Visitor Information

Hawarden Village

In a tranquil setting at the gateway to Wales, and overlooking the Cheshire plain, this picturesque village offers an ideal centre from which to explore the magnificent mountains, forest and sandy coastline of North Wales and the ancient city of Chester whose Roman heritage, walls and amphitheatre together with its famous rows, offer a fascinating insight into the past. Hawarden's own unique heritage, topography and history have created a varied and interesting environment for the discerning visitor. Situated in border country on a natural defensive promontory, its pre-Roman fortress was of early strategic, military and political importance. Held alternately by Welsh and English powers, the part it played in the hands of the Parliamentarians during the Civil War ultimately sealed it fate.

Today the imposing castle ruins set among fine parkland remain a testimony to less peaceful times.

Hawarden Castle

Broadlane Hall

However, far more recent historical events have ensured Hawarden's place on the map. In 1852 it became the home of the Prime Minister W E Gladstone through his marriage to Catherine Glynne. Their home, Broadlane Hall became the 'new' Hawarden Castle, and today it remains the private residence of the Gladstone family.

Threads of this important historical link are woven into the fabric of the village and those interested in tracing this theme will discover much evidence of the benevolence of William and Catherine Gladstone. The Parish Church of St. Deiniol, of 13th century origin and restored in 1857 following a fire, houses several monuments to the family, among which is the splendid memorial window, the work of Burne-Jones, of pre-Raphaelite fame.

Gladstone's Library, a splendid neo-Gothic structure, adjacent to the Church contains Gladstone's personal collection of some 30,000 books, a further legacy of his generosity to the community.

In addition to its more imposing buildings - among them half timbered, 16th century St Deiniol's Ash - are to be found quaint stone terraces, once occupied by craftsmen, and tucked away in unexpected places are pretty cottages with well kept gardens.

A one-time thriving market town where, in the 18th and 19th centuries the production of coal, iron and bricks flourished, and where its famous children Emma Hamilton and John Boydell, Lord Mayor of London spent their early years. Hawarden has retained all the essential character of its past, whilst preserving an air of quietness and reflection.

Gladstone Library

Woodland Path

Yet in Hawarden there is no lack of things to do. For the walker, trails can be explored taking in the neighbouring villages of Mancot, Aston and Ewloe and leading variously along grassy paths, past land once resonant with the sound of industry, through wooded countryside.

The ruins of the Hawarden Corn Mill, which ceased production in the 1940's can be seen in the Bilberry wood, accessed by the public footpath from the Tinkersdale Public Car Park.

The House of Correction - This was built about the middle of the eighteenth century to house prisoners before their trial or their removal to the county gaol at Flint. It was designed by Joseph Turner, the architect and it includes a basement area.


Ewloe Castle, built in 1257 by Welsh Prince Llewellyn Ap Grufydd, is situated some two miles from the centre of Hawarden in the neighbouring village of Ewloe. The castle can be accessed via a public right of way leading from the first lay-by on the right hand side when travelling from Ewloe to Northop Hall.

For sporting and theatrical entertainment facilities are at hand. For the golfing enthusiast, there is a selection of courses and evening entertainment is provided at the splendid Theatr Clwyd in Mold, which together with various local cinemas offer a variety of exciting programmes. Similarly, Chester Zoo will provide an enjoyable experience for children and adults alike.

Remains of Ewloe Castle