Towering hillsides on Offa's Dyke Path

Alot to Offa - Chirk Castle

16th January 2015

Chirk Castle has been occupied as a castle and stately home fornearly 700 years. The area was awarded to Roger Mortimer, who was the Justice of North Wales by Edward 1st after the Welsh defeat in 1282 . Chirk Viaduct was built in 1848 to carry the Chester to Shrewsbury railway line over the River Ceiriog . Because of the hostility from Col.Robert Myddleton Biddulph over the works it was built only at night!

The magnificent ornamentalgates at the castle's entrance were built in 1718 by the Davies brothers of Bersham. In their present position as entrance gates to the parkland they could be considered out of place, however they were originally developed as forecourt gates to the Castle against its impressive frontal towers.

In 1595 the castle was sold for £5,000 to Sir Thomas Myddelton, his descendants continue to live in part of the castle today. Offa’s Dyke can be seen running north to south across the castle grounds.  Although not fully in tactis a good example of this impressive structure.

In 1870 a narrow gauge tramway was built from Chirk linking the canal to the quarries and mines at Glyn Ceiriog. The tramway was originally horse-drawn although in1888 it was converted to steam and re-routed to link with the mainline rails extending to Hendredolerite, the granite quarry. Now totalling 8 miles it carried slate,silica, chinastone and dolerite down stream, returning with commodities including coal and flour. Eventually passenger facilities were also provided at a charge of 8 old pence (3p) although it only travelled at 6 mph from Glyn Ceiriog to Chirk. In 1933 the line closed to passengers an 2 years later closed completely.


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