Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 09:55 UK

Castle recalls 'downstairs' life

Chirk Castle
A team of volunteers will be on hand to record memories and photographs

A castle near Wrexham is throwing open its door for the weekend to gather memories of those who used to work there.

Staff at marcher fortress of Chirk Castle are building up their database on servant life.

They want people to visit and share any information they have about relatives who may have once worked at the castle.

The National Trust hope the details could help build a database detailing servants back 700 years.

The castle remains the last built by Edward I that is still lived in today.

But while there are mountains of documents tracing the families and famous who have stayed and lived in the castle, much less is known about those who spent their lives serving them.

I don't think the people in Chirk appreciate what they have got with that castle. I hope they never forget because it's history
Megan Carter, former chamber maid

Castle education officer Gill Burton said: "What's really interesting is to find out about people who made the castle work, it's is like the engine room if you like.

"But our only source of information is from people who turn up at the door."

The castle's current database on servant life stretches back to the 18th century, but details are not always complete.

One person who has helped fill in the gaps is 89-year-old Megan Carter, who once worked chamber maid at Chirk Castle.

"I was 16-years-old when I went there," she recalled.

"We had a very hectic life, a very hard life, but we had a lot of fun.

"I don't think the people in Chirk appreciate what they have got with that castle. I hope they never forget because it's history."

Database

As part of the castle's 'It's Your History' weekend, a team of volunteers will be on hand to record oral histories and memories, and also collect and scan photographs.

Carolyn Latham, the visitor services manager, added: "Come along and share your memories, stories and old photographs connected with the castle and the lives of those who lived and worked here.

"Come along and discover your relatives and help us fill in the missing details. We're looking for all memories - no matter how insignificant they may seem."




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