Sunday, October 29, 2006

Denbighshire / Clwyd / Wrexham County -1

Myddleton Monument, St Mary's Church CHIRK
Originally uploaded by ChurchCrawler.

Yesterday saw a useless display from my team in the Principality, and it seemed we used up all our luck before kick-off as my readers will see!
It was a day of heavy-looking rain-laden clouds with the occasional brighter period. We made good time and after a coffee near Shrewsbury we were so early that we decided to make an extra stop en route to that I had planned. Hence open we found

ancient county Denbighshire, post 1973 Clwyd, and now part of the county borough of Wrexham. The tower stands at the west end of the north aisle, with the nave to the south. No structural chancel and a rather short and wide interior which could be described as twin naves rather than nave and aisle divided by a three-bayed arcade. The interior is charming with much woodwork from Georgian times which includes a west gallery and a fancier roof over the "chancel". The aisle roof is much older with hammer beams which carry carvings of fanciful animals.
The monuments deserve close scrutiny, the best to Sir Richard Myddleton, his wife (who died early at the age of 28), and between their two standing figures and urn with a relief of their infant daughter. In front semi-reclines their son William which seems almost an addition to the composition and is in slightly whiter marble. He died aged 25 and the inscription suggests he only survuved his father for a very short time. All is of c1718-22 and erected by the only surviving sibling Mary.
A modern hall adjoins the church at the NW corner, looking actually larger than the church! Here was a friendly lady who was caretaking the church as part of the "DISCOVER - Open Church Network, opening the doors to the historic churches of Wrexham" and the aisle was full of display boards about Chirk's history. There was an excellent booklet with leaflets on the churches in the scheme, including my original target of Ruabon. I was disappointed to read that this church was only open by appointment - but if we had gone straight there we would have been disappointed. I asked the lady about an enchanting looking church in a display on Chirk's Other Churches and she gave me directions.

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