St Giles' Church, Wrexham

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St Giles Church
The Parish Church of St Giles
The "Steeple" (actually the Tower) of St Giles' Church in Wrexham is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales.
Country Wales
Denomination Church in Wales
Website St Giles' Church
Administration
Parish Wrexham
Diocese Diocese of St Asaph
Clergy
Vicar(s) Rev. Dr Jason Bray, Rector of Wrexham
Curate(s) Rev Phil Bettinson

St Giles' Church is the parish church of Wrexham, Wales, and is a Grade 1 listed building. It is the largest mediaevel Parish Church in Wales.[citation needed] Since 2012, its interior has been re-ordered to include a remodelling of the Chancel as St David's Chapel.[citation needed]

Seven Wonders of Wales[edit]

The church's tower is traditionally one of the Seven Wonders of Wales,[citation needed] 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 a local landmark.

Architecture[edit]

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.[1] The lyrics of the Evangelical hymn "From Greenland's Icy Mountains", written by Reginald Heber, are etched on a window. The hymn was both composed and first performed at the Church in 1819.

The grave of Elihu Yale.

Just west of the tower is the grave of Elihu Yale,[citation needed] after whom Yale University in the USA is named, with its long, self-composed epitaph opening with the following lines:

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,[citation needed] and the gates at Sandringham House, one of the British monarch's residences, and at Leeswood Hall, near Mold in Flintshire.

In 2012, wrexham.com placed a webcam pointed at St Giles giving a live view of the church.[2] June 2012 saw a beacon being lit on top of St Giles as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°02′39″N 2°59′34″W / 53.0442°N 2.9927°W / 53.0442; -2.9927