes be seen.

The ancient parish of Ruabon was made up of the townships of:

  • Ruabon (which also included the hamlets of Belan, Bodylltyn, Hafod, and Rhuddallt)
  • Cristionydd Cynrig (also known as Y Dref Fawr or Cristionydd Kenrick in English)
  • Coed Cristionydd
  • Dinhinlle Uchaf (also known as Y Dref Fechan or Cristionydd Fechan)
  • Dinhinlle Isaf
  • Morton Anglicorum (the “English Morton” or Morton Below the dyke)
  • Morton Wallichorum (the “Welsh Morton” or Morton Above the dyke)

(Morton Anglicorum seems to be vaguely defined but within Morton Below.)

Ruabon Parish.png

In 1844, Coed Cristionydd and part of Cristionydd Cynrig became part of the new parish of Rhosymedre; and Dinhinlle Uchaf and Moreton Above became part of the new parish of Rhosllannerchrugog. Later in 1879, Dynhinlle Uchaf and the remainder of Cristionydd Cynrig became the new parish of Penycae.

Rhiwabon wynnstay arms.jpg
The area was, for centuries, under the influence of nearby Chirk Castle and, later, the Williams Wynn family of Wynnstay in Ruabon.

The Ruabon area was formerly heavily industrialised with large deposits of iron, coal and clay. Iron was worked in Gyfelia and Cinders as far back as the Middle Ages but heavy industry dominated the entire parish in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hafod Colliery, the last working colliery in the Ruabon coalfield, closed in 1968.

Iron was worked at Ruabon; Acrefair; Cefn Mawr and Plas Madoc; and zinc at Wynn Hall. In 1867 Robert Graesser, an industrial chemist from Obermosel in Saxony, Germany established a chemical works at Plas Kynaston in Cefn Mawr to extract paraffin oil and wax from the local shale. This was the start of the long association between the chemical industry. The site was later acquired by the American chemical company Monsanto, their first venture in Europe.

Much of the mineral wealth of the area was exported by canal over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Shropshire Union Canal, until the railway reached Ruabon in 1855.

Ruabon sat on vast deposits of clay. At Afongoch there were three clay companies very close together: "Monk & Newell", the “Ruabon Brick & Terra Cotta Ltd." or "Jenks' Terracotta Works" (or "Gwaith Jinks") and the "Tatham Brick & Tile Works" or "Afongoch & Tatham Tileries". At Hafod, the Cornish engineer Henry Dennis founded a clay works next to the Hafod Colliery. The Dennis company became world famous for its tiles but closed in 2008. Other large brickworks existed at Pant, Rhosllannerchrugog, Acrefair and Newbridge.

Today the village of Ruabon is a suburb of the town of Wrexham.

Administration

Years County
pre 1536 Powys Fadog
1536 - 31 March 1974 Denbighshire
1 April 1974 - 31 March 1996 Clwyd
from 1 April 1996 Wrexham

Records

Civil Records

The Registry Office for the parishes of Ruabon and Erbistock was in High Street, Ruabon. Births, marriages and deaths in Ruabon are recorded in the GRO indexes as:

Years Sub-district District Volumes
1 Jul 1837 - 1974 Ruabon Wrexham XXVII (1837-51)
11b (1852-1946)
8A (1946-74)

Church Records

Baptisms Marriages Burials
1559 - 1945 1599 - 1964 1559 - 1963
  • 19 volumes of the Ruabon parish registers from 1599 to 1906 which include all baptisms, marriages and burials.
  • St. Mary's churchyard monumental inscriptions
  • Garden of Rest Monumental Inscriptions
  • There are no official records available on the IGI for Ruabon parish.

Nonconformist Church Records

The following chapel records from Ruabon parish are available on the IGI:

Chapel Years Batch Number
Providence Calvinistic Methodist, Ruabon 1832-1837 C101751
Independent Chapel, Ruabon 1814-1837 C101731
Bethlehem Independent Chapel ("Capel Bychan"), Rhosllannerchrugog 1810-1831 C101761
Jerusalem Calvinistic Methodist ("Capel Mawr"), Rhosllannerchrugog 1810-1837 C101871
Cefn Wesleyan Methodist, Cefn Mawr 1815-1837 C101611
Particular Baptist, Penycae 1789-1837 C101901

Census Records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. The first film number is 104270.

The parish of Ruabon formed part of the Wrexham Registrar's District.

Year Parts
1841 missing
1851 HO107/2503 folios 15-378
1861 RG9/4280 folios folios9-end
RG9/4283 folio 80
1871 RG10/5652 folios 17-end
RG10/5653 folio 189
1881 RG11/5512 folios 11-end
RG11/5514 folio 124
1891 RG12/4612 folios 8-179
RG12/4613 folio 168
1901 RG13/

Poor Law Union Records

Ruabon formed part of the Wrexham Union which was created on 30 March 1837. A workhouse was built at Croesnewydd in Bersham. The records of the Wrexham Union are now held at Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.

Cemeteries

  • St Mary's Churchyard. (All headstones have now been removed)
  • Garden of Remembrance, Church Street. (All headstones have been arranged along the perimeter)
  • Mount Pleasant (the current cemetery)

The Clwyd Family History Society have published the following Ruabon monumental inscriptions:

  • St. Mary's Churchyard, Church Street, Ruabon
  • Garden of Rest, Church Street, Ruabon

Maps and Gazetteers

See also

Bibliography

  • A. N. Palmer, "The History of the Parish of Ruabon" reprint 1992
  • G. G. Lerry, "Collieries of Denbighshire", reprint 1968
  • T. W. Pritchard, "Remembering Ruabon - Cofio Rhiwabon", 2000

Web Sites


 

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