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Pictures of Chirk Castle

a Castle in the town of Chirk, in the county of Wrexham

About Chirk Castle

This magnificent building is the last of the great Welsh castles built by Edward I that is still lived in today. It was begun in the latter half of the 12th-century by Roger Mortimer, one of Edward I's generals, and was finally completed in 1310. In 1595 the castle was bought by the merchant adventurer Sir Thomas Myddelton for �5.000, Sir Thomas began to convert it into a fine country house. Today, the castle, showing superb examples of decoration from the 16th to the 19th-century is still lived in by Thomas Myddelton's descendents.

The exterior of Chirk Castle has been little changed, the dungeon, portcullis gate, and stone steps leading to the watch tower, all remain as originally built. The interior shows the remodelling carried out in the 19th-century under the direction of A.W.N. Pugin, and the lovely entrance hall, in the Victorian-Gothic style is his work. The magnificent staircase, next to the entrance hall, was designed by Joseph Turner in 1777, the first floor state-rooms are from the same period, these show lavish Adam-style decorations. The long gallery with its beautiful carved panelling and mullioned windows, was built during the 17th-century. The salon and the drawing room have elaborate ceilings and all the rooms are filled with fine furniture, portraits and tapestries.

The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. The kitchen garden was originally laid out in 1651, and parts of the formal gardens were changed in the 1870's to make way for a charming rose garden and topiary. There is a delightful shrub garden and lime tree avenue, and in the garden visitors may also visit the thatched "Hawk-House". There is also he opportunity to stroll through woods in what was once a medieval hunting park. The park, entered through ornate wrought-iron gates made by the Davies Brothers in 1721, commands magnificent views over nine counties.

A visit to Chirk Castle makes a delightful and interesting day out for all the family. There is a programme of special event days, provision for children's activities, changing exhibitions, a cafe and a shop.

The castle is administered by the national trust.

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