Images of Wrexham


Images of Wrexham

the County Borough through the camera lens

Geoffrey A. Jones
with a commentary by W. Alister Williams

ISBN: 978-1-84494-038-7

Available now

This slide show features a selection of superb images from our new title Images of Wrexham.

More information

Three Dee crossings (1), Belle Vue bandstand (2), Erddig snow scene (3), Late summer heather (4), Rossett mill (5), St Giles Gates (6), Holt bridge (7)

Images of Wrexham is a unique collection of nearly 150 full-colour photographs depicting the County Borough at the beginning of the twenty-first century. None of these photographs have been previously published. They show the area through its landscapes and buildings and many of these photographs are certain to become definitive images.

Apart from the obvious link of all the photographs relating to the County Borough of Wrexham, an underlying theme of this collection is that everything changes. The town of Wrexham has undergone a lengthy metamorphosis and is now emerging from its cocoon with a very different identity from that which it had twenty-five years ago. This has meant the loss of many familiar townscapes and buildings, some of which will be greatly missed. Much of what has gone was perhaps viewed through rose-tinted glasses and does not really deserve to be missed. Some new developments have worked well, enhancing the town and making it a more pleasant place in which to live and work. Others are great losses to the heritage of the area, although most of the buildings which fit into this category disappeared as long ago as the 1940s (the Town Hall) and the 1960s (the Gatehouse in Priory Street). This process of change has not ended and as this book goes to print there are still massive redevelopment projects ongoing in the town; a future chronicler will have to decide their value in the overall scheme of Wrexham’s redevelopment.

There have also been great changes outside of the town, mostly in the area covered by the old Wrexham Rural District Council. Here long-established heavy industries have declined and gone; some by natural process, others the result of political machinations. These changes have brought about the re-structuring and re-use of the landscape to cater for the economic world of the twenty-first century. Gone are the steel works, the coal mines, the limestone quarries, the brick works; and in their place has come the curiosity value of historical buildings, memorials to a vanished economic heritage. Many of these landscapes have altered to become valuable residential and leisure areas and it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify the old heavy-industrial landscapes.

Wrexham County Borough’s geographical position makes it unique in Wales. Its eastern boundary runs along the border with England. The River Dee, one of the great rivers of Wales, which finishes its journey to the sea in England, is a daunting physical barrier which has had a marked effect upon the landscape and the people who inhabit the area. The river’s flood plain has formed an area of rich, gently undulating agricultural land in the east of the County Borough. Further west, the land rises sharply into the Welsh hills and, to the south, the Berwyn Mountains, areas of dense woodland, deep green valleys and isolated moors; beautiful to look at and a walker’s paradise. It is an area that has certainly been blessed and remains almost unknown to people from outside of the area who rush through it on their way to the mountains of Snowdonia or to the beaches of mid and north Wales. Perhaps some of the photographs in this book will inspire people to get out and explore the beauty that is on their doorstep.

This is a book that is primarily about today and the future, but the captions to each photograph give a brief glimpse of the past. Without an understanding of yesterday’s landscapes, it would be impossible to appreciate the environment of the twenty-first century.

285 x 185mm, 120pp, full colour throughout, casebound.

The photographer
Geoffrey A. Jones was born in Wrexham and educated at Grove Park Grammar School and Cambridge University. This, his first published collection, brings together a life-long interest in the landscape and photography.

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