Around 1755 Thomas Olivers (1725-1799) preached in Wrexham but was prevented by Thomas Boycott the magistrate of Brynyffynnon who ordered him to stop or he would be whipped out of town.

The obituary of Mrs Mary Franceys (1737-1826) records that she 'had been a steady and pious member of the Methodist Society at Wrexham for 60 years' which suggests that there was a society by 1766. John Wesley does not record in his Journal or Diary that he visited Wrexham, but there is evidence in the correspondence between Hester Ann Roe and Wesley that he preached there in 1782. Oral tradition says that he did so from an upper window of the house of Benjamin Parry on Town Hill. Regular services were held from around 1770, in a room at the bottom of Town Hill. Samuel Bradburn was converted in Chester in1769 and after receiving the Sacrament at Chester from John Wesley in 1771 had a call to preach. He visited Wrexham at Easter 1772 at the invitation of the Methodist folk and his mother's relations there. He returned at Whitsuntide and exhorted three times; then returned again on 7th February 1773 and was pressed to deputise for John Gardner of Tattenhall. He preached his first two sermons that day at the entrance to Hughes the Bellhanger's yard on Town Hill. The future pioneer of the Welsh Wesleyan Mission, Owen Davies was born in Wrexham and later preacher there in both Welsh and English. The society held its services in a cottage in Chapel Street. John Williams (1770–1832), a successful linen draper in Wrexham and others saw the need to have a purpose-built chapel. They built 'The Green Chapel' in Salop Road, opened on New Year 's Day 1805 when Bradburn preached. In 1855 the orchard of the Brynyffynnon Mansion was purchased and Dr. Adam Bealey (1812-1905) the nephew of John Williams, laid the foundation stone 25th July 1855. The congregation increased and a new larger building was built on the same site and opened 1890.

John Ride, the Primitive Methodist itinerant, was sent in 1821 to mission in Chester and Wrexham. This led to the opening of the PM work in Wrexham. A chapel was opened at the 'Beast Market in December 1832, seating 50 and costing about £150. It was in the Chester Circuit until a separate Wrexham Circuit was formed in 1837. In 1843 Ambrose Kirkland (1816-1892; e.m. 1837) found the circuit to be 'feeble and poor' and in 1846 it reverted to being a Branch of the Chester Circuit. At the time of the 1851 Religious Census Wrexham chapel reported congregations of 50 in the morning and 70 in the evening.

In 1859 Philip Maddocks (1816-1906; e.m. 1836) was sent by the PM General Missionary Committee to Wrexham. During his three years there three churches were built and one bought from the Baptists, and the membership increased by 96.

In 1849 a number of young men left The Green Wesleyan Chapel and joined the Wesleyan Refomers. They met in the Temperance Coffee Rooms in Bank Street. Then bought a chapel in Brook Street. In 1855 they bought the former Wesleyan 'Green Chapel'. They joined the United Methodist Free Church in 1860. The Wesleyan Reformers bought the Methodist New Connexion chapel in Gresford (now a suburb of Wrexham).

The Methodist New Connexion society started a society in Gresford before 1850, with a chapel that was sold to the Wesleyan Reformers in 1854. In 1871 at Rhos-ddu, Wrexham a United Methodist Free Church society ran for about two years In 1878 it was re-formed in Colliery Road Wrexham.


'Yesterday morning most of the inhabitants of Wrexham – in Denbighshire – were greatly astonished to find Advertisements stuck upon their Church door, and other public places by Methodists, setting forth the excellency of one of their preachers who has come there, and that he would preach in the afternoon in the house of one J….s, a Hatter. At the appointed time those Devotees assembled, but before the hymns were over, a vast concourse of people surrounded the house, pulled down the doors, broke the windows all to pieces, seized some of the Holy Brethren, and carried them to the Beast Market Pool and the ducked them severely. After which they desired the Methodists not to glory in Persecution (as they were pleased to call it), nor assemble in that town hereafter, which, if they ever presume ever to do, they should be worse used, adding that the people of Wrexham had no mind to become Indolent or Melancholy.'

Chester Courant, March 1753

  • A.N. Palmer, A History of the Town of Wrexham (1893)
  • A H Dodd (ed.), A History of Wrexham (1957)
  • G.C. Owen, Brynyffnnon Pilgrimage 1970
  • Wesley Historical Society Proceedings, vols. 18 pp.55ff - 24 p.115
  • David M. Young, The Primitive Methodist Mission to North Wales (2016)