Croeso Network

The Beginnings of Ruabon

There is evidence of people living in the Ruabon area for over three thousand years. The earliest evidence are the archaeological finds dated to around 1400 BC which is the period in the middle of the Bronze Age. These Bronze Age discoveries were made in Cleveland Street which is now in the centre of Ruabon. It was in 1898 that workmen excavating the ground to lay new drains found a vessel. This was later confirmed to be a funeral Cist containing cremated remains.

This was followed by a further discovery in 1917, when local school pupils working in school gardens discovered a Bronze Age mound known as a ‘Round Barrow’. This contained bones, a flint arrow-head and a bronze axe of a type used for trading and export. This has led local historical experts to suggest the area was situated on a main trading route in those times.

More recently the occupation continued into the Iron Age when the settlement at the Y Gardden hill fort, which has been dated to around 400 BC, was home to a substantial community. The hill fort stands some 585 feet above sea level and holds a commanding position over the local area – the views justify the walk to the summit. Said to be of considerable construction it is considered to have been home to a significant community. Interestingly, there is no record of it ever having been fully excavated.

The community inhabiting the hill fort ceased to exist when the Roman invasion took place in 55 AD and conquered the local Deceangli tribe. The Romans established farming communities like the one recently discovered at Plas Coch, Wrexham or making tiles and pottery at Holt for the 20th Legion based at nearby Chester.

In the historic period, the area of Ruabon formed part of the borderlands with England. This was a troubled time of uncertain and disputed ownership that has shaped the character of the archaeology in the area we see today. The two great 5th and 8th century earthworks of Wat’s Dyke and Offa’s Dyke set the community boundaries of Ruabon which are largely in force today and between these boundaries we find the church of St Mary and St Mabon which has acted as a focal point from those early times.
It is said that prior to the Edwardian conquest in 1282, Welsh farming communities occupied the area for over one thousand years and many of the names from those times are still in existence to day, for example Hafod and Rhuddallt are still used as house names in the local school.


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