yellowbear

15 Jun 2012 66 views
 
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photoblog image Chirk Castle 1of 3

Chirk Castle 1of 3

Chirk Castle, occupied virtually continuously as a castle and stately home for almost 700 years, sits on a hilltop with its best views over the Ceiriog valley to the south. The successor to two known mottes in the area, it was probably built by Roger Mortimer, of the powerful Marcher family, who was granted the area by Edward I after the Welsh defeat in 1282. He was almost certainly given royal assistance in its design and construction, and its similarities to Beaumaris suggest that work may have started as late as 1295, perhaps in response to the Welsh rising of 1294.

 

The castle may have originally been envisaged as a rectangular enclosure with towers at the corners and halfway along each side. If so, only the northern half of the design survives, stopping beyond the central towers on the east and west. The simple gate through the eastern part of the north wall is probably original. Additional outer defences were dismantled during later landscaping.

The spirit of the 14th century structure is preserved in the Adam's Tower (near the well on the south-west), which has a magnificent dungeon on two levels and a number of upper rooms clearly showing the 5m-thick walls. Two of them contain 'murder holes', through which material could be poured on to anyone trying to batter or burn down the doors below. This tower, like the others, was originally at least one storey higher, the upper parts probably being removed after the Civil War bombardment of 1659.

The south curtain was completed on the present line early in the 15th century, under Thomas, earl of Arundel, probably against Owain Glyndwr's forces, who had strong local support. The chapel in the present south-east corner, possibly begun in the later 14th century, and the adjoining hall are the earliest surviving stone rooms outside the towers. Timber structures probably stood against the other walls.

Chirk Castle 1of 3

Chirk Castle, occupied virtually continuously as a castle and stately home for almost 700 years, sits on a hilltop with its best views over the Ceiriog valley to the south. The successor to two known mottes in the area, it was probably built by Roger Mortimer, of the powerful Marcher family, who was granted the area by Edward I after the Welsh defeat in 1282. He was almost certainly given royal assistance in its design and construction, and its similarities to Beaumaris suggest that work may have started as late as 1295, perhaps in response to the Welsh rising of 1294.

 

The castle may have originally been envisaged as a rectangular enclosure with towers at the corners and halfway along each side. If so, only the northern half of the design survives, stopping beyond the central towers on the east and west. The simple gate through the eastern part of the north wall is probably original. Additional outer defences were dismantled during later landscaping.

The spirit of the 14th century structure is preserved in the Adam's Tower (near the well on the south-west), which has a magnificent dungeon on two levels and a number of upper rooms clearly showing the 5m-thick walls. Two of them contain 'murder holes', through which material could be poured on to anyone trying to batter or burn down the doors below. This tower, like the others, was originally at least one storey higher, the upper parts probably being removed after the Civil War bombardment of 1659.

The south curtain was completed on the present line early in the 15th century, under Thomas, earl of Arundel, probably against Owain Glyndwr's forces, who had strong local support. The chapel in the present south-east corner, possibly begun in the later 14th century, and the adjoining hall are the earliest surviving stone rooms outside the towers. Timber structures probably stood against the other walls.

comments (28)

Pleasant view... and interesting info. ("murder holes")
Bill Phillips: A fiendish device, ideal for getting rid of doorstep salesmen!
This is a remarkable place! I love your collage, and appreciate the very interesting history!!
Bill Phillips: It is indeed Elizabeth. I think you would enjoy our castles, if not our weather!
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 15 Jun 2012, 05:41
Good photo interesting info
Bill Phillips: Thanks Mate!
Blimey Bill ... you get around.
Bill Phillips: globetrotter that's me....well Wales at least
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 15 Jun 2012, 07:05
It sounds like a great place for ghosts to scare the living daylights out of anyone trying to find out more!
Bill Phillips: Wouldn't be a proper castle without a ghost or two Ginnie
  • Chris
  • England
  • 15 Jun 2012, 07:10
A fine collection of pictures: the top left one with its statue is very pleasing
Bill Phillips: I am pleased you think so as I took several to get this one!!
  • Lisl
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 15 Jun 2012, 07:16
9 for the price of 1, Bill. Thank you, too, for the commentary
Bill Phillips: I try to give value for money Lisl
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 15 Jun 2012, 08:01
a fine collage - and a very interesting and impressive Welsh castle, also well looked after as I can see -I can see the famous Hercules Farnese statue (a copy, of course) on the left- later I have to study the information more precisely!
Bill Phillips: I believe there used to be a pair, but one strangely vanished!
Warning: You are only permitted one picture per day.
Bill Phillips: some would argue that that is one too many Chad
A fine montage of a beautiful looking location Bill.
Bill Phillips: It is Fred. well worth a visit
You were there on a beautiful looking spring day.
Bill Phillips: One of the few nice days this year Mary!!
  • Pedroeric
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 Jun 2012, 10:16
Looks a great place to visit Bill interesting info.
Bill Phillips: It is Peter. I would go again
Great pictures Bill & interesting history! smile
Bill Phillips: Thanks Martin. It is a great place to visit
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 15 Jun 2012, 11:56
I remember seeing this on one the Michael Portillo's railway programmes; it looks a fabulous place and your collage shows off different elements very well.
Bill Phillips: I must have missed that one! Well worth a visit Alan
Nice collection of images, Bill, well put together. Looks and sounds an interesting place.
Bill Phillips: It is a delight Sheila and somewhere I would visit again
A fine collage Bill, I showed a series from here a way back and suggested it is a fine place to visit, and it is interesting that your take on Chirk is completely different to mine.
Bill Phillips: That's half the fun isn't it Brian? Seeing how people have a different take on things
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 Jun 2012, 14:07
Nice collection of photos Bill, I like the Blue tractor and the Magnolia (?) especially.
Bill Phillips: Yes i think it is a Magnolia, and i liked the tractor too!
You managed to catch a nice day to show this off to it's full advantage Bill. A fine collage
Bill Phillips: One of the few nice days this year!
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 Jun 2012, 15:55
Some fine individual photos in amongst this lot! The magnolia is stunning.
Bill Phillips: There were several and they were magnificent
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 15 Jun 2012, 16:38
All the violence of yesteryear and now they are trundling around with a 'barrow and lawn mower.
Bill Phillips: History nicely repackaged Louis
Great collage Bill... i like the mix of shots that you have included.....petersmile
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 15 Jun 2012, 17:42
Great collage with great picture. Love the blue skies. I love castles and their history.
Some nice captures here Bill
An interesting assemblage, and details.
Fine collage Bill.
Thank you for your informative words!
A very erudite commentary alongside a comprehensive collage!
  • CherryPie
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 16 Jun 2012, 00:10
I see the Cadbury factory spoiling the landscape.

I do wonder how they got permission to build it just there...
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 20 Jun 2012, 01:32
Nice blue garden tractor, Bill...did you take it for a spin?

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