The Miners Welfare Institute, the largest such building in the country at completion in 1931
Llay shown within Wrexham
|Population||4,905 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Prior to the 1960s, Llay was a coal mining village. Llay Main Colliery, at one time the largest colliery in Wales and after 1952 the deepest pit in the UK, was a major employer for the area before its coal reserves were exhausted in 1966.
Llay first appears in mediaeval records as a hamlet - a small settlement without a church - of the township and manor of Burton. It later formed an outlying part of the parish of Gresford, but the relatively late growth of the village is shown by the fact that the first church service was not held there until 1916, and its church was not completed until 1925. Llay was eventually made a separate parish in its own right in 1944.
Much of the growth of the village is connected with the development of coal mines, particularly the Llay Main Colliery. It was first established by the industrialist Sir Arthur Markham in 1913, but sinking of the shafts was interrupted by World War I and by Markham's death in 1916. The shafts were eventually completed in 1921, and coal production started in 1923. The colliery had a reputation as a well-run, modern pit with a relatively satisfied workforce, and by the 1930s was employing more than 3000 men, 450 families being installed in new housing schemes in Llay.
There is a country park in Llay called Alyn Waters Country Park, which has a sister country park in Gwersyllt of the same name. The site includes a children's play park and pathways for pedestrian and cycle access through the forest. There were numerous original artworks around the park such as carved wooden animals along the paths, however many of the artworks have now been stolen or destroyed. There is a small golfing range at the park, and other sporting events take place on the large playing fields, such as football (home of Llay United Youth Football Club) and archery.
There are four churches in the village of Llay; the Roman Catholic St. Francis of Assisi, Llay Community Church of the Nazarene, St. Martin of Tours of the Church in Wales and the Bethel Baptist Church.
There are three drinking establishments, which are the Royal British Legion club, The Crown public house and Llay Miners Welfare, also known as Miners Welfare Institute. Llay Legion is the largest of these offering Sports bar with 2 snooker tables, Pool table, Dart board, Lounge with small stage offering entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and the largest cabaret room in the area, easily seating over 350 guests. The Miners Welfare has bars, dancefloor with small stage and a pool hall. The Welfare had its grand opening in 1931 after negotiations in 1929 for monies to build a Miners Institute with sports facilities. The Welfare was refurbished in 2005 after receiving a grant for the work.
Park CP School Llay – The infant and junior schools were merged in 2008 to form Park CP School Llay which provides education for children from the age of 3 to 11.
Llay United Youth Football Club – Is one of the largest community groups in Llay providing football for over 220 children. The club was started back in 1980 to provide local children organised football against other local teams. In 2011 the club was voted the Welsh FA Community Club of the Year.
Llay Welfare Band - In the early days Llay Welfare Band was connected with Llay Main Colliery. In 1966 the colliery was closed which meant many players having to leave the area and thus the band. In 1967 the band had to be disbanded and all the instruments and equipment were given to the newly formed Point of Ayr band. In the 1980s Gresford band found themselves homeless when the N.U.M. office at Watery Road in Wrexham was closed. They were offered practice facilities at the Miners Institute in Llay. The offer was accepted and Llay Welfare band was reborn. October 2012: Llay Welfare Band continues to practice at Llay Miners Welfare. The band current members are drawn from surrounding communities, the band has one player who played for the original colliery band. The band has a developing junior section.
- Chris Armstrong - former Wrexham, Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and England B Team professional footballer, was brought up by his adoptive parents in the village after being born in Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Terry Hennessey - former Welsh International professional footballer who played for Derby County in the 1970s. Now lives in Australia.
- Mark Hughes - former Manchester City Manager and former Welsh International and Manchester United professional footballer, lived in the village until age four.
- Steve O'Shaughnessy - former professional footballer who played for Leeds United, Bradford City, Rochdale and captained Darlington
- Dennis Taylor - 1985 World Snooker Championship winner and BBC snooker commentator.
- "2001 Census: Llay (Parish)". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- Llay Main Colliery, BBC North East Wales
- Palmer, A. N. A History of Ancient Tenures of Land in North Wales and the Marches, 1910, p.232
- Llay, St Martin, GENUKI
- , Minutes of Llay Community Committee 23/02/2005
- , llay.org
- Miner's Welfare's history on their official site
- Welsh Coal Mines website - check out the local pit's histories
- photos of Llay and surrounding area on geograph