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Maelor Saesneg Historic Landscape
Character area map

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Maelor Saesneg: Bangor Is-y-coed
Bangor Is-y-coed community, Wrexham County Borough
(HLCA 1115)

CPAT PHOTO 1323-16 Modern expansion of historically important early medieval ecclesiastical centre and by a subsequent medieval nucleated church settlement, close to strategically important river crossing which has substantially expanded as a settlement in the 20th century.

Historic background

Bangor Is-y-coed is first documented in connection with the battle of Chester in about 616, when Aethelfrith, king of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria defeated British forces led by Brocmail (Brochfael), of the royal house of Powys, following which a considerable number of British monks were slaughtered. It continued in existence into the Middle Ages as an important religious centre as a clas church with a large ecclesiastical territory, probably associated with a relatively small secular settlement.

Key historic landscape characteristics

The settlement occupies low-lying ground on the eastern bank of the River Dee, generally at a height of below 15 metres above Ordnance Datum.

Nothing visible remains of the early monastery, named 'Bancornaburg' by Bede, whose site may have been washed away as the River Dee shifted its course. Little is know of the development of the settlement during the medieval period, which consisted of under thirty houses at the end of the 17th century. By the end of the 19th century it formed a small nucleated settlement comprising the church, a group of houses along the High Street and beside the Whitchurch Road with a few close to the church on the Overton Road together with a coaching inn, rectory, nonconformist chapel, shop, free school, and brewery, with a station on the Wrexham-Ellesmere line just to the east. During the course of the 20th century the eastern side of the settlement saw a substantial and rapid expansion in new housing.

Parts of St Dunawd's Church appear to date from the 14th century, the church being extensively altered in the early 18th century when the three-storeyed brick tower with round-headed bell openings and urns as finials was added. The earliest surviving domestic structures include fragments of possibly early 17th-century timber buildings encased in later brick buildings, as in the case of The Stableyard in the High Street. Later buildings, of 18th- and 19th-century date are mostly brick-built. The earlier stone bridge, near church, is of medieval origins but the fabric is largely of 17th-century date. Due to the existence of the bridge the settlement became a significant nodal point in the medieval period and following the development of the turnpike roads in the 18th century.


Colgrave & Musgrove 1969
Defoe 1724-6
Edwards 1991
Gresham 1968
Hubbard 1986
Jervoise 1976
Lewis 1833
Morris-Jones & Parry-Williams 1933
Palmer 1889
Plummer 1896
Pratt & Veysey 1977
Pratt 1992a; Pratt 1992b
Pryce 1992
Silvester et al. 1992
Soulsby 1983
Thomas 1962
Tucker 1958
Williams 1997
Listed Buildings lists
Regional Sites and Monuments Record

For further information please contact the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust at this address, or link to the Countryside Council for Wales' web site at

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