St Giles Church

St Giles Church, Church Street, Grade I Listed

St Giles Church is Wrexham's crowning architectural glory, considered by many to be the best piece of medieval ecclesiatical architecture in Wales.  Work on the present building began in the late 15th century and within it's structure are parts of an earlier building from the 14th century.  The tower, added later, is thought to have been completed by 1506 but there are records of work continuing as late as 1520.  Whatever the date of it's completion, the tower is an excellent and much admired example of perpendicular gothic architecture.

 

The first records of a church on this site, once known as Bryn-y-Grog, date back to the 13th century and it is thought that the current building is the third to have stood on this site.  In the churchyard is the grade II listed tomb of Elihu Yale (1649-1721), a Welsh merchant and philanthropist.  He was a governor of the East India Company settlement at Madras and a benefactor of the Collegiate School of Connecticut, which in 1718 was named Yale College (later university) in his honour.  Yale was born in America but was descended from an old Denbighshire family and came to live in Wrexham later in life.  A replica of St Giles Church was built into a new complex of buildings on the Yale University campus in the early 20th century and is known as Wrexham Tower.

 

The grade II listed churchyard gates (shown in the picture) date from 1720 and were designed and built by the Davies brothers of Bersham.  Also within the churchyard is a sundial from 1809 and two tombs from 1726 and 1806, all of which are grade II listed.

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