Monday, July 23, 2012

Medieval Times @ Chirk Castle

Last weekend was medieval weekend at Chirk Castle. Chirk Castle is one of my favourites. I still look back at a trip to the Castle with fond memories when I was a child. The castle was held a stud farm for Welsh Cobs. I still remember to this day the big bay welsh cob stallion called Carradick.
Today saw Me, Simon, Aaron, his cousin William, Callum and our little princess Scarlett heading for a fun day at the castle.
I have been a member of the National Trust for many years, it is well worth it if you use the membership properly. We visit all the local National Trust properties more than once over the year and also visit many others on our travels. 
Today was a lovely sunny day. Firstly after obtaining our tickets we headed to the Gardens. This is a beautiful place with lots to see. At the end of the gardens near the moat you can see for many miles over three counties. Landmarks are shown on a plaque nearby pointing out certain beauty spots throughout Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire. 
Leaving the gardens the medieval display was set up. The three boys tied their hand at archery. Outside the walls a group had set up a small camp with music display and cooking showing how life would have been in Medieval times.
Inside the castle walls there was a weapon display were if you wanted you could go into battle with one of the cast. None of our group was brave enough to take on the master of his art.
We stopped off in the cafe for a cuppa and a sandwich before moving on.
Next was a tour of the castle itself. Here Scarlett took on the task of locating all the different wolves left in each room by she was good. Outside we moved towards the servant quarters and down dee beneath the castle to the dungeons. 
The dungeons were extremely creepy and eerie  Aaron took a photo of Callum on his phone which turned out to be very strange he looked like someone possessed.
Moving on we went up the stony steps to the top towers. Here there are some wonderful views across the estate. Time had gone so incredibly fast so it was not long before it was time to leave. This was a lovely day out which we all enjoyed. 

The History of Chirk Castle
The History of Chirk Castle dates back to 1295 and built by by Roger Mortimer who was the Justice of Wales for Edward I. Roger Mortimer (1287-1330) was infamous for becoming the lover of Queen Isabella, the wife of King Edward II of England. He hanged as a traitor at Tyburn in London on November 29th 1330. The castle changed hands over the years and was eventually purchased by Sir Thomas Myddelton in 1595. His descendents still continue to live in part of the castle.

The Building of Chirk Castle
The history of the building of Chirk Castle is fascinating. In just a relatively short period of time a significant number of new Welsh Medieval Castles were built or modernised under the instructions of King Edward I
(1272-1307) including Chirk Castle. King Edward employed the services of an architect and master builder called Master James of St George to carry out many of these ambitious plans for a chain of Medieval castles to be built in Wales. Chirk Castle was built in North Wales on the estuary the River Ceiriog, which runs into the River Dee. An important feature of Chirk Castle is its access to the sea. During the construction of Chirk Castle men, equipment and building materials were easily transported by boats to the site of the castle. Once Chirk Castle was built fresh supplies, provisions and reinforcements prevented the castle occupants from being starved into submission during siege warfare. The advantages of swift and easy accessibility via the sea ensured that the new fortified town, which was built at the same time as the castle, became a successful and prosperous stronghold for its English inhabitants.

Key facts and Information about Chirk Castle
  • The location of Chirk Castle - Chirk, Wrexham, North East Wales
  • The building of Chirk Castle started in 1295
  • The building of Chirk Castle was completed in early 1300's
  • The Architecture / Style - Gothic Architecture aka Edwardian
  • The original cost of building Chirk Castle is estimated at £2,100
The Chirk Castle
Chirk Castle was one of the ten key Welsh Medieval Castles which were commissioned by King Edward I.
The Welsh Medieval Castles built by the English under the direction of King Edward I provided a power base for the Medieval Plantagenet King and ensured that the Welsh were subservient to the new English rule.

Edward crushed the Welsh rebellion under Llewellyn ap Gruffudd and conquered his kingdom of Gwynedd in Northern Wales.
Wales was conquered by Edward I and became incorporated into England under the Statute of Rhuddlan ( also called the Statute of Wales ) in 1284 - the building of Chirk Castle helped King Edward I to achieve his ambitions.

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