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Charles Street

Charles Street 1948

Charles Street 1948

The origin of this street’s name is unknown but it was known as Beast Market Street until late in the 18th century (and in the Middle Ages it is regarded as an extension to High Street. It is a commonly held belief that Charles Street is named after King Charles I but this seems very unlike as the mention of the name in a surviving document does not appear until 1788 and on gravestones in the 1830s.

 

Dr Jonathan Edwards was born at no. 14, a house that dates back to at least 1650. The large building on the left when approaching from High Street (once also Bumbles shop and coffee shop) was built by Thomas Penson who lived here. Later, the house became the offices of the Wrexham Water Works Company. At the end of the 19th century this building was the property of William Bernie, who had a pawn brokerage on the ground floor. It was built on the site of a property which, from 1715-30, was the home of Edward Hanmer, postmaster of Wrexham. Near this site was a narrow passage between two buildings known as Cutler’s Entry- after the trade of the occupant on the house on Charles Street.

 

Behind No. 22 stood the tannery belonging to Meredith Jones (died 1888) the father of John Meredith Jones of the Cambrian Leather Works. No. 22 was the premises of Fletchers the last wooden clog-maker in Wrexham. At No. 23 stood the Blossoms -next door but one to the Wynnstay Arms Hotel – which had been an inn since at least 1723. N° 18, now a taxi office, was found to be a wattle and daub building dating back to at least the 17th century. The last public house in the street, the Elephant and Castle, first appeared in the rate books in 1788, and, after losing its license in 1999, and eventually becoming a Thai restaurant, is now back to its original usage as a licensed premises. At the rear of the premises adjoining the Beast Market on the south side, was the saw mill belonging in 1881 to Edward Meredith Jones.

 

A timber and thatch building next to the Elephant and Castle, and formerly known as the Hat lnn, is now the premises of Schwarz Opticians and contains a timber dating back to 1621. At the end of the 19th century, another half-timbered building stood between the Hat and Market Street. In its latter years this was T. C. Crumps fish and chip shop which was burned down when a stray firework landed in the thatch on bonfire night. The fire spread to the Hat and seriously damaged the roof and upper floor.

 

Considerable alterations took place in 1998, including the building of new premises and a pedestrianisation scheme, turning what had been a rather run-down street into one of the more attractive small retail streets in the town centre.

 

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