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Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Caergwrle Castle and the Bronze Age Caergwrle Bowl

view from Caergwrle Castle
The view from Caergwrle Castle looking over the A541 in the direction of Mold

There is thought to have been a hill fort on this site dating from the late or post-Roman period, but the location's importance goes back to the Bronze Age.

Today, the medieval castle ruins are a focal point of a hilly walk from the community of Caergwrle, off the A541 Wrexham-Mold road, and it's managed by Caergwrle Community Council.

Caergwrle Bowl, courtesy National Museum of Wales

From the ruins there are far-reaching views over Cheshire and, therefore, England, as it was a border fortification built by Welsh noble Dafydd ap Gruffydd in the 1200s.

It's hard to believe it today, but when English king Edward I took over its control in 1282, there had been big plans for the castle.

Indeed, if, as was planned by the king, a town was built around the castle then Wrexham may well have been a different place today.

Records show 340 carpenters, 600 diggers and 30 masons were employed to start its refurbishment. But it wasn't completed as the castle was gifted by the king to various English nobles.

By the 1300s it started to go into decline as these private owners failed to invest in its upkeep unlike the crown when it was first taken under English control.

Castle facts
Caergwrle Castle
Built: 1278
Refurbished: 1282
In ruins: 1335

The site was important long before the arrival of medieval man.

In fact, a Bronze Age relic, the Caergwrle 'Bowl' - made from shale, tin and gold - was found in 1823 by a workman digging a drain in a field below the castle.

The object is considered so important it features in a joint BBC and museums project, A History of the World which casts the spotlight on major historical finds and has been the focus of a TV programme, Symbols: Wales and a History of the World

A detailed study of the castle, Excavations at Caergwrle Castle, 1988-1990, written by John Manley, is available to read online along with other resources via the Archaeology Data Service

And more information regarding the Caergwrle Bowl can be gleaned from the National Museum of Wales website.


A Wrexham Lager bottle, a stone hand axe and the Gold Cape Important local artefacts
They include a beer bottle, a prehistoric hand axe and more
Caergwrle Bowl, courtesy National Museum of Wales Caergwrle Bowl
A Bronze Age find on the site of a medieval castle
Gold Cape Mold's Gold Cape
The British Museum lists this relic as among its top artefacts
Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn Sir Watkin's legacy
Wrexham's Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn was a major patron of the arts
The former Wrexham Lager offices UK's first chilled beer
Wrexham has a claim to fame when it comes to cold beer

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