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Ffrith

Ffrith is situated in the wooded valley of the River Cegidog at the point where the Nant-y-Ffrith stream flows into it. Neighbouring villages include Cymau to the east, Brymbo to the south-east and Llanfynydd, Its name is derived from a North Welsh word meaning variously a “pasture”, “enclosure” or “forest” and borrowed originally from the Middle English word “frith”, meaning a forest or game preserve. The name Belmont or Bell Mount was also commonly used for the village in the 19th century. In local usage the village is usually referred to as “the Ffrith”.

 

Archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of Roman presence in the area. A Roman villa was built here, a Roman road is thought to have passed through and lead mining may have taken place. In 2005 the archaeological television programme Time Team led a dig in the area in conjunction with the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. Several excavations were conducted throughout the village. Evidence indicates it was a substantial Roman settlement.

 

Several centuries later, Offa’s Dyke was constructed across the area and is visible as an earthwork to the north of Ffrith. Within the village it has been levelled, and its course followed by the B5101.

In the nineteenth century, the village’s size and importance grew as quarrying for limestone and silica and mining for lead and fireclay became more significant and the Tithe Map of 1850 shows perhaps half a dozen houses, all on the south side of the river Cegidog and north of Valley Road. Later, an industrial element emerged on the north side of the Cegidog including a smithy and lime kilns. A railway line, the Wrexham and Minera Joint Railway was built through the village (which also fed various links to the surrounding collieries, limeworks and the Cae Llo brick works to the south of the village) and a small station, a number of shops and several pubs opened.

 

Ffrith viaduct

Industry in the area declined through the twentieth century, with the last fireclay level closing in the late 1960s. The railway ceased operation in 1952. A large stone viaduct still stands near the village A mid-18th century packhorse bridge spans the river Cegidog on the eastern perimeter of the village with a paved ford just downstream. The village shops and pubs have all closed.

 

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