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Hanmer School was built in 1676 when Charles II was King, and we think it is the oldest school in all Wales to have been used continuously as a school. Before 1676 a school existed in the church with classes held in the tower.
In 2001 the school was extensively extended and remodelled. The original 1676 beams have been carefully restored. One of the beams has an inverted balustrade, which is probably deliberate. The building of a fault in a church building was intended to signify that only God’s creation is perfect. The rest of the new rooms have exposed beams in keeping with the originals. The tablet on the outside wall has been restored and a new one added inside. The new tablet reads “Gyda Gras Duw” (“With the Grace of God“).
This 2001 improvement was not the first. An earlier restoration took place in 1850. A playground and toilets were added in 1861 and a girls’ school, kitchen and dining room were added in 1871. Also in 1871 the school house was built on land given by Sir John Hanmer. In 1894 soon after the great fire at the Church, the playground was enlarged and an extra classroom added. In 1985 indoor toilets replaced those in the schoolyard. The major redevelopment in 2001 created a school fit for a new millennium. More recently an outdoor classroom has been added and the play areas further improved.
Hanmer is situated on the Welsh border between Whitchurch and Wrexham. It is a small village, proud of its rural heritage and surrounded by natural beauty. Hanmer village sits in peaceful tranquillity by its shining mere overlooked by its large church. A public path runs through meadow and woodland down the east side of the mere, or glacial lake, which is a quiet refuge for many water birds including Crested Grebe, Swans, Canada Geese, Moorhen and friendly Mallard.
Hanmer probably takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon Hagena who established a holding there which acquired the name of Hagenamere. St. Chad is reputed to have baptised converts in nearby St Chad’s Well or Lyn Bedydd in AD 670.
We are very proud of the rich historical heritage that our school has and its close links to St Chad’s Church. We also recognise the importance to ‘always look to the future’ in order that our pupils gain the utmost from their time with us.