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Footprints - Prehistory

Our Bronze Age ancestors (2300 – 600BC) left behind more evidence of their lives: cairns in the Ceiriog Valley, barrows in the Maelor and two burial mounds, Hillbury and Fairy Mount in Wrexham itself.

A cist burial (on display in this museum) was found at Brymbo.  Dating to c.1600BC its beaker pot and flint show our ancestors were not an isolated people.  Hoards and finds in the Alyn Valley reveal that the valley was on an important communication route, involving trade with Ireland.

The Acton Hoard, found near Wrexham, c. 1875 - © National Museum Wales

The Acton Hoard, a collection of skilfully made palstaves (axe heads), shows this area was a centre for advanced metalwork during the Middle Bronze Age.  Products from the Acton Park complex have been found throughout North Wales. These metalworking skills must have brought wealth and status.

The Rossett Hoard, found near Wrexham - © National Museum Wales

The Burton Hoard, found near Wrexham. - © National Museum Wales

Bracelet from the Burton Hoard. - © National Museum Wales

Pennanular rings from the Burton Hoard - © National Museum Wales

Our Iron Age forebears (600BC – AD50) left behind larger monuments: a series of hill-forts along the upland-lowland line – Bryn Alyn (near Bradley), Y Gaer (Summerhill) and Y Gardden (Ruabon). The hill-forts guarded the routes between the hills and the plains. Iron Age Britain was divided up between tribes, so perhaps the hill-forts also marked a tribal boundary.

Despite this evidence, there is much left to discover about our prehistory.