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Wrexham

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Wrexham (Welsh: Wrecsam) is a town in North Wales, with a population of approximately 68,000. It used to be mainly an industrial town with coal mining and brick making as the main industry, but employment has broadened.

Understand

The first known settlement was known as Wristleham Castle, a motte and bailey located in what is now known as Erddig Park, established in 1161. King Edward I of England is on record as having briefly stayed at Wrexham during his expedition to suppress the revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn in 1294. The town became part of the county of Denbighshire when it was created in 1536. Wrexham was divided into two distinct townships, Wrexham Regis (which was under the control of the King) and Wrexham Abbot (generally the older parts of the town, which originally belonged to Valle Crucis Abbey at nearby Llangollen).

In the 18th century, Wrexham was known for its leather industry. There were skinners and tanners in the town. The horns from cattle were used to make such items as combs and buttons. There was also a nail-making industry in Wrexham. In the mid-18th century Wrexham was no more than a small market town with a population of perhaps 2,000. However, in the late 18th century Wrexham grew rapidly as it became one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution began in Wrexham in 1762 when the entrepreneur John Wilkinson (1728–1808) known as 'Iron Mad Wilkinson' opened Bersham Heritage Centre and Ironworks. In 1793 he opened a smelting plant at Brymbo. At the top end of the Clywedog Valley, about ten minutes' drive from Wrexham, Minera Lead Mines are the remains of the profitable lead industry that dates back to prehistoric times.

Wrexham gained its first newspaper in 1848. The Market Hall was built in 1848, and in 1863 a volunteer fire brigade was founded. Wrexham was also home to a large number of breweries, and tanning became one of Wrexham's main industries. In the mid 19th century Wrexham was granted borough status. Wrexham's mining heritage is nearly all gone. Most former mines have been converted into industrial and business parks - one such development at Bersham Colliery has the last surviving head gear in the north Wales coalfield. Just off the A483, on the edge of Wrexham, the Gresford Disaster Memorial stands witness to the 266 miners who lost their lives after a series of explosions at Gresford colliery in September 1934.

Just 2 miles (3 km) south of Wrexham town centre, Erddig, a National Trust property, was home to the Yorke family until 1973. Its last resident, Philip Yorke, handed over a house in need of restoration as years of subsidence caused by the workings of Bersham Colliery had caused a lot of damage. The house was voted one of the two most popular stately homes in the UK by a National Trust/Channel 5 publication.

In the mid to late 19th century Wrexham had over 35 breweries, and grew a proud tradition of brewing both ale and lager. In 1882 German immigrants set up Britain's first lager brewery under the name of Wrexham Lager. In 2000 the Wrexham Lager Brewery was the last one to close. A number of the original brewery buildings remain, most notably Wrexham Lager on Central Road (offices), Soames Brewery on Yorke Street (Nags Head) and Border Brewery on Tuttle Street (converted apartments).

The Wrexham industrial estate, which boasted many companies on its estate has drastically reduced, but is still home to major companies such as Kellogg's, Avox, Calypso, Hoya Lens, Wockhardt, and JCB. The county also boasts companies such as Cadbury's, Sharp, Grote, moneypenny and brother.

Get in

By air

The nearest airports to Wrexham are Liverpool Airport and Manchester Airport, they can take approx 45-60 minutes depending on traffic.

By rail

1 Wrexham Central station, as the name suggests, is in the town centre. 2 Wrexham General station is a 5-10 minute walk from the town centre, General station is the largest in North Wales and is well served by regular direct intercity trains from BirminghamManchesterCardiff and London.

By bus

There are buses operated by Arriva from Chester to Wrexham bus station and G.H.A. operates buses from Oswestry and Rhyl to Wrexham bus station.

Get around

By rail

The train services from Wrexham Central station and Wrexham General station is a fast and useful way of travelling to see the surrounding area.

By bus

There is also an extensive bus service from the Wrexham bus station to all the local villages such as Coedpoeth and to towns such as Oswestry and cities such as Chester.

By taxi

Taxi offices are found throughout the town centre and can be contacted day and night.

See

  • 1 St Giles' Church, ☏ +44 1978 355808. Daily 11AM-3PM.
One of the Seven Wonders of Wales, built between 14th-16th century. 45-m tower with far-reaching views. Mural of the Last Judgement, and other artistic artifacts.
  • Wrexham County Borough Museum, Regent Street, LL11 1RB (close to Wrexham Central station), ☏ +44 1978 317970, ✉ museum@wrexham.gov.uk. M-F 10AM-5PM; Sa 10:30AM-3PM. Museum about local area. Includes Brymbo Man - a prehistoric body found near Wrexham. Also visiting exhibitions and local archive centre. Free.
  • 2 Erddig Hall, Erddig, near Wrexham, LL13 0YT, ☏ +44 1978 355314, fax: +44 1978 313333, ✉ erddig@nationaltrust.org.uk. Open March-Oct Sa-W (and Th in July/Aug). Garden 11AM-6PM; house noon-5PM. 18th-century stately home. 18th-century walled garden. Adult £8; child £4; family £20; garden only: adult £5; child £2.50; family £12.
  • Oriel Wrexham (Arts Centre), Rhosddu Road, LL11 1AU, ☏ +44 1978 292093, fax: +44 1978 292611, ✉ oriel.wrecsam@wrexham.gov.uk.
  • Grove Park Theatre, Hill Street, LL11 1SN, ☏ +44 1978 351091, ✉ info@groveparktheatre.co.uk. Events held throughout the year. Adults £8, children £4.50.
  • William Aston Hall, Mold Road, LL11 2AW, ☏ +44 1978 293293. Holds events throughout the year including events such as famous comedians as Andy Parsons, Russel Kane, Al Murray and Roy Chubby Brown. The Venue also plays host to orchestras, choirs, pantomimes, live music, talk and lectures.
  • Catrin Finch Centre, Mold Road, LL11 2AW, ☏ +44 1978 293293. Holds a range of events including conferences, seminars, theatrical, comedy, music and talk/lecture.
  • Central Station, 15-17 Hill Street, LL11 1SN, ☏ +44 1978 358780. Is the largest live music venue in Wales which has played host to a number of events over the years including LostProphets, the Magic Numbers, Puddle of Mudd and Duffy.
  • Wrexham FC, Mold Road, LL11 2AH. Are in the Football Conference, and play home games in the town at the Racecourse Ground.
  • North Wales Crusaders, Mold Road, LL11 2AH. Will play in the Co-operative Championship One next season, and will play home games in the town at the Racecourse Ground.

Do

  • Motor Safari.
  • Plas Power Adventure.
  • Techniquest Glyndwr.
  • TenPin Bowling.
  • North Wales Regional Tennis Centre.
  • Clays Golf Course.
  • Moss Valley Golf.
  • Night LIFE Wrexham has a thriving night life, described as one of the best in the North.
  • Wrexham Golf Club.
  • Waterworld Leisure Centre.
  • Bellevue Park.
  • Acton Park.
  • Go to the races at 1 Bangor on Dee racecourse, Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse Bangor-Is-Y-Coed Wrexham LL13 0DA, ☏ +44 1978 780 323, ✉ mail@bangorondeeraces.co.uk.. Jumps racecourse, that also runs occasional "point to point" races.

Buy

The town centre boasts a market on Mondays and Fridays with the traditional indoor markets still in existence. The main shopping streets are Bank Street, Henblas Street, High Street, King Street, Regent Street, Overton Arcade, Hope Street and Queen Street. The variety of shops has increased over the years and now includes TK Maxx, Peacocks, Laura Ashley, New Look, Game and HMV. Eagles Meadow shopping centre's main anchor is Debenhams and includes many other popular stores such as Topshop, JD Sports, River Island, H&M and M&S. Independent designer boutiques include Ragazzi, Origin Menswear, Chevron and Serutti. Wrexham’s independent retailers are amongst the best in Britain according to mystery shopping visits, which rated them highly.

In council-owned car parks on Crescent Road and the People's Market (multi-storey) car parks are free of charge after midday.

Eat

There are several independent restaurants in Wrexham town centre offering international dishes.

Offer fantastic and delicious Indian food:

  • Anise.
  • Tava.
  • Khazana.
  • Jira.
  • Panahar.
  • Country Spice.
  • Black Peppers.

Chinese:

  • Eastern Sheraton.
  • Sleepy Panda.

Other:

  • Dao Siam. Thai restaurant though rather expensive, it is definitely worth it.
  • Perelli's. Italian
  • The Lemon Tree. Italian
  • Zaza. is a brasserie and wine bar, which offers fresh seasonally inspired food.
  • Arnold's Bar & Grill (opposite Wrexham bus station). is a steak house
  • La Baguette. A popular independent sandwich shop located in the town.

Recommended places to eat in the Wrexham county include Pant-Yr-Ochain in Gresford, The Boat, Erbistock, the Croes Howell in Llay, The Ffrwd Inn and The Hollybush both in Cefyn-y-Bedd.

Chain restaurants mostly located in the Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre includes Pizza Express, Nandos, and Frankie and Benny's. Many popular fast food chains such as Subway, McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Chicken Cottage, Domino's, Pizza Hut and Try Tai are located in Wrexham.

Pubs in the area such as Plas Coch and Nags Head, serve popular favorites such as steak and chips and fish and chips on a budget, but at the same time offering a good standard of food and service. There's two Wetherepoons in the town centre which offers food and drink at reasonable prices.

Excellent local produce is available at Village Bakery and Gerrard's, which compete with national chains such as Sayer's and Gregg's. The Butcher's Market and also butcher's located in various places around the town centre also serves local produce.

Drink

Wrexham has a decent nightlife mainly because of the proximity between the various bars and clubs with most situated on the High Street, Town HillHill Street and Brook Street.

Some of the more popular bars include Horse & Jockey, Bar Cuprum, Yates's, Lloyds No1 bar, Yales Cafe Bar, Voodoo Moon, The Bank, Fat Cat Cafe Bar, Bar 1-5, Honky Tonks, The Commercial, Golden Lion, Cross Foxes, The Old Swan, Ironworks. Nightclubs include Liquid/Envy, Chicago Rock Cafe and Central Station. The latter showcases many local bands and popular musicians from the UK and overseas while also hosting local DJs mainly on Saturday nights.

  • The Turf is also a popular bar next to the Racecourse ground, especially on match days. This was the birthplace of Wrexham FC.
  • The Wynnstay Arms in the Town Centre was where the Football Association of Wales (FAW) was founded at a meeting held on 2 February 1876.
  • The Bridge End Inn in Ruabon, Wrexham was the Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) pub of the year in 2011.
  • 1 Saith Seren, 18 Chester Street, ☏ +44 7747 792441. Monday-Saturday. A community-owned and ran pub with a strong presence of Welsh language and culture. Live music every weekend and various events during the week. Food also served lunch times and evenings.

Sleep

  • 1 Ramada Plaza Wrexham, Ellice Way, ☏ +44 1978 291400.
  • 2 Lemon Tree Restaurant with Rooms, 29 Rhosddu Road, ☏ +44 1978 261211.
  • Grove Guest House, 36 Chester Road, LL11 2SD, ☏ +44 1978 354288, ✉ grove-guesthouse@grove-guesthouse.co.uk.
  • Travelodge, A483/A5152 Wrexham Bypass, Rhostyllen, LL14 4EJ, ☏ +44 871 984 6116.
  • Premier inn, Chester Road, Gresford, LL12 8PW, ☏ +44 871 527 9190.

Connect

Telephone boxes are located throughout town, and there is an internet cafe on Vicarage Hill. McDonald's, Pizza Express, The Old Swan Pub, Nags Head, Lemon Tree, Costa and Starbucks all offer free Wi-Fi.

Go next

There is plenty to do in the surrounding area, including:

  • Chirk Castle
  • Llangollen
  • Froncysllte Aqueduct - Longest and highest navigable cast iron aqueduct in the world
  • Glyn Ceiriog Village
  • Ceiriog Valley
  • Clywedog Trail (Industrial history including lead mines, iron works and heritage center)
  • Chester
  • Bangor-On-Dee races

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