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 (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.
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.
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.
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.”
This is the carpenter’s shop, apparently the tools were found exactly as you see in these photos.
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.
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 ….
Must be the Beatles influence but on a previous visit “oop north”, north of the Mersey, we were surrounded by numerous psychedelic pigs.
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 ….
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.
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 ….
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 ….
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 …