Chirk Castle – Christmas of make-believe

8th - 23rd Dec

Enter a world of make-believe at Chirk Castle this Christmas. Follow the footsteps of the six children of Lord and Lady Howard de Walden in the 1920s as we decorate Chirk Castle as a fantastical castle of theatre and fairytales.

Imagine if you grew up in your very own fantasy castle… for the six children of Lord and Lady Howard de Walden at Chirk Castle in the 1920s that was exactly what happened.

John, Bronwen, Elisabeth, Priscilla, Margaret and little sister Rosemary grew up playing make-believe, putting on Christmas pantomimes, and playing dress-up in a castle full of imaginary dragons and knights, princesses, and stories.

From 1923 to 1931 Lord Howard de Walden wrote six pantomimes, based on popular tales, for his children and their friends to perform at Chirk Castle. Inspired by these pantomimes, and the photos we have of them being performed, volunteers and staff have spent hundreds of hours hand-making decorations, costumes and props for a fun family Christmas.

This year at Chirk Castle see the beautiful decorations inside the State Rooms themed on the De Walden family pantomimes. Explore the fairy-tale trail on the estate and gardens, and see how many traditional fairy-tales you can name.Watch the family cinefilm, dress-up and recreate a scene from the De Walden family album in the Chapel.

Try some festive favourites in the cafe, or pick up a special present for someone from our Gift Shop. On weekends we also have special storytelling, with our favourite local storyteller Andy Harrop-Smith, and on Sunday afternoons festive music from the Chirk Hand-bell Ringers.

Christmas opening is 8 to 23 December, 10am to 4pm. The State Rooms also open an hour earlier, so entrance to view the decorations is from 11am to 4pm (last entry 3:30pm). The shop and cafe are both open as normal, with some great gifts to buy and a special Christmas menu.

Normal admission applies. National Trust members free. The Father Christmas grotto is now SOLD OUT. Please see the separate event page on our website for details.

Dogs are welcome on the estate, or in the castle courtyard, but cannot enter the castle rooms or the gardens.

The castle rooms can be cold during winter, please dress warmly. The trail takes place outside. Only the Lower East Wing rooms are wheelchair accessible. Please contact us if you need assistance or with any questions.

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