For years, there was a mystery surrounding a gravestone in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church, Gwersyllt.
A Publican at the Wheatsheaf Inn
Firstly, the man is said to have fallen from the steeple and was buried where he landed; some versions even say it was the vicar. After clearing years of dirt and moss from the stone, the inscription is now readable and it’s the work of a talented craftsman.
The inscription reads:
SACRED / TO / THE MEMORY OF EVAN JONES WHEATSHEAF GWERSYLLT / WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE DECEMBER 27TH 1854 / AGED 47 YEARS
ALSO JANE JONES WIFE OF THE ABOVE / WHO DIED OCTOBER 7TH 1876 / AGED 79 YEARS
THY WILL BE DONE
After crosschecking the burial register and other documents, it’s been revealed Evan Jones was a local publican.
Evan Jones was born in Mold and his wife Jane was from Gwersyllt. It’s not known if they had children as none have been found and none are named in his will.
Evan was a farmer and also the publican of the Wheatsheaf Inn. Curiously, his 14 year old nephew James Dodd was living with them in 1851 at the time of some of the documentation. Evan died just after Christmas in 1854 and was buried on 2nd January 1855. Before his death, he made a will and left his shares in the Wrexham and Ruabon Railway Society to James, who also got a lot more.
The Mystery of the Gravestone’s Location
Jane continued running the Wheatsheaf with the help of James and his wife Ann. James eventually took over the Inn. His first son was named Evan John after his Uncle. James died at the Wheatsheaf in April 1873, he was only 37. Jane stayed nearby and died in 1876 aged 79.
We now know who the people named on the gravestone were, but there`s still the mystery of why the stone is situated where it is, it’s not in the burial grounds but at the base of the steeple.
After checking the burial registers for others who died about the same time, some other headstones have been found. These are on the north side of the church and are marked out on a plan. Evan and Jane would surely have been buried there.
More Unanwered Questions
Obviously, the gravestone would have been removed after Jane`s death for the second inscription to be added, but it`s impossible to know when this was done. Why wasn’t it put back on their grave? Instead, it`s around the corner from the burial site and close to the wall. Was it left there for the workmen to come back to re-erect it? If so why didn’t they do that? Perhaps they didn`t know which plot it came from and left it there where it has remained for such a very long time.
Researched by Annette Edwards in April 2021.
Many thanks to Holy Trinity Church and to Michael Grose of the Broughton History Society.
Finally, we hope you enjoyed reading ‘The Mystery Grave at Holy Trinity Church, Gwersyllt’. For more History articles, click here.