A rare and unexpected Bronze Age treat to be found, surprisingly, in the heart of Wrexham. In the centre of Wrexham County Borough Museum stands an unassuming box on a plinth, with a large piece of black foam rubber resting on its top. Lift this up, and suddenly you are transported back in time approximately 3,600 years, as you look down into a Middle Bronze Age burial cist. Even more exciting is the fact that the original inhabitant of this large box remains in situ, grave goods beside his disarticulated bones.
Brymbo Man, as he is known, was discovered in 1968 when a new housing estate was being built in Brymbo (pronounced 'Brumbo'), an outlying village near Wrexham. Near what is now 79 Cheshire View (give a big clue on the terrain; the most wonderful views of the Cheshire Plain can be had from the local hills; evidently just as emotive these days), a workman's pick hit Bronze Age pay-dirt approximately 1 foot below the ground's surface. Intially they had discovered a capstone five and half feet long, but below this lay a burial cist, containing a human skull and a few bones, besides a large beaker and a flint knife. The entire lot, including the cist, was intially moved to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff - but happily, 30 years later in 1998, Brymbo Man came home to his present resting place in the County Museum.
The museum have made much of this corking find, and have a very good display on the Bronze Age as result - very child friendly, too. Probably the next best object after the cist and remains is the reconstructed head of Brymbo Man, giving an idea of what the ancient peoples of this area looked like; not much has changed, really!
This is a real archaelogical and anthropological gem, well worth a look if ever you are passing.