Wrexham church's plea for cash to restore old gates

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

CHURCH wardens are making a plea to raise the final £7,000 needed to renovate the historic gates at Wrexham’s Parish Church.

Thanks to a grant from Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment division, and other charitable trusts and donations, £31,000 has already been raised for the restoration project at St Giles Parish Church.

Following the final £7,000 being raised, the work will be done by iron and steel specialists, Flintshire Fabrications, based in Holywell.

The ornate gates will then be taken away for the intricate work to be carried out.
Rector’s warden Ann Blore said: “The repair of the gates has been left and left and it’s now in such a bad state.

“They are wrought iron and the joints are rusted and bursting.

“They need to be repaired, repainted, reguilded and refurbished at a cost of £38,500.”

The iconic gates which lead to the 500-year-old church were built in 1720 by Robert Davies and his brothers John Thomas and Hugh of Croesfoel.

The cost of the gates is recorded at £51.

Much of the Davies brothers’ work, which also include the gates and screen at Chirk Castle, Erddig Hall screen and gate, Hawkstone Park gates, Oswestry Parish Church gates and the screen and gates at Ruthin Parish Church, was influenced by the work of French master gatesman Jean Tijou, who made gates for Hampton Court, Chatsworth, St Paul’s and locally Cholmondley Hall, Malpas.

The 135ft high tower at St Giles Church is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales.
Councillor for Offa, Alun Jenkins said: “I wish them well in their appeal. The building is very significant and is the heart of Wrexham.

“The gates are very attractive and are of great historic significance.

“They need to be preserved and enhanced as they are deteriorating and they need to the repainted and renovated.”

Offa Community Council have pledged £100 towards the renovation costs.

Karen Benfield, clerk at Offa Community Council said: “We realise they need repairing and it’s such an important building for Wrexham.

“We’re pleased they have managed to raise so much money so far.”

Anyone who would like to donate can call 01978 355 808, email admin@wrexhamparish.org.uk, or drop in to St Giles' Parish Office, College House, 1 Temple Row, Wrexham.

See full story in the Leader

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