A trip back in time – traversing the history of Rossett

(Posted on 08/07/24)

A trip back in time – traversing the history of Rossett

Following on from our research into the history of our Zebra HQ (with the building originally being founded as The Cocoa Rooms in 1884), we were intrigued to find out more about the beautiful village of Rossett that our office calls home. We have been based in Rossett for over seven years, having moved into Station Road in May 2017, firstly to Bridge House, opposite the Alyn pub. We have since more recently – in June 2023 – moved to what we now know used to be The Cocoa Rooms, but is called The Old Bank following its stint as a NatWest branch. Located just outside Wrexham and near to Chester, our base offers essential links to these historic cities.


Humble beginnings

Rossett has a rich and colourful past, and the village name has its roots from the Welsh ‘Yr Orsedd Goch’ – The Red Throne, and the name of Rossett is likely derived from the shortened ‘Yr Orsedd’.

While there are no signs of a red throne around, there are still plenty of historic sites and buildings which make up the village we know today.


What have the Romans ever done for us?

Roman activity was prevalent in this area, with Chester founded as a Roman army base (Castra), with a fortress called Deva Victrix built in AD70. Signs of Roman occupation can still be seen across the region, and Roman connections have been reinforced in Rossett, following the unearthing of a lead ingot (or ‘pig’), and the excavation of a Roman villa in a nearby field in 2020.


The rich and famous

An imposing Elizabethan manor stands at Trevalyn Hall, built by the Trevor family in 1576, and Rossett Mill, which followed not long after in 1588, can still be seen as you approach Rossett from Marford and the A483. This mill produced flour for an impressive 475 years.

These two buildings both share artistic fame, as Rossett Mill was sketched and painted by none other than impressionist painter J.M.W Turner in 1795, and Trevalyn Hall was painted by George Stubbs in 1823, who was most renowned for his stunning equine paintings (and is therefore a favourite artist of our content manager Kathryn).

Marford Mill, across the road from Rossett Mill, was built around 1086, and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It is now home to BASC, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the UK's largest shooting association.

 Many of the buildings in Rossett, such as the Rossett Presbyterian Chapel, built in 1877, were designed by the famous architect John Douglas, such as whose Gothic style can still be seen on The Rows in Chester, and also on our very own Zebra HQ building, as he designed The Cocoa Rooms back in 1884.

Rossett Hall, built in 1750 and now a hotel, was once a renowned stately home, and it is said that Lord Nelson courted Lady Emma Hamilton there.

The Baptist Chapel on Cox Lane was originally a cottage and was one of the homes of the Davies family, who had fled The Great Fire of London – another of their homes is now the Pant yr Ochain.

St Peter’s Well, near Llyndir Hall, was said to be sacred, and reputedly could cure sore eyes and sprained limbs.

 The Alyn Pub, named after the River Alyn which flows past it, started as a hotel during Victorian times, possibly due to the increase in local trade after Rossett railway station opened in 1846. In 1894, the pub owner was one of four charged with serving alcohol to two policemen as at that time, police were never officially off duty. However, the Magistrate thought that the law was too harsh, and the landlords were given a token fine of one shilling each.

The Golden Lion pub is said to be haunted by the ghost of Jeffrey, a ploughman hanged for murder in the 17th century, and reportedly likes to cause mischief to this day.


And on that chilling note, we’ll leave our historic tour of Rossett there, for now…