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A Short History of Newbridge


Newbridge 1779The first bridge was built across the river Dee, in the year 1392/93. In that year Richard Fitzalan held the lordship of Chirk and Bromfield, which were on opposite sides of the river so he negotiated with Robert Fagan (master mason in charge of the kings works in the county palatine of Cheshire) for a much needed bridge over the Dee. The bridge was obviously intended to replace the slow and cumbersome ferry which plied across the river between Black Park and the township of Rhuddallt (noted as being repaired in 1388 at a cost of 1 shilling and 3 pence or 7p in today’s money). The remains of the ferry were to be seen in the river until quite recently: they have now disappeared. However a new bridge was duly constructed, built partly of wood and stone, but when the river flooded after a storm it was swept away by the fury of the current. Another bridge was built and so for the next 80 years bridge and ferry functioned as one or the other often fell into disrepair. Then in 1471 another bridge was built but this one was almost immediately swept away. So the ferry was revived to operate until 1478, then a more substantial bridge was built higher up the river. It is thought that the existing bridge is the fifth one to be built on this site. The remains of the pillars of one are still to be seen in the Dee beneath the bridge.

Cefn Bychan and the township of Rhuddallt once covered a lot of the area. It stretched from what is now Newbridge (of course the land had not then been given to the Williams Wynns for services rendered) it took in the cross keys and the "daffy bank". Rhuddallt was a thriving community with iron works, limekilns, Woollen mills and a pottery (the remains of which are still in the park)and beneath the Waterloo tower was a stone quarry. The top of Newbridge was in Coed Chritionydd. Cefn Mawr was in Christionydd Kenrick. The 3rd baronet of Wynnstay was a prominent Jacobite leader. the Jacobites were mainly Tories and Catholics who were opposed to the Hanoverian monarchs. They used to meet at Wynnstay to plot support for the return of the Stuarts. The 3rd baronet died in 1749 after falling from his horse. When the 4th baronet succeeded to the title he disbanded the movement and banished the Jacobites to the top of Rhos. This is why they are referred to as Jacos.


This short history was researched by Mrs James of Rhosymedre who is 82 years of age.

 

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