Tuesday 14 May 2013

Chirk castle delights

It was a long walk up to Chirk castle – 3 miles by the route they sent us on. If the signs had been clearer, we could have gone by the vehicular exit route, which is only a mile and a half – though it would have been pretty consistently and tiringly uphill. In the end it was worth every ache.

It's quite imposing as you approach from below, though in a friendly sort of way as most of the arrow slits have been replaced by paned windows.

Selwyn, standing guard, gave us a warmer welcome than the 2nd Sir Thomas Myddleton had offered the Royalist troops who took possession for a while. He found the castle difficult to re-capture because he didn't want to bombard the edifice his father had bought for £5000!

Part of the mediaeval fortress section survives. Sir Thomas's room:

The convenience stop / long drop.


with enticing designer staircase

and miscreant awaiting their just deserts (or just dessert).

The section converted for more regular residence has much in common with other National Trust properties – displays of period furniture, period art and laundry equipment. But some of the contents brought particular delight. The 1742 Burkat Shudi harpsichord:

The library had been intelligently stocked and is the subject of much conservation and care.

However, for me, the star of the show was this 1882 Broadwood grand piano.

In its time, it has been played by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Noël Coward and Winston Churchill.

And now by yours truly.