Bwlchgwyn is a village in north-east Wales on the A525 road, 5 miles west of the town of Wrexham and 10 miles south-east from the town of Ruthin. Bwlchgwyn is part of the community of Brymbo in the county borough of Wrexham. In 2001 the population of the village was 1,148 including the nearby village of Gwynfryn.
The name is Welsh for "White Pass". The area is well known for its snow during winter and this may be the reason for the name. Another explanation is that it refers to the white limestone cliffs in the area. It has also been suggested that the original name was Bwlchgwynt meaning "Windy Pass".
At a height of 1090 feet (333 metres) above sea level, it is one of several places claiming to be the highest village in Wales although Garn-yr-erw yn Torfaen is the highest according to the Ordnance Survey. As the village is so high, there is a good view of the Cheshire Plain, with such features as Jodrell Bank being seen on clear days.
Two rivers have their sources near the village: the River Gwenfro begins on the south side of the village and the Nant-y-Ffrith flows through a wooded valley to the north.
The village is built on Cefn-y-fedw sandstone, a type of millstone grit from the Carboniferous period. It contains veins of lead ore and various other minerals.
Bwlchgwyn has been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age when a hill fort was built there (now destroyed by quarrying). Until the 19th century the area was common land used for grazing with only a few houses. As with other villages in this area, such as Coedpoeth and Minera, the village prospered in the agricultural and industrial revolutions, benefitting from the rich deposit of silica underground. Local quarries and mines provided employment, and the village grew. The nearby Minera Limeworks were the largest employer in the area until it closed in the 1970s. As a result of this mining culture, several public houses opened in the area, some of which still remain. Two chapels were built in the village; the Nebo Chapel was first built in 1852 and had a peak congregation of 150. Bwlchgwyn School opened in 1875; the building stood for over 100 years before being replaced by a new school. The Welsh-language author Edward Tegla Davies was a pupil and later a teacher there.
Today, the village has its own Primary School, with secondary schooling in Wrexham. The village has its own bus service operated by George Edwards and Son, which is also based in Bwlchgwyn. The main road through the village is the A525, which carries road traffic between Whitchurch and Rhyl. This creates a high volume of traffic through the village, although this was calmed by road improvements to a parallel route going around the village.