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Latitude: 52.9517 / 52°57'6"N
Longitude: -3.0598 / 3°3'35"W
OS Eastings: 328892
OS Northings: 339897
OS Grid: SJ288398
Mapcode National: GBR 73.L184
Mapcode Global: WH78C.Z23G
Plus Code: 9C4RXW2R+M3
Entry Name: Whitehurst Garden Gatepiers with Gates and perimeter Garden Wall
Listing Date: 3 December 1973
Last Amended: 29 July 1998
Source ID: 1286
Building Class: Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces
Location: Whitehurst gardens adjoin the Holyhead Road c150m NW of the roundabout at the N end of Chirk. Two points of access, the upper to Whitehurst House.
Community: Chirk (Y Waun)
Traditional County: Denbighshire
Whitehurst Gardens, also known variously as Black Park Garden and Chirk Castle Garden, were laid out c1651 at considerable personal expense by Sir Thomas Myddleton II (1586-1666) as a pleasure garden for himself and in which to entertain important visitors passing along the Holyhead Road. The walled area extended to 12 acres. Major-General James Berry stayed in 1656, and later circuit judges found it an amenable place to stay. The Duke of Beaufort, Lord President of Wales made a halt here when passing through Wales in 1684, when his equerry describes the 'Admiral Walled GARDEN of Trees, Plants, Flowers and Herbs of the greatest rarity, as well forreigne as of Great Britain, Orrenge and Lemon Trees, the sensitive Plant, &c, where, in a Banquetting-house, a Collation of choise Fruit and Wines was lodged by the sayd Sr RICHARD MYDDLETON to entertein his Grace in this his flourishing Plantation'. Some fruits and vegetables were grown (a fig tree purchased in 1653, and 'sparrowgrasse' [asparagus] in 1658). The gardens also contained deer and fishponds as well as various garden buildings including summerhouses for which weathercocks were bought in 1653. The gardens are illustrated on the Badeslade and Toms engraving of Chirk Castle of 1723, before they were extended to the N and W in 1765. They were gradually compromised from 1906, including the building of 20 houses in the eastern sector for Black Park Colliery in 1931, but the walls, terraces and the impressively large mount survive.
The principal entrance through the 'D'-shaped encircling wall is on Holyhead Road: Tall sandstone ashlar gate piers of the late C17-early C18, approximately 3.5m high and square on plan, each face decorated with fielded panels, above which is a necking moulding and cornice. A curved pedestal on each formerly supported an urn finial garlanded with fruit and vegetables at the base of the lid (broken - now held at Whitehurst House). The iron gates with spear headed rails and spiked dog rails, harr hung at the base. N of the gates an impressive stone wall with internal buttress climbs up to Whitehurst House. S of the gates, the stone wall sweeps down, capped with 2-stage cut stone weathered copings for some 14m, after which the wall is lower and capped with a simple slab coping, sweeping round into the valley of the Afon Bradley, thence returning on the NE behind 1931 colliery housing, and becoming brick approximately half-way up the steep slope, perhaps the start of the C18 extension. The N end of the gardens is formed by a high straight stone wall faced with brick internally, and containing a stone ashlar gateway with a curved lintel and keystone inscribed R.M 1785 (Richard Myddleton) Replacement studded oak door.
Included as an important and early pleasure garden constructed during the Civil War by a strong supporter of the Parliamentarian cause, and of which the layout is still distinctly discernable. Included in the National Gardens Register for Wales. Ref No PGW(C)11. Of group value with the other terrace walls and the garden buildings within the enclosing walls of the gardens.
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