The Beginnings of Ruabon
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
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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