Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Our posts are a bit out of date as we have had a few days with no signal.
But on Thursday we visited Chirk Castle.
A little way up the road from the north portal of Chirk tunnel you come to these splendid gates, an entrance to the castle. However the drive is a one-and-a-half mile walk to the castle itself. 
Once there the entrance is along a pathway lined with clipped yew trees, some say they look like Welsh hats.
The castle was built in the reign of Edward 1 and finished in 1310. An example of a Welsh Marcher Castle built on the border of England and Wales. It was bought by Thomas Myddleton in 1595 for £5000, (the castle and 11,000 acres) he had made his fortune in London and spent a lot of money improving the castle with family apartments and landscaping the gardens. The Myddleton family lived here for 400 years.
The views down the garden are fantastic, long lawns edged with beds, shrubbery and magnificent trees. Loads of topiary all round too.
At the bottom of the formal gardens there is a ha-ha with the farmland stretching ahead, and views stretching as far as the Pennines.

In the gardens this building looked at first to be a summer house, but was in fact built as a hawk house, home to a collection of birds of prey at one time.

Magnolia blossom in October?
There is also a laundry building, where a team of laundry maids lived and worked keeping the washing, ironing all done for the castle and other family houses. Each day of the week had a different job in completing the washing cycle and packing in wicker baskets, with Sunday off for going to church and visiting family if nearby.

The hot water boiler
Inside we had a tour round the family apartments, with oak panelling, tapestries, and fine furniture. Various styles of decoration can be seen from different periods of the castle's history.
It was a good visit, although not as hot as last week, with a warm wind blowing a few showers over we still had plenty of sunshine as you can see in the photos.


  1. What a beautiful place. I'd rather have been a member of the family than a scullery maid though ;)

    Very surprising to see magnolia blossom in October; I normally associate it with the birth of my eldest in April. Was it a special species, or just confused by the unusual warmth of this autumn?

  2. April would be usual, I guess this is second show, as you say due to the warm weather.