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Marford's Gothic cottages

By Sarah Griffiths on Feb 16, 09 08:49 AM in 1500-1799

Marford is famous for its distinctive cottages which were originally built for the estate workers of Trevalyn Hall between 1805 and 1816.

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Trevalyn Hall in Rossett is an Elizabethan manor house built by John Trevor in 1576. It was originally situated in an exclave of Flintshire and is now part of the borough of Wrexham. The Trevalyn estate remained with the Trevor dynasty, but the male line died out in 1743.

George Boscawen had married into this family but his wife predeceased him in 1788. Ten years after her death, Boscowen decided to use her inheritance to create housing for the craftsmen of the estate. His agent, John Boydell of Rossett Hall, was appointed to oversee the building of the cottages and each dwelling was unique in character.

The architectural style used for the village has been described as cottage orné and featured a range of windows including circular, ogee, elliptical and lancet shapes. The cottages were also built with curved walls and roof planes that dipped in the centre. The roofs were originally thatched, but were later replaced with slate from Bwlch yr Oernant in Denbighshire. There have been many reports of ghosts in the village and the crosses which appear on most of the houses were believed to ward off evil spirits.

The architectural importance of the Marford cottages is illustrated by the fact that it is considered to be one of the most unusual estate villages in Wales and several of the cottages have been listed by Cadw as Welsh historic monuments.

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