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the other flight of stairs, his honour had removed the bottle and glasses.
Part of the mansion is the work of Inigo Jones, but additions have been made to it by its present possessor.
In the interior there is nothing grand or striking, but the rooms and furniture are elegant, and the ornaments, which are very profuse, most tastefully arranged. The grounds surrounding the house are extensive, and afford many beautiful views.
CHIRK TO LLANGOLLEN,
Chirk—Ellesmere Canal— Aqueduct—Chirk Castle— History of Chirk
Castle-Pont Cysyllty Aqueduct-Llangollen-Plas Newydd—Castell Dinas Bran-Vale of Crucis-Valle Crucis Abbey-Pillar of Eliseg.
Is situated on the brow of a hill; and from the numerous coal-works, lime-works and other undertakings in the neighbourhood, it appears to be a place of some business. Its population is 1598.
The Ellesmere Canal passes within half a mile of the village, and is carried over the river Ceiriog and vale of Chirk, by means of an aqueduct 710 feet long, consisting of ten arches, the piers of which are sixty-five feet high. The canal then enters a tunnel 220 yards long, and emerging from this it proceeds through the parish, and then enters another tunnel, soon after which it is carried over the vale of the Dee by the Aqueduct of Pont Cysyllty.
The Chirk aqueduct was designed by Telford, and is the first in which any iron was employed.
In the church of Chirk there are several marble monuments in memory of the Middletons of Chirk Castle; the best of these is in memory of Charlotte Middleton, who died in childbed.
The seat of Mrs. Middleton Biddulph is about a mile and a half to the northwest of the village. This building still retains a mixture of the castle and mansion. It stands in an open situation, on the summit of a considerable eminence, and is said to command a view into seventeen different counties. On the exterior it retains much of its primitive aspect. It is a quadrangular structure, having five towers, one at each corner, and the fifth, through which is the gateway, in front. The building is on the whole low and heavy, and wants magnitude to give consequence to its appearance. The entrance leads into a spacious court-yard, 160 feet long and 100 broad; and on the east side of this there was a handsome colonnade, which is now closed up and converted into habitable rooms.
The principal apartments are a saloon, a drawing-room and gallery; in the latter of which there is a large collection of paintings, consisting however almost entirely of family portraits.
In the entrance-hall is a singular landscape, in which Pistyll Rhaiadr, the waterfall in Montgomeryshire, is represented as falling into the sea. This strange impropriety is said to have originated from the following circumstance: the painter was a foreign artist, he had been employed by one of the Middletons to make a painting of that cataract, and when the picture was nearly finished, it was hinted that a few sheep, scattered in different parts, would probably add to its beauty. Whereupon the painter, extremely nettled at the idea that a person whom he judged ignorant of the art should presume to instruct him, replied with considerable tartness, “ You want some sheeps in it? Well, well, I will put you some sheeps in it!" He soon dashed out the bottom of the picture and introduced the sea and several
sheeps (ships), some of which are lying at anchor close to the rocks.
The hall so old is now used as a servants' hall, and is
Hung about, with pikes, and guns and bows, And swords and good old bucklers that have met some tough old blows.”
There is a dungeon to this castle as deep as the walls are high; it is descended by a flight of forty-two steps.
History of Chirk Castle.— The present structure was the work of Roger Mortimer, the son of Roger, Baron of Wigmore, and was founded on the site of a very ancient fortress called Castell Crogen. John, Earl of Warren, and Roger Mortimer, were appointed guardians to the two sons of Madoc ap Griffith, a strenuous partisan of Henry III. and Edward I. They murdered their wards, and appropriated the estates to their own use. Mortimer's share in the robbery consisted of the lands at Nan-heudwy and Chirk, which belonged to the youngest boy. At the latter of these places he found it politic to erect a place of defence. This he was suffered to enjoy with impunity till his death, which took place in the Tower of London, after an imprisonment of four years and a half, for the commission of some other crime. However the property was suffered to continue in the family, and his grandson sold the castle to Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, whose son, in the seventh year of Edward III. was made governor, with a confirmation of his father's grant. The Fitz Alans possessed it for three generations, after which it passed to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, in right of his wife, the eldest sister of Thomas, Earl of Arundel. On the duke's disgrace and exile in 1397, it was probably resumed by the crown; for it was afterwards granted to William Beauchamp, Earl of Abergavenny, who had married the other sister of the Earl of Arundel. On the marriage of the grand-daughter of this nobleman with Edward Nevil (afterwards Lord Abergavenny), it was, in the reign of Henry VI. conveyed into that family. After this it became the property of Sir William Stanley, and on his execution it escheated to the crown. It was bestowed by Queen Elizabeth on her favourite, Dudley, Earl of Leicester. On his death it became the property of Lord St. John of Bletso, whose son sold it in 1595 to Sir Thomas Middleton, Knight, in whose family it yet continues. In the civil wars, Sir Thomas Middleton revolted from the parliament, and defended his castle, till one side and three of the towers were thrown down by the enemy's cannon. These, however, he rebuilt within twelve months, but at an expense of not less than £80,000.
Chirk is distant from Ruabon 4 miles, and from Ellesmere 7. About 3 miles from the village is the famous
PONT CYSYLLTY AQUEDUCT.
So called from a bridge of three arches over the Dee, situated a little higher up the river. On the south side of the middle pier of the aqueduct, near its base, is the following inscription :
THE NOBILITY AND GENTRY OF
THE ADJACENT COUNTIES
HAVING UNITED THEIR EFFORTS WITH
THE GREAT COMMERCIAL INTEREST OF THIS COUNTRY,
IN CREATING AN INTERCOURSE AND UNION BETWEEN
ENGLAND AND NORTH WALES,
BY A NAVIGABLE COMMUNICATION OF THE THREE RIVERS,
SEVERN, DEE, AND MERSEY,
FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF AGRICULTURE AND TRADE,
CAUSED THE FIRST STONE OF THIS AQUEDUCT OF