A walk in Wales. Whirlpool near Erddig Hall?

13 Nov

erddig-cup-and-saucer-in-flood  I was searching for somewhere different to visit in the campervan and came across this picture of a whirlpool near Wrexham. It looks like a lake vanishing into a sink hole. We had to go and have a look, especially after recent, heavy rainfall.

erddig-walk  Although cloudy, it was still fairly mild and we only felt a couple of drops of rain all day. Erddig Hall was the ancestral home of the Yorke family and was passed to the National Trust in 1973. Although we have visited several times, we had never heard of this “secret walk” previously. I printed off Mark Rowe’s sketch map and full of confidence we set off from the walled garden car park (LL13 0YT postcode) and found the Dovecote starting point. Easy peasy…….

Within 100 metres, I had gone wrong. What should have been an easy 2 miles was about to become a little bit ……… more than that !

erdddig-walk-bulls  We walked the busy path through some woods and past a group of Bulls in a field. Glad of the fence between us. It would have made Donald proud…….

We had gone down the wrong side of the House and a nice old Welsh gentleman went to great lengths to send us on great lengths of country paths to loop around via Kings Mill along the Sontley Road, then back alongside the River Clywdog. The broad valley was muddy but the River was stunning. The clear but brown water seemed peaty and even welcoming. On a hot day it would be nice to dip your feet in.

erddig-river-weir  There were loads of dog walkers, serious ramblers and we saw some faces twice……. not my best day’s navigating experience. I did spot some bullrushes in the marshy area and it brought back memories of collecting them as a kid.

Back then, our neighbour owned a florist’s shop. I had waded into a “dangerous” pond between our local Cocknage Wood and the common land at Rough Close. The neighbour, a Barbara Cartland lookalike , had spotted my mum’s ,proudly displayed  bullrushes and asked me to get some for her. Seeing pound signs, I walked back to the pool which , tragically,was a magnet for suicides and I was soon ruining another pair of cheap jeans. I got armfuls of rushes along with armfuls of leeches! I also had several cars stop to see if I needed rescuing from my tormented mind. No offence intended, by the way.

  Did “Ms Cartland” make it worth my while? Definitely not.She would not give you the steam from her dentures. A tough way to discover that setting up the deal in advance is probably best!I think that I had bored my wife with the story but soon we reached a cute cottage surrounded by Sheep.

erddig-cottage I once witnessed two Rottweilers savaging and killing sheep  in a field near Rugeley in Staffordshire. I had stopped the car and went to the only house nearby. Eventually someone responded to my doorbell ringing and shouting by poking their head out of an upstairs window. “Two dogs are killing sheep in the field!” ………. Their response???? “What? Not  Again!!!” 

So, when I spotted a Hound ( not sure what type??? huckleberry perhaps??)  crouching, hunting style, heading directly towards the fluffy sheep, I was a bit concerned. Then a short word from a Lady had the dog back onto it’s lead and ignoring said sheep completely. So… don’t tar all hounds with the same brush… as my latest saying goes.

erddig-cup-n-saucer This is how the “Cup and saucer” looked today. It’s purpose was to use the force of the drop in the stream waters to amplify and hydraulically pump water up a 90 feets rise to Erddig House. Have not  quite worked out the physics but it did actually work for a long time.

erddig-info-1   Even standing alongside the former location of the hydraulic ram, you could still not see the “cup and saucer” sinkhole, whirlpool, thingy. Signing was very poor but realising that it must be above the “ram”, a short climb revealed it in all it’s majesty. Several other walkers were also surprised to find it. No wonder it’s called a “secret” National Trust walk.

On the way home, we popped into Bryn-Y-Grog Hall to buy a couple of mirrored candleholders (?) and saw this:


I got all fired up in my Toad of Toad Hall fashion and commenced a spirited drive home, Rally style until hampered by very slow moving traffic on mostly double white lined roads. My wife also pointed out my recent speeding offence….. More of which later when I complete the lecture procedure. Still, I had did get 54 mpg on the way home.


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