Hawarden Castle, also known as Hawarden Old Castle, is a medieval castle located in Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales. It is situated near the village of Hawarden, about 7 miles west of the city of Chester in England. The castle is privately owned and not generally open to the public, but it is visible from certain vantage points.
The exact origins of Hawarden Castle are uncertain, but it is believed to have been built in the 13th century, possibly around 1277. It was constructed by the Normans as a defensive stronghold to control the border between England and Wales. The castle was strategically positioned near the River Dee, which served as a natural barrier between the two countries.
Throughout its history, Hawarden Castle played a role in the conflicts between the English and the Welsh. It changed hands several times and was fortified and expanded by various owners. Notable figures associated with the castle include John de Warrenne, the Earl of Surrey, and Edward I, the King of England. The castle was also a residence of the powerful Stanley family during the Tudor period.
In the 18th century, the castle fell into disrepair and was largely abandoned. However, in the 19th century, it was partially restored and became the family seat of the Gladstone family. William Ewart Gladstone, the prominent British statesman and four-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, lived in Hawarden Castle. He carried out extensive renovations to the castle and added new wings and a library.
Today, Hawarden Castle remains in private ownership by the Gladstone family. The castle itself is not open to the public, but it is surrounded by beautiful parkland and gardens known as Hawarden Estate. The estate is occasionally open for public events, such as concerts and open-air theater performances. It also houses St. Deiniol’s Library, which was founded by William Gladstone and contains a vast collection of books and manuscripts.
Hawarden Castle holds historical significance as a medieval fortress and as the former residence of one of Britain’s most influential political figures. While not easily accessible to the general public, its presence and heritage contribute to the rich history of the region.
Hawarden Castle, Hawarden, Flintshire. CH5 3PB
Limited Opening Times (See Website)