The high street in Bangor-on-Dee
Bangor-on-Dee shown within Wrexham
|Population||1,266 2001 Census|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Clwyd South|
|Welsh Assembly||Clwyd South|
Bangor-on-Dee (Welsh: Bangor-is-y-Coed or Bangor Is Coed) is a local government community, the lowest tier of local government, part of Wrexham County Borough in Wales. It is a village in the ancient district of Maelor in Wales, situated on the banks of the River Dee. The village is in the county borough of Wrexham; until 1974 it was in the exclave of Flintshire traditionally known as the Maelor Saesneg, and from 1974-1996 was in the county of Clwyd.
The commonly used anglicised name refers to the village's proximity to the River Dee. However, the traditional Welsh name is Bangor-is-y-Coed, literally meaning "Bangor (i.e. a settlement within a wattle fence) below the wood/trees". This form was first recorded in 1699, while an alternative name of the parish, "Bangor Monachorum" ("Bangor of the monks"), was first recorded in 1677.
A monastery was established at Bangor in about AD 560 by Saint Dunod (or Dunawd) and was an important religious centre in the 5th and 6th centuries. The monastery was destroyed in about 613 by the Anglo-Saxon king Æthelfrith of Northumbria after he defeated the Welsh armies at the Battle of Chester, which probably took place near Bangor-on-Dee; a number of the monks then transferred to Bardsey Island and appear among lists of saints. Before the battle, monks from the monastery had fasted for three days and then climbed a hill to witness the fight and pray for the success of the Welsh, they were massacred on the orders of Æthelfrith. The scholar Bede wrote that 1200 monks were slaughtered and only 50 escaped. Other accounts are very different in terms of the numbers killed and the date, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, for example, states that 200 priests were slain at Chester in 607. More than a millennium later, the massacre was recounted in a poem entitled "The Monks of Bangor's March" by Walter Scott, and put to music by Ludwig van Beethoven. Today no trace of the monastery remains and even its site is uncertain; it is possible that all the buildings, including the church, were built of wattle and daub.
The settlement at Bangor is likely to have continued after the destruction of the monastery, although it was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, and it was an important site for pilgrims. A village was certainly in existence by 1300, when the present church is believed to have been built. By the late 1690s, the historian Edward Lhuyd recorded that the village still had only 26 houses, but by the end of the 19th century it had significantly expanded, including a free school, coaching inn, a shop, further houses and a brewery.
The five-arched stone arch bridge across the River Dee dates from about 1660 and it is believed to have been built by Inigo Jones. A 1903 suspension bridge by David Rowell & Co. is nearby at Pickhill Meadows.
Bangor had a station on the Cambrian Railways' Wrexham to Ellesmere line which crossed the River Dee via an iron bridge to the north of the village. This line was opened in 1895 and ran through an entirely rural area. The line closed for passenger services in 1962. Today there is only a local bus service that runs to the nearby towns of Wrexham and Whitchurch.
- Bangor Isycoed, Office for National Statistics
- Bangor, St Dunawd, GENUKI
- Baring-Gould, Sabine; Fisher, John (1911). The Lives of the British Saints, Volume 2. London: The Honourable Society of the Cymmrodorion. p. 326. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Baring-Gould, Sabine; Fisher, John (1911). The Lives of the British Saints, Volume 4. London: The Honourable Society of the Cymmrodorion. p. 298. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Baring-Gould, Sabine; Fisher, John (1911). The Lives of the British Saints, Volume 2. London: The Honourable Society of the Cymmrodorion. p. 385. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Maelor Saesneg, Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust
- The racecourse
- Map sources for Bangor-on-Dee
- The Monks of Bangor's March
- photos of Bangor-on-Dee and surrounding area on geograph