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Famous People

The Yorke Family

It was in 1973, that Philip Yorke, the last Squire of Erddig gave the house and estate to the National Trust as neither Philip or his brother Simon married there were no direct heirs.

Philip Yorke was born in 1905 the second son of Philip Yorke and his second wife, Louisa. His brother Simon born in 1903 was the heir. His father Philip was born in 1849, the son of Simon and Victoria Yorke. Philip was Mayor of Wrexham in 1896-7. When their father Philip Senior died in 1922 the estate began to decline. Income from the estate never high began to decline and staff were laid off and the house began to decay. Problems from mining at Bersham colliery caused the house to sink more one end than the other. Simon became a reclusive and visitors particularly officialdom were not welcome. However it did mean that the house although decayed was not altered. Philip inherited the estate in 1966. Before that he had lived a rather hand to mouth existence. He had been an actor/manager; holiday tour operator. He is remembered for riding his penny farthing around the district. The gift to the National Trust was worth 3 million but negotiations were protracted. Philip Yorke died in 1978.

The other prominent member of the family was the first Philip Yorke. 1743-1804. He inherited the estate from his uncle John Meller in 1767. He took part in the social life and local government particularly the Militia and sat in Parliament twice for pocket boroughs. He was the author of the Royal Tribes of Wales which brought together his genealogical and antiquarian research. There is a room in Erddig which features the coats of arms of the chief North Wales families. He set about improving the estate and house and dining room where his portrait was one of his improvements.