Bangor-on-Dee is a welcoming village with friendly folk, two excellent pubs, church, shop, hairdressers, health centre and dentist - and a pop-up Post office every Thursday morning - all set in glorious countryside with the historic racecourse only a mile away.
The village is located in a natural hollow alongside the River Dee, sheltered against the winds from all directions. To the North is the Wrexham plateau, to the south is the Overton-on-Dee incline, to the West the Berwyn mountain range and to the East the Bickerton Hills. It’s a lovely spot to spend a weekend, a week or even more.
Bangor-on-Dee is a small and ancient village that can trace its history back almost 2000 years. At one time 1,200 monks lived in its abbey, of which no trace remains.
The meandering River Dee, well known for its excellent fishing, skirts the village and may have over the years carried the wattle-and-daub buildings away. The village’s five-arched stone bridge across the Dee dates from about 1660 and is believed to have been built by Inigo Jones. Since "Ban" means "place" and "gor" means "choir", it might be reasonable to assume that the word "Bangor" means "the place of the choir", but a rival translation would have it as "a settlement with a wattle enclosure".
The Romans called it Bovinium and the Saxons Bancornaburg. In 1278 it is recorded as Bonkerbury! It is also known as Bangor-Is-y-Coed ("Bangor below the wood") on account of its situation near well-wooded country and was first mentioned as such in 1699, a few decades after The Stableyard was built, while an alternative name of the parish, Bangor Monachorum ("Bangor of the monks"), was first recorded in 1677, one year after The Stableyard was first noted.
A poem entitled "The Monks of Bangor’s March" by Sir Walter Scott, where "Veiled nun and friar gray Marched from Bangor’s fair Abbaye" was put to music by none less than Ludwig van Beethoven.
When the Cambrian Railway opened a branch line from Wrexham to Ellesmere, they called the station Bangor-on-Dee, a name favoured by those who disliked the Welsh Is-y-Coed.
As a well situated base to explore the traditional Wonders of North Wales, within a radius of less than twenty miles there are a wealth of historic sites, while the main local activities are listed in the links below:
Photographs kindly provided by Bangor Races