St Giles' Church, Wrexham
|St Giles Church|
|The Parish Church of St Giles|
The Steeple of St Giles' Church in Wrexham is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales.
|Denomination||Church in Wales|
|Website||St Giles' Church|
|Diocese||Diocese of St Asaph|
|Vicar(s)||Rev Prof Mike West, Rector of Wrexham|
Seven Wonders of Wales
Its tower is traditionally one of the Seven Wonders of Wales, which are commemorated in an anonymously written rhyme:
- Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,
- Snowdon's mountain without its people,
- Overton yew trees, St Winefride wells,
- Llangollen bridge and Gresford bells.
The church's tower is mistakenly called a "steeple" in the rhyme. The iconic tower can be seen for many miles around as the tallest building in the town and is considered a local landmark.
The richly-decorated tower, 135-feet high, with its four striking hexagonal turrets, was begun in 1506. It is graced by many medieval carvings including those of an arrow and a deer, the attributes of Saint Giles. The interior of the church also contains many late medieval carvings and monuments. The lyrics of the Evangelical hymn "From Greenland's Icy Mountains", written by Reginald Heber, are etched on a window. The hymn was first performed at the Church in 1819.
- Born in America, in Europe bred,
- In Africa travell'd, and in Asia wed,
- Where long he lov'd and thriv'd;
- At London dead.
The churchyard is entered through wrought-iron gates, completed in 1719 by the Davies Brothers of nearby Bersham. They were also responsible for the gates of Chirk Castle, perhaps the finest example of wrought-iron work in Britain, and the gates at Sandringham House, one of the British monarch's residences, and at Leeswood Hall, near Mold in Flintshire.
While usually there are regular tours up the tower, these are suspended during 2011 due to planned building works.
Wrexham.com placed a webcam pointed at St Giles in 2012 giving a live view of the church.
June 2012 saw a beacon being lit on top of St Giles as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
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