DiCamillo Companion
Wales

Chirk Castle

  • Earlier Houses: The current castle is built on the site of at least one earlier building.

    House & Family History: Completed in 1310, Chirk, a superb Marcher fortress, is the last Welsh castle built by Edward I as part of the fortification of Wales. Its foreboding castle exterior hides elegant state rooms with fine plasterwork, exquisite Adam-style furniture, tapestries, and portraits. The Myddelton family, who sold Chirk to the National Trust in 1978, still live in the Castle today, as they have for 400 years.

    Collections: Two 17th century Florentine pietra dura cabinets were sold by the Myddelton family to the National Trust to remain in the collection at Chirk.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The award-winning gardens at Chirk feature formal gardens with roses, yews, and a variety of flowering shrubs. There is also the thatched Hawk House, the shrub garden, the lime tree avenue, yew topiary, and the circular woodland walk through the medieval hunting park. The ancient fortress of Dinas Bran, which occupies the top of a steep slate hill in the valley of the River Dee, has been part of the Chirk Estate for centuries. Also called Castell Dinas Bran, the castle was built at the end of the 13th century by the princes of Powys Fadog (the current castle is built on the ruins of an Iron Age hill fort). Crow Castle, as it is popularly known, has been associated with the legend of King Arthur for centuries. The Castle was mentioned in the Arthurian romance "Perlesvaus" as a possible hiding place of the Holy Grail and home of Bran (Bron), the Fisher King, brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea. In 1277 the Castle was besieged and destroyed by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, on behalf of King Edward I. The Castle was never rebuilt and fell into ruin, which it remains today.

  • Architect: William Eames (Emes)

    Date: 1761-74
    Designed: Landscaping; swept away formal 17th century gardens.

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    Architect: Thomas Harrison

    Date: 1820
    Designed: East Wing

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    Architect: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin

    Date: 1840s
    Designed: Altered and redecorated East Wing (virtually of which was removed in the 20th century)

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    Architect: John Cooper

    Date: Circa 1796
    Designed: Alterations to House for Richard Myddelton

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    Architect: Joseph Turner

    Date: 1766-78
    Designed: Remodeled State Rooms

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    Architect: Edward Welby Pugin

    Date: 1850s
    Designed: Continued the work of his father

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    Architect: Arthur William Blomfield

    Date: 1894
    Designed: Restored Chapel

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. I, p. 55, 1852.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. V, 1829.

    Country Life: CX, 896, 980 plan, 1064, 1148, 1951.

  • Title: Country House Garden: A Grand Tour, The
    Author: Jackson-Stops, Gervase; Pipkin, James (Photographer)
    Year Published: 1987
    Reference: pg. 12
    Publisher: New York: New York Graphic Society (Boston: Little, Brown and Company)
    ISBN: 0821216686
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Royal Oak Newsletter, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Winter 2006-07, pg. 14
    Publisher: New York: The Royal Oak Foundation
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pg. 269
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • "Casanova" (2005).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Myddelton family; here for 400 years.

    Past Seat / Home of: Richard FitzAlan, 3rd or 10th Earl of Arundel, 14th century. Sir William Stanley, 15th century. Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, 16th century. Richard Myddelton, 18th century. Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden and 4th Baron Seaford, 1911-46 (as tenant).

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01691-777-701

    Fax: 01691-774-706

    Email: chirkcastle@nationaltrust.org.uk

    Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No