Erddig House was designed and completed as a family home by Thomas Webb in 1687 for the then High Sheriff of Denbighshire, Joshua Edisbury. By 1718 ownership had passed to John Mellor, Master of the Chancery, who extended the property and extensively furnished it to suit his taste. On Mellor’s death the house passed into the hands of the Yorke family who continued to live there for the next seven generations.
Situated two miles from Wrexham, the estate comprises 2,000 acres and has parkland landscaped by William Eames between 1768 and 1789. Approaching the house along the long drive, the visitor first sees a number of outbuildings including a smithy, sawmill, joiner’s shop, stables, bakehouse, laundry and kitchens. The tools once used in these buildings are still there, as if laid down for just a moment while their owners took
a well-deserved break.
A large number of servants were necessary to run the property and the Yorkes held them all in high regard. Over the 250 years that the family occupied Erddig each generation kept a record of their faithful servants, penning verses and commissioning oil paintings to be made of them, each carrying an emblem of his or her occupation. Thus the gardener had a spade, the woodsman an axe and the butler a wine bottle.
The custom lasted well into the 20th century until, with the advent of photography, prints took over from paintings. Entering the house through the basement passage you will see examples on the walls adjacent to the housekeeper and butler’s rooms.
Erddig was in a dilapidated state when taken over by the National Trust in 1973 and it wasn’t until 1977 that it was opened to the public by Prince Charles. Today the house, which is considered one of the finest examples of its kind in Britain, is restored to its former glory.
Imposing state rooms display fine pieces of original furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries while stunning original Chinese wallpaper adorns the state bedroom walls. Thanks to the Yorke family’s interest in antiquities and their habit of hoarding, the house also has many interesting items for the visitor to see.
Outside, the walled gardens and a splendid Victorian Parterre have been renovated and in the summer the colourful borders are a favourite with visitors. A canal runs through the centre adjacent to the yew walk while one of the UK’s National Collection of Ivies is also in the grounds.
Erddig was chosen as the UK’s favourite historic house and its eighth most popular historic site in the 2007 Britain’s Best poll. Be sure to visit soon and see for yourself all it has to offer.
Don’t miss: the magnificent carved and gilded State Bed dating from the 1720s.
Erddig House, Erddig, Wrexham LL13 0YT
tel: 01978 355314