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Trams at Johnstown depot

Trams at Johnstown depot

Johnstown forms part of the old coal mining community of Rhosllannerchrugog. It is thought to have been named after John Bury, a mid-19th century member of Wrexham’s first Town Council, who built a number of houses in the area.


Before 1850 Johnstown was a small settlement on the turnpike between Wrexham and Ruabon with the New Inn and Travellers Rest public houses and the Moreton Inn (now demolished). The stone houses on the east side of the road opposite the Saw Mills were standing as were the brick-built row of collier’s houses known as Derby Terrace in Moreton Street (built before 1870. The stables and blacksmith shop at the end of Moreton Street (Now known as Bromfield Garage) were built in 1881. Other houses in existence before 1880 were the old brick-built houses near to the New Inn known as The Quadrant and also the row of houses in Merlin Street (now demolished) which were built of old Ponkey brick which was a darker red in colour and a smaller brick than those now generally used in house building. Ponkey brick was manufactured in the Ponkey Potteries which were situated off the road to Ponciau known as Aberderfyn. It stands as a good way of dating buildings, as many of the older buildings were built of the local Ponkey brick pre 1860 but after the 1870’s were built out of Dennis red brick manufactured at Hafod brickyard (Dennis & Co.)


The disused coal mine at Hafod is situated to the east of the village, The Ruabon Coal and Coke Co. opened Hafod Colliery in 1867 to replaced Ruabon Colliery after flooding forced it to close and it was originally known as Ruabon New Colliery, later it was called Hafod-y-Bwch. It was connected underground to Bersham colliery. When production stopped on 9th March 1968 most of the 1300 men were either dismissed or transferred to Bersham or Gresford collieries. About 200 were retained to recover underground machinery before the shafts were sealed and the surface buildings were razed to the ground. The mine’s former coal tip has now been converted to a country park, Bonc yr Hafod. The nearby clay quarry was used as a landfill site for waste from Liverpool.


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