It is thought that the name Efenechtyd comes from the words mynech (monk) and tyd (land or place of). There is evidence that there was once a monastery in the locality and Plas-yn-Llan now occupies the original site of the monastery. Jacob Conway, the son of a wealthy silk dyer from London, owned Plas-yn-Llan in 1668 and might have built it. The Conway family crest has a blackamoor’s head as part of its design and similar blackamoor heads once adorned the gate posts at Plas-yn-Llan.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels, was mentioned in the Norwich Taxation of 1254. This tiny church in a remote valley is thought to have its origins as a monastic community, possibly founded by the monks of Saeran from Llanynys. The building dates from the 13th century, but was restored in the 19th century. One of its most interesting features is a medieval wooden font hewn from one huge piece of wood.
Recently, an old custom has been revived in Efenechtyd. The lifting of The Feat Stone (Y Maen Camp) was a way for men of the parish to show their strength. The Efenechtyd stone weighs in at 101 pounds and was traditionally thrown during the celebrations of the church’s saint. The throwing of the stone in pictures.
PwlIglas is situated in the valley alongside the River Clwyd. It is thought that at one time the mountain where the golf club now stands and the Craig-adwy-wynt rocks restricted the flow of the river, causing a pool to form where PwlIglas now stands, thus giving the village its name.
Pwllglas was once two separate hamlets, each centred on the two chapels. The development around Capel-y-Rhiw was known as Rhiw and consisted of a shop, a sub post office and a row of houses built by a local builder. Pwllglas itself circled Capel Salem and consisted of a row of cottages and a tavern. Over the years the building of many more houses has filled the gap between the two hamlets.
Quarrying was once very important to the area’s economy, providing jobs for local people and stone for building and road making. It was also particularly important for agricultural purposes, providing lime for the land. The remains of several lime kilns can still be seen today. There were also two very busy mills providing employment and serving the community.
There is a tale of the ‘Welsh Houdini’, Coch Bach y Bala, a prisoner who escaped from every gaol in North Wales. However, his escape from Ruthin Gaol in 1913 was his last. After five days on the run, he was shot in the leg in the field below Pwll Callod by the squire’s son.
The limestone pavement at Craig-adwy-wynt rocks is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it is home to a butterfly conservation nature reserve. A large number of butterfly species can be seen there, including the rare Pearl-bordered fritillary.
The golf club in PwlIglas opened in 1905. The area had previously been used for military training and during the Second World War the club was used as a base and training camp for the Home Guard. Ruthin-Pwllglas Golf Club has stunning views and a 9 hole course.
The village shop, Siop Pwllglas, was reinstated on the Village Hall site in 2013. The shop is a combined effort of enthusiastic community residents to provide a much needed resource ‘from the community, for the community’.
According to Samuel Lewis in A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, 1833 & 1849:
“A parish in the Union and hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, ¼ mile (W) from Ruthin. ….. This parish, of which the hamlet of Street extends into and forms part of the borough of Ruthin, is bounded on the north by the parish of Llanynys, on the south by the parishes of Efenechtyd and Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, on the east by Llanrhydd and Ruthin, from which it is separated by the river Clwyd, and on the west by the parish of Clocaenog. The scenery is rich and beautiful, embracing a great variety of surface, numerous little streams tributary to the river Clwyd, well cultivated fields, tracts ornamented with oak, ash, sycamore, elm and larch, and several superior mansions, with views from the higher grounds in every direction of the most picturesque kind.”