Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday 16 September - Chirk Castle

In June visited Chirk to see the aqueduct on the Llangollen canal. This time we took the train to visit the Chirk castle which is a National Trust property. As we left the station there was an opportunity to see the north end of the tunnel of the 1801 canal and to watch a boat leave and the next one start into the very restricted space.

The walk to the castle was about 2 miles and took us about 40 minutes. There was supposed to have been a footpath but this was difficult to pick out and we went along the road the entire way. It was a bit of a steep climb in the sunny weather but with a very strong cold wind. The castle is not very high and although it is set on the top of a hill we couldn't see it until just before we arrived. A very keen guide tried to grab us as we came through the entrance but the first order of business was a hot latte with bara brith -Welsh fruit cake.  
There were a number of parties of small school children who had been fitted out with period hats.
The stained glass windows looked good in the morning sunlight.

The Dining Room was very well restored.

This hall is over 100 feet long and was originally used for exercise.
We then visited the interior part of the castle which was used as living accommodation many years in the past. It is quite ornate but quite dark and dingy in places. This guide was very good and very enthusiastic about the paintings and decorative items.
Lunch was soup and a sandwich in the tea room and then we walked around the gardens. We visited the laundry on the way. There are some excellent views from the gardens which are very well maintained, particularly the topiary work. This area is quite high and exposed and many of the flowers were past their best.
This is a thatched Hawk House where the lord could exercise his interest in falconry

This shows how the hedges grow - green on the outside only.

We explored one of the towers and the steps down into the dungeon were somewhat tricky. There wasn't a great deal else to hold us so we walked the two miles back to the station and returned to Shrewsbury.
Click to see all pictures taken at Chirk
Click below to see these pictures in slide show format
 The Three Fishes has become our local and we popped in for a quick one this evening.
Mary sampled the Salopian Brewery (Shrewsbury) Lemon Dream which is an excellent light beer with a lemon peel after taste. It is only produced in the summer. Colin had a pint of Sharp's Brewery Doom Bar. This is a darker Cornish bitter beer with a good hop flavor.
Looking at some of the buildings on the way back it became evident that there is still a lot to explore within five minutes of the hotel. I will have to come back when the light is better.

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