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Bradshaw’s Guide

Chirk

Pleasantly situated on the brow of a hill, surrounded by fertile meadows and wooded banks. The neighbourhood affords various rural entertainments for tourists and visitors. Chirk Viaduct is considered a beautiful engineering gem, and viewed from a hill on the south-west side of the valley, near Pont Feun, is seen to great advantage, and discloses through its arches the lovely vale of Ceiriog.

Parallel with the Chirk viaduct is the aqueduct, built by Telford, which conveys the Ellesmere canal over the vale of Ceiriog.

In 1164, here took place the most sanguinary battle ever fought between the English and Welsh). Many of the English slain were buried in Offa’s dyke near, winch still goes by the name of the Pass of Graves.

Overlooking the village is the remarkably interesting and ancient mansion called Chirk Castle, the seat of R. Myddelton Biddulph, Esq. This noble looking edifice has been preserved from ruin, and may be regarded as a perfect model of the time-honoured castles of the ancient lords of the soil. From its summit the prospect is not only extensive but grand, overlooking seventeen counties.

A short distance further on to the left is Brynkinailt the residence of Lord Dungannon, of the Trevor family. The Iron Duke’s mother belonged to this family, and here the illustrious warrior passed a great portion of his boyhood; and beyond, in the same direction is the Quinta, the seat of Thos. Barnes, Esq.

The Great Dee Viaduct, — Crossing the Dee at one of the loveliest spots in the principality of Wales, where nature has grouped the various elements of beauty in the richest profusion, and art has recorded its triumphs by first-class works, the view from the top of the viaduct, for extent and beauty, is unequalled. Beneath winds the Dee, from which rise the Eglwyseg Rocks with serrated outline on the left bank, while the mountains forming the continuation of the Berwyn range abut on the right bank; their lower slopes are richly cultivated, and on successive terraces are dotted the white cottages of the Welsh peasantry, whilst masses of dark wood crown the projecting heights. The aqueduct of Pont-y-Cysylltan, is seen as you cross about a mile distant from the viaduct, and forms a striking feature in the prospect. This stupendous viaduct consists of 19 semi-circular arches of 60 feet span; and the height from the bed of the river to the top of the parapet at the centre pier is 148 feet. Its length is 1,532 feet. The viaduct is founded on the solid rock, and is built of stone, with the exception of the interior arching, which is of hard fire bricks. The grain of the stone is beautiful, and the work is so built as to convey to the mind the idea of great strength and solidity. This work of art occupied Telford ten years in its construction.

Castle Dinas Bran, Barber’s HilL and the Eglwyseg Rocks, form a background unrivalled for picturesque effect, and enclose the vale in an amphitheatre of loveliness. Railways, canals, lime quarries, and the distant iron works, mark the progress of commercial enterprise.

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