In a tranquil setting at the gateway to Wales, and overlooking the Cheshire plain, this picturesque village offers an ideal centre from which to explore the magnificent mountains, forest and sandy coastline of North Wales.
Hawarden’s own unique heritage, topography and history have created a varied and interesting environment for the discerning visitor. Situated in border country on a natural defensive promontory, its pre-Roman fortress was of early strategic, military and political importance. Held alternately by Welsh and English powers, the part it played in the hands of the Parliamentarians during the Civil War ultimately sealed its fate.
Today the imposing castle ruins set among fine parkland remain a testimony to less peaceful times. `
However, far more recent historical events have ensured Hawarden’s place on the map. In 1852 it became the home of the Prime Minister W E Gladstone through his marriage to Catherine Glynne. Their home, Broadlane Hall became the ‘new’ Hawarden Castle, and today it remains the private residence of the Gladstone family.
Threads of this important historical link are woven into the fabric of the village and those interested in tracing this theme will discover much evidence of the benevolence of William and Catherine Gladstone. The Parish Church of St. Deiniol, of 13th century origin and restored in 1857 following a fire, houses several monuments to the family, among which is the splendid memorial window, the work of Burne-Jones, of pre-Raphaelite fame.
Gladstone’s Library, a splendid neo-Gothic structure, adjacent to the Church contains Gladstone’s personal collection of some 30,000 books, a further legacy of his generosity to the community.
In addition to its more imposing buildings – among them half timbered, 16th century St Deiniol’s Ash – are to be found quaint stone terraces, once occupied by craftsmen, and tucked away in unexpected places are pretty cottages with well kept gardens.
A one-time thriving market town where, in the 18th and 19th centuries the production of coal, iron and bricks flourished, and where its famous children Emma Hamilton and John Boydell, Lord Mayor of London spent their early years. Hawarden has retained all the essential character of its past, whilst preserving an air of quietness and reflection.
For the walker, trails can be explored taking in the neighbouring villages of Mancot, Aston and Ewloe and leading variously along grassy paths, past land once resonant with the sound of industry, through wooded countryside.
The ruins of the Hawarden Corn Mill, which ceased production in the 1940’s can be seen in the Bilberry wood, accessed by the public footpath from the Tinkersdale Public Car Park.
The House of Correction – This was built about the middle of the eighteenth century to house prisoners before their trial or their removal to the county gaol at Flint. It was designed by Joseph Turner, the architect and it includes a basement area.
Ewloe Castle, built in 1257 by Welsh Prince Llewellyn Ap Grufydd, is situated some two miles from the centre of Hawarden in the neighbouring village of Ewloe. The castle can be accessed via a public right of way leading from the first lay-by on the right hand side when travelling from Ewloe to Northop Hall.
Food and Drink.
Within the village of Hawarden and surrounding areas there are many local public houses, restaurants and cafes to choose from for a quick snack or more formal meal. Why not take in the beauty and culture of Gladstones library whilst enjoying a quick spot of lunch or nearby is Chocs Away in Hawarden Airport with a view of aircraft coming into land in front of the landscape of Clwyd.
Also in Hawarden and worth a visit is Hawarden Farm Shop where you can pick your own fruit during certain seasons or just relax and catch up in the coffee shop with delicious coffee and snacks to choose from.
Hawarden Golf course, a beautifully presented, undulating, 18 hole golf course is situated in the centre of the village. Founded in 1911, Hawarden is a very well established golf club with a wealth of historical intrigue. For more information please visit http://hawardengolfclub.co.uk/ or why not indulge in a Gateway to Wales Golf Pass and enjoy other Golf Courses as well in North East Wales.
North East Wales has its own dedicated trail app, for more information click here
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