Wrexham, LL13 0YT. Tel: +44 (0)1978 355 314
+44 (0)1938 557 019 (Info line). Fax: +44 (0)01978 313 333
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. All Inclusive Ticket: Adult £6.00, Child £3.00, Family (2+3) £15.00, Group (15+) £5.00, NT members FREE. „
Why we visited
We visited Erddig this September on holiday this National Trust property was a good half way stop for us on our way to North Wales from Yorkshire. As it was a stop of point we only had a couple of hours at the property which really with a property of this high standard is too short in hind sight but I think we will definitely revisited this property if we have the opportunity
For the purpose of this review I am going to focus on some areas more than others this isn't a reflection of the quality of this tourist attraction merely a reflection of what we had time to do.
Where is it
It is on a bus route from surrounding areas i.e. Wrexham alight at Felin Puleston, and it is then a 1 mile walk through Erddig Country Park.
By road it is 2 miles south of Wrexham. Signposted A525 Whitchurch road. A483 exit 3. We had an AA route finder map to get there and get out of the property. On the way into the property we found the brown tourist information signs to be very helpful. Unfortunately we seemed to come out of a different exit/entrance to the one we went in and go thoroughly lost so make sure your navigator understands map reading to help you out as mine didn't!
The parking is amid an orchard garden area and is plentiful in my opinion. But if you are very precious about your car make sure you don't park under a tree as the orchard is full of apples and they may land your car.
About the property
The property was gifted to the National Trust in 1973, prior to this it had been in the Yorke family since 1718. The house was initially constructed in 1684-85. The House is as the internet proudly states is the "Winner of UKTV History 'Britain's Best' Historic House, with state rooms displaying original 18th and 19th-century furniture and furnishings".
The property is set within the grounds of a stunning 485 hectare (1,200 acre) country park, bordered by the River Clywedog. The house overlooks a restored formal 18th-century walled garden, with Victorian parterre, Yew Walk and National Collection of Ivies
The house contains the original 'upstairs, downstairs' story, which is celebrated by an unusual history between the family of the house and servants which is chronicled by a collection of portraits pictures and prose.
There is a striking collection of outbuildings used by the servants, including kitchen, laundry, bake house, stables, sawmill, smithy and joiner's shop
The park also has some working horses the ones we saw were all Shire horses you can book carriage rides around the grounds.
Having flashed our national trust cards we entered this rambling property. The entrance fee covers a map of the area and I do think this is called for in this case.
As you go in you walk past the cycle hire shop. I think we visited this property again and had more time we would probably take advantage of this. They seemed to have every combination you needed including mountain bike tandem bikes, bikes with child seats and tag along bikes the prices were based on an hourly rate I can't remember how much unfortunately
You are then taken in via some of the out buildings to the main courtyard. Of this are a few exhibitions and outbuildings contain some farm machinery. The toilets and café are also of this square of out buildings. We choose at this time to visit the café as we were all hungry after a couple of hours in the car.
This is upstairs but there is a lift for disabled access and pushchairs. This is a self service café severing hot and cold meals snacks etc.
We both choose to have a salad mine was a ploughman's and hubby had a ham salad. Our son had a National Trust children's box that came with a sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and a small cake. We had two drinks and this total approximately £18. All of the food was lovely and fresh the salads had a nice mix of vegetables. The cheese and ham had been prepared that day.
We went through to the house after our lunch the entrance takes you through the stable yard. We paused here for several minutes to admire the wonderful shire horses in the stables. These beautiful horses are in use today still and visitors can pay to be taken on rides around the grounds. One of the staff was polishing up one of the coaches as we went through and I think if you do have time this would be a great thing to do.
We then went into the hall. The staff were very friendly at the entrance as our son attempted to escape back to the horses and passed us a children's guide to the house to enable you to find different bits.
The tour takes you from the below stairs area of the servants with the various rooms for the butler and kitchen staff. In this area there is also a scale model of the house. This is incredibly detailed and helps give you a sense of scale to the house and the tour.
Once upstairs you visit what is referred to as the "rooms of parade". These rooms are a set of rooms that all interlink and were used for formal entertaining. The idea of these was to be imposing and a designed to impress the visitors to Erddig. These rooms are fabulous to look at and certainly impressed me. Some of the areas are behind Perspex to prevent people touching them especially some of the fine Chinese wallpaper. This was probably just as well as our son wanted to touch everything and head off into the various rooms a full pace. One of the things about these rooms is they were laid out to face the magnificent gardens and you can look out and get a sense of the majesty of the gardens from several of the windows.
It is worth noting that most of the rooms have no electric light in them so if you are interested in studying pictures and textiles in detail which this house has lots of you will need to visit on a light day
One of the rooms called the Small Chinese room is only open on a Wednesday and Saturday. As we were there on a Monday I can't comment on what this room is like.
You can't bring push chairs large bags or umbrellas into the house. But there is somewhere to leave these for safe keeping to be collected at the end of your tour. You can borrow front facing baby slings take your little one around the hose.
The property seems to do school trips and has an education area. I think these probably are great fun for children as we saw several groups and they and the teachers and people conducting the tours were all in period costume which look great fun and added a sense of history to our day as well.
There is a fine example of a walled garden with lots of herbaceous borders. There is a large pond that seems to be inhabited by loads of ducks all of which seem to know they are on to a good thing and hunt you down for bread and other tasty treats. This amused our son and so I spent most of the time with him and the ducks some of the orchard area whilst my husband wandered around the pond and got himself lost! There is also a small house in this area to call it a play house doesn't really do it justice as it is wooden with a door stained glass windows and a Childs size table and chairs inside. This was a great spot for us to pause for a while whilst our son had a snack especially as by this point it had started to rain.
There is a glass house area in the grounds and the gardens are home to the national Collection of Ivies and who knew there were so many types. You can also arrange a free tour with the head gardener of the property and they will describe in more detail the different plants and planting arrangements for you.
The park also extends into 1,200 acres of park land which includes wetlands woodlands and open countryside. The parkland has signposted cycle route that you can take. The carriage rides also go round this extensive area.
There is a second hand book shop in one of the out buildings which is a positive treasure trove of books on a wide variety of topics.
The baby changing facilities are accessible to both parents and they are clean and contain a nappy bin. I had no complaints or issues using these and thought they were very family friendly.
The café is very family friendly with high chairs and heating facilities for baby food and baby food on offer as well. There is also some children's plates' bowls and cups on offer to use. They ask you to leave pushchairs downstairs rather than take them upstairs to the small café area.
The staff were one of the most family friendly we have come across and actively tried to make our visit easier with a toddle.
There is a designated disabled parking area and a drop off point at the Coach halt for disabled visitors.
To access the buildings there is a ramped entrance. The ground floor of the house is accessible to wheel chairs but there are stairs to all the other areas of the house. There is a virtual tour of the house available to watch. This also has an induction loop for the hard of hearing. There are 3 wheelchairs which can be borrowed from the property for a disabled visitor.
The grounds are again only partially accessible really as the there are both grass and gravel paths and some slopes which might dependant on the wheelchair and the weather conditions make it hard to get a round.
This property holds several events during the year such as a mad hatters tea party teddy bears picnics concerts and plays. The also hold Annual Apple festival this year was the 19th year it had been running. Most of these events bar the concerts seem to be included in the normal admission price which I think is good value for money
The property is closed on a Thursday and Friday most of the year but is open on a Friday during July and August
28 Feb-31 Mar 09 11--4
1 Apr-30 Jun 09 11--5
1 Jul-31 Aug 09 11--5
1 Sep-30 Sep 09 11--5
3 Oct-1 Nov 09 11--4
7 Nov-20 Dec 09 11--4
Garden and restaurant
14 Feb-22 Feb 09 11-4
28 Feb-31 Mar 09 11-4
1 Apr-20 Jun 09 11-6
1 Jul-31 Aug 09 11-6
1 Sep-30 Sep 09 11-6
3 Oct-1 Nov 09 11-5
7 Nov-20 Dec 09 11-4
Gift Aid Admission
House and gardens
Garden & outbuildings only:
Wrexham LL13 0YT
Telephone: 01978 315151 (Info line)
This is a great place to visit and if you have time which we didn't unfortunately I think there are several things to do such as carriage rides and cycling to see more of the extensive parkland. Especially to see such delights as the cup and saucer waterfall.
The house and gardens are wonderfully kept and full of lots of history and period detail. The staff in our experience were all very friendly and knowledgeable. So if you are near Wrexham give it a visit
Last week I had a day out with some friends and decided to visit Erddig. I had passed signs to it on countless occasions, always promising myself I would visit. I am so glad I finally got round to it. It's a remarkable place!
Erddig Hall is a National Trust property. Built in 1687 and owned by the Yorke family until given to the National Trust in 1973.
It is situated 2 miles south of Wrexham. In North Wales. It's about one mile off the A483 exit 3.
~~~A daft bit, not strictly about Erddig, so miss it if you want.~~~
I had arranged with one of the three friends I went with, to suprise the other two by being there! They had no idea I was going to turn up. One plan was for me to be there, disguised by wearing a traffic cone on my head. (A long story from our mutual history, involving being drunk, ballet dancers, wearing a cone, and laughing to the point of wetting ourselves. But I'm not going there!) Anyway, I discarded the cone idea. I was going to lurk in the restaurant and wait for them.
I arrived at 10.00am only to find that they didn't open til 11. Brilliant planning on my behalf! Anyway I effected my suprise by walking behind them hidden by a copy of the Guardian. They, being typically British and polite, made no comment about this strange person lurking and dogging their steps. I managed not to giggle for a good five minutes! Eventually my laughing gave me away and I was soundly beaten by a rolled up Guardian and hugged to death! I don't know what the outside staff made of this performance but they were laughing too!
~~~Okay, back to Erdigg~~~
As I arrived at Erddig I was directed to park in what looked like it was once a walled garden. A very pretty car park and a lovely foretaste of what was to come. (I had noticed a dropping off point for disabled visitors around the front to save them having to negotiate gravelled paths back to the house.) The path brought me first to the timber yard and ticket office.
The timber yard was being set up with stalls for the forthcoming Victorian Weekend. One of the many events Erddig stages throughout the year.
We came out again, passed the smithy which is still a working concern. Into the dog yard where I think the house and hunt dogs were quartered, through the Lime yard where building and maintainence went on, pausing to try to work out what the large old grinding machine was for. (crushing lime for cement!)
The small old yards opened out into a large pleasant courtyard which housed amongst other things, the shop, a book shop, an art exhibition, displays, an audio visual room (showing very interesting films about Erddig.)and the toilets. All the various outhouses were restored and being put to good use. All of this was fascinating before we even got to the Hall itself!
We made a beeline for the restaurant which was upstairs. There was a lift for people in wheelchairs. The restaurant was spacious and airy and the walls were covered with old photographs of Erddig and it's workers. The food was good, reasonably priced and served by very pleasant staff. There were decent sized pine tables to sit at and comfy chairs.
Fortified by tea and tasty salads we set off for the house. We had to pass through the stable yard to get there and of course needed to stop and admire the beautiful shire horse who was being made ready to pull the carriage. You have to book carriage rides at the ticket shop.
~~~At last, we've got to the House!~~~
We came into the house through the kitchens and scullerys, all the old cooking instruments were in place and it was easy to see what a huge task feeding and cleaning for the Hall had been. Huge sinks and cooking pots, dainty little sauce boats, drying racks and plate racks, weird cooking implements, vast cupboards full of crockery, all jostling for attention as we gazed around. I had read somewhere that the owners of Erddig through the years, had never thrown anything away. It made rich viewing for us as we stood in those old kitchens.
Having decided that we were blessed to live in an age of electricity, which the Yorke family had never had installed, we carried on into the main body of the house.
Dim corridors were lined with paintings of the staff. Now that fascinated me. The Yorke family had made a point of having portraits of the servants made. This was unheard of in polite society, servants were not often regarded as real people, yet here was a family who celebrated their servants and valued them enough to spend good money on having them immortalised in paint. Not only that but many of the portraits were adorned by verses that the family had written about them. There are more pictures of the staff than of the Yorke family! One poor housemaid had a verse singing her praises but saying that she wasn't very good at ironing! What a thing to go down in history for!
The house has a lovely collection of 18th and 19th century furniture and the layout is such that each room that you visit gives a real feel of a family in residence. They might have just popped out to look at a new portrait, everything seems to be as it was. Some stately homes give a feeling of sterility and untouchability. Erddig feels as though it was a real lived in place populated by real accessible people.
The nursery was lovely, a huge doll house stands against one wall and a Noah's ark with a fantastic amount of paired animals occupies the main part of the floor. A little side room showed you the Nannies little bed and wash stand.
The servants rooms are suprisingly spacious, the men's quarters divided from the maid's by a stout door in the middle of the corridor! No hanky panky here then!
There are beautiful bedrooms with chinese silk wallpaper lovingly restored. The bed hangings and covers reminding us of a time when there was no heating or escape from draughts.
The house had no changes made to it since the beginning of the 20th century. That and the fact that nothing was thrown away means that there are many, many items still in place to show us what life was like then.
~~~How it came to the National Trust~~~
Philip Yorke inherited Erddig from his brother after the war. He lived there alone with no staff for seven years. He was losing the fight against damage caused by the local mine dropping on end of the building by five feet! Water poured through the damaged roof every time it rained and he spent his time moving what furniture and anything else he could to drier rooms. With no electricity and no running water (except that which was coming from the roof!) it must have been a grim time for him.
Eventually he realised that he had to do something before the house was completely lost and he began negotiations with the National Trust. When the Trust had determined that there would be no further subsidence from the mine shafts, they agreed to take it from him and the slow and extremely expensive task of restoring Erddig was begun. (and continues!)
The trust restored the timber yards, smithy and outhouses first so they could use the tools and resources on site to restore the Hall. As far as was possible all the restoration was done using traditional methods and bringing the old tools and equipment back into use. This is all documented and the video gives a fascinating insight into how this was done (This is on show, free, in the audio visual room).
It took many years to restore the Hall and gardens to their former glory.
~~~The gardens and surrounding land~~~
The gardens are extensive and are worth a visit on their own merits. A beautiful formal garden fronts the house with a lovely walk down to the water features at the end of the lawns. It is possible to book a tour of the gardens with the head gardener. (I think I will arrange this for my Husband, son and daughter in Law. They are avid gardeners and it would make an unusual gift.) You can buy plants here too and pay for them at the gift shop. There is a boating lake to one side which is badly overgrown with weeds but no doubt that will be sorted when time and money allows. The Hall is sat in the middle of 1,200 acres of woodland, wetland and farmland. Most of which is open to visitors and is a lovely palce to explore and 'get away from it all'.
It is possible to pay seperately for entrance to the grounds and gardens if you don't want access to the house.
(More detailed opening information can be found on the NT website.)
28 Feb-31 Mar 09 11--4 Closed Thursdays. Fridays
1 Apr- 30 Sep 09 11--5 Closed Thursdays, Fridays
3 Oct-1 Nov 09 11--4 Closed Thursdays, Fridays
7 Nov-20 Dec 09 11--4 Open Sat and Sunday.
Adult £9.80 , child £4.90 , family £24.50.
Garden & outbuildings only: £6.40 , child £3.20, family £16. Groups £4.90
Erddig hosts a very full programme of events throughout the year. Details of these and much more can be found on http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-erddig.
Overall this is one of the most interesting Houses I have visited.
The range of things to be seen is huge. The way the history of the house is documented and displayed is easy to take in and constantly engaging.
The house and furnishings are just plain beautiful.
The amount and variety of historical artefacts is incredibly rich.
The gardens are well laid out and accessible.
The staff are knowlegeable and approachable.
The descriptions and evidence of the way family and staff related, brings the whole experience alive in quite a moving way.
Now that I’ve finally hung up my football boots, my main form of exercise other than a brisk walk down to the local is my bright yellow mountain bike. Puffing and panting through our rather hilly village I’m not exactly a good advert for healthy exercise, so I tend to keep to the country lanes and in particular the local National Trust estate’s country park. It’s a lovely place to go biking – flat and relatively quiet, with lots of interesting things to see and the opportunity to do some ‘mildly adventurous’ off-roading. The place in question is Erddig Hall, which always reminds me of the late sixties when I first started working in Wrexham and would occasionally see this strange old bloke dressed in old fashioned tweeds riding a penny farthing bike down the main street. The odd thing was, nobody but me seemed to find it out of the ordinary. I remember making some enquiries and discovering that the odd-ball in question was the local squire Philip Yorke who lived with his brother in a rather magnificent hall a couple of miles south of Wrexham. No one seemed to know much about him or his family except that he was supposedly very rich and rather eccentric. It was only when Squire Yorke and his brother died and left this magnificent hall to the National Trust, that people in Wrexham and the rest of the country discovered that he didn’t have much money at all, but he had a house which is undoubtedly a national treasure. Every member of the Yorke family who lived in this vast country house had an undeniable appreciation for its history and its treasures, each in turn preserving and restoring whatever required attention. Despite this, the house became severely run down after the First World War and, without sufficient money, and with the onset of the Second World War, the situation deteriorated further. The final straw came when the coal industry was nationalised in 1947, effectively t
aking away the estate's major source of income, and this was immediately followed by the National Coal Board's decision to mine directly under the house, compounding the declining structural state of the house. It was only through grit and determination, not to mention some small measure of eccentricity on the part of the last two Yorke brothers, that Erddig has survived so remarkably intact. This fascinating house set in incredibly picturesque grounds is like a time capsule displaying the trappings of everyday life of bygone years, and affording an intimate glimpse into the history and lifestyle of a prominent Welsh family and their servants. It is an absolute delight to explore because unlike many great country homes filled with priceless art collections and exquisite furnishings, Erddig is just crammed full of treasures that say more about the different personalities of the family members. One thing all the owners of the house had in common was the fact that none of them liked to throw anything away, however worthless or insignificant the article might have seemed at the time, and this adds immensely to the interest. Upstairs the rooms contain a vast and original collection of 18th century furniture and are filled with the accumulated treasures - from the rare and the beautiful to the trivial and commonplace. The collection of gilt and silver furniture is considered to be one of the finest and best documented in any country house, while the state bed, made in 1720 and upholstered in beautifully embroidered Chinese silk is especially fine. The stunning state rooms display most of their original 18th and 19th century furniture and furnishings, including some exquisite Chinese wallpaper. There are fascinating displays of letters written home during the wars describing the conditions and events of the time. Below stairs a wonderful collection of portraits, photographs and verses record the people who spent their lives on the estat
e, and tell of the Yorke family's high regard for their servants. The servants and estate workers at Erddig were always highly thought of by the Yorke family, and this relationship is amusingly demonstrated in some of Philip's grandfather’s artistic work. It was he who started the unusual tradition of having the servants painted, and these pictures would be accompanied by quirky little ditties. Many of these delightful paintings can now be seen hanging in the servants' hall and along the corridors. In the estate buildings are the joiner and blacksmith’s work shops, the Midden Yard with its saw mill and cart sheds and the Stable Yard with its tackroom, carriages and vintage cars and cycles, including the famous penny farthing. The laundry, bakehouse and kitchen have hardly changed at all. Erddig's walled garden is one of the most important surviving 18th century gardens in Britain. It has rare fruit trees, a canal, a pond and hosts the National Ivy Collection. The National Trust has restored Erddig garden using a bird's eye view of 1739 and illustrations of the nineteenth and twentieth century additions, including a parterre and a Victorian garden. As the house is built on a hill within the grounds a hydraulic pump was constructed to pump water to the house. Adjacent to the pump house a folly known as the Cup and Saucer was built. The water from the stream cascades down a large hole in the middle of an artificial pond and then emerges from a tunnel about 20 metres downstream.The construction of the pump and the folly are an indication of the skill and engineering skills of workmen, hundreds of years ago. The 1,900 acre estate also includes an extensive country park with many woodland walks and nature reserves as well as the site of an 11th century Motte and Bailey castle, one of the finest in the area. It was covered with trees and vegetation but is currently being cleared to show the commanding po
sition this castle had over the surrounding area. Erddig also has one of the best National Trust café’s I’ve visited and loads of special events of which the ‘Apple Festival’ which I visited last week, is my particular favourite. A couple of years ago they had a last night of the proms evening on a beautiful and barmy August night – great atmosphere, wonderful music, a couple of bottles of dry white and a glorious firework display. It was a real night to remember. The House is open daily from 23rd March to 3rd November, except Thursdays and Fridays, but it is open on Good Fridays. Between March and September it is open from 12.00pm to 5.00pm, in October 12.00pm to 4.00pm, with the last admission one hour before closing. The Garden is open for the same period and times as the house from March to the end of June, whilst in September it is open between 11.00am and 6.00pm, and July and August from 10.00am to 6.00pm, and October 11.00am to 5.00pm. The Shop and plant sales are open the same period as the property 11.00am to 5.30pm. they are also open from 3rd November to 17th December on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, between 11.00am and 4.00pm. Charges are Adults £6.60, Children £3.30, Families £16.50 and parties of 15 and over £5.30 each. For the Garden and outbuildings only, Adults are £3.40, Children £1.70, Families £8.50 and parties of 15 and over £2.70 each. National Trust members are of course free. Erddig is 2 miles south of Wrexham, signposted off the A483 and A525. tracelling by train the nearest stations are Wrexham Central which is approximately 1 mile away, and Wrexham General which is 1.5 miles, both via Erddig Road and footpath. It really is a great place to visit and who knows you may catch a glimpse of this strange old bloke on a yellow mountain bike doing wheelies over the badger sets.