Croeso Network

Chirk Millennium Gardens

This small but attractive garden was first conceived from within the Chirk Millennium 2000 Group as a contribution to the Town in celebration of the new millennium.

Chirk Millennium GardensFollowing a meeting of a steering group in June 1997 was decided to hold a competition to design a garden with emphasis on local talent and endeavour. The design was to have facilities for the disabled and the visually impaired. The winning design was submitted by Mrs Anne Potts and Mr Cohn Purcell A team consisting of B.A.Baker, G.W.Litberland,and Mrs Susan Purcell from the executive of the main body, together with 3 expert local horticulturists Alec Birch, David Lock, and Anne Potts (co-designer) was formed to concentrate on this particular project.

The Group received consent from Chirk Town Council( as trustees of the preferred site) in Dec 1997 to "design, build and maintain a garden area" on the site which is the subject of a Deed of Trust from Lord Howard de Walden to (then) Chirk Parish Council dated Oct 1912.

The project was given a tremendous start with support from a local company - Kronospan Ltd. who assisted with technical help and the provision of local, 200 year old stone for the flower and herb beds together with financial support.. This was then used as back to back funding from Cadwyn Leader II.

Following talks with local historian Mr C.Neville Hurdsman - author of "A History of the Parish of Chirk" it was realized that the site had the ancient name of Cae'r Groes (The field of the cross) This name is derived from a Celtic Cross discovered there and thought possibly to have marked the site of an early chapel, destroyed along with much  else in Chirk, during Owain Glyndwr's campaign (c. 1400) against the Earl of Arundel, then in command at Chirk Castle. During this planning stage it was considered correct that the garden should reflect the history of the site and also the Welsh language so the name of the garden was changed to Gardd Cae'r Groes (The garden in the field of the cross)

Chirk Millennium GardensWhile further funding was being negotiated a piece of good fortune was to come along. A local resident- Dr John Marchant - offered a water pillar for use in the project. This was indeed fortunate as it was one of four given to the village of Chirk in 1824 by Charlotte Myddleton-Biddulph of Chirk Castle to provide the first piped water supply for the community. . In view of it's historical value it was decided that it should form the centre piece of the garden. It is marked C.M.B 1824 and is incorporated within a water feature.

The contract to construct the hard landscaping was awarded to Wrexham Construction Services in Aug 1998 and work commenced the following month and was completed in January 99. Funding for the planting was obtained from The Princes Trust Bro and with the help of three local schools the shrubbery and wild flower meadow were planted in March. 99 Previously the schools had planted spring bulbs for an early splash of colour. Indeed Spring of 99 was a riot of Tulips, Daffodils and other pleasant sights.

In view of the commitment to maintain the garden, work started in Jan 99 to form a registered charity.  The Charity Commissioners granted this status to the Gardd Cae'r Groes Trust with the allocation of Reg Charity Number 1078486. in December 1999

The garden has been well used by the community and many visitors to Chirk during 1999 and is continually open, with lighting in the evening until 21.OO, and the water feature operates 09.00 to 19.00 daily (March through October). Total running costs are borne by the recently registered Charity which depends on fund raising, gifts, and voluntary donations to continue it's work.

An International interest was added when, in October, a contingent from The Royal Canadian Legion and Royal Canadian Mounted Police paid a visit to plant, and dedicate, a Maple Tree in an area known as "Alberta Corner"

The official opening is planned for Spring 2000 when a specially commissioned mosaic is to be installed and unveiled. The garden is already considered as part of the regeneration of Chirk Town centre and is a splendid example of community action since - with the exception of the hard landscaping - it is a totally indigenous effort. Gardd Cae'r Groes Trust is a member of the Chirk and Ceiriog Valley Partnership. It is also recognized by Environment Wales and The Princes Trust Cymru. (Princes Trust Wales)

Development is to continue and the Charity welcomes comments and constructive suggestions to... 20 George Street Chirk Wrexham LL14 511S.


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