Rhos and Penycae were described in the infamous “Blue Book” of 1847 as a place worse than Merthyr Tydfil.
Many of the houses were of one room measuring 9 or 10 feet square and others had a small bedchamber attached, often the only furniture was a bed.
On average there were six children in the family and in the one room houses, they all slept together, the children feet to feet.
The roofs were of peat or straw, and the floors of beaten earth. The only light came from holes in the roof.
Diseases often broke out and in 1779, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn persuaded people to have inoculations, given by Dr Lancaster from Bal
The late 19th Century saw the expansion of the village to the south and east with the erection of the red brick terraces similar to those still present on Hall Street and Chapel Street.
Residential development of the village continued throughout the 20th Century with the erection of the larger planned estates like Groesfan, Cristionydd, Afoneitha and Pont yr Afon.
The concentration of new development away from the historic core has created a clear distinction in character between Pentre Cristionydd and the other areas of the village which combined with the varied features has given the area a definite sense of place and distinctiveness.
Today the village offers little employment opportunity with no remaining physical evidence of the former industries that occupied the area; most people now travel outwards to Wrexham and the surrounding larger villages for work and leisure facilities.
Close to Penycae is Plas Du on Newtown Mountain. The remains/foundations of Plas Du Newtown Mountain can be seen near the Pen-y-cae Reservoir at TreFechan, previously forested but cleared during 2004. Approximately 8-12 ruinous buildings and their fields and trackways occupy a triangular plot of land. It is certain that PLAS DU has an old history and possibly it was a Monastery (or half way house) used by the Monks from Valle Crusis Abbey on way to Chester as they walked over the mountain.