Time Travel

Trail written and researched by the Council for Museums in Wales. Images courtesy of the museums. | 06 May 1999

Route through North and Mid Wales: Wrexham - Llangollen - Welshpool (A483)

Anticipated time needed to complete trail: 4-5 days

Please contact museums and other venues in advance in order to confirm any entrance charges and seasonal opening times, as these may vary.

WREXHAM (Regent Street)

Wrexham County Borough Museum will transport you back in time.There is plenty to see and do at the Museum, including the innovative Satellite Wing.

Wrexham's skyline is dominated by the steeple of St. Giles' Parish Church, widely regarded as the finest example of Gothic architecture in North Wales. Elihu Yale, buried in St. Giles Churchyard, emigrated to America from Llanarmon-yn-lal, and gave his name to the famous University. A replica of St.Giles' 136ft. high tower has been built into Yale University in America.

Whilst in the area take the opportunity to visit, and theMinera Lead Minesand Country Park.

At Bersham, two miles to the west of Wrexham, the furnaces and foundries which produced cannons for the American War of Independence and cylinders for James Watts' steam engines are brought alive again. The museum also tells the story of John 'Iron Mad' Wilkinson and his famous 18th century Ironworks.

At Minera, four miles west, lead mining has taken place since at least Medieval times. Remains of later 18th and 19th century lead processing areas, a beam engine house, winding engine and boiler house have been excavated, restored and are on view. An Interpretation Centre outlines the history of the site. A country park surrounds the lead mines with scenic walks and a picnic area. The venue is open daily from 3 May, but please contact the venue for further details.

Return to Wrexham for Erddig (National Trust signposts) heading 2 miles south on the A483


At Erddig step back into the 17th and 18th centuries in one of the most intriguing National Trust properties in Britain, not least because of the relationship that existed between the family of the house and their servants. 'Upstairs - Downstairs' tours are available giving an insight into the life of a servant in a 17th/18th century country house. Explore the State Rooms, servants' quarters, outbuildings, formal garden with the National Ivy Collection, and country park.

Rejoin the A483 south for the A539 to Llangollen


Travel back into the Regency era at Plas Newydd,home of the Ladies of Llangollen from 1780-1829. The Ladies of Llangollen were often visited by the great and the good of the day, including the Duke of Wellington, William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott.

The 18th Century civil engineer, Thomas Telford, made his mark around Llangollen with the magnificent aqueducts at Froncysyllte and Chirk, and the Llangollen Canal.

Enjoy the superb scenery in the Vale of Llangollen by Steam Railway. The season begins from 22 May. Llangollen station is attractively situated by the bridge over the River Dee: so take a gentle steam train journey to the restored Carrog Station which is set in a picturesque location.

Llangollen Railway plc, The Station, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SN Tel: 01978 860979 (For talking timetable Tel:01978 860951)

Another option is to take either a leisurely horse-drawn boat trip along the canal, or journey by narrow-boat, the 'Thomas Telford', across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, towering 126 feet above the River Dee.

The Horse Drawn Boat Centre, The Wharf, Llangollen Tel: 01978 869702

In Llangollen you may be able to travel not through time, but between different cultures, without even leaving the town! The world famous International Musical Eisteddfod attracts choirs, musicians, folk singers and dancers from all continents. For a full programme of events and details of dates, contact The Eisteddfod Office, Llangollen LL20 8NG Tel: 01978 861501/ 860236.

Take the A5 east leading to Chirk, 8 miles south of Wrexham

In the nineteenth century vital road, rail and canal links were developed throughout the Chirk Valley with Chirk becoming a staging post on the London to Holyhead mail road. The Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union canal reached Chirk in 1801.

At Chirk Castle (National Trust), built 700 years ago, see the circular drum towers offering fine viewpoints over the formal gardens and historic parklands. Step into the elegant State Rooms, with their elaborate plasterwork, tapestries and portraits.

Leave Wales and take time to explore the historic town of Oswestry in Shropshire. Oswestry was the headquarters of the Cambrian Railway Company until amalgamation with the Great Western Railway Company in 1922.

The Oswestry Light Railway housed in the Cambrian Museum of Transport, is located in the centre of Oswestry. Here can be found steam engines, passenger coaches and goods wagons, as well as a permanent exhibition of old bicycles, motorbikes and associated posters and memorabilia. On selected days there is the opportunity to travel on the railway. Steam days are held on the last Sunday of the month from April to September.

Rejoin the A483 on departure from Oswestry.Cross the border back to Wales and head south for the journey's end at Welshpool looking out for the Montgomery Canal parallel to the A483.Visit the award-winningPowysland Museum and Montgomery Canal Centre.Here you can experience the past of Montgomeryshire from Stone Age hunters to life in Victorian days.

Once you have enjoyed the museum, why not take a canal-boat trip from the wharf alongside the Museum? For details contact Montgomery Canal Cruises, Severn Street Wharf, Welshpool SY21 7AQ Tel: 01938 553271

Other sites to see near Welshpool are:

The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture

The Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway is a charming eight mile narrow gauge steam railway runnning through hilly border country between Welshpool and its terminus at Llanfair Careinion. One of the original 'Great Little Trains of Wales,'the Railway has changed little in 100 years, with many original steam engines and rolliing stock. Train services operate from Easter-October. For further information please contact: The Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, The Station, Llanfair Caereinion SY21 OSF Tel: 01938 810441

Well done! You have successfully completed your journey. We hope that you will travel this route again and visit places you may have had to miss the first time as well as re-visiting your favourite venues.

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