This is another lovely walk, especially early morning when the sun is filtering through the trees and the birds are singing. We set off a little later than usual at about 7.30am (it was so cosy in the tent).
Starting from Sontley Road Car Park, walk out of the car park and turn right. Follow the road up the hill until the end of the stone wall on your right, then turn right through the kissing gate.
You are now in Big Wood. Follow the path to the end until you come to a T-junction. Turn right.
Follow the path round. Keep going on the same path until you see another path that drops down to your right, then goes steeply up.
Go up the steep path to the top of the bank where the motte and bailey once stood.
The castle of Wristleham in Erddig was mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of AD 1161. It is believed that the fortress was constructed out of timber so there are no visible signs today other than the mounds of the motte and bailey.
To your left you’ll see an avenue of beech trees on the bailey that emulates the formal walks Emes designed in the 18th century. Head for these and walk down the middle to the end.
Look through the trees at the view from here. There are views of three valleys from the top of the motte so it was the ideal site for a fortress.
Turn back the way you came from. You’ll see that there are twelve trees on your right. Walk down and turn right along the path which is in the middle (you’ll have six trees on your left and six on your right)
Follow the narrow path down then up another bank. Follow the path around and you’ll look down a steep bank to your right with Black Brook babbling along at the bottom.
Keep following the path and you’ll come to a junction of paths under some sycamore trees. Turn right.
As you come to the end of the path you’ll recognise the path on your left up to the motte and bailey.
Turn right and go up the bank.
Keep right and follow the path to the end. You’ll see the fences around Erddig’s formal gardens and the Wolf’s Den (a children’s natural play area) ahead of you.
Turn left. Look across the Wolf’s Den (now on your right) and over the brick wall and you’ll see Erddig Hall.
Walk almost to the end of this path until you come to a (very green) pond on your left. Turn left, walk a few yards then turn right.
You are now back on the path through Big Wood that you started on. Walk to the end, go through the kissing gate, then turn left onto Sontley Road and walk back towards the car park.