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Castell-y-waun Gardens And Grounds

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NPRN86629
Map ReferenceSJ23NE
Grid ReferenceSJ2710038070
Unitary (Local) AuthorityWrexham
Old CountyDenbighshire
CommunityChirk
Type Of SiteCOUNTRY HOUSE GARDEN
PeriodPost Medieval
Description

Chirk Castle is located to the west of Chirk village (nprn 145757) and lies in the centre of its medium-sized landscape park (700048). Terraced and informal gardens lie to the east of the castle in a fine elevated position. They are entered through wrought-iron gates made of redundant parts of the Davies gatescreen now at the park entrance (see 700048). 

The gardens have a complex history and elements remain from a number of periods. There was a formal garden here in the seventeenth century but the planting dates mostly from the late nineteenth century onwards, into the 1920s. The garden forms three main component parts: the formal terraces, the informal area, and the woodland. Immediately in front of the castle the garden is formal, the sloping ground carved into a series of  terraces laid out to lawns, with a wide gravel path running southwards from the entrance and with steps between the terraces. To the east is a series of three smaller terraces with a tennis court on the lowest. A feature of the formal area is the sculpted yew hedging around its edges, and the yew topiary flanking the path.

The informal part of the garden is to the east of the southern end of the terraces, on a gentle slope leading to a terrace that bounds the garden on the east. This is laid out as a long lawn flanked by a mixed border and rockery slope on the north and on the south by a large shrubbery with fine specimens. Within it is a statue next to a lily pond. On the lawn is a sundial and, within the rockery area, the Hawk House (413882). To the north is an area of woodland, Pleasure Ground Wood, on ground rising to a small summit, and divided by a straight ride flanked by rows of limes on the main axis of the castle. Within the ride is a statue of Hercules by van Nost, and near its southern edge a medieval font. Further north is a gazebo. The woodland and terraces are bounded by a ha-ha which follows a line from the terraces to the north curving around grassland north of the castle. The south side of the garden is bounded by a revetment wall at the top of the steep slope on the edge of the Ceiriog valley.
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Much of the seventeenth-century grand baroque layout of formal gardens and axial avenues was swept away in the landscape movement of the eighteenth century, of which Emes was a follower. An early eighteenth-century account describes the earlier layout of the park and gardens.
Badeslade's panoramic engraving of 1742 stylises a grand baroque layout of formal gardens with axes extended into the park as avenues, probably dating from the early years of the eighteenth century and therefore the work of either Sir Richard or Robert Myddelton. To the east of the castle were formal gardens, to its north a walled forecourt closed on the north by wrought iron gates and screens. Beyond was a great avenue leading down to a lake. Further avenues led eastward across the park from the main garden axis and from the long walk down their southern side. A public road runs below the forecourt, branching north-east towards Whitehurst (266506) and east towards Chirk. Another runs along the south side of the park from Chirk to the castle. Below it, near the river Ceiriog, is a small two-storey 'Cold Bath' building, with an adjoining rectangular pool. The park is bounded with paling, with gates on the southern road (probably those referred to as 'Bady's White Gates'). The most wooded part of the park appears to be the ground flanking the south road. To the east of the garden the ground is largely open and crossed by avenues. To the north-east are scattered trees. 

Source:
Cadw 1995: Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales, Clwyd, 38-42 (ref: PGW(C)63(WRE)).     

RCAHMW, 25 February 2022

Resources
DownloadTypeSourceDescription
application/pdfCPG - Cadw Parks and Gardens Register DescriptionsCadw Parks and Gardens Register text description of Chirk Castle Park & Garden, Chirk. Parks and Gardens Register Number PGW(C)063.