Cefn Mawr

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Coordinates: 52°58′23″N 3°04′34″W / 52.973040°N 3.076142°W / 52.973040; -3.076142

Cefn Mawr
The Flexys chemical works at Cefn mawr - geograph.org.uk - 658214.jpg
The former chemical works at Cefn Mawr, with the village on the hillside above
Cefn Mawr is located in Wrexham
Cefn Mawr
Cefn Mawr
 Cefn Mawr shown within Wrexham
Population 6,669 (2001 Census, includes the villages Acrefair, Rhosymedre and Newbridge)
OS grid reference SJ2783142285
Community Cefn
Principal area Wrexham
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WREXHAM
Postcode district LL14
Dialling code 01978
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Clwyd South
Welsh Assembly Wrexham
List of places
UK
Wales
Wrexham

Cefn Mawr is a large village in the community of Cefn within the County Borough of Wrexham, Wales. Its name translates as "big ridge".[1]

The community of Cefn comprises the villages of Cefn Mawr, Cefn-bychan ("little ridge"), Acrefair, Penybryn, Newbridge, Plasmadoc and Rhosymedre and is situated on the northern slopes of the Dee Valley.

History[edit]

Cefn Mawr was part of the ancient parish of Ruabon and the area was known as Cristionydd Cynrig (or Cristioneth Kenrick in English). In 1844, most of Cristionydd Cynrig, together with the neighbouring township of Coed Cristionydd became part of the new parish of Rhosymedre.[2]

Cefn railway station served the village from 1848 to 1960.

Industry[edit]

The former bakery of the Cefn & District Co-operative Society

Cefn Mawr was formerly heavily industrialised, with large deposits of iron and coal and sandstone, and heavy industry dominated the area in the 18th and 19th centuries. Iron was worked at several blast furnaces and forges throughout the area and coal was mined at pits in Cefn, Plas Kynaston and Dolydd. Stone was cut at quarries above Cefn Mawr. Much of the mineral wealth of the area was exported by canal over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Shropshire Union Canal, until the railway reached Ruabon in 1855.

In 1867 Robert Ferdinand Graesser, an industrial chemist from Obermosel in Saxony, Germany, established a chemical works at Plas Kynaston to extract paraffin oil and paraffin wax from the local shale. The company later expanded into the production of coal tar, and carbolic acid (phenol). The site soon became the world's leading producer of phenol. In 1919 the US chemical company Monsanto entered into a partnership with Graesser's chemical works to produce vanillin, salicylic acid, aspirin, and later rubber processing chemicals. The site was later operated by Flexsys, a subsidiary of Solutia, but production ceased in 2010. With the closure of the nearby Air Products site at Acrefair, manufacturing in the village has almost disappeared. The village still has a supermarket, which has changed hands from Kwik Save to Somerfield to the Co-Op. A large Tesco store was opened in March 2012 on the former site of the village football team, Cefn Druids. After buying this land, Tesco agreed to contribute to the construction of the new football ground located half a mile (1 km) away near the neighbouring village of Rhosymedre.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Miles Thomas Chairman of BOAC was born here.
  • Andy Radford (1962-2011) Journalist and author of 6 books lived here until his death on 18 November 2012.

Leisure and education[edit]

Tŷ Mawr Country Park is located in the area, and features the Cefn Viaduct, built by Thomas Brassey in 1848 to carry the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway across the valley of the River Dee. The village has two primary schools: an English, Cefn Mawr County Primary School, and a Welsh, Ysgol Min Y Ddol. There is also a public library.

The community is home to football club Cefn Druids A.F.C. of the Cymru Alliance.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mills, D. A Dictionary of British Place Names, OUP, p.104
  2. ^ Rhosymedre, St John, GENUKI

External links[edit]