Member of the Leader's Local Bygones Facebook group, Richard Jones, from Gwersyllt, stays close to home this week, as he looks back at Gwersyllt Hall...

Gwersyllt Hill Hall, Harrops Hall or Dracs Castle as it was known later by the local people, was built for industrialist Richard Kirk.

Kirk moved to the Wrexham area in 1775 from Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire, with his wife Ellen Venables.


Gwersyllt Hill Hall, Wrexham.

Gwersyllt Hill Hall, Wrexham.


They had five sons and a daughter. The two eldest sons never married and died without issue. The other three sons were George Kyrke, James Kyrke, who was born 1780, lived at Brymbo Hall and Glascoed Hall in Nant-y-Frith and died in 1858; and Richard Venables Kyrke, who was born in 1787 and died in 1868.

The sons used a variation to the family name which was carried on by their descendants.

The Kirk family name crops up frequently in connection with other properties in the area, and the family were staunch members of the Chester Street Presbyterian Chapel.

Read more: A 'hall' lot of history in those walls

Richard Kirk did not take up residence at Gwersyllt Hill until later on in his life; the property was previously let to various tenants.

On his death in 1839, aged 91, the Gwersyllt Hill estate was bequeathed to his daughter Frances and her Husband Thomas Penson, a member of a local family of architects.

Thomas Penson and his family took up residence at Gwersyllt Hill in 1841 after he had carried out a remodelling scheme on the property, at the same time enlarging the size of the hall. The house was covered in ivy creeper but this was removed during the renovation.


Gwersyllt Hill Hall, Wrexham.

Gwersyllt Hill Hall, Wrexham.


At one time the house was known locally as Harrops Hall, named after one of the tenants who held a lease on the property.

In the early 1950s the property was purchased by a syndicate who opened it up as Summerhill Social Club, a venture that did not last very long.

Sometime in the 1970s the property was taken over for a nightclub, Dracs Castle, but failed as a commercial enterprise.

After the nightclub closed down, the property became dilapidated and the hall and the stable yard buildings were demolished in 1982.