Chirk Castle enters solar age

View of the East elevation of Chirk Castle with topiary

It’s over 700 years old but 2009 saw Chirk Castle, near Llangollen, Wales, being brought bang up to date with some 21st century green energy modifications.

Some seven centuries since Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, built the castle as part of King Edward I’s chain of fortresses across the north of Wales, we've installed a £23,500 roof-mounted solar thermal system to supply hot water to the castle during the summer months.

This improvement, as part of a major refurbishment, will undoubtedly be popular with the building’s residents and ensure its future as the last Edward I Welsh castle still lived in today.

Keith Jones, environmental practices advisor for Wales, said: 'These large buildings, with their acres of roof, are ideal for this type of technology. We have ensured that the panels are only fitted where appropriate to this grade one listed building, but it just goes to show that even in the most fragile of sites we all can do our bit.'

The installation of the solar system will reduce the castle’s carbon footprint by over 4,000kg of CO2 per annum, and energy savings are anticipated to total 8,000kw per year.

The snowdrop trail at Chirk Castle

Chirk Castle, Wrexham 

Snowdrops are one of the many annual floral highlights of Chirk Castle’s award-winning garden. These beautiful spring bulbs can be found throughout the garden, scattered between the clipped yews, and in the herbaceous borders and the shrub and rock gardens. Walks at Chirk Castle are varied and rewarding, as the gardens give way to woodland and far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside.