People Monuments Fittings and Furnishings Early History The Medieval Building The Reformation The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries The South Chapel Restoration and Enrichment 1770 Nineteenth Century Radical Restoration Stained Glass Windows The Twentieth Century The Sharing of the Church Church and Community Hall New Church Roof 2010
Restoration and Enrichment 1770
The fourth baronet was reaching his majority and was in a position to spend money: the estate was clear of the debts left by the Great Sir Watkin. The restoration of the church was put in hand against the background of the 'Grand Tour' of the young baronet, and the preparations for his coming of age in l770.
The restoration, which was undertaken as a matter of necessity for repair, became a grand design, the unity of which was unfortunately destroyed a hundred years later. The undertaking was seen as a partnership between the parish and the Williams Wynn family. The people of the parish were responsible for the structural alterations - the raising of the roof and pillars and the paving of the aisles. They were also to replace the pulpit, reading desk and the pews, where necessary, and after the dust had settled 'ornament' the church.
In order to meet the expense a church rate was to be levied 'the same to be made and done at the proportionable Expences... of the said Minister, Churchwardens, Parishioners and Inhabitants'. On the same day, 5 June 1769, a Faculty was granted to Dame Frances to erect another chapel on the north-west side of the chancel, uniform with the chapel erected in 1755. The Monumental effigy and the large memorial to Sir John Wynn were now removed from the Chancel into the north Chapel. By September 1768 the young Sir Watkin was in Milan. Writing home he comments 'I am exceedingly glad ...that the Parish are so civil about raising the Roof of the Church, &c' and in November from Rome adds: 'the sooner Pritchard begins to repair & Beautify the Chancel of Rhuabon Church the better'
Copyright St Mary's Church Ruabon