The River Clywedog and Surrounding Area: Our walk feature for April covers this stunning area. Here’s a little more information about one of our favourite local beauty spots.
Lifeblood of the Valley
The River Clywedog has always been the valley’s lifeblood, watering crops and livestock since early times, powering corn mills and driving industrial machinery.
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the river was the area’s powerhouse, fuelling 17 mills along its length. These mills prepared cloth and paper, and ground wheat and barley. Huge waterwheels powered the bellows blasting air into the iron furnaces at Bersham.
The population grew dramatically as the industrial revolution drew workers to the Wrexham area. These workers served the rapidly developing coal mines, lead mines, limestone quarries, ironworks and lead smelting works. There was a never-ending call for food to feed the rapidly increasing workforce.
The fertile Clywedog flood plains had always provided rich pasture and corn. However, the construction of new corn mills met the increased demand, and workers cleared additional woodland areas for growing crops.
When steam power took over in the 19th century, new industry no longer needed to be sited close to the river. New technology and competition from overseas in the 20th century started the demise of the Clywedog industries.
Today the Clywedog valley has returned to nature, but its rich industrial heritage still plays an integral part in the valley’s life.
We hope you enjoyed “The River Clywedog and Surrounding Area”. Continue by reading our feature about the Clywedog Valley Trail. Alternatively, you can click here for more stories about Wrexham’s rich and varied history.
The stunning photos are by Grace Wood Photography.