The Historical and beautiful village of Hawarden is friendly, welcoming and contains a variety of local businesses that cater for every need from award-winning restaurants and pubs, hairdressing, chiropody, fresh local produce and even boasts a golf course and two castles.
Situated approximately 5 miles outside of Chester lies the small picturesque village of Hawarden, or Penarlâg as it is known in Welsh. Hawarden is one of the “ancient parishes” of Flintshire. It originally comprised the sixteen townships of Aston, Bannel, Bretton, Broughton, Ewloe Town, Ewloe Wood, Hawarden, Mancot, Manor, Moor, Pentrobin, Rake, Saltney, Sealand and Shotton.?Hawarden was once the village of residence for the former prime minister William Gladstone (1809-1898) and a monument to him stands in the centre of the village.
This sleepy village also houses Britain’s largest residential Library, St Deniol’s, which Gladstone founded in 1894 and bequeathed to the village upon his death in 1898. It houses over 250,000 items mostly on the subject of the arts and humanities and is considered an important research library in Wales.
Situated next to the library is St Deniol’s church, a Grade II listed building which has a recorded history of at least 1000 years with a list of rectors dating back to 1108. Once partly destroyed by a fire it was restored in the 19th Century, it still houses some of the original stained-glass windows and woodwork towards the east end of the church.
Hawarden is home to two castles. The original medieval castle stands in ruins after its partial destruction at the hands of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War. The ruins stand in the grounds of the New Hawarden Castle which was built in 1752 and was the home of William Gladstone until his death in 1898. It remains in the Gladstone family as a private residence although some of the grounds are opened to the public at various times throughout the year.
Walking down the high street of Hawarden you will encounter friendly locals and a small selection of retailers and pubs. Everyone seems so relaxed and laid back and it has that lovely village feel. The Brasserie restaurant is a wonderful place to stop for a bite to eat before setting off again to view some of the cottages and architecture of the local buildings and the impressive library. ?Another famous ex-resident of Hawarden is the footballer Michael Owen, born in Chester in 1979 he attended Hawarden High School and played for the school team. Owen still lives close by to the village and has family in the neighbouring village of Ewloe which can be found by heading out through Hawarden away from Chester
Queensferry is just down the road, barely a stone’s throw away and there is easy access to and from the main roads in and out of Wales. Wonderfully historic, peaceful and pretty Hawarden is well worth taking the time to visit and is also a great place to use as a base to explore the North Wales countryside.