Discover Emes' parkland at Erddig
For over 300 years visitors have been welcomed to explore the parkland at Erddig. The Yorkes did not want to hide their beautiful estate away, understanding the value of nature to the health and wellbeing of the local community.
In 1779, Philip Yorke I put up the following notice at the entrance lodges at Erddig:
" Mr Yorke having at great Expense, and at the labour of many Years, finished the Ground and Wood Walks about Erthig, desires to acquaint his Neighbours, that they are extremely welcome to walk in the same for their Health and Amusement."
This great expense and labour was largely the work of the well-respected landscape designer William Emes who worked at Erddig from 1768-1780. He was contracted to not only create an aesthetically attractive landscape but also to increase the agricultural value of the land by reducing the serious flooding of the Afon Clwedog.
Cup and Saucer waterfall
Emes created gravelled walks throughout the large pleasure grounds, planted many trees which are still thriving today, and manipulated the flow of water across the park through a series of cascades and weirs.
His most unique alteration to the Erddig landscape was the Cup and Saucer waterfall. This feature, which can still be seen today works by gathering water in a shallow circular stone basin with a cylindrical waterfall at its centre, the water falls through this cascade and then emerges from a tunnel several yards downstream.
" The gem of Erddig is its wood."
Avenue of trees
Emes also incorporated into his designs some of the early earthwork features at Erddig for example the Motte and Bailey castle and Wat’s Dyke, a 40 mile long defensive earthwork built in the 8th century.
The Motte and Bailey Castle was built by the Normans in the 11th Century to enforce their control over the local area. All that now remains are raised earthen mounds, covered by trees, but it would originally have dominated the skyline. In its construction the Normans utilised the natural topography of the land and the pre-existing defensive boundary of Wat’s Dyke.
700 years later Emes incorporated these earthworks into his designs planting an avenue of trees on its summit named cathedral aisle leading to a spectacular view over the surrounding landscape.