Erddig on Antiques Roadshow, BBC One 8pm Sunday April 14 2019

BBC Antiques Roadshow experts

As temperatures soared last July, more than 5,000 visitors flocked to Erddig bringing their family treasures for BBC's Fiona Bruce and the team of experts.

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers kicked off the BBC event in the morning bringing their mascot - Llywelyn, the goat.

Volunteers made a huge difference to the day and Fiona Bruce met National Trust’s oldest volunteer, Joan Capel, who turned 101 this year.

One of the day’s highlights was seeing Fiona Bruce cycling a replica Penny Farthing in the picturesque garden.

More than one hundred volunteers helped make a difference at the BBC event last summer, working to ensure visitors enjoyed a day out to remember.

Thousands flocked to Erddig for BBC Event
BBC Antiques Roadshow filming at Erddig
Thousands flocked to Erddig for BBC Event

Two programmes

As the BBC publicist for the show, Pamela Parkes said:
‘It was a memorable day at Erddig. Thousands of people came along and brought some fantastic treasures and family memorabilia. We filmed enough to make two very special programmes from Erddig, the first was aired in January and the second will be aired on BBC One on Sunday April 14th at 8pm.”

Forty five volunteers donned red sashes and straw boaters working in a variety of roles to support the production. A further twenty were out in the car park helping Erddig’s ranger team and the rest supported Erddig’s catering, garden, visitor welcome and fundraising efforts.

Erddig’s bookshop volunteers had a busy day and Joan Capel, the National Trust’s oldest volunteer, enjoyed meeting Fiona Bruce.

Huge thanks

Jamie Watson, Erddig general manager, said: "It has been wonderful working with the BBC on one of the country's best-loved TV programmes.
"It has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the property and I must say a huge thank you to our team of staff and over a hundred volunteers who've helped make the day a success."

The day’s more unusual visitors included the mascot for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, a goat named Llywelyn!

Royal Welsh Fusiliers mascot Llywelyn the goat visits BBC Antiques Roadshow at Erddig
Royal Welsh Fusiliers mascot Llywelyn the goat at BBC Antiques Roadshow
Royal Welsh Fusiliers mascot Llywelyn the goat visits BBC Antiques Roadshow at Erddig

Llywelyn took centre stage to launch the event by leading the queue of waiting visitors to the main reception to the Roadshow as the show’s signature tune resounded around the garden walls.

Fearless Fiona

One of the highlights of the day was when a daring Fiona Bruce cycled, as the Yorkes once did, on a replica Penny Farthing along the top path in the garden. Luckily the ride went without a hitch!

Extraordinary things were pulled out of bags, trolleys, bits of newspaper, suitcases and boats on the day.

The show’s experts had the opportunity to see an exciting array of treasures, including a leather jacket worn by Daniel Craig during filming as James Bond and two sketches by Wales’ most famous artist Kyffin Williams. The day also saw a signed personalised letter from Elvis Presley and a Victorian rowing machine.

Much-needed shade

Soaring temperatures on the day meant that we changed the queue route to run between the garden’s pleached limes, offering much-needed shade. The art of pleaching, or training trees to create a wall for shade, was popular in the 17th and 18th Century. The garden team set up free water points along the lime trees to keep visitors hydrated.

National Trust Operational Risk Consultant, Nick Howells who volunteered to help the Erddig team on the day said:
“The garden team has been working around the clock to prevent the summer bedding scheme from wilting in the sunshine. For the Antiques Roadshow, we were all working to prevent visitors from wilting.
“I refilled the forty litre water carrier that I was using twenty five times, that’s one thousand litres of water!”

Visitors enjoy the shade of Erddig's pleached limes during BBC Antiques Roadshow
Erddig visitors to BBC event queue in the shade of between the pleached lime trees
Visitors enjoy the shade of Erddig's pleached limes during BBC Antiques Roadshow

Visitor Welcome Assistant Sharon Laurence was busy on the day promoting Erddig’s apple harvest event by offering visitors apples for the journey home. She managed to have a chat to Fiona Bruce who took an apple as she was leaving.

Sharon said:
“It was a fantastic day and I was so proud to be part of it. I got to meet a goat, a solider and a celebrity!
“As Fiona was leaving and took an apple for her journey home, I asked her what she thought of Erddig.
“She said it was her second visit and that it was an absolutely beautiful place and all the staff were so happy, kind and helpful. I can’t argue with that.”

30,000 items

Erddig’s collection of more than 30,000 items – the second largest in the National Trust -  includes a Delft Vase which Queen Mary, during her visit in 1921, dropped hints to Louisa Yorke that she’d very much like to take the vase home.  Louisa stood her ground and politely refused!

The only trace of Erddig’s original owner, Joshua Edisbury’s time is an early 18th-century Japanned screen.  ‘Japanned’ refers to the technique of layering lacquer and Elihu Yale who was neighbour to the Edisburys, gave the screen as a gift.  Ironically it was Yale recalling a loan which finally bankrupted Joshua Edisbury.

Erddig is famed for its extensive archive of ‘upstairs/downstairs’ life giving us a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.

Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales said:
“We’re delighted that once again BBC Antiques Roadshow has chosen another one of our special places in Wales for this series.
“From country houses, to coastal walks and countryside spaces, we pride ourselves on a warm Welsh welcome, which, judging by the feedback we’ve received, both visitors and the BBC team enjoyed.”

BBC Antiques Roadshow facts:

  • This is the eleventh series presented by Fiona Bruce
  • The 41st series of Antiques Roadshow was filmed throughout the spring and summer of 2018.  The Roadshow visited Cromer Pier in Norfolk, Eltham Palace & Gardens in Greenwich, The Piece Hall in Halifax, Crathes Castle in Scotland, Erddig in Wrexham, Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, MediCityUK in Salford Quays, Buckfast Abbey in Devon and Aerospace Bristol in South Gloucestershire.
  • Over the past 40 years there have been 804 programmes, made at 585 different venues, the show has been abroad to 11 countries. Around ten million objects have been brought to be valued and of those around 24,000 items have been filmed.
  • Each Antiques Roadshow attracts around 3,000 people. Whether it’s a £100,000 painting or a £5 cup and saucer, everyone gets an expert opinion on their treasure.
  • Antiques Roadshow is one of BBC One’s most popular programmes, regularly watched by nearly six million people.