Pen-y-Cae is a small village located 7 miles south west of Wrexham. The settlement lies on the slopes of the Ruabon Mountain where the varying topography creates a picturesque setting for many properties and forms a dramatic rural backdrop to the conservation area.

The Pen-y-Cae Conservation Area is centred on the historic core of Pentre Cristionydd which as its name suggests has strong historic religious connotations to Valle Crucis near Llangollen. Here the Trefechan and Nant-y-Crogfryn brooks flow into the conservation area, converging at its centre below a series of historic stone bridges. The conservation area has a strong rural character reinforced by the scattered layout of the buildings, the narrow footpaths, abundance of trees and views of the surrounding landscape. This rural character is in direct contrast to the more densely settled and barren streets to the south.

The Pen-y-Cae Conservation Area was first designated in 1976 and its boundary amended and reduced in January 2003 and June 2011. The Pen-y-Cae Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan was adopted in June 2011.