Martin Rees, Jeweller and Pawnbroker


In brief

Wrexham is the largest town in North Wales. Although it is only 4 miles from the English border, it is a major shopping centre for Wales - some customers come over 40 miles to our shop.
Being so close to the border means the town shows both English and Welsh influence. The church is English in style, and the course of both Offa's and Wat's Dykes - ancient earthworks dividing England from Wales - would put Wrexham in England. However in many other ways, the town is definitely Welsh, and quite often we hear Welsh spoken in the streets.

The beginning

In many countries, the founding of the town was documented, and we know the exact date settlers arrived, and when the church was built.  This is not the case here.  First people came, then at a later date we have a written record referring to the settlement.

1161:  first record of the town by name, as the location of a motte and bailey (in Erddig Park)
1120:  The parish church is mentioned, it has since been rebuilt
1391:  The market was helping the town to grow.

The town became an important point on the drovers' route from Wales into England, as well as a market town.   Industries included wool and leather.  Burgess plots have been identified at Town Hill, confirming its medieval origin.
The market was very important, and streets (including High St, Town Hill, Hope St, and Charles St) were widened for the stalls.
The church was rebuilt in the late 15th and early 16th Centuries.  It's a beautiful Gothic church, with exceptional wall paintings inside.
When the industrial revolution started, the town was close to important sources of coal, lead, ironstone, and lime.
At Bersham, about 2 miles from the town, a method of accurately drilling cannon bores (and steam engine cylinders) was developed. Without this invention, early steam engines would have been much less efficient.
With industry came commerce, and banks and other financial institutes established grand building in the town centre.


Wrexham's High Street and Market Hall
Wrexham's High Street. It used to be the town's main shopping street, but over the years its importance has declined, and now it's the entertainment zone with just a few shops. The imposing building across the road is one of Wrexham's indoor markets.
Below Wrexham's Parish Church, as described in the text

Wrexham Parish Church, Decorated Gothic style