Chirk

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Coordinates: 52°55′49″N 3°03′01″W / 52.93026°N 3.05025°W / 52.93026; -3.05025

Chirk
Welsh: Y Waun
Chirk is located in Wrexham
Chirk
Chirk
 Chirk shown within Wrexham
Population 4,468 
OS grid reference SJ295375
Principal area Wrexham
Ceremonial county Wrexham
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WREXHAM
Postcode district LL14
Dialling code 01691
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Clwyd South
Welsh Assembly Clwyd South
List of places
UK
Wales
Wrexham

Chirk (Welsh: Y Waun, meaning The Moor[1]) is a small town and local government community, the lowest tier of local government, part of Wrexham County Borough in Wales. In the 2011 census, it had a population of 4,468.[2]

It is situated between Wrexham and Oswestry and has been part of the County Borough since local government reorganisation in 1996. The border with the English county of Shropshire is immediately south of the town, on the other side of the River Ceiriog.

The town is served by Chirk railway station and the A5/A483 roads.

History and heritage[edit]

Chirk Aqueduct – a watercolour by John Sell Cotman, c. 1804

Chirk Castle, a National Trust property, is a medieval castle. Two families are associated with the town and its castle, the Trevor family of Brynkinallt and the Myddletons. The Hughes of Gwerclas, a family descended from the ancient kings of Powys, also dwelt in the area for many years.

Attractions in the town apart from Chirk Castle include a section of Offa's Dyke and the Chirk Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal, built in 1801 by Thomas Telford. The Glyn Valley Tramway operated from here.

The Parish Church of St Mary's is a Grade I listed building. The current church building was begun during the 11th Century by the Normans, although it is believed that an older llan, dedicated to St Tysilio, had existed on the site. Indeed, the current church was known by the dedication of St Tysilio until the late 15th or early 16th century, after which it was re-dedicated to St Mary. Today, the church is a member of the Open Church Network and participates in the Sacred Space Project.

Chirk was formerly a coal mining community with coal being worked since the 17th century. The largest of these collieries were Black Park (one of the oldest in the north of Wales) and Brynkinallt (Welsh: Bryncunallt). These coal mines has now also closed.

Chirk was a coaching stop on the old Mail coach route along the A5 from London to Holyhead.

The Chester to Ruabon railway had been extended south to Shrewsbury by 1848 with stations at Llangollen Road (at Whitehurst) and Chirk. South of the town a railway viaduct was constructed by Henry Robertson to take the line over the Ceiriog Valley.

The Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union Canal runs through Chirk. The canal crosses the Ceiriog Valley (from England into Wales) along Thomas Telford's aqueduct. Telford's aqueduct runs alongside the Robertson' viaduct before the canal enters the Chirk Tunnel.

Modern day[edit]

Looking towards Chirk over the Aqueduct and Viaduct
St Mary's Parish Church

The Ceiriog Memorial Institute, in the Ceiriog valley, just west of Chirk, is home to a collection of Welsh cultural memorabilia and was founded in the early 1900s to support the Welsh language, culture and heritage for future generations.

The town's industries are the manufacture of wood-based panels at Kronospan and chocolate manufacture at Cadbury.[citation needed]

In the 2011 census, a total of 3,652 residents (81.7%) have no skills in the Welsh language.[3]

Sport[edit]

Chirk is home to Chirk AAA F.C., a football team founded in 1876.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • G. G. Lerry, "Collieries of Denbighshire", 1968

External links[edit]