Places to visit in Wrexham
Situated in Wrexham town centre and the most predominant landmark is St.Giles, Parish Church. There is documented evidence that a church of some sort stood on this ground as early as the 11th century and was dedicated to the Celtic saint Silin or Silyn (Silin & Giles both translate to Aegidius in Latin). The present site was first erected around 600 years ago but the tower was burnt down in 1463 and the greater part of the church was rebuilt in the second half of the 15th century. It was then expanded in stages with possible contributions from Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of King Henry VII (her husband was Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby with strong connections to Wrexham).
St. Giles (01978 355808) is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and has the longest aisle of any church in Wales. The tower, completed around 1520, stands 135 feet high and is said to be a model for the houses of parliament in London. The entrance to the church yard is guarded by a pair of wrought-iron gates constructed by the famous Davies brothers in 1720. Inside the church visitors can see; the Chapel of The Royal Welch Fusiliers; a Foster & Andrews pipe organ built in 1894; a brass eagle lectern presented in 1524; a variety of stained glass windows from the 19th and 20th century; and various plaques and memorials (Mrs. John Wilkinson, Mary Myddleton, Bishop of Chester).
Outside the church immediately south west of the tower stands Eliugh Yale's tomb, who contributed many lavish gifts to the church, not to mention a painting of King David playing a harp (given about 1718), which can still be seen on the north wall of the ante-nave. Elihu Yale is famed as one of the founders of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA and Yale University's link with Wrexham was cemented in 1920. This was when an identical copy of the Wrexham Tower was constructed at the American University.
If stately homes are your thing, the National Trust has two properties in the Wrexham area. Any plans to visit more than one National Trust property and it is probably worth enquiring about a season ticket or other discounts.
With impressive gardens, Erddig Hall (01978 313333) is a 17th century residence located close to Wrexham town centre. Erddig Hall was originally built for Joshua Edisbury, High Sheriff of Denbighshire but he became bankrupt. The house was sold to John Mellor in 1716 and he completed the construction before leaving the house and estate to his nephew Simon Yorke in 1733. Over 200 years later in 1977, the bachelor Philip Yorke gave Erddig to the National Trust who then opened it to the public. The Yorke family kept many of their treasures and threw very little away which means the house can be seen very much as it was in the 18th century.
Just a 20-minute drive away from Wrexham, Chirk Castle (01691 777701) features 6 acres of gardens. This is a magnificent Marcher Fortress built in 1310 for Edward I, set in 500 acres of parkland. It is one of the rare UK castles to be continuously inhabited since it was built. Although the Myddleton family owned Chirk Castle for nearly 400 years, it was passed to the National Trust in 1981 and they now have an apartment at the castle. Chirk Castle is set on a rectangular plan with round towers at each corner and an inner courtyard. As the castle was inhabited for so long, many of the furnishings are still in place along with tapestries and elaborate plaster work from different eras of the castles history. Also to be noted at Chirk is yet another set of gates made by the Davies brothers.
How about a day at the races? Bangor-On-Dee Races (01978 780323) is a regular on the race calendar and has good facilities. Make sure it's a nice day otherwise practical footwear is a necessity.
Wrexham is an excellent base to explore North Wales and the North West. The Seven Wonders of Wales are not too far away and the town is only fifteen minutes from Chester and 50 minutes from Manchester and Liverpool. The picturesque town of Llangollen is also only a 20-minute drive.