Friday, 12 December 2008

Victorian Christmas Market in Wrexham

Yesterday there was a "Victorian" Christmas market at St Giles Church in Wrexham. It was a much larger event than when we first visited it several years ago. There was musical entertainment from the university but less structured events than in previous years. It was just as cold - after 2 1/2 hours, my feet were numb!

The highlight of the event, for me, was the chance to climb St Giles church tower and see Wrexham in the dusk (151 spiral steps in a very narrow stairwell - two people couldn't pass, so lucky I wasn't wearing a crinoline. I had to take my bonnet off to get through the tiny door at the top, which is about 4ft high) . I didn't have a tripod, so the night time speed settings on the camera were a problem for the distance photos - slight camera shake inevitable, as there was nothing to rest the camera on at the top of the tower. Two of the bellringers were our guides and it was a fascinating tour. The bells are rung from a room about a third of the way up the tower. Here are views of the bell chamber itself -

The largest bell is on the far right - look for the biggest wheel -

Eagles Meadow from the top of the tower - the bright light in the centre is the new Debenhams frontage. When I see the amount of lights on modern store fronts, no wonder we are constantly nagged into using low energy light bulbs at home! I wonder which uses more - a town full of modern shop fronts and everyone using low energy bulbs at home (plus more electrical gadgets than you can count) or shops and homes 40 years ago... I'd guess (per building) 40 years ago.

Looking towards the middle of the "old" town centre -

To the bottom of Town Hill, with Island Green (top right section - green roofs) and distant view towards Mount Zion, Brymbo -

The Christmas market at dusk, from the bellringers' room -

Gargoyles - these must have been modelled on the locals 500 years ago, although they look like some of the people at the market today...

Plus "Charles Dickens" gargoyle impersonation...

The tower is open several times during the week. Apparently it is very popular with American and Japanese tourists. Of course, this is the tower that was the inspiration for the tower at Yale University in the USA. More here.

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