By Malcolm Strong

It has become quite common these days to see on national Television programs that actually feature our local area. More often than not it is in connection with the aqueduct or the Llangollen area. Recently though a BBC Wales production began with a house very dear to the hearts of the people of Trevor and Garth, particularly so if you are a devotee of Trevor Church’s Harvest Suppers. I refer, of course, to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s “Hidden Houses of Wales” that featured Trevor Hall. The house’s connection with J C Edwards, the canal and railway were explored in the programme, as were local names, which leads me on to an article that appeared in “The cefn chronicle” in 1950. I hope you find it interesting. The article, a series of several, was written by a Mr J Watkin Ellis and entitled:

Points of Local Interest

3 Trevor Hall, Plas-yn-Pentre, etc.

TREVOR - Before quoting from Mr Thompson’s book, let me make a few observations. The Welsh name for that particular district is “Chwrela” (Quarries) and in former days most Welsh people called it by that name. When the branch railway line from Ruabon to Llangollen was opened for passenger traffic on June 2nd, 1862, Chwrela was the name of the station now called Trevor. (“Chwerla” no doubt should have been spelt Chwarelau)

The railway time –table for July 1862 contained the following:-

Ruabon … 9-35 a.m. Cefn Mawr … 9-41 a.m.(afterwards Acrefair)

Chwerla … 9-47 a.m. (afterwards Trevor)

Llangollen …10-00 a.m.

I don’t know why Trevor was not spelt correctly, “Trefor”.

“Between Trevor Hall and the Dee is one of the most beautiful clear springs of cold water imaginable. It is called Ffynnon Yryrog (Oerog) and is in great repute as a bath for the cure of rheumatic affections and if Saint Collen had thought proper to have bestowed his benediction, it might perhaps have rivaled its prototype at Holywell. “Its issue is very abundant and its coldness exceeds belief. Persons bathing cannot continue in the water a minute. Many wonderful accounts are told of its efficacy in chronic disorders. In its passage to the Dee it used to turn a water mill - now in ruins.

“Near to the River Dee is the ancient house of Plas-yn-Pentre (1634), now inhabited by Mr. Edward Jones.

Following on from Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s “Hidden Houses of Wales” that featured Trevor Hall. The house’s connection with J C Edwards, the canal and railway were explored in the programme, as were local names, which leads me on to an article that appeared in “The cefn chronicle” in 1950. I hope you find it interesting. The article, a series of several, was written by a Mr J Watkin Ellis and entitled: Points of Local Interest.

“Trevor Hall is a large brick mansion, situated on rising ground on the north side of the Wrexham to Llangollen road. It was once the residence of John Trevor, later Bishop of St. Asaph, who in the year 1346 caused a strong bridge to be built over the Dee at Llangollen, which bridge is accounted one of the seven wonders of Wales. “Pennant” states that Trevor Hall passed into the family of the Lloyds and has continued in that family to the present time. The last possessor was a lady of the name of Thomas, deceased in the last year, and leaving a son to inherit, although at present he does not occupy the premises. The house is roomy and substantial, and is pleasantly situated.

“Near the house is a “Chapel of Ease”, enjoying Queen Anne’s bounty, in which an English service is performed on the first Sunday in each month.

“In a rocky cliff in the neighbourhood of the hall is a cavern of some extent, in which I was informed were to be found some petrified bones of wolves, foxes and other wild animals. After exploring the cavern I failed to find vestiges of any such relics. I brought away, however, some specimens of stalactites of curious forms and various incrustations which may have been mistaken by some for petrified bony substances.

“This craggy ridge appears to be the commencement of that wonderful range of limestone called the Eglwyseg Rocks.

(Note- Before the use of whetstone for sharpening scythes, wooden bats, dipped first of all in grease and afterwards in fine sand were used. Sand obtained from these rocks was the best obtainable and much sought after. I came across two of these wooden bats for sale in a shop at Trawsfynydd not long ago). “On the roadside between, Trevor Hall and Bron Heulog, is a small farmhouse called Plas Eva or Evan. I notice it only as marking the spot, where formerly was a cemetery, retaining the appellation of ‘Mynwent y Quacer,’ or Quaker’s Burying Ground. It is on the south side of the house and in cutting the canal the earth from the excavation was thrown upon the old graves and the inscribed stones that lay upon the surface.

“Opposite the north side of the same house, a few years ago as some labourers were working in the limestone quarries, they discovered a pot, filled with gold coins. The find was kept a secret and one of the party disposed of the coins at Chester, as old gold. Later on an enquiry was instituted, but only one gold piece and a part of the earthen vessel, which one of the men had kept as a curiosity, was recovered. They are now, I am informed in the possession of Lady Clive.

“About a mile nearer the castle (Castell Dinas Bran) stands a recently erected mansion, called Bron Heulog—only remarkable for the narrowness of its Windows.”

This article has been taken from TREVOR CHURCH NEWS Vol 18 February 2010.