Erddig Hall


We had the pleasure of visiting the  National Trust property Erddig Hall near Wrexham. Wrexham is the largest town in North Wales, nestled in the Dee Valley between the Welsh mountains and the English border.

Erddig Hall

Erddig (roughly pronounced air-thig) was built between 1684–1687 for Josiah Edisbury, the then High Sheriff of Denbighshire, to a design by Thomas Webb.

More recently the property has been passed down through generations of the Yorke family until March 1973, when it was given to the National Trust.

Fancy Vase – Erddig

The property was in a severe state of disrepair and structurally unsound. Due in part to subsidence caused by the collapse of old coal mine workings. The National Trust managed to get some compensation from The National Coal Board which, coupled with funds raised by the sale some park land has enabled the preservation of Erddig and its contents.

Weapons Display – Erddig

And, it’s the contents that make Erddig such an interesting place. The Yorke family never threw anything away, or indeed never repaired anything. The house is undoubtedly a treasure trove of antique furniture and furnishings. Added to the physical items are the social historical records for both the family and specifically the staff, who were especially well treated.

Polyphon Music Box – Erddig
Ready to play Der Mikado

It should be noted that one of the conditions that 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.”


Carpenters Shop – Erddig

This is the carpenter’s shop, apparently the tools were found exactly as you see in these photos.

Thomas Rogers c1830 – Erddig

Thomas Rogers was carpenter at Erddig. From the info board by his photo ….

During the Napoleonic Wars, he only escaped being press-ganged into the Navy because Simon Yorke paid his ransom. He was granted a pension by the Yorkes when he retired in 1871 at the age of ninety.

Carpenters Shop – Erddig

Some of the tools on display belonged to Thomas Rogers.

Alternative examples of wood craftsmanship are to be found in the yard outside of the Carpenters Shop.

Simon O’Rourke is the “artist in residence” at Erddig.

Erddig had its own Lime Works ….

Amongst all the various artworks around the Hall, we stumbled across this psychedelic Sheep ….

Psychedelic Sheep – Erddig

Must be the Beatles influence but on a previous visit “oop north”, north of the Mersey, we were surrounded by numerous psychedelic pigs.


General view of Outbuildings – Erddig

Just off this courtyard, there are stables housing a number of shire horses. Unusually, they were all asleep, and it was quite humorous watching one of them, his head slowly drooping, then suddenly jerking up, his eyes opening briefly before repeating the cycle. I get that feeling most evenings, when the soaps are on the TV.

Among the various outbuildings, numerous forms of wheeled vehicles may be found. Including bicycles, motor cars and motorcycles. These are just a few  ….

On, into the interior of the house, starting with the laundry …..

….. and then on into the kitchen …..

With all the cooking going on in this house they needed some decent silverware to serve it in ….

Silverware – Erddig

And somewhere decent to eat the food prepared below stairs ….

Interesting to note that most of the Yorke family were vegetarians, though their menus did include meat and fish. Presumably, to cater for the tastes of their guests when entertaining. Once a meal was over, perhaps the Yorke family would retire to the Saloon for a drop of Port, a cigar, and some polite conversation.

Saloon -Erddig

The ceiling in the Saloon, and in one of the bedrooms, is notable for the fact that it is clad in sheet steel. This was applied as a form of fire retardant. The metal was then painted over.

And so, body and soul satisfied, the Yorkes would take themselves off to bed ….

Bedroom – Erddig

This room is known as the White Bedroom. It has a Chippendale period mahogany four-poster bed and is named after the white-painted seventeenth-century panelling.

After a good nights sleep, what could be more refreshing than an invigorating shower ….

Shower – Erddig

Although this “Heath-Robinson” affair looks as if it would be more at home on a jungle campsite.

After touring the house we ventured outside. Due to other commitments we were not able to do justice to the grounds. These are a few of the pictures I took close to the house.

And so it was time to call it a day and head back to the Wirral. One last photo before we leave this beautiful house …

Dovecote – Erddig

And There You Have It

Over the last few weeks the UK has been snowed with sound bites, lectures, debates etc. etc. etc. Yes we were in the run up to a General Election.

Today we have awoken to a new political era. Where once we had a majority government we now have a hung parliament. Theresa May, still the PM, but in a much weaker position, visiting the Queen with a view to forming a minority/coalition government with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) of Norther Ireland.

Theresa May called this election, unnecessarily in my book. But having called the snap election she failed to perform, failed to consolidate her party’s position, failed to show herself as the strong and stable leader that this country needs.

A new Maggie Thatcher she isn’t.

But I don’t believe that the Tory strategy is totally to blame for where we now find ourselves. Certainly certain elements of the Tory manifesto became the sole focus of both the media and May’s opponents. She did not seem able to  defend herself when put under pressure over the Tories history with, and future plans for the NHS, Social Care etc.

But then, neither did Corbyn, on occasion. His performance on BBC’s Womans Hour was awful. Diane Abbott also did not exactly shine. Not what you would expect from senior, experience, campaigners. Admittedly, Abbott’s performance is now being written off as due to health issues. But, credit where credit is due, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party out played the Tories.

Over and above the individual party performances I believe we have, in part, ended up with a hung parliament due to the frantic and, sometimes, seemingly hysterical entreaties of the anti Tory activists. I personally have been inundated with “vote anybody but tory” messages via emails and social media. I think that message may have seriously affected how some folks have voted and the perpetrators should shoulder some of the blame.

I’m pretty sure that there has always  been, throughout history, tactical voting but this time round it seems to have been more ferocious. To my mind though, there can be nothing so unproductive, as randomly voting for any party, as long as it isn’t tory. For those that followed that mantra it is tantamount to either not voting or damaging your voting slip.

And there you have it, a hung parliament. To all you activists out there …. I hope you are truly satisfied.


View From The Conservatory

I was both astounded and disappointed to discover that my last “View” was posted just over a year ago. I know that we have been busy and there have been other more recent posts.

Admittedly, the conservatory has been rebuilt and we did take off to Australia for three months followed by a month in France and a fortnight in Antigua. There have been several lesser UK based jaunts. However, we have also spent time at home and I have had my camera to hand. So, feeling suitably ashamed, here is a compilation of pictures taken over the last few weeks. We are now into the UK summer season and the garden plants are growing like crazy.

First up then is a regular subject, squirrels. Once again we are being visited by the albino variety.

Albino Squirrel

As you can see they do have the requisite pink eyes.

Albino Squirrel

Here in the UK squirrels are sometimes referred to as tree rats. The example above is the most rat-like squirrel I have ever seen.

Of course we do have an abundance of the grey variety. Just a few days ago there were four greys in the garden. Of course my camera was out of reach and since these guys were raiding the bird feeders, any movement on my part just scared them away.

I thought that the pure grey squirrels would have attacked the albino, but apparently not. Judging by the shenanigans going on, high up in the trees, I believe the albino may have found a partner. Maybe we’ll see some piebald babes around this year.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many flowers on show already. So, just a few snaps ….


This Iris was discovered in a shady overgrown area of the garden. It was not planted by us and, as we are the only owners of this property since it was built, we have no idea how the Iris arrived. Pretty though.

We have a few rose bushes, which we did plant….

…… and a few other plants that we bought as plugs for potting on ….

And finally, for now ….


We don’t know what this is. The plant is a climber and for the moment it is in a pot on our deck and is entwining itself around the handrail.

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