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Wepre Country Park and Ewloe Castle

Wepre Park is a 160 acre woodland between Connah's Quay and Ewloe, Flintshire.

The country park is on an ancient woodland site rich in wildlife and historical interest, including the supposedly haunted Ewloe Castle. The Ranger Service manages the area from the Visitor Centre and also organises a busy programme of events and activities. There are three waymarked circular walks, walks through to Ewloe Castle and along the brook. Adventure playground, Picnic areas, Bridleway access, Playing fields, Visitor Centre.

Ewloe Castle was built by the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Last, who began its construction in 1257 after his reconquest of this part of Wales. It stands on a promontory overlooking the junction of two streams, but is overwhelmed by higher ground at the south. Its position near the English border was strategic, controlling the road to Chester. It stood within the forest of Ewloe and was surrounded by woods for hunting. Ewloe Castle is relatively small and in poor condition. It has two courtyards with a U-shaped keep inside the triangular upper ward and this suggests that there was an earlier castle of the motte and bailey type. The curtain of the upper ward forms a sloping stone revetment for the motte while the outer curtain is reduced to its footings. At the western angle of the outer ward, the ruins of a circular tower are perched on a rocky knoll. This No gate connects the courtyards; both were entered from the north side and communication was only at parapet level. The two curtains are not bonded together; they are the result of successive building campaigns and nothing remains of the inside timber buildings.

The keep (known as the Welsh Tower) may be an earlier work of Llywelyn the Great, Most of the keep is collapsed, but the south front still stands to full height. The tower contained a single apartment above a storage chamber, reachable only through a trapdoor. The outer walls rose higher than the two storeys, to protect the roof from burning projectiles. On the parapet, slots for a hoarding are still visible. The rampart at the south of the castle may be an English work, but Edward I built new castles nearby at Flint and Rhuddlan that could be provisioned by sea, rather than using Ewloe which lies inland.

Wepre Country Park Visitor Centre, Wepre Drive, Connah's Quay, Flintshire, CH5 4HL

Tel:  01244 814931

Website:  www.flintshire.gov.uk