Pen y Gardden Hall was built around 1850 but, it is believed to occupy the site of a much older dwelling. From 1891 it was occupied by Rueben Haigh and family who were colliers from Lancashire. They owned and ran the Ruabon Brick Company which for several decades was a major local employer. During a refurbishment in 1912 it was described “..with the construction of a grand staircase, with Oak timbers especially imported from the United States”.
Graham recalls whilst at Ysgol Rhiwabon in the early 1970s I would walk home passed Bills Davidsons Farm on Penygardden. I remember asking Bills dad Thomas can we watch you milk the cows, now he was a little grumpy to say the least, but agreed to let me and a friend watch him as long as we kept out of the way. Eventually both of us ended up working on the farm during the summer holidays and for the harvesting. This is where I first learnt to drive, a tractor, it was a David Brown 850, a battered old thing but fun to drive.
I worked on the farm for some time along with cutting the grass for the hall next door, Pen-y-Gardden Hall had a little old lady called Mrs. Haugh, she was a frail old lady only about 4ft tall, Mrs. Haugh would rarely speak to me except for suggesting where she’d like me to tidy up, one day in particular she came out as I was collecting the wheel barrow and tools to start work, she said “Can you tidy up around the rockery today”, of course I said and proceeded down to the rockery area at the side of the hall, after being there for a couple of hours to my surprise she appeared with a tray which had a cup of tea and some biscuits on it, she had spilt most of it but this was more than welcomed, to my surprise she stayed and had a little chat with me, asking what my name was as she’d forgotten.
After finishing my tea and biscuits she took the tray and wondered off back to the hall. She never used to pay me personally, but would always leave an envelope each Friday in the utility room containing £2.50. I continued to work in the gardens until she died, following her death the hall was sold soon after for £3000 to Mr. Thomas and his family, the house was by now in need of some desperate attention as it had wet and dry rot, the servant’s stair case had to be completely removed and replaced. I carried on grass cutting and general garden jobs for quite a while until around June 1975.
The hall was sold in 2017 for just over £1,000,000 by Savills of Chester.
The following pictures are from the sales brochure by Savills of Chester, photographs taken in 2017.