Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON - BY COLIN PARK

THE East Cheshire Ramblers re­cently ven­tured slightly fur­ther afield for walk just in­side north­east Wales.

Start­ing out from Penyf­ford, the group fol­lowed a sec­tion of the Wat’s Dyke Way be­fore catch­ing the bus back to the start.

For much of the way, the dyke runs par­al­lel with its more fa­mous neigh­bour Offa’s Dyke.

Head­ing south, the group stopped at the his­toric church in Hope where a cas­cade of pop­pies was still hung.

The tower dates from the 16th cen­tury and was built later than the nave.

Con­tin­u­ing with the Wat’s Dyke Way, next stop was Caerg­wrle and we en­tered the vil­lage by cross­ing the an­cient pack­horse bridge over the River Alyn be­fore mak­ing to the ru­ins of Caerg­wrle Cas­tle.

A stiff but short as­cent led to the ru­inous walls which still stand quite high.

Work on the cas­tle be­gan in 1277 by Dafydd but was par­tially de­stroyed be­fore it was fin­ished and when work be­gan again, a dis­as­trous fire in 1283 broke out and work on the un­fin­ished cas­tle was aban­doned.

It is be­lieved that the cas­tle was only lived in for around six years. Quar­ry­ing in the 16th cen­tury un­der­mined part of the build­ing and it col­lapsed.

Leav­ing Caerg­wrle, we passed the for­mer Caerg­wrle Spa.

The hey­day of the spa was in the early 20th cen­tury and the nat­u­ral spring wa­ters here were noted for their health giv­ing prop­er­ties.

The ad­ja­cent bot­tling plant, which is a rather un­usual build­ing, is now a pri­vate house.

Con­tin­u­ing on field paths, we di­verted into the Alyn Wa­ters Coun­try Park for our lunch stop be­fore press­ing on to reach Wrex­ham Bus Sta­tion for the re­turn jour­ney.

De­spite the gloomy skies of the day, the group en­joyed ex­plor­ing an area with plenty of un­fa­mil­iar paths and much his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est.

Poppy cas­cade from St Cyn­farch’s Church

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