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Erddig Hall, Wrexham

Erddig Hall is a National Trust property on the outskirts of Wrexham, Wales. Located 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Wrexham town centre, it was built in 1684–1687 for Joshua Edisbury, the High Sheriff of Denbighshire; it was designed in 1683 by Thomas Webb ( - 1699), 'freemason', of Middlewich, Cheshire.[1]

Erddig is one of the country's finest stately homes. In 2003 it was voted by readers of the Radio Times and viewers of the Channel 5 television series "Britain's Finest Stately Homes" as "Britain's second finest".[2] In September 2007 it was voted the UK's "favourite Historic House" and the "8th most popular historic site" in the UK by Britain's Best.[3]

The house and family history[edit]

A print of the 1822 meeting of the "Royal British Bowmen" archery club (1823 print engraved after J. Townshend)
Caption: This Plate representing the Meeting of the Royal British Bowmen on the Grounds of Erthig, Denbighshire, the Seat of Simon Yorke Esq. on Septr. 13th. 1822, is respectfully dedicated to that Society by ONE of its MEMBERS
Notice that both men and women members of the society have uniforms (the women's uniform was a green dress with yellow at the shoulder puffs and yellow triangles at the bottom hem). In the 1806 book Microcosm by William Henry Pyne, a number of these archery clubs are mentioned, along with a brief capsule history of both working and hobby archery.

The building was sold to the master of the Chancery, John Meller in 1714. John Meller refurbished and enlarged the house (including adding two wings in the 1720s), and, on his death in 1733 unmarried and childless, passed it to his nephew, Simon Yorke (d. 1767) (first cousin of Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke). The house was passed down through the Yorke family until March 1973, when it was given to the National Trust. This followed the collapse several years earlier of a shaft from the nearby coal mine (Bersham colliery) under the house, causing subsidence of 5 feet (1.5 m), which seriously affected the structural security of the house to the extent that, without suitable underpinning, it would have become a ruin. It was strengthened using the compensation of £120,000 the National Trust was able to extract from the National Coal Board. 63 acres (250,000 m2) of Erddig Park (out of view of the house) was subsequently sold for £995,000 and this paid for the restoration work on the house. The restoration was completed on 27 June 1977 when Charles, Prince of Wales officially opened Erddig to the public, joking that it was the first time in his, albeit short, life that he had opened something that was already 300 years old.

A tour of the mansion house[edit]

A tour of the house, which starts "below stairs", tells of the Yorke family's unusually high regard for their servants and, through a collection of portraits, photographs and verses (a family tradition started by Simon's son Philip Yorke (1743–1804), who published The Royal Tribes of Wales in 1799), provides a record of the people who lived and worked on the estate. In the staterooms "above stairs" there is a fine collection of 18th century furniture and other treasures (many of which originally belonged to John Meller, including a portrait in the Music Room of Judge Jeffreys, the "Hanging Judge"). The Yorke family seemingly never threw anything away and the house now has a unique collection ranging from the rare and magnificent (including some exquisite Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom) to the ordinary and everyday: indeed, one of the conditions that the last Squire, Philip S. Yorke (1905–1978) imposed on handing over the house and estate to the National Trust in 1973 was that nothing was to be removed from the house. He is quoted as saying: "My only interest for many years has been that this unique establishment for which my family have foregone many luxuries and comforts over seven generations should now be dedicated to the enjoyment of all those who may come here and see a part of our national heritage preserved for all foreseeable time."

General John Yorke (1814–1890) was to become from 1861, the owner of the distinctive Plas Newydd in Llangollen, the self-styled home of the famous Ladies of Llangollen.

The Gardens[edit]

Gates made by the Davies brothers for Stansty Park, moved to Erddig in 1908

Erddig's walled garden is one of the most important surviving 18th century formal gardens in Britain. The gardens contain rare fruit trees, a canal, a pond, a Victorian era parterre, and are home to an NCCPG National Plant Collection of Hedera (ivy). There is also a fine example of gates and railings made by ironsmiths the Davies brothers, of nearby Bersham, for Stansty Park; the gates were moved to Erddig in 1908. The arrangement of alcoves in the yew hedges in the formal gardens may be a form of bee bole.

'The Cup and Saucer' hydraulic ram at Erddig Hall, Wrexham

Estate buildings[edit]

The estate buildings include the joiners' shop and smithy (where the joiner and blacksmith worked), the Midden Yard (with its saw mill and cart sheds), and the Stable Yard (with its stables and tack room, carriages and vintage bicycles and vintage cars). The tour of the house begins with the laundry, bakehouse, kitchen and scullery.

The nearby river supplied a source of water, and it was pumped uphill by a self running hydraulic ram, which utilised falling water to power itself, and pump the drinking water uphill to the house known as Erddig's Cup & Saucer.

Whilst occupied by the Yorke family the house was never installed with mains electricity, with the last Squire, Philip, relying on a portable generator to power his single television set. The saw mill, however, was equipped with its own static steam engine to provide the power for sawing and turning.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, 3rd ed. 1995, s.v. "Webb, Thomas;" Webb was named as 'measurer' in a contract of 1696 for building the chancel of the church at Aston-by-Sutton, Cheshire; he was buried 28 March 1699. Nothing else is known of him.
  2. ^ "Erddig House and Gardens : Wales UK Holiday News". Wales.info. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  3. ^ "Oops - you've clicked on a broken link!". Uktv.co.uk. 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°01′38″N 3°00′24″W / 53.0272°N 3.0066°W / 53.0272; -3.0066


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erddig — Please support Wikipedia.
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287 news items

 
News North Wales
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 03:07:30 -0700

As part of the National Trust's 50 things to do before you're 11-and-three-quarters scheme, a group of year two pupils from Victoria Community Primary School in Wrexham enjoyed an afternoon of activities in the gardens of Erddig. Pupils enjoyed ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Mon, 19 May 2014 00:26:00 -0700

Erddig is the most unexpected of grand country houses. Its owners were hoarders who handed over to the National Trust about 30,000 individual items with the proviso that none could be thrown away. That's the second-largest collection in the entire ...

ITV News

ITV News
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:09:20 -0800

Ruth delves inside a fascinating historical house with essences of Downton Abbey, the beautiful Erddig Hall near Wrexham, where the servants lives were recorded in poems and paintings. The National Trust property is a feast for the senses - full of ...

Daily Post North Wales

Daily Post North Wales
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 10:02:12 -0700

Thousands of fruit lovers flocked to Erddig Hall over the weekend for the annual apple festival. Visitors to the National Trust hall in Wrexham were treated to a host of stalls, cooking demonstrations and live music during the 24th Erddig Apple Festival.

Daily Post North Wales

Daily Post North Wales
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:55:56 -0700

Ranger Matt L' Estrange will be on hand to show you around, meeting in the timber yard, by the Erddig estate noticeboard near the ticket office. The short walk starts at 1pm and takes approximately 45 minutes between one to two kilometres. The long ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:03:12 -0700

Ellen Penketh, whose story Boase tells, worked at Erddig, now a National Trust property in Wrexham. Penketh had to do the jobs of a Mrs Hughes and a Mrs Patmore combined, for £45 (about £16,000 today). When her employers, the Yorkes, entertained, she ...

ITV News

ITV News
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:26:15 -0800

Ruth delves inside a fascinating historical house with essences of Downton Abbey, the beautiful Erddig Hall near Wrexham, where the servants lives were recorded in poems and paintings. Also tonight, Hannah Thomas looks at both sides of the argument ...

Wrexham.com

Wrexham.com
Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:07:39 -0800

A large python has been found in Erddig by walkers today, with the large constrictor being found dead on a pathway through the park. (Story update below) We have been sent various pictures and accounts of the snake being found, which leads us to ...
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