The Marble Church: A Piece of Canadian History in Northern Wales

imageAfter finishing up our exploration of Whitby, we made the 4.5 hour drive to North Wales, stopping briefly to explore the beautiful town of York. Having enjoyed a wonderful welcome to Wales by way of Betws-y-coed, I was now looking forward to a glorious afternoon spent discovering the city of Chester- famous for good shopping among a many other thing.

Before heading out however, I decided to stretch my legs and sneak out for a run, leaving the baby in capable hands while I escaped for a breath of fresh air. Given how much I love exploring a new town on foot, I thought this would be the perfect time to see whatever was attached to the steeple I could see from the road on the way in.

Located in Bodelwyddan, the Church whose official name is St.Margaret’s Church is commonly referred to as The Marble Church. While the first stone was laid in 1856, making it young in terms of British architecture but old for us Canucks whose country was formed eleven years later, it wasn’t the age of the structure that drew my attention the closer I got.

As I hopped the fence in my sneakers, attracting one or two confused glances from the gardener tending to the bushes out front, I started reading the names inscribed on the tombstones prominently displayed in front of the Church. As I looked from one to the next, to the next, I noticed that they were all the graves of Canadians who had perished during the first world war.

It was then that I looked up and saw a memorial located a few rows behind dedicated to those who died at Kinmel Park Camp. Doing some research upon my return home, I learned that Kinmel was in fact a camp for troops waiting to return home following the war. There had been a mutiny among the men as they wished to get home faster and secure good jobs before there were none left. As a result, 5 Canadians were killed.

The memorial that commemorates the lives and death of these men has been erected by the comrades of the slain.

Flying across the world just to stumble on a little piece of Canadian history completely by accident reminded me just how incredible travel is – and just how important it is to keep your eyes open when you do! I run to discover the secrets of every city I visit, but whether you run, hike, drive or ride, there are always new things waiting to be found.

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