History of

Wrexham / Wrecsam



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Theosophy and Wrexham / Wrecsam

The Mabel Collins Connection


An early member of the Theosophical Movement was Mabel Collins who was also a founder member of The British Union of Anti Vivisectionists (BUAV). Anti-Vivisection was a key issue in the early days of the Theosophy in Wales with support for the BUAV being discussed at Cardiff Theosophical Society meetings in 1911 and 1912

One of the more successful campaigns run by the BUAV was that of taking over shops on a short lease and stocking it with leaflets, pamphlets and posters to elicit support from passers by. This idea of Mabel's was highly successful and she travelled around the country overseeing similar schemes in many major cities.

She ran the first of these shops in Wrexham in 1909 and later opened similar shops in Bangor (North Wales) and Bournemouth (England).

Mabel Collins became an extremely well known anti vivisectionist and was interviewed in the press on a number of occasions.



Wrexham / Wrecsam is a large former industrial town, conurbation and principal area of Wales lying in north-eastern part of the country. It is situated between the first mountains of Wales and the lower Dee valley, close to the English border with Cheshire about 15 miles south of Chester (England). It is the main commercial, retail, educational and cultural centre in North Wales, and often termed 'The capital of North Wales'. In the 2001 census Wrexham had a population of 42,576, whereas the Wrexham urban area had a population of 63,084. It forms the centre of the wider Wrexham County Borough, which covers 50,500 hectares and has a population of over 130,000. These figures make Wrexham by far the largest urban area in Wales away from the south coast.




Approx 1600 BC

Prehistoric human activity in the area. This was revealed by the discovery of skeletal remains, known as ‘Brymbo Man’, in a Bronze Age burial at Brymbo in 1958.


48 AD - 450 AD

Roman activity in Wrexham. Holt and Plas Coch were large farm settlements. The earliest mention of the town name, Wrexham appears in ‘The Pipe Roles’, as ‘the castle Wristleham’.



The first reference to Wrexham Parish Church.


1282, 1284, 1295

Edward I visits as part of his conquest of Wales.



Chirk Castle, home to Marcher lordships, is built.



The first reference to the establishment of a market and fair in Wrexham.



Charter to the burgesses of Holt. This is later confirmed by Elizabeth I conferring town status.



The Steeple of St Giles Parish Church was completed. It is now one of the seven wonders of Wales.



Richard Gwyn, the Welsh Catholic School Master and the first Welsh Martyr to the Papal Cause is persecuted and executed.



Charles I visits Royalist Wrexham.



Wrexham suffers when one quarter of the town is destroyed by fire during the Civil War.



The Royalists are defeated at Rowton Moor, near Chester and the Roundheads take over Wrexham.



The Father of non-conformism in North Wales, Morgan Llwyd is installed as the vicar of Wrexham. 1648 The infamous George ‘Hanging Judge’ Jeffreys is born in Wrexham. Judge Jeffreys became famous for his tough penalties during the Monmouth rebellion in the reign of Charles II.



Tanneries founded at Wrexham. The Cambrian Leather Works would later supply the leather for the binding of the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which needed nearly a million skins!



The benefactor of Yale University, USA, Elihu Yale, dies and is buried in Wrexham Parish Church.



The Industrial Revolution begins in Wrexham. John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson brought his father’s Bersham Iron Foundry into prominence, followed by smelting works at Brymbo in 1793.



The famous Thomas Telford Aqueduct is opened.



The Hymn ‘From Greenland’s Icy Mountains’ was sung for the first time in Wrexham Parish Church.



A National Eisteddfod is held in Wrexham. This is to be the first of many.



The first Wrexham Hospital, the Dispensary, is founded.



Wrexham is constituted a Municipal Borough by Charter granted by Queen Victoria.
St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral is built.



Town granted commission of the peace.



A large network of railways is completed.



Wrexham Association Football Club is founded.



The Football Association of Wales is formed in the Wynnstay Arms, Wrexham.



The Official Headquarters of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers is established.



First lager brewery in Britain is built at Wrexham by a German immigrant – Ferdinand Graesser.



Queen Victoria visits Wrexham for her Diamond Jubilee.



First public swimming baths opens.



The first purpose - built cinema in North Wales opens in Wrexham.



Gresford Colliery explodes on September 22nd. 265 people lose their lives.



National Eisteddfod held in Rhos, it was interrupted to announce the end of World War II.



Freedom of the Borough is given to the Royal Welch Fusiliers.



Queen Elizabeth II visits Wrexham as part of her Coronation. Coronation Walk is named in honour of this.



The Town Twinning partnership with Kreis Iserlohm, Markisher Kreis, Germany, is inaugurated.



Richard Gwyn, the Wrexham Catholic School Master and the first Welsh Martyr to the Papal Cause is declared a Saint.



North East Wales Institute (NEWI) is founded including Denbighshire Technical College and Cartrefle.



Wrexham Football Club win the Welsh Cup for the twentieth time.



Queen Elizabeth II visits as part of her Silver Jubilee.



The Duchess of Kent opens the first phase of the Maelor Hospital.



Princess Diana opened the restored Visitor Centre of Kings Mills.



Queen Elizabeth II visits Overton for the 700th anniversary of the Overton Charter.



The Duchess of Gloucester opens Nightingale House Hospice.



The Duke of Kent opens second phase of the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.



Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh opens Waterworld Leisure Complex.



Two new multi - million pound shopping complexes open, Henblas Square and Island Green.



The Prince of Wales visits Wrexham to launch the Rural Community Helpline 2002





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