VISITORS can explore churchyards with the help of new leaflets and interpretation panels.

The information, provided as part of the Sacred Space project, will highlight features of interest at a dozen churchyards in rural Wrexham.

The official launch takes place at St Mary’s Church, Chirk, at 2pm on Saturday, September 11 with brief presentations from Will Davies of Cadw and Sue Cooper of Caring for God’s Acre. It will be followed by the unveiling of the St Mary’s panel in the churchyard by Cllr Jim Kelly, mayor of Wrexham, and a tour using the churchyard leaflet.

This event, which coincides with a European Heritage Open Doors Day, will provide a rare opportunity to see inside the Trevor Mausoleum.

The Grade II listed building, built in 1904 for Mary, daughter of the second Lord Trevor, who died aged five, features a life-size angel carrying the child.

The Sacred Space project is an initiative to help conserve churchyards through a variety of activities, including wildlife surveys, conservation work and the recording and photographing of gravestones.

Other churchyards featured are Bettisfield, Bronington, Erbistock, Eyton, Froncysyllte, Gresford, Hanmer, Isycoed, Penley, Rossett and Tallarn Green.

Packs of the leaflets will be available at most of these churches and also at the Wrexham Tourist Information Centre and tourist information points.

Project officer Heather Williams said: “The interpretation boards and leaflets will enhance any visit as they provide a fascinating guide to some of the things to look out for in the churchyards.

“It’s surprising just how much history and wildlife you can discover when you start to explore them.”

The project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-13, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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