Stiwt Theatre, Broad Street
Rhosllannerchrugog shown within Wrexham
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||LL14 1xx|
|UK Parliament||Clwyd South|
|Welsh Assembly||Clwyd South
& North Wales
Literally translated the name comes from the Welsh: rhos "moor"; llannerch "glade"; grugog "heathery" hence "Moor of the Heathery Glade." It is often known simply as Rhos. With a population of approximately 10,000 the modern community of Rhosllannerchrugog is one of the largest in Wales.
The village was originally within the ancient parish of Ruabon and the district was referred to as Morton Above (i.e. Morton, or moor town, above Offa's Dyke) or Morton Wallichorum (the Welsh Morton). In 1844 Morton Above became part of the newly created parish of Rhosllannerchrugog.
The development of the village can be attributed largely to the coal seams of north-east Wales that pass near it, leading to the establishment of a large coal mining community during the 18th century. A symbol of Rhos' coal-mining and labour movement heritage is seen in the "Stiwt", the miners' institute on Broad Street. This was erected and paid for by the miners, during the general strike of 1926, as a social and cultural centre for the community.
The Welsh Religious Revival of 1904 had a major impact on Rhosllannerchrugog. The famous bardic line Beibl a Rhaw i Bobl y Rhos ("a Bible and a Spade for the People of Rhos) reflect the importance of both coal-mining and the chapels on the village's culture and heritage.
Rhosllannerchrugog hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1945 and 1961, and the Celtic League was founded there in 1961 during the Eisteddfod. This event was immortalised in the poem and song "The Cross Foxes" by Harri Webb, remembering the night when In Rhosllannerchrugog we drank the pub dry.
The 2001 Census showed that approximately 40% of the village is Welsh speaking.
Notable buildings include:
The Stiwt Theatre. Formerly the "Miner's Institute" (Plas Mwynwyr), which was built in 1926 and dominated the social and cultural life of the village (citation) until 1977 when it closed. The local council, which had purchased the building in 1978, decided to demolish the building in 1985, but it was saved as a result of local campaigning. Following fundraising efforts, it was renovated and reopened as a community theatre. The Stiwt Theatre holds the Wrexham young people's music festival since 2006. The Stiwt now do various shows and the grade II* listed building is open to the public to see.
Church of St John Evangelist. A grade II listed building, built in 1852 and consecrated on 4 October 1853. A good example of a Romanesque Revival church, it is Norman style, with coursed and squared sandstone and slate roofs. It has a cruciform plan with nave, transept and chancel and bell tower in angle of the south transept and chancel. The church closed in 2004. The churchyard contains war graves of a British and a Canadian soldier of World War I.
Penuel Chapel (Capel Penuel). Two-storey Welsh chapel built in 1856-59, with a brick facade installed during renovations performed from 1856 to 1891. The chapel was the starting point site of R.B. Jones's campaign in the village during the religious revival in 1904-1905. One of the chapel's ministers was Lewis Valentine.
Religious Revival 1904-1905
Rhos was one of the centres of the Welsh Religious Revival of 1904-1905. R. B. Jones, a visiting Baptist preacher, held a campaign in Penuel Baptist Chapel, Rhosllannerchrugog in November 1904.
Rhos is also renowned for its rich musical heritage, and has its own concert hall at the Stiwt Theatre.
Composers from the village include Dr Caradog Roberts, best known for the hymn tune "Rachie"; and Arwel Hughes, conductor and composer of the hymn tune "Tydi a Roddaist". Notable performers from Rhos include the baritones James Sauvage, Andrew Griffiths and pianist Llŷr Williams.
Rhos is also home of several choirs, including the Rhos Male Voice Choir (Côr Meibion Rhosllannerchrugog); the Rhos Orpheus Male Voice Choir (Côr Orffiws Y Rhos); a Pensioners' Choir (Côr Pensiynwyr Rhosllannerchrugog); a Girls' Choir (Côr Merched Rhosllannerchrugog); and the Rhos Singers (Cantorion Rhos), a mixed voice choir. The male voice choirs have performed in many countries, and consistently enjoy success at national and international level. They have benefited from world-class conductors, the most notable of recent years being John Glyn Williams, John Daniel and Emyr James.
The Rhos Prize Silver Band was formed in 1884, but later became known as the Hafod Colliery Band. After the closure of Hafod colliery in 1968 the band was renamed Rhos and District Silver Band. In 2001 that the band changed its name to Wrexham Brass and is now based at the Glyndŵr University campus in Wrexham.
The village has a reputation, especially amongst other Welsh speaking communities, for its use of unique words of the Welsh language. The main example is a word that has become synonymous with the village: nene, meaning "that". The word's association with the village is reflected in the title of the community's monthly newspaper, Nene. It is pronounced as "nai-nai", and is sometimes used in association with another unique word, Ene (ai-nai), meaning "there". An example is the question "Be 'di nene ene?" - "What's that there?".
In September 2006, letters were sent by Rhos Community Council to relatives of people buried in the village's cemetery, where former Miss World Rosemarie Frankland is buried, asking them to limit the number of floral tributes left at grave sites. The council reportedly planned to cover the cemetery with a lawn and feared that such tributes would breach health and safety rules. Feeling that the council had handled the issue insensitively, relatives collected an 850-signature petition and 60 families made a public protest.
- John Tudor Davies MBE - composer, conductor, organist
- Geraint Dodd - opera singer
- Meredith Edwards - actor
- Robert Thomas Ellis - politician
- Rosemarie Frankland - Miss Wales 1961, Miss United Kingdom 1961, Miss World 1961 
- Isaac Daniel Hooson - poet
- Arwel Hughes - composer
- Mark Lewis Jones - actor
- Susan Elan Jones - politician
- Thomas William Jones - politician
- James Idwal Jones - politician
- Daniel Lloyd - actor, musician
- Stifyn Parri - actor, presenter, producer
- Aled Roberts - Welsh Liberal Democrat member of the National Assembly for Wales
- Robert Roberts (died 1945), Rhosllannerchrugog F.C., Crewe Alexandra F.C. and Wales international footballer
- Fiona Roberts - cook and wine expert
- Caradog Roberts - composer
- James Sauvage - singer
- Llŷr Williams - pianist
The village was once linked to the Great Western Railway by the Rhos Branch, which ran to the village from nearby Wrexham via Rhostyllen and Legacy. The passenger service continued for a short period to halts at Brook Street, Pant and- via the Ruabon Brook Tramway- Wynn Hall, although goods trains ran through to Pontcysyllte wharf on the Shropshire Union Canal via Plas Bennion and Acrefair. A second line also passed through nearby Ponciau, branching off from Legacy, with halts at Fennant Road, Aberderfyn and Ponkey Crossing, and joining the main line again at Wynnville, Ruabon. Since the closure of regular passenger service on all of these lines by the 1930s, the village has relied on road transport.
Rhosllannerchrugog was also the end of the line of the Wrexham and District Electric Tramways. The tram service began operating in 1903 and originally ran from Penybryn in Wrexham to the New Inn in Johnstown but this was soon extended up Gutter Hill to Duke Street in Rhos. The company had its depot and staging area in nearby Johnstown. The trams were eventually and gradually replaced by buses owned by the same company, which was renamed the Wrexham & District Transport Company; for many years tram lines were visible outside the garage at the bottom of Gutter Hill.
Several local companies operated bus services in the village. The red and cream buses of Phillips & Son of Rhostyllen ran from Wrexham to Rhos via Johnstown, and at one time on to Tainant, from 1927 until it was taken over by Crosville in 1979. T. Williams & Sons ran a service from Rhos to Wrexham from the 1920s until 1986. The last surviving independent local company, Wright & Son, ran a service from Penycae to Wrexham via Rhos, and later via Ponciau also. When the bus industry was deregulated in 1986 there was fierce competition between Wright's and the much larger Crosville. Wright's ceased operations in 1993, leaving Crosville as the sole service provider in the area. Crosville itself became part of the Arriva group, which still operates a frequent bus service between Rhos and Wrexham town centre.
Books about Rhosllannerchrugog include:
- Hanes Rhosllannerchrugog ("The History of Rhosllannerchrugog") (1945) J. Rhosydd Williams
- Through These Windows, A Place and Its People (1981) Bill Portmadoc-Jones.
- Rhos-Llannerch-Rugog: Atgofion ("Memories of Rhosllannerchrugog") (1955) William Phillips (1880–1969)
- Rhosllannerchrugog, Johnstown, Ponciau, Pen-y-cae, a collection of pictures (2 volumes, 1991–92), Dennis W Gilpin
- From Pit to Pitch: A pictorial history of football in Rhos, John E Matthews (1991)
- Language Obsolescence and Revitalization: Linguistic Change in Two Socio-linguistically Contrasting Welsh Communities (1998) Mari Jones (study of the language of Rhosllannerchrugog)
Media related to Rhosllannerchrugog at Wikimedia Commons
- Gwefan Rhosllannerchrugog (BBC)
- Rhos/Wrexham History (BBC)
- Nene (BBC Cymru)
- Rhos Male Voice Choir
- Rhos Orpheus Male Voice Choir
- Y Stiwt
- 'Twm Sbaen' (LLGC)
- GenUKI page for Rhos
- Rhos Herald index at Bangor
- Leaflet describing chapels of Rhosllannerchrugog
- Photos of the Rhosllannerchrugog area on Geograph
- for Rhosllannerchrugog