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Old 21st December 2020, 18.00:58   #847-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Very early in this thread I found a baptism record in the clwyd surnames register for a son of Joseph and Margaret Foulkes who were the landlord and lady of The Turf Tavern in Wrexham (as attached) in 1819. Soon after, I found a map from 1819, which identified the tavern, although the tavern was drawn just as a dot and gave no idea of its size and footprint
Not long after I found another map from the 1830’s which showed another square building close to the tavern and found that this building was the part of The Turf, which would come to be known as The Grandstand. Therefore, I had assumed that the section of The Turf, known as The Grandstand, had been built around 1830.

The original surnames register then disappeared from the web for a while, but a new html page (clwydsurnames2) has now been posted which shows that Joseph and Margaret Foulkes also had a daughter- Mary, who was baptised at ‘The Grandstand’ in February 1822 (as attached) R

This means that while The Turf Tavern section must have been built between 1795 and 1819, we can now also state that ‘The Grandstand’ section of the tavern was already built by 1822, and because of the 1819 map, on which The Turf Tavern was represented simply by a dot, with no mention of the section known as ‘The Grandstand’ then it is seems most likely that The Grandstand section was built between 1819 (after the map was drawn) and 1822 (when the baptism was recorded at ‘The Grandstand’)
As previously stated, I think that the original section known as The Grandstand, did not initially have a balcony, but rather just windows that overlooked the finishing line, but a balcony which was held up by iron posts, was added later, in 1854, when the course and public houses were revamped.
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Old 21st December 2020, 19.04:02   #848-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Confirmation that the house known as The Crispin (from where we get the name of Crispin Lane) was already in existence in 1675.
As previously stated, Ogilby’s road map (1675) shows a substantial un-named house in the exact location where later maps show that The Crispin was located. By overlaying these later maps on Ogiby’s road map, we can see that its location in relation to Plas Coch is the same as it is on later maps, and therefore it has to be the house known as Crispin. But also, the distances recorded on Ogilby’s map in relation to other properties in the area, also confirm that this house was built, either on, or very close to, Wat’s Dyke.
The name ‘stanty’ is recorded just below the house on the 1675 map, which I had originally thought was a misspelling of the name of the township ‘Stansty’. But I have since learned that the word ‘stanty’ was commonly used in the 17th Century to describe a boundary, and so in this case is showing that the house was built on the boundary of Wat’s Dyke.
We also know from A.N. Palmer that the house was owned by a well-known Puritan of the Ambrose Lewis family, from 'at least' 1704 to 1810, but strangely, the house was leased to Robert Williams of Erbistock. From 1731 ‘and for a few years after’.
Robert Williams was the brother of the first Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, as well as Richard Williams of Penbedwr- who was a noted racehorse breeder and stud owner, at that time.
They were all sons of Sir William Williams who had inherited additional extensive estates after his wife (Jane Thelwall) inherited Wynnstay from Sir John Wynn who died in 1719. The family also inherited Plas Coch and the fields on which Y Cae Ras now stands, at the same time, although it would appear that the lower corner of The Racecourse (a field with a diagonal boundary which ran from the house known as The Crispin to the location where the Turf Hotel now stands) may have still been under the ownership of the Ambrose Lewis family in the 18th Century. Later maps indicate this boundary line, which today would run from the railings on the railway side of Crispin Lane from a position opposite where the Yale stand meets the Kop, and then runs diagonally across the lower section of The Racecourse to a point near to the gates outside of The Turf Hotel..
Subsequent land deals, including the land behind the kop, as well as the old Turf Tavern gardens indicate that this section of Y Cae Ras was split into smaller plots and sold off around the start of the 19th Century, possibly after 1810. But the fact that this section of land appears to have been originally owned by the Ambrose Lewis family provides us with a reason for Robert Williams to rent and live at The Crispin, when his family already owned numerous extensive estates throughout North Wales.
The Williams Wynn family started to promote The Wrexham Races ‘on the new course’ around the same time that Robert Williams lived at The Crispin and advertisements were placed in both the Chester and London newspapers from 1738 till 1740 at least. Although the races had been known to have been in existence even earlier, and they would continued in various forms throughout the 18th Century, until Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (5th Baronet) upgraded the course
The Ambrose Lewis family were known to have increased their status by marrying well, and while the first Ambrose Lewis had owned and lived at a number of houses in Wrexham, he himself was small fry in comparison to the families that his kinfolk married into. His sister- Eleanor married John Lloyd in 1640- vicar of Llanasa who’s family owned the Gwrych Estate, while his daughter married Robert Puleston, who inherited the 70 acre Pwll Yr Uwdd estate in 1685. His son- Ambrose Lewis II (the Puritan preacher who lived at The Crispin) had married Catherine Davies in the mid 17th Century and Catherine was one of two daughters and co-heirs of Roger Davies of Erlas Hall.
The Davies family were huge landowners in the 16th and 17th Centuries, having descended from the Pulestons of Emral (Worthenbury) who were even more influential in earlier times.
Ambrose Lewis II died in 1698 and his wife Catherine in 1703. Ambrose Lewis III died in 1714, although Ambrose Lewis IV, his siblings and his descendants retained ownership of the estate until it was sold at the beginning of the 19th Century

The house which became known as The Crispin was first identified in a road map from 1675, although the name Crispin did not appear in parish records until the end of the 17th Century. But the land on which The Crispin was built may well have been part of an earlier estate, which had been held by either the Pulestons or Davies family, until it passed into the Ambrose Lewis family through marriage.

Last edited by eastsussex; 21st December 2020 at 19.09:34..
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Old 22nd December 2020, 00.36:38   #849-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by Sir Crispin Lane View Post
Reading your posts esr has kept a lot of us educated and entertained during a pretty grim time so thanks again for your research and gems of information you’ve been discovering and uncovering.
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Originally Posted by eastsussex View Post
Thanks Sir Crispin. I am glad that you also find it interesting. Hopefully the early history and heritage of those fields off Crispin Lane, our club and stadium (including The Turf) will eventually become more widely known
I'll like to echo SCLs thoughts. Was wondering ES, when publishing the forthcoming book, have you considered perhaps a Foreword or first review by Pete Jones?

Seriously, it's great research, really enjoy reading it.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 14.34:25   #850-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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I'll like to echo SCLs thoughts. Was wondering ES, when publishing the forthcoming book, have you considered perhaps a Foreword or first review by Pete Jones?

Seriously, it's great research, really enjoy reading it.
Thanks APJ. This thread is now five years old and has attracted many contributors.
From my own perspective, the thread is a kind of thought process, which I tap into a keyboard as the thoughts arise, after checking that the idea has validity.
I have met up with Pete in the past and occasionally kept in touch by email. I have also had contact with John Mills in the past, and a few years ago, I wrote a few short articles which were posted on the clubs website, but I am not really a very sociable kind of person, and outside of work and close family, I tend to stay indoors, locked in my own thoughts. For me, research and writing is a kind of escape, but I am not in any way connected with the trust or club: I am just a Wrexham fan who has an interest in history, which has since developed into a project. But more so, I also have an interest in traditional anthropology, which could be roughly described as a kind of a mix between archaeology and psychology, and so if I find a new piece of information, then, from my own perspective, it is not the new information which is important per se, but rather, what is the story that underlies this new information; and particularly, the human aspect. So, for example, we know that the club was founded in The Turf Tavern in 1864 by members of the cricket club who wanted to find a sporting activity for the winter months; but in expanding this information by asking myself open questions- who, what, when, where, why; and particularly ‘why’ then we find that there is a deeper, more anthropological reason as to why the club was founded.
In my own mind, there are always more questions to ask when I find a new piece of information; and particularly ‘why’: therefore, it would be difficult for me to ever finish a book on any subject, anyway.
I would like to be able to take the history of the land on which Y Cae Ras was built, back as far as the construction of Wat’s Dyke, as I feel that Y Cae Ras and the football club are a continuation of an even richer ‘Welsh’ history; hence my posts about subjects and people that preceded the birth of the football club and horseracing in the town. But this is just a personal preference and I think that a lot of people on RP would obviously be much more interested in information which is contemporary with the history of the football club itself; including Pete Jones. When I have spoken with Pete in the past, he has told me that he is more interested in specifically club related information, which is not really surprising as he has spent the majority of his life researching the history of the club. With this in mind, I also try to focus more on the very early history of the club and the situation that gave rise to the birth of the club, as well as the areas of club related history that have not been widely covered in the past, such as The Wrexham Races, The Turf Hotel and the chronology of Y Cae Ras as a sport stadium etc.
As I have said, I have a bit more of an anthropological approach to life, which I think comes out in the way that I write, and so I am not really sure how Pete or anyone else would feel about a book, even if I could ever manage to stop asking myself more questions for long enough, to actually write one. I am now an old man, and I cant remember a time throughout my life when my own internal dialogue gave me any peace, so I don’t think that this is going to change now.
Hopefully, the information on this thread will eventually seep out further, to add provenance to the history of the club, stadium and town, as well as to the history of the people of the town itself.

Last edited by eastsussex; 22nd December 2020 at 14.41:37..
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Old 22nd December 2020, 14.53:20   #851-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Top work as usual
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Old 22nd December 2020, 15.55:14   #852-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Another detail that comes from the parish registers from 1819 and 1822 (as attached five posts previous) is the fact that The Turf Tavern and The Grandstand were distinct from each other, and were built at different times for different purposes, as previously supposed.
In 1819, Joseph Foulkes was recorded as the publican at The Turf Tavern, whereas, in 1822, he was listed as the innkeeper of The Grandstand. This distinction is due to the fact that traditionally, inns would tend to focus more on food and accommodation- a bit like a modern hotel, which were governed by an innkeeper, whereas taverns tended to focus more on drinking and were governed by a publican.
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Old 27th December 2020, 12.37:59   #853-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Often, if a building is extended and rendered over to aesthetically bind both parts of the structure together, then a joint may appear between the two parts of the building. This happens because a different brick has been used to extend the building and the type of brick used has a different porosity than the original bricks used for original part of the building.
As the render dries, this difference in bricks becomes apparent due to cracks in the render, where the two types of bricks were joined, or also in the appearance of the render itself, which absorbs into the different types of bricks accordingly, depending on their porosity.
This ‘shadowing’ in render is a sure sign that a building has been extended, and which can be seen on the two photo’s that I have attached, showing the side of the current Turf Hotel.
To the right of both photos (upper right above the doorway) you can see a darker shade in the pebbledashing on the outer walls of The Turf Hotel- where the balcony was built as an extension onto the original building. But also, you can see the shadows of the original quoins, before the balcony was added.
Quoins were originally comprised of masonry blocks that added strength to the corners of buildings, but were later comprised of bricks that were laid slightly proud of the rest of the walls, which could then be rendered, while the toothed pattern of the quoins provided a decorative feature.
On all sections of The Turf Hotel today, the quoins are rendered (to look like masonry quoins) and painted to highlight this feature, but if you look to the right of both photos attached (taken from opposing angles) then you can see the darker shadowing in the render, which highlights the toothed pattern of the original quoins, before the rear of the Turf was extended with a balcony. You can also see that the roof over the balcony is of a different design, with a different pitch (slope).
As posted many times previously, the original Turf Tavern (the lower section of the current Turf Hotel) was built between 1795 and 1819, and this part of the pub still exists today. But a new taller section (where the bar area is today) was built sometime around 1830, just a few metres away from the tavern, as a more exclusive establishment for the more well-healed racegoers..
Initially, this new section was a square building, which was known in 1841 as 'The Grandstand' although originally it may have not had a balcony, but rather, windows, which overlooked the finishing line. But in 1854, the course was upgraded and the buildings were joined together at first floor level, by means of an undercroft. At the same time, the taller section was extended with a balcony and one corner of this square building was hacked off to accommodate an angled double door, which provided access to the new balcony.
In 1913, all sections of the Turf were renovated. The undercroft, which had previously only joined the two buildings at first floor level, was now bricked up, to form a ground floor lounge also, while the windows were replaced and the external timber framed facade at the rear of the taller section was ripped out and re-clad with the rendered panels that still adorn the rear of the building today. The doorway onto the balcony was also bricked up at this time and the outer skin was filled with the same rendered panels.
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[B]Correction[/B]- the extended wall in question (with the shadows in the render that show the pattern of the quoins at the original end of the building) was built in 1913, as part of the refurbishment works. Prior to this, the balcony ran the full length of the rear of the taller part of The Turf, supported on iron posts.
Rhosymedre Red had previously posted a photo of a game against Aston Villa
http://www.redpassion.co.uk/forums/a...00177139_n-jpg

which we eventually established was a game that took place on The Racecourse in 1907. The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham...)

But if you zoom into that photo on Rhosymedre’s post, you will see that the balcony runs the entire length of the rear of The Turf, and the wall in question does not return around the corner of the rear of the building. The shadowing in the render, must therefore have been the result of an extension to the corner of the building, during the refurbishment works in 1913, although I still believe that the taller section of The Turf was originally a square building that was built around 1830, and the balcony was added later in 1854
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Originally Posted by eastsussex View Post
Another detail that comes from the parish registers from 1819 and 1822 (as attached five posts previous) is the fact that The Turf Tavern and The Grandstand were distinct from each other, and were built at different times for different purposes, as previously supposed.
In 1819, Joseph Foulkes was recorded as the publican at The Turf Tavern, whereas, in 1822, he was listed as the innkeeper of The Grandstand. This distinction is due to the fact that traditionally, inns would tend to focus more on food and accommodation- a bit like a modern hotel, which were governed by an innkeeper, whereas taverns tended to focus more on drinking and were governed by a publican.

Another detail that becomes apparent when looking closely at the Turf Hotel today is the difference styles of the sills and decorative sides of the windows on the older Turf Tavern side of the premises.
As I have previously stated, the taller part of the current hotel was built as a square building sometime after 1819 and before 1822, and a canted bay and balcony was added to the rear of the building later- most likely during refurbishment works in 1854.
The lower Turf Tavern section, by contrast, was built sometime between 1795 and 1819, with the taller section being added later, although there was originally a gap of about three metres between each of these buildings. An undercroft was then built in 1854, which tied the buildings together only at first floor level, so that there was a connecting room between the buildings on the first floor, while the ground floor remained open to permit access onto the course. This undercroft was then bricked up during refurbishment works in 1913, to create the lounge area which connected the two buildings at ground floor level also.
If you look at the photo attached, you can see that the two windows to the left of the photo are different to those on the right (where the undercroft was built to join the buildings together). In this photo, the line of the rainwater downpipe is situated just a few hundred mm to the right of a darker line in the pebbledash, which shows where the older part of the Turf Tavern originally ended. The window openings to the left of the photo were therefore original to that section of the building, while the two windows (upper and lower) on the right side of the photo were originally built in 1854 (upper) and 1913 (lower). But the sills on these two windows are made of stone, which protrudes out from the building, while the decorative sides rest on top of the sills, whereas the window surrounds to the left (original part of the tavern) incorporate the sills themselves, which are formed of render. These sills do not protrude out much beyond the face of the pebbledash and the angle of fall on these sills is much steeper than the angle of fall on those on the right (the angle of fall which carries rainwater away from the base of the window to the end of the sill). If all of these windows were installed at the same time (when the Turf tavern was first built) then they would all have the same decorative sides and the same stone sills with the same angle of fall on the sills for water run-off. But the differences in these window openings and the darker line in the pebbledash helps to confirm that the undercroft was built at a later date, as previously supposed. The line of the darker shade in the pebbledash also lines up with the position of the chimney, which would have originally sat directly above a fireplace on the end wall of the tavern.
I have also added a photo that was taken in 1976, for comparison.

Last edited by eastsussex; 27th December 2020 at 12.47:49..
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Old 27th December 2020, 15.14:29   #854-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Do you think the undercroft could have been used for storage or perhaps an under cover area for drinking?
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Old 27th December 2020, 16.32:22   #855-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Do you think the undercroft could have been used for storage or perhaps an under cover area for drinking?
Difficult to say Jonesfach as we only have pre 1913 photos of the rear (pitch side) of the undercroft and those photo's seem very dark where the undercroft is situated, with no light shining through from the Mold Road. This suggests to me that a gate had been erected between the two buildings and the gate may have been used as an entrance onto the course for racemeetings or later activities, including football games. I imagine that there would have been a door that gave access into the Turf Tavern within the undercroft and also a door into The Grandstand section of the pub, although the photos definitely show that there was an undercroft at least as late as 1906, with the two buildings only joined at first floor level at that time. There is a possibility that the Mold Road side was bricked up and that the undercroft acted as a kind of cellar for storing things, although it would not have made too much sense to only join the buildings at first floor level if that had happened, and so it seems more likely that the Mold Road side had a gate on it, until it was finally bricked up to form a lounge, which also joined the two building together at ground floor level in 1913. It is also possible that this was done between 1906 and 1913, but as we know that substantial refurbishment works were carried out to both sides of the premises when the stadium was revamped in 1913, then it seems more than likely that this happened in 1913.

Last edited by eastsussex; 27th December 2020 at 16.34:52..
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