Welsh Icons - Towns & Villages






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Bersham (Welsh: Y Bers) is a small village located in the suburbs of the county borough of Wrexham in Wales, despite this the village still retains a rural feeling and lies next to the River Clywedog. Wrexham owes a large amount of its original industrial heritage to Bersham.

An area of Industrial Importance
The village holds special importance for economic historians, for not only did it house the workshops of the skilled Davies Brothers, it was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution. This is the place where British iron making began in 1670, where smelting iron ore with coke began in 1721, and where John Wilkinson, the 'Iron Mad' pioneer of the Industrial Revolution, set up shop in 1761. For many years the area was one of the most important iron manufacturing centres in the world. The Bersham Ironworks Museum tells the story of the man who bored cannon for the American War of Independence and cylinders for James Watt's revolutionary steam engine that changed the face of the world.

Bersham Colliery, the last working coal mine in the former Denbighshire coalfield, was not actually in the village of Bersham but situated nearby in the village of Rhostyllen. (The collapse of a shaft from the colliery in the 1970s seriously affected the structural security of the nearby Erddig House allowing compensation of £120,000 to be cliamed by the National Trust against the National Coal Board).

Plas Power Woods
Plas Power Woods comprise 33.7ha of woodland running along the River Clywedog between Coedpoeth and Bersham, and stretches to the Nant Mill Wood situated upstream to the east on the Clywedog Trail. The vast majority of the woodland is ancient woodland although most has been replanted with conifers and, locally, with beech and/or sycamore.

Several features of historical importance are present; a section of Offa's Dyke runs across the Clywedog Valley through Plas Power Woods. Several Listed structures are also present including Plas Power Park wall, an ornate cast iron Victorian era bridge and railings and the Western Weir, Nant Bridge, Bersham Lodge and Caeau Wier.

Bersham Church and The FitzHugh Family
St Mary's in Plas Power is a 19th century parish church in the heart of the village. The church was founded and built by Thomas Lloyd FitzHugh in 1875. His wife Emily Mary from Charlecote in Warwickshire took a great interest in the building and is the reason why the architect and organ builder were both from that county. It was originally built without a bell tower; however, one was added some years later. When Captain Godfrey FitzHugh was killed on active service in Palestine in 1917 his widow Ethel had the bells installed in his memory. They consist of a carillon of eight bells operated by hand and are still in use today.

 Pubs/Bars in Bersham:
 The Black Lion Inn
       Ddol Awel
 01978 365588

 Schools/Colleges in Bersham:
 Prospects Centre For Young People (Independent)
       Bersham Road
       LL14 4HS
 01978 313777
 01978 313888

Bersham-Drelincourt - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
BERSHAM-DRELINCOURT, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Wrexham; the township of Bersham containing 1716 inhabitants. In or near this chapelry are extensive paper-mills, situated upon the river Clywedog; and the whole district abounds with valuable mines of iron and coal. The township comprises 1901 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £16 per annum private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £600 parliamentary grant; net income, £90; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The vicarial tithes of the township, payable to the incumbent of Wrexham, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £240; and the impropriate, for one of £174. 10. The chapel, known by the local name of "Capel Madam," is situated at the southwestern extremity of the township of Broughton. Attached to it is a school for the instruction of twenty poor girls, founded in 1762, by Anne, Dowager Viscountess Primerose, who endowed it with lands, &c., under the superintendence of trustees, including the Bishop of St. Asaph, the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, and others. All the children are clothed, and half of the number lodged and maintained, at the expense of the charity, which is open to the parishes of Wrexham and Llanvair-Dyfryn-Clwyd. At Bersham is a well-built school, established in 1842 by the Harris family, by whom considerably more than half the expenses are defrayed, the remainder being met by school-fees and subscriptions. That celebrated relic of Anglo-Saxon antiquity, Wat's Dyke, passes in the vicinity, nearly in a direction from south to north, and is perfect throughout the whole of its course here. The inhabitants of the township are assessed separately for the maintenance of their poor, pursuant to an arrangement made in 1830.


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