Only a mile away from the English border at Oswestry, the town of Chirk has come to the notice of tourists on holidays in Wales mainly for its spectacular aqueduct, built by the celebrated engineer Thomas Telford in 1801 to carry the Llangollen Canal across the valley.
The historic Glyn Valley tramway operated from Chirk, which became a busy community during the Industrial Revolution.
Visitors on holidays in Wales also like to explore the ruins of Chirk Castle, a medieval fortress now looked after by the National Trust and associated with two notable families the Brynkinallt and the Myddletons. In the Chirk Castle museum are artefacts linking the area with the slave trade.
Tourists taking holidays in Wales will also find the 11th century St Mary’s Parish Church, a Grade 1 Listed building, of great interest. An older church dedicated to St Tysilio stood on the site, but it was rededicated to St Mary in the late 15th or early 16th century. Well worth a visit it is a member of the Open Church Network and participates in the Sacred Space Project.
Chirk, the Wales holiday patron will discover, was formerly a coal mining community, coal having been worked since the 17th century, the largest of its mines being the Black Park, one of the oldest pits in Wales and the Brynkinallt. After rthey closed an open-cast mine was opened in the late 1980s, but the tourist industry locally heaved a sigh of relief when this also closed.
Chirk was an important stage coaching stop on the old Mail Coach route along the A5 between London and Holyhead and the Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union Canal runs through the town, crossing the Ceiriog Valley from England into Wales over the Telford impressive aqueduct, which runs alongside the Henry Robertson railway viaduct before entering Chirk tunnel. The viaduct takes the Chester to Ruabon railway over the Ceiriog Valley, visit this website.
Many tourists taking Wales holiday like to visit the Ceiriog Memorial Institute in the Ceiriog Valley just west of Chirk, which houses a collection of cultural memorabilia and was founded in the early 1900s to support the Welsh language, culture and heritage for future generations. Two important employers in the town are Kronospan, who manufacture wood-based panels, and Cadbury Schweppes with a chocolate factory. Chirk is served by a Community Town Council and is part of Wrexham County Borough whose headquarters is 10 miles north in Wrexham Town.