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Ellesmere Society

Society news

Society news

The next meeting of the Ellesmere Society is on Tuesday Oct 16th our speaker will be Wendy Davis with a talk titled ‘Oh what a Pantomime’.

The society holds its monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of the month in the Ellesmere Comrades Club, visitors, and potential new members are welcome. 

For more information please check out our Website – www.ellesmeresociety.org


The first meeting of the Ellesmere Society’s new season was on Tuesday 18th Sept. the speaker was Alister Williams with an illustrated talk titled 'The Gummows- who brought Venice to Wrexham'. 

Alister began by introducing us to Benjamin Gummow who was an architect, He was born in St Endellon in Cornwall in 1766 and died at Ruabon in March 1844.

Alister said Gummow started his career in London as a clerk of the works for the architect Samuel Pepys Cockerall, for the alterations to St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Benjamin Gummow had a brother Michael Gummow who was also an Architect and they worked on the rebuilding of Cleveland House St. James, Westminster around 1800.

Over the next few years Benjamin worked for a number of prominent Architects on various projects in London. Then in 1802 he was appointed as supervising Architect to the Earl Grosvenor to rebuild Eaton hall near Chester. This brought Gummlow to the Wrexham area. At this time Wrexham was larger than Cardiff, but with mainly small thatched buildings. After rebuilding Eaton hall, he got various commissions for large houses in the area such as  Littleton Hall, Christlton in Cheshire in 1806, additions to Nercwys Hall between 1813 and 1820 and the building of a portico and other alterations for the Ormsby-Gores at Brogyntyn, near Oswestry in Shropshire, plus work at Chirk Castle.

Gummlow was heavily influenced by Italian Vancian style Architecture although he had never been to Venice, also Palladium influenced his buildings which shows in most of his them. Gummlow had a son who also became an Architect. as did his son, and between them over a number of decades in the nineteenth century they designed and built most of the large buildings in Wrexham, especially the houses around Grosvenor Road which are now Solicitors or private clinics.

At the end of Alister’s presentation the society’s chairman Fred Williams then opened the meeting to numerous questions, after which he thanked Alister for a very informative presentation.