St Martin's, Shropshire
St Martin's Parish Church
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The ancient Parish of St Martin's was made up of the townships of Ifton, Wiggington, Bronygarth and Weston Rhyn. Each of these townships bordered Wales, with the River Ceiriog and the River Dee forming the border. However, in 1870, the townships of Weston Rhyn and Bronygarth were formed into the new Parish of Weston Rhyn.
Around the 16th century, a bridge was built across the River Ceiriog at Pontfaen as part of the Chester to Cardiff highway. Later the A5, the London-Shrewsbury-Holyhead trunk road was constructed by Thomas Telford through the parish of St Martin's, crossing into Wales via the bridge at Chirk Bank.
By 1848 the Chester to Ruabon railway line had been extended south to Shrewsbury, but only one station, Preesgweene (Welsh: Preesgwyn) (later known as Weston Rhyn), was built in St Martin's parish. Later however, branch lines were built to link the collieries in the area to the main rail network.
Although predominantly an agricultural area, coal was mined in St Martin's for several centuries. The collieries at Ifton, Chirk Bank, Quinta, Trehowell, Moreton Hall and Preesgweene were, geologically, an extension of the Denbighshire coalfield. Coal production ceased in the area with the closure of the last remaining colliery in the area at Ifton in 1968. Ifton was the largest colliery in Shropshire and its workings crossed the border into Wales, linking up to the coal seams of the former collieries at Brynkinallt and Black Park.
St Martin's School is a primary and secondary school located in St Martin's.
The village is represented in association football by St Martins FC who currently compete in the North West Counties League Division One South. They currently play at Park Hall in nearby Oswestry, groundsharing with Cymru Premier side The New Saints.
- G. G. Lerry, "Collieries of Denbighshire", 1968
- C. Neville Hurdsman, "A History of the Parishes of St. Martin's & Weston Rhyn" 2003
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