St Giles Church Wrexham, a beautiful old church and one of the Seven Wonders of Wales
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St Giles Church Wrexham



St Giles Church is located in the town of Wrexham, North Wales. It is sited in the heart of the town standing close to the High Street, behind a magnificent set of early 18th century wrought iron gates made at nearby Bersham.

A chapel in this area, probably at Brynyffynon, is believed to have been founded by St Silin. At a later date, a church was constructed on the present site with the dedication to St Aegidius, the Latin equivalent of St Silin. It was subsequently re-dedicated to St Giles. The Church is first mentioned in the early thirteenth century but was probably founded at a much earlier date, possibly as part of an original Saxon settlement. As well as fulfilling its primary role as a place of worship, this historic church illuminates the history of the community and offers us the opportunity to appreciate the skills of past generations.

St Giles church

The building in its present form dates mainly from the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th Century. The impressive tower is renowned as one of the seven wonders of Wales and the external stone work displays a rich and varied collection of both medieval and more recent stone carvings.

Ghoulish gargoyles and grinning grotesques watch the passers-by.

Not surprisingly after 500 years many of the carvings are looking the worse for wear. Within the church itself the stone corbels, decorated with armorial shields and a strange mixture of bishops and devils, are as clear cut as when they were carved in the 16th Century. Contemporary records refer to the steeple of the early church blowing down in 1330. The rest of the structure was taken down soon afterwards and a new church was built in Decorated style. In 1463 a serious fire in Wrexham caused severe damage to the church. It was reconstructed later in the 15th Century creating the current Perpendicular appearance. The tower was erected between c.1506 and 1520. The chancel was also added around this time, and there were changes to the east end of the south aisle.

What to see in St Giles:

Visitors to the church may be fortunate to arrive in time to take a tour of the Church that includes a climb to the top of the 135ft tower.

Items of note within the church include:

A 1524 brass eagle lectern, one of only 40 surviving in Britain from the Pre Reformation period.
Elihu Yale Tomb St Giles' church


The early 16th Century "Doom Painting" of the Last Judgement, a wall painting over the arch of the east wall showing figures rising from their coffins to present themselves before Christ in majesty.

The camber beam timber nave roof that dates from the 16th Century and is supported by corbels sited between the clerestory windows. The ceiling has a colourful display of flying musical angels culminating before the Chancel with a depiction of the Devil. 14th and 15th Century effigies, 17th Century brasses, and a collection of 17-19th Century memorials including the memorial to Mary Middleton by Louis Roubiliac a renowned sculptor of the period.

The Regiment of the Royal Welch Fusiliers has strong connections with the town of Wrexham and the chapel situated in the north aisle holds the Regimental Roll of Honour and the Regimental Colours.

Behind the lectern is a bust of Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443-1509), renowned as being the mother of King Henry VII and grandmother of King Henry VIII of England. She was a key figure in the Wars of the Roses, an influential matriarch of the House of Tudor and foundress of Christ's College and St John's College, Cambridge.

Miscellaneous Stuff:

Lady Margaret was a remarkable woman who gave birth at the age of 13 years and lived apart from her only child for the best part of three decades. But all the while she was plotting his future ....until finally her plans came to fruition and her son was crowned King Henry V11 of England on Bosworth Field .... by her then husband Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby, and King of Man.

It is reputed that the accession to the throne of England by her son Henry was cause for Margaret and Earl Stanley to bequeath monies to several churches in North East Wales including St Winifride's Holywell, St Peters Llaneurgain (Northop), St Mary the Virgin Mold and of course St Giles Church Wrexham.
Lady Margaret Beaufort St Giles church


This is supposedly evidenced by the presence of the heraldic symbols of the Stanley family within the fabric of the churches including the Eagle and Child, (which was adopted by the family in the 15th century) and the Three Legs of Man, which relates to the time when the Stanley's were Lords of Man.

I can not confirm the presence of the heraldic symbols but I can confirm considerable architectural similarities between the churches, including stone friezes or string courses of crude animals that to my eyes suggest, if not the same stonemason, then at least stonemasons from the same school.

Visit St Winifride's Holywell, St Peters Llaneurgain (Northop), St Mary the Virgin Mold, St Giles Church Wrexham and see if you can spot the difference ..or the similarities! >.


St Giles Church Tower in Autumn
St Giles Churchyard Wrexham in Autumn
1.St Giles Church Tower in Autumn 2.St Giles Churchyard Wrexham
Gargoyle on St Giles Church
Demonic Gargoyle on St Giles Church
3.Gargoyle on St Giles Church Wrexham 4.Demonic Gargoyle on St Giles
Nave of St Giles Church Wrexham
Grave of Elihu Yale St Giles Church Wrexham
5.Nave of St Giles Church Wrexham 6.Grave of Elihu Yale St Giles Church
Graveyard St Giles Church Wrexham
View from High Street of St Giles Church Wrexham
7.Autumnal scene in graveyard St Giles Church Wrexham 8.View from High Street toward St Giles Church Wrexham
Wrought Iron Gates St Giles Church Wrexham
Statue on tower at St Giles Church Wrexham
9.Wrought Iron Gates St Giles Church 10.Statue on tower of St Giles Church
Restored statue at St Giles Church Wrexham
Camberbeam ceiling with flying angels St Giles Church Wrexham
11.Restored statue at St Giles Church Wrexham 12.Camberbeam ceiling with flying angels St Giles Church
Doom Painting of the last judgement in St Giles Church Wrexham
Marble memorial St Giles Church Wrexham
13.Doom Painting of the last judgment in St Giles Church 14.Marble memorial St Giles Church Wrexham
Bust of Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby in St Giles Church Wrexham
Stained Glass window St Giles Church Wrexham
15.Bust of Lady Margaret Beaufort St Giles Church Wrexham 16.Stained Glass window St Giles Church Wrexham
Stained Glass window St Giles Church Wrexham
Chancel of St Giles Church Wrexham
17.Stained Glass window St Giles Church 18.Chancel of St Giles Church Wrexham
American flag St Giles Church Wrexham
Mermaid carved corbel stone at St Giles Church Wrexham
19.American flag St Giles Church 20.Mermaid carved on corbel stone St Giles
CONTACT: Tel: 01978 355808.
Email admin@wrexhamparish.org,uk
OPENING TIMES: Mon - Thurs 8.30 Morning Prayer.
Sun 8.00am Holy Eucharist
Click to enlarge the pictures. All Pictures © Copyright Bernard Wellings
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