In Minera (in Welsh, Mwynglawdd) stands what was once Pen y Bryn (or Penrhyn) Wesleyan chapel, now closed and converted to a dwelling. You can see it where it stands above Berwig Crossing on the old railway line.
former Pen y Bryn Wesleyan chapel, Minera
Services were held first, from 1801, in the home of Richard Roberts, the largest house in a row of thatched cottages known as Y Cytiau. Roberts lived at Cyt Hwyaf (that is, longest cottage), which stood in a field opposite Plas Gwyn, where you can still just discern the remains of the row of cottages). Roberts was a thatcher, and it was in Cyt Hwyaf that the first sermon was preached. There were also services in an old quarry.
A class was formed in 1803, with John Williams of Llandegla as class leader, who walked over the mountain every week, whatever the weather, to lead the class.
The first chapel was built in 1804. It has been claimed that, “The preachers of the gospel completely changed the character of the locality. The Methodists were determined to spread the flame far and wide, often walking fifteen and twenty miles to and from these distant places, their zeal and self-sacrifice bringing with it its own reward.”
In 1841 there were 71 members; then 25 left and planted the society at Coedpoeth, which soon became more numerous than the mother society at Minera, “but it is doubtful whether they ever dreamed that in a comparatively short period Wesleyan Methodism would have become such a power in the vicinity.” In 1859 Coedpoeth was made the head of a new circuit, “one of the most active and powerful Circuits in Welsh Methodism.”
Over the years other societies were raised nearby at Bwlchgwyn, Gwynfryn, and New Brighton, where Hermon Wesleyan chapel still stands, though it too has been closed down. (This is the New Brighton near Minera, not the one near Mold.)
Hermon, New Brighton
A second chapel was built on the site in Minera and opened on Christmas Day 1859. The present building – the one known as Pen y Bryn or Penrhyn chapel, now a house) was opened in 1902 with seating for 250. It had a stone inscribed with the words Ewch i’r holl fyd a phregethwch yr Efengyl i bob creadur which means “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
REHOBOTH (Coedpoeth) – now converted into a block of flats
“so he called its name Rehoboth, saying, ‘For now the Lord has made room for us,
and we shall be fruitful in the land.’” – Genesis 26:22
• Minera: a brief glimpse by J. C. Davies (Clwyd Veteran & Vintage Machinery Society, 1981:19-20)
• Minera by Glyn Davies (published by the author, 1964)
• The Origin and History of Methodism in Wales and the Borders by David Young (London: Kelly, 1893:504-8)
• The photo of Y Cytiau is in Wrexham Villages: a collection of pictures by Russell H. Jones (Bridge Books, 1991); the owner has given permission to reproduce it.