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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 December, 2003, 12:09 GMT
Castle's medieval Christmas
Chirk Castle
Visitors will be able to find out how Christmas was celebrated in a castle
Tourists have had an opportunity to find out what Christmas was really like for the residents of a 14th century castle

For the first time, Chirk Castle is coming out of winter hibernation and opening its doors for a weekend of seasonal celebrations.

And more than 200 people took up the chance to visit the castle on Saturday.

A National Trust spokesman said people would have the chance to see how Christmas had changed over the 700 years that the castle had been in existence.

"Two rooms in the castle, as well as the room guides, have been specially dressed to demonstrate what Christmas was really like for the castle residents," said the National Trust's Gareth Williams.

The castle was built as a Marcher fortress during the reign of Edward 1 in 1295 and has been run by the National Trust since 1983.

Winter opening

Although open to the public between April and October this is the first time that the castle has thrown open its doors to the public in the off-season.

"We haven't opened during the winter in the past because the Middleton family whose ancestors have lived here for 400 years are still residing here," said Emma Hegarty of The National Trust,

Father Christmas will also be in attendance, and there was a four-course meal with a Welsh male voice choir on Saturday.

Following the weekend festivities, the castle will close to visitors until March. For more information, contact Chirk Castle on 01691 777701

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