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Glyn Ceiriog

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Map ReferenceSJ23NW
Grid ReferenceSJ2050038000
Unitary (Local) AuthorityWrexham
Old CountyDenbighshire
CommunityLlansantffraid Glyn Ceiriog

‘The earliest reference to the settlement is the Taxation of 1291 when the church was termed Lansanfreit. In 1538 we read of Llansanffraid ynglyn but it was not until 1566 that Ceiriog was mentioned in association with the church, although as an independent feature the valley of Glyn Ceirigog was recorded in 1400. The meaning is straightforward – the “church of Saint Ffraid in the valley of Ceiriog.’ The six inch Ordnance Survey maps published in 1880, 1900 and 1953 all refer to the village as ‘Llansantffraid-Glyn-Ceiriog’ so it must only have been in the latter half of the twentieth century that the abbreviated name ‘Glyn Ceiriog’ was adopted.

Glyn Ceiriog is located about 4km south of Llangollen and 12kn north-west of Oswestry, not far from the English border.

According to Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, ‘this village represents a classic example of settlement shift. The church accompanied by only a few houses is set on a steep south-facing hillside at a point where the Ceiriog valley describes a dramatic loop, and the location offers an excellent aspect both upstream and downstream. … The main and modern part of the village lies in the valley below the church, on flatter ground beside the Ceiriog.’

‘A large map of the manors of Chirk and Chirkland which dates to the last quarter of the 18th century depicts the churchyard and cottages on the lane leading to it from the west. Above these were open moorland (cf Llanarmon Mynydd Mawr). This must have been the original focus of settlement, though whether dwellings began to emerge here in the late Middle Ages has yet to be established. In the valley below on the Chirk manorial map there was only a single farm, Ty Newydd (now gone but originally east of the Vicarage), and by the river the mill of Felin-bychan. John Evans’ map from 1795 implies rather more settlement close to the river, but both of these maps are at too small a scale to allow any certainty on the true extent of the settlement. More precision comes from the tithe map of 1838 which reveals that dwellings had started to cluster around the crossroads three hundred metres below the church, creating the nucleus of modern Glyn Ceiriog, while along the numerous lanes lacing the northern side of the valley there was sporadic housing.’

The Ordnance Survey map of 1880 depicts a prosperous settlement. The Glyn Valley Tramway (NPRN 309457) passed through the middle of the nucleus of the settlement, and New Cambrian Slate Quarry (NPRN 308675) was located a little to the west. There were also several mills surrounding Llansantffraid-Glyn-Ceiriog: Hafod-y-Gynfawr flannel factory, Berwyn flannel mill, Felin Newydd flour mill and Glyn flour mill. The village has several amenities including a police station, a post office and a National School for girls and boys. There are five public houses (Sun Inn; Hand Inn; Royal Oak; Cambrian and New Inn and five places of worship: St Bridget’s Church (NPRN 165271), three Baptist chapels (NPRN 7795 and NPRN 7796) and a Methodist chapel (NPRN 7798).

In the twenty-first century, the mills have gone. The tramway closed in 1935 and the quarry closed in 1947. The entire site has now been afforested. Glyn Ceiriog still has a school, although it has moved to the east. Ysgol Cynddelw educates about 100 pupils aged 3 to 11. Other amenities in the village include the church, the Oak public house, a convenience store, The Glyn Valley Hotel (which appears to be in a similar location to the New Inn recorded on the 1880 Ordnance Survey map), a children’s play area, a Christian centre, and a pharmacy

Sources: historic Ordnance Survey maps; google maps (street view dates March 2010); Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust’s ‘Historic Settlement Survey – Wrexham County Borough’ Estyn report on Ysgol Cynddelw published in February 2016

M. Ryder, RCAHMW, 17th December 2020