A stark symbol of power, Chirk Castle was completed in 1310 during the reign of the conquering Edward I to subdue the last princes of Wales. Built on an outcrop above the meeting point of the rivers Dee and Ceiriog, the imposing silhouette of the castle was a brooding statement of English intent in these disputed lands. With over 700 years of history, and as the last castle from this period still lived in today, Chirk Castle's many occupants have left behind lavish interiors and a beautiful and eclectic collection. The state rooms include a 17th-century Long Gallery, grand 18th-century saloon with rich tapestries, servants' hall, and the restored East Range, containing the library and 1920s style Bow. The award-winning gardens cover 5.5 acres of manicured lawns, clipped yews, herbaceous borders, beautiful rose, shrub and rock gardens, and the wooded pleasure ground. Chirk Castle has over 480 acres of estate parkland, with wild ponies, sheep, veteran trees, and a beautifully preserved section of Offa’s Dyke.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Parking onsite
- Access to east wing, garden, laundries, servants hall
- Facilities: Hearing loop, coach from car park, virtual tour
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Estate open all year 7am-7pm; garden, tower, shops & tearoom Feb-Oct, 10-4; State rooms Mar-Oct, 12-4; Xmas opening 11-4
Also in the area
About the area
Although the collieries and steelworks on which the town of Wrexham prospered are largely things of the past, this bustling town is still the largest in north Wales. The town desperately wants to be a city and has applied for the status three times since the turn of the millennium. A plan is afoot to establish a ‘city region’ encompassing Wrexham, Deeside and Chester.
Heading south, prepare to be gobsmacked when you reach Chirk, where Thomas Telford’s magnificent 10-arched aqueduct was built in 1801 to convey the canal more than 70 feet above the bottom of the valley. What’s more, alongside it is an even taller viaduct, built by Henry Robertson in 1840 to carry the railway. Both were used to carry coal from the once-thriving Flintshire coalfields.
The other main feature of Chirk is its 14th-century castle, which stands proudly overlooking the town and the Ceiriog Valley, an area described by Lloyd George as ‘a little bit of heaven on Earth’. Despite its stunning scenery and easy accessibility, the valley is something of a secret. It lies immediately south of the Vale of Llangollen, and has been dubbed ‘little Switzerland’ for its lush green hills, dotted with small farms.
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