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Latitude: 52.935 / 52°56'6"N
Longitude: -3.0856 / 3°5'8"W
OS Eastings: 327128
OS Northings: 338068
OS Grid: SJ271380
Mapcode National: GBR 72.M0ZC
Mapcode Global: WH78C.KHV8
Entry Name: Statue of Hercules
Listing Date: 29 July 1998
Last Amended: 29 July 1998
Source ID: 20237
Building Class: Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces
Location: Hercules is now sited on the axis of the E axial view from the castle where it passes through woodland.
Community: Chirk (Y Waun)
Locality: Chirk Castle
Traditional County: Denbighshire
The figure, commissioned by Sir Robert Myddleton in June 1720, was one of two, the other being Mars, both being sited in the forecourt of the castle flanking the approach to the barbican, and within the iron gates. He is not present in Tilleman's painting of the front of the castle of c1720, but appears in the Badeslade print of 1742. At the re-landscaping of the park in 1770 undertaken by William Emes, a pupil of Launcelot Brown, Hercules was moved to the E arm of Deershed (Deerslidd) Wood and later lost. He was recovered in 1987 and restored, the armature replaced with stainless steel, and resited in the present position on an artificial eminence on the lime avenue on the eastern axis, a vista originally established by Sir Thomas Myddleton in the formal landscaping work of 1653. The sculptor, once believed to be Van Nost, is not recorded.
A copy of the Farnese Hercules, naked, standing in an attitude of repose. The over-life sized figure is cast in lead, and leans on a tree-stump over which his lion skin is draped. His club leans on the stump. He is mounted on a base, inscribed SIGNUM HERCULIS DEFATIGATI IN AEDIBUS FARNESIIS ROMAE GLYCONIS ATHENIENSIS MANU ELABORATUM. In 1983 he was mounted on a new stone die, on the E face of which is inscribed the intriguing couplet HEROS MULTIVAGUS. / LIQUIDUM TRANS AET / HERA.VECTUS.AMPH / ITRYONIADES.EN RE/ NOVATUS ADEST. MC / MLXXXVII.
Included as an impressive early C18 garden sculpture designed for Chirk Castle, despite being extensively restored and resited.
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