Welsh: Y Waun
St Mary's Parish Church
Chirk is a town and ancient parish in Denbighshire, adjacent to the border with Shropshire, marked here by the River Ceiriog. It stands between Wrexham in Denbighshire and Oswestry in Shropshire. Chirk Bank lies to the south of the Ceiriog in the latter county.
The Welsh language name for the place is 'Y Waun, meaning The Moor.
The town is served by Chirk railway station.
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.
History and heritage
Chirk Castle, a National Trust property, is a mediæval castle by Chirk. 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.
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. These coal mines have now also closed.
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 Denbighshire into Shropshire) along Thomas Telford's aqueduct. Telford's aqueduct runs alongside the Robertson' viaduct before the canal enters the Chirk Tunnel.
Sights in the town
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.
- Football: Chirk AAA FC, founded in 1876.
- Chirk Town Council website
- BBC Wales - Chirk website
- The Glyn Valley Tramway Trust in Chirk
- St Mary's Church, Chirk
- History of St Marys, Chirk
- Wrexham & Shropshire Railway
- G. G. Lerry, "Collieries of Denbighshire", 1968